Thank God for the superb state education system!

Social mobility in England is among the worst of all developed nations because children from deprived backgrounds are less likely to get a good education, the OECD report said.

Children born to parents with a poor education were eight times more likely to struggle with literacy than those from a well-educated family.

23 comments on “Thank God for the superb state education system!

  1. We have seen this in the US as well. Another country with a system of comprehensive, non-selective education run by powerful Unions.

    People who suffer from leftist education are harmed by it. The people Leftists want to help the most, suffer the most from that help. In America Blacks improve more in school in regions with recent histories of racism like Texas than they do in the heartland of social reform like Minnesota.

    The time for merely calling for a return to Grammars seems over. It is too anaemic.

    Although the report is stupid in many ways:

    The countries where people’s backgrounds made the least difference to their education included Japan and South Korea, where the younger generation’s skills far exceed those of older people.

    Japan and South Korea are newly industrial countries. Which means that many people who should have got an education 60 years ago didn’t, but their grandchildren did. The first generation that gets an education is lifted out of poverty. The question is whether anyone else that is left behind is likely to ever produce a child suited to higher education. I hope the answer is that they are and Grammars will work. But it is entirely possible that they aren’t. Let’s see what happens to the next generation of Japanese children.

    The other thing they do not point out is that the young in Japan and South Korea are Japanese and South Korean. That is, their background may be very important indeed. The lower socio-economic groups in Britain are more and more non-British in origin. We are importing a feral underclass. There is no reason to think that such radically different cultures (and perhaps even genetic backgrounds) will have the same response to the opportunity for education.

  2. I think its about time the NUT called another strike.

    Meanwhile, people will keep on falling for the lies. It’s almost as though the idea is to keep them stupid, because intelligent people would rise up and slaughter the teachers, bureaucrats and politicians who have done this.

  3. I don’t think the Mail editors are quite well educated enough themselves:
    “Japan and South Korea were the nation’s where a pupil’s backgrounds mattered least…”

  4. Another Labour project successful, then. They really are an effective government. Even in the periods when they’re not in office.

  5. “There is no reason to think that such radically different cultures (and perhaps even genetic backgrounds) will have the same response to the opportunity for education”

    There’s a rapidly growing problem getting anything useful into the heads of your average white working class boy.

  6. The OECD published a report yesterday on adult skills. But the Daily Mail’s quote isn’t in it.

    I looked at the section on “The relationship between socio-economic background and skills proficiency, by age” (page 117). It says

    Countries with the weakest association between socio-economic background and literacy proficiency (also known as the socio-economic gradient) among young people include Ireland, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. The association is strongest in the Czech Republic, England/Northern Ireland (UK), Germany, Poland and the Slovak Republic. Among the broader population of 16-65 year-olds, this relationship is the weakest in Australia, Estonia,Ireland, Japan, Norway and Sweden; it is strongest in England/Northern Ireland (UK), Flanders (Belgium), Germany, Italy, Poland and the United States.

    The chart underneath that paragraph shows that the strongest impact of socio-economic background on literacy (across all age groups) is in the USA, followed by Poland, Germany, and France.

  7. I’ve go to hand it to them. In the sixties the Forces of Progress declared that they were determined to ruin the schools, and by God they have succeeded.

  8. You’ve all got it wrong. Britain’s state schools are crap because 6% of kids attend fee-paying schools. If we could just ban those schools entirely (a demand which occasionally pops up in the pages of the Guardian, and frequently in the online comments) then those richer pupils would take it upon themselves to impart their wisdom on the rest of the class.
    Oh, and give us more money and more power too.

  9. PaulB
    Chart 3.8c (L) that you point to shows the effect of the gradient of socio economic background on mean literacy for 16-65 year olds. In order to discern the impact of socio economic background on literacy for 16-24 year olds one needs to look at 3.8a (L). This shows that the slope of the gradient is very steep for the UK – with the gap between the three socio economic groups of nearly 50. The UK is clearly worse than the US since the US only has a score difference of around 40. Daily Mail is only half wrong.

  10. I never cease to be amazed by the logic of the anti-private education brigade: the 7% attending private schools have a massive, quite unfair advantage. Preventing them from attending these schools will make it all better for everyone. Er, no it won’t, it will only serve to make thingss worse for the 7%. It will do nothing at all for the remaining 93%.

  11. I disagree slightly Ironman. The 93% would be slightly worse off as the 7% would have to fit into their already large class sizes.

  12. Martin Davies is only partially right. The educational advances that leak from innovation in private schools into the state system would cease, so the 93% would cease to benefit from them and “slightly” understates a progressive worsening of the state system compared to where it would otherwise be.

  13. The argument is that if the rich are forced to shove their children into crumbling state schools, they will take the necessary action to improve them. Which of course doesn’t happen, all the rich will do is use their money to buy an overpriced house in the catchment area of one of the better schools – which happens already.

  14. PaulB – “Countries with the weakest association between socio-economic background and literacy proficiency (also known as the socio-economic gradient) among young people include Ireland, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.”

    If free education gives you a one-off boost in social mobility as the talented members of the working class are lifted up, you would expect to see more upward mobility in newly industrialising countries. Like Japan and South Korea. Fourty years ago Ireland was a priest-ridden theocracy. I am not sure if that is a good explanation or not. But Spain was a Fascist dictatorship. So it probably belongs with Japan and Korea.

    “The association is strongest in the Czech Republic, England/Northern Ireland (UK), Germany, Poland and the Slovak Republic.”

    Czechoslovakia was the only genuinely capitalist Eastern European state between the wars with its own bourgeois class. Presumably widespread education came early. As it would have done in Germany and England. Leaving just Poland, and to some extent Slovakia as the odd men out.

    It looks like educational success is at least partly genetic.

  15. Help.

    So, it’s only 6-7% of pupils attend private schools.
    The 2013 State sector education budget is £88 billion. It doubled in Labour’s last decade in power, yet things are terrible compared to countries spending less.

    Yet it is apparently the funds and expertise that are going into the private sector that are holding the State sector back.

    Exactly how much is the private sector holding that would ‘fix’ the failing State? Doubling funding didn’t work under Blair/Brown. Is the private sector worth more than £50 billion?

  16. “The argument is that if the rich are forced to shove their children into crumbling state schools, they will take the necessary action to improve them. ”

    Those advocating this course really haven’t thought it through. If the rich did move in to the State actor the first thing they would do would be to take over the school boards. Closely followed by the sacking of incompetent teachers, for they wouldn’t put up with the crap that dose exist.

  17. “Those advocating this course really haven’t thought it through. If the rich did move in to the State actor the first thing they would do would be to take over the school boards. Closely followed by the sacking of incompetent teachers, for they wouldn’t put up with the crap that dose exist.”

    I think that’s the point.

  18. @Alex, you’re out of date: school boards no longer have the rights or powers to sack anybody; Gordon Brown’s government (and possibly Tony Blair’s before that, I can’t remember) took care to reduce their status to that of impotent talking shops.

    The Unions are back in the driving seat.

  19. @ Andrew Duffin
    That is one reason for free schools. Under Wilson the NUT could have called a strike against all free schools – thanks to Mrs Thatcher they have to justify why they are striking against each individual school.

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