Well, yes, OK then

What the A level fiasco has proven is that we have a government that has two fundamental qualities. The first is that it can both create and then exacerbate crises. And the second, is that it is utterly clueless as to what to do about them.

This coming from the man who insists that government should have more power over our lives. And no, he never has identified a system or practice of government that does better. He’s simply incapable of understanding that the reasoning in favour of markets is not their theoretical beauty but their advantage over government by the sort of fuckwits who get to succeed in politics.

27 thoughts on “Well, yes, OK then”

  1. Whenever someone in public service (in whatever form) fucks up, they do not have to take the blame, it’s government’s fault. What if the government, the education minister in this case, thought the ‘professionals’ who get the big bucks could handle a slight difficulty? Are not those professionals the ones we should look to blame?

  2. But he only thinks this of a government he doesn’t like. If he was in charge it would of course be all wine and roses. And MMT, and moar tax, and nationalise everything. But that would be fine cos he knows all.
    He truly lacks any self awareness.

  3. Nicola Sturgeon has shown how it should be done. At the first hint of trouble, U turn and run away.

    That it has taken The Government six months to discover that Public Health England is “failing” shows remarkable want of situational awareness. PHE’s uselessness has been obvious since about 5 seconds after the pandemic began. But it’s a safe bet that the same empty suits will end up “leading” the successor organisation.

  4. decnine
    Sturgeon has done it cos she has an election looming and the shitstorm when grades tumble next year will be after she is safely ensconced for 5 more years (or whatever term the porridge wogs serve).

    I reckon they quickly realised how shit PHE are, but kept them in place as cover for their own incompetence. Hancock is now trying to look decisive and strong. Good luck with that.

  5. Let me see if I’ve got this straight… the algorithms have produced a set of results showing a slight increase in overall marks. 40% of pupils have been downgraded from the teachers’ predictions (and after all, the teachers know them best). If this is as appalling as students and teachers are saying, that students have been denied the grades they deserved, it must mean that closing the schools was the best thing ever for raising educational standards for the next generation.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    Hey, if I were Evil Overlord of the Universe, this sort of thing would not happen.

    Therefore there is no contradiction in thinking that appointing my EOL would be a bad thing.

    Trust me

  7. it can both create and then exacerbate crises

    Says the clown who predicted 10,000 deaths per day from Covid. Imagine how he would have exacerbated the crisis based on that confident prediction.

  8. “That it has taken The Government six months to discover that Public Health England is “failing” shows remarkable want of situational awareness. PHE’s uselessness has been obvious since about 5 seconds after the pandemic began. But it’s a safe bet that the same empty suits will end up “leading” the successor organisation.”

    I would imagine the gap between what PHE said it could do & what it could actually acheive was obvious right from the start. But what in practise can you do about it as a government? You need some organisation providing those functions & that’s the one you’ve got. If you try & take any of its functions away you’re fighting the bureaucratic reluctance & inertia of a powerful hostile body. So you end up supporting it because not to do so would drive public confidence in it even further down.

  9. Jesse says:
    August 14 2020 at 9:04 am

    Education expert now I see? Add that to your other long list of other recently acquired fields of expertise.. Environmental science, Epidemiology, Derivatives, credit instruments, Constitutional governance, everything to do with Scotland, everything to do with politics, everything to do with economics, everything thing to do with tax, everything to do with accountancy… I am sure I do you a disservice and have missed plenty out. I really don’t know where you find the time to play with your train set as well.

    Reply
    Richard Murphy says:
    August 14 2020 at 11:37 am

    I’ve been a university professor for five years
    I’d have thought that gave me a voice on education
    And certainly more experience than our Secretary of State
    But if you wish to pursue for silliness please feel free….as long as it is somewhere else

    Reply
    Andrew Carter says:
    August 14 2020 at 12:52 pm

    That you should think that a little bit of part-time university lecturing equips you to comment on full time teaching at O and A level is sufficient to show that you shouldn’t be commenting.

    Reply
    Richard Murphy says:
    August 14 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Very politely, what I have said is glaringly obvious stuff and does not require educational expertise, although I have some of that
    What you’re saying is ‘shut up’ and ‘to the line’
    What qualifies you to say that? Please tell us, in some detail.

  10. What the A level fiasco has proven is that we have a government that has two fundamental qualities. The first is that it can both create and then exacerbate crises. And the second, is that it is utterly clueless as to what to do about them.

    I agree. Then I draw the opposite conclusion.

  11. Dennis, He Of The Gently Sloping Forehead

    And no, he never has identified a system or practice of government that does better.

    Not entirely true. Murphy has always considered whatever Murphy deems correct at any given moment to be the best system or practice of government. It is the only thing he has ever been consistent about. It is also why he remains a party of one.

  12. Every year, teachers are asked to make predicted grades for A-level students as part of university applications. Research shows that just 16% of results are predicted correctly with 75% of estimated grades over-predicted.

    There have been several studies of of grade prediction over the years, notably the UCU/UCL study. All have shown that the predictions are hopelessly inaccurate. Either the task is impossible (in which case teachers are stupid to continue doing it) or the task is possible but teachers are incompetent at it.

  13. On PHE, BiS nails it. You don’t sack your soldiers in the midst of battle. You try to make them fight well and then sack them when the battle is over.

    Duncan Selbie, founding Chief Executive of PHE,joined the NHS in 1980, as a teenager. From 2007 to 2012 he was Chief Executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and earlier South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust. Before PHE, he had no public health experience. He will be sacked – with a large pay-off.

  14. When ever the final result Is heavily influenced the final exam it’s very hard to forecast as apart from a couple of mock exams you aren’t measuring and observing that behaviour (especially time management under pressure) in a class room.
    Someone may produce amazing homework essays with time to research and rewrite a draft, others may not be inclined to that effort, but can produce a decent draft from memory of the subject. Teacher will always over estimate one and under estimate another

  15. Bloke in North Dorset

    On PHE, they also have to be seen to have failed and failed for non political reason eg not enough cash, otherwise it gets dismissed as “Tory interference” and they then get political and moral support from the left. This way nobody should be in any doubt about their incompetence and culpability in the disastrous handling of the virus.

  16. What you’re saying is ‘shut up’ and ‘to the line’

    He doesn’t know whether to write “tow” or “toe”, our professor unpractised in language.

  17. PHE have always served up 5 portions a day of shite.

    Hand Cock should be the first casualty. Unlikely. Like a run in a Diane Flabbot’s nylons, once started the extreme pressure might force the rip all the way to the crotch–ie Blojob. Esp with short-arsed Macron clone Sunak (only just occurred to me but apart from hue/not being married to his Granny he is the same type) waiting in the wings(not Abbot’s).

    Fuck useless short-arsed schmoozing banker’s boy with Globo-elite written through him like Blackpool through a stick of rock. WhoTF ever heard of the little turd before Blojob dredged him up?

    OT but what are the odds for/against Jacinto Vagina-Dentata coming unstuck down in NZ now that she has gone all camp in the very worst way. Any NZ ‘s can offer an opinion?

  18. Bloke in North Dorset

    OT

    Who was it that Spud had taken down by complaining to his employers? And does anyone have a link explaining exactly what happened? I thought it was @murphy_richards but now i’m not sure.

  19. Bloke in Lower Hutt

    Mr Ecks – I would love to see Saint Jacinda of Wokeness (SJW) come unstuck but not a chance. She’ll be returned to power with a bigger mandate in a traditional Labour / Green coalition next month and be able to remove NZ First (current the 3rd party in the coalition) which have unwittingly served as a handbrake on her for the past 3 years. NZers love her or hate her with very little ambivalence but there are way more voters in the former camp.

    I’m expecting more and more illiberal policy-making coupled with wide-ranging tax rises and economic incompetence to follow as she uses COVID as a smoke-screen for bringing in her woke ideology. She really is just a more masculine version of Justin Trudeau (without the corruption and blackface I guess).

    Oh and if that’s not enough also bear in mind that the main opposition party – the National Party, have taken the Keir Starmer approach of criticising the SJW for not being totalitarian enough in her response to COVID and have a leader about as popular as Jo Swinson so things would be no better in the event of a shock election result. At least, the National party give no cause for optimism as it is, after all, the hope that tends to kill you.

    It’s a right barrel of laughs down here I can tell you…

  20. Bring back John Key. Whatever made him decide to quit – his life, his choice I suppose, but he did seem to believe that when a country is doing most things right government should keep out of the way.

  21. Exams:They should have gone ahead. All I did at School & Uni were at least 2m between pupils to prent cheating – bed wetters to blame for cancelled

    Grades, surely mocks/pre-lims are best indicator, not teachers thoughts?

    I missed one A level due to an accident. Mock was 95%. Exam board remarked it – An A awarded

    If a pupil didn’t take mocks seriously, that’s their problem and they have free pass to ship of fools with “Kevin”. Anyway, they can re-sit next month

    Some people really are their own worst enemies
    ” One reader, Kevin, contacted me about a scam he was taken in by. In June, he got an email from derek.shaw at covid19loans.net

    It told him that special loans, heavily subsidised by Government, were available for those struggling ­during the pandemic….”

    btw Mrs Gove (Sara Vine) whining in DM her son received C when teacher predicted B (he didn’t revise for mocks) in, wait for it… PE

    Whut? An A Level in PE?

  22. @Nick Burton
    Not slight, huge: 85% improvement in SNPland

    Teachers know them and mark up. Grades should be by mocks

    Public Schools: mock + teacher = same ratios as previous years
    State Schools: mock + teacher = blatant grade inflation vs previous years

  23. Theophrastus said:
    “There have been several studies of of grade prediction over the years, notably the UCU/UCL study. All have shown that the predictions are hopelessly inaccurate. Either the task is impossible (in which case teachers are stupid to continue doing it) or the task is possible but teachers are incompetent at it.”

    Or the teachers are dishonest – they know what the grade is likely to be but push it up.

  24. Whatever method is used for assessment, grading humans into A/B/C… will always produce a significant proportion of marginal cases that are (arguably) wrong. As always, Jocastas and Tarquins with sharp-elbowed mums (and sometimes dads) will have every string pulled to try to get them into a higher grade.

    Why not just award everyone 4 A*s? That seems to be the trajectory we’re on, in any case.

  25. Grades based on predictions
    “…In 2019, 7.7% of grades were A*; in 2020, 13.9% of CAGs were A*. In 2019, 2.5% of grades were Us; in 2020, 0.3% of CAGs were Us. Both the CAGs and the statistical models were likely to be wrong. There’s no easy way to sort this out, it’s a choice between two bad options

    Perhaps the biggest source of poor predictions is the one that people seem to be reluctant to mention. The rankings rely on the ability of centres to compare students. There is little evidence that schools are good at this, and I can guarantee that some schools I’ve worked at would do a terrible job

    a lot of students who missed out on their CAG of A* will have done so because they were not highly ranked, and a lot of students who have got Us will have done so because they were ranked bottom and any “error” could be attributable to their school rather than an algorithm…”

    https://teachingbattleground.wordpress.com/2020/08/16/the-tragedy-of-grades-based-on-predictions/

    Mocks/pre-lims are best indicator, not teachers thoughts

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