Education

Finally, something is being done

Eight universities under investigation for giving students poor quality degrees

All the courses under investigation are business and management degrees,

So, Islington Technical, Fenlands Poly, Sheffield Higher Ed and which other places gave Spud professorships?

Called marking your own homework, innit?

A cheating headteacher covered up 28,000 pupil absences in a five-year “web of deceit”, a tribunal has heard.

Peter Spencer, 52, ordered staff to log pupils at Queen Elizabeth High School in Carmarthen, South Wales, as present when they were missing from classes.

The distortion of data came after an inspection called for improved attendance at the 1,500-pupil school. More than 28,000 absences were altered between 2014 and 2019 before a whistleblower raised the alarm, an Education Workforce Council tribunal heard.

Mr Kirkup misses the point here

But Scott’s analysis also shows that going to university makes a person more right-wing on economics. Graduates are significantly less likely than non-grads to support that opening statement about redistribution.

That’s this one:

“Government should redistribute income from the better off to those who are less well off.”

About which Kirkup wonders:

Quite why university pushes people to the right on economics isn’t clear. One theory is that graduates see themselves as more likely to lose out from redistribution, so they oppose it out of self-interest. Another is that the experience of higher education makes people more individualistic, keener for people to be able to make their own spending choices rather than let the state do it for them.

Hmm. Perhaps because they’re now educated? Better informed, all that?

Ms Madhawi channels an Economics Nobel Laureate

Sadly, given that she’s writing in The Guardian, she didn’t in fact note anything about the economics that Paul Krugman tells us about:

made me figure out what was really important: having a washing machine in my house. They are surprisingly hard to come by in Manhattan.

That’s actually the joke that Krugman made about how he was going to spend his prize winnings…..

This could actually be good

Etched in the memories of generations of Latin scholars will almost certainly be the phrase “Caecilius est in horto”.

But now Caecilius is in trouble with school textbooks featuring the Roman character being rewritten following complaints about his ownership of “happy slaves”.

The Cambridge Latin Course books have been used in classrooms for five decades, but will now be revised as portrayals of ancient life have proved jarring for modern pupils.

The activities of Caecilius could be toned down by Cambridge University Press as scholars rewrite course material amid concerns about the didactic character appearing to exploit slaves – a common feature of Roman life.

Good as in, a reminder that the Atlantic slave trade was merely the last major such movement of people into slavery, not a unique one.

I entirely hated doing Latin. Partly because I’d not done any until the age of 10, at which point it was assumed at a new school that I’d already been doing it for a few years. Deep end isn’t fun. I’d done Italian instead – for the logical reason that I’d been in Italy for a couple of years.

Which did mean that I had a certain fondness for Cambridge Latin, even as I hated the subject. For, it starts out with the family in Pompeii (or, at least, the course we took did) and talks about bits around the Bay of Naples. Which is where I’d been. Then the family moves to Britain. To Aquae Sulis – which is where I was from. So while I could do bugger all Latin, had a very bastard understanding through the Italian, the background scenery was always something close to home.

Nowt important about all of that of course….

It’s an interesting change

If children have siblings and they’ve mixed with others, they tend to be on the same level socially as before the pandemic. But the ones who are only children and have just been in the household with mum and dad don’t know how to interact.

They have issues with sharing, being very overexcited and turn-taking. They’re quite advanced in numbers and letters for their age because they’ve been at home with adults, or they’ve been playing a lot on tablets, but they are very behind socially, the empathy isn’t there.

A rather large social, societal, change has been happening. That fall in fertility rates. Largely – no, not wholly, or exactly, but largely – siblings raise each other. Those repeat iterations of interaction which socialise happen between siblings. And when there aren’t any then that either doesn’t take place, or the very imperfect substitute of childcare and schools does.

Which then, neatly, explains that outbreak of entititled snowflakeness among today’s young. They’ve not had, by and large, a brood of siblings that beat the snottiness out of them over a couple of decades.

There is no cure for this….

Good

Cash set to be generated by a “stealth tax” on graduates will provide the biggest subsidy for Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement giveaways.

The Treasury expects to take an extra £33bn or so from student loans over the next five years alone after freezing the level at which repayments begin.

It’s not quite a tax, it’s a reduction in subsidy. But still, a grand idea. The actual folk this hits are those who do low value add degrees and thereby gain little or no extra income from having done so. These being exactly the people who should not be subsidised anyway.

Cool

Well, perhaps

Mr Green, a screenwriter and award-winning author of 11 children’s books, said: “It’s a horrible thing to know that people out there hate what you write about and who you are so much that they feel this strongly about it.

“It does make me angry, but to be honest with you what I am most worried about is the message it sends to LGBT kids at that school and in general – that somehow they are wrong and inappropriate and everything they are is kind of sinful and problematic. I think that is a terrible thing.”

It is a Catholic school though, the church does have a fairly robust attitude when it comes to sex and so on.

Yes, they should

“In school, I was a failure. Now they study my books to pass exams. We have to be a bit more creative and open-minded about the way we get students into university. I’m a huge fan of apprenticeships. But in many things, you can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. Not everybody should go to university, but not everybody who fails their GCSEs shouldn’t go to university.”

How long does a remedial GCSE course take? And the cost? I’ve seen an online claim (note, claim) of £300 for a maths or English short course. And is it too much to ask that someone spend a couple of months and £300 to find out whether they are in fact irredeemably dim or not before they embark upon a £30k and 3 year course?

Gammon that I am I tend to think that’s not too much to ask, no.

Especially since, if I’m reading these rules right, if you’ve failed maths and English first time around you’ve got to keep on studying them until you’re 18 anyway. That is., if you can’t pass GCSE in 4 years perhaps university really, really, just isn’t for you.

We’ve touched on this before

University leaders have described as “madness” new minimum entry requirements for undergraduates proposed by ministers as part of reforms announced today.

How are all those grievance studies graduates going to be employed unless 50% of the population is fed through the grievance studies courses at third rate Polys?

What an excellent school project

A small boat – containing photos, fall leaves, acorns and state quarters – launched in October 2020 by some New Hampshire middle school students has been found 462 days later by a sixth grader in Norway.

The 6ft-long (1.8-meter) Rye Riptides, decorated with artwork from the kids and equipped with a tracking device that went silent for parts of the journey, was found on 1 February in Smola, a small island near Dyrnes, Norway, the Portsmouth Herald reported Monday.

Of course, lucky it hit Norway. If it had been anywhere in the EU it would be destroyed as holding foreign plant life…..gotta protect the farmers, see?

Perhaps the working classes are just dim?

We do have a problem here:

Teenagers from deprived families are now three grades behind their more affluent peers by the time they reach sixth form, a report has found.

A logical problem.

It is possible that intelligence – and hard work, conscientiousness, all those other attributes required to succeed – is randomly distributed in the population. Therefore background, wealth of background, should only influence education in so far as it is those environmental factors. We might also want to try to iron them out. Mebbe.

It’s also possible that intelligence is not randomly distributed. Therefore we’d expect bright parents to have bright kids and thus a meritocracy based upon intelligence will be self-perpetuating.

The logical problem we’ve got is that if we’ve got the kids of richer people doing better in education then we do0′;t which of these two is the cause. Could, logically, be either.

Could be that the proles are being held back. Could be that the proles are dim. And pointing to the fact that the proles do worse doesn’t tell us which is true.

Good

Graduates will be hit by a “tax rise by stealth” after the Government announced that it intends to freeze the repayment threshold for student loans.

Currently, graduates have to start paying off their student loans when they earn £27,295 a year and this figure usually rises in line with inflation each year.

However, Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, said this would be frozen for a year, meaning graduates would be “hit in the pocket” to the tune of around £150 per year.

Time to hit those grievance studies students good and hard. Assuming any of them earn that much of course.

This is getting a bit medieval – Nazi even

Children aged seven to be taught that they are not ‘racially innocent’

Parts of the Medieval Church taught that Jews were racially guilty because “they” had killed Christ. The Nazis turned Jews – and Roma, etc – into soap because of that same idea, racial guilt.

We – rightly – hanged the people who did that second.

Another document condemns “the widespread view” that young children are “racially innocent”, concluding that there is “ample evidence” to the contrary.

That multiperson gallows has been in development for near two decades now. When the Hell is it going to be ready?

Well, I suppose they are young adults

A university has added a trigger warning to its English course covering Harry Potter, telling students it could lead to “difficult conversations about gender, race, sexuality, class and identity”.

The “Approaches to Literature” module at the University of Chester’s English department has also offered undergraduates the opportunity to “get in touch” if they have “any issues with the content” of the course.

JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is among the literary texts for the course, run by Dr Richard Leahy, a lecturer in English literature, alongside Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights.

But we do tend to think that uni students should be reading adult novels, not YA, don’t we?

A course in kiddie’s lit also seems worthwhile, but using teen lit as adult?

Cheap cloggies

The move came after an investigation by Dutch broadcaster NOS revealed VU’s Cross Cultural Human Rights Centre (CCHRC) had received between €250,000 (£210,000) and €300,000 each year from the Chinese institution in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

NOS reported that the CCHRC has used the money to fund a regular newsletter, organise seminars and maintain its website, which has published a number of articles denouncing criticism of China’s human rights record.

A number of academics with ties to CCHRC even visited four cities in the Xinjiang province and concluded there was “definitely no discrimination of Uyghurs or other minorities in the region”.

Would our Holland and the Brabants correspondent care to tell us of the local reaction to this? Pah, what should we expect from academics, cheap or what? Or outrage?

Carthage, it’s the only solution

Marks & Spencer has changed the name of the favourite childhood sweet Midget Gems to avoid offending people with dwarfism.

The retailer dropped the term midget and has rebranded the sweets Mini Gems after a leading disability studies academic warned it that the word can be “highly problematic”.

Dr Erin Pritchard, a lecturer in Disability and Education at Liverpool Hope University, has condemned the term midget as a form of hate speech which is deeply insulting to people with dwarfism.

Note that we are taxed in order to provide this bird with a berth from which to lecture us all. Carthage, it’s the only solution, isn’t it?

Shoot them all, now, start all over again

This particular generation of young ‘uns seems to be done. Slice ’em out and start all over again:

Students unhappy with the Cambridge college’s “wokest of the woke” direction then told this newspaper of another row in which their peers complained that a matriculation photographer “made them feel unsafe” by asking “gentlemen to help the ladies” dismount a raised platform in ceremonial gowns.

That’s the graduating class at one of the finest universities in the world.

Nope, failed, scour the Earth and start again.