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July 20, 2014

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Guano

The piece from the Local School's Network that you link to is well worth reading, as are the subsequent comments.

"Gove became very unpopular with teachers. ....Why was this? ....... This was as a direct result of Gove’s policies which gave huge power to a favoured elite. This was and is a true hegemony, not the mythical one suggested by Tom Bennett/ Richard Littlejohn et al: this is a hegemony where you can visibly see that certain people are tremendously powerful and really don’t have teachers’ interests at heart but are far more interested in their own pay packets."

A real Blob then, not an imaginary one made up of Marxist teachers and LEAs deliberately holding pupils back.

seeds

I did a spell in teaching and it would be hard to overstate how much I loathe Gove. Because writing about his policies would ruin my afternoon and leave me seething, I'll just point out how much I hate the facial expression that he always seems to adopt in photos for maximum smugness.

For anyone that hasn't seen it already, here's an image of Gove that you may have trouble forgetting. Daily Mail link, I'm afraid, but the Indy reports on other tit-bits dug up from the same paper.

nick s

Face made for punching.

The Cherwell archives are obvious archival material, because Oxbridge student politics really isn't much different from Westminster in how it's conducted. Knowing that scares the shit out of me. Of course, people can grow the fuck up over two or three decades, but certain career paths don't seem to encourage it.

Ben F

My mother's a deputy headteacher. Nothing delighted her more than when my wife made her a Michael Gove pumpkin for Hallowe'en, which she then was able to squash with marked gusto. My mum's about as far from an activist or trade unionist as it's possible to be.

I did have plenty of my Oxford friends who would say things like, Well, I Agree With These Necessary Reforms, Actually, but almost every teacher I know or ran into (and plenty of people who weren't, and basically everyone from outside of the Oxbridge/Westminster/Fleet Street circle) loathed him with a passion.

chris y

Morgan has announced that she's going to do more of the same, but how much that's an obligatory nod to her back benches isn't clear to me. If she's really proposing to pick up where he left off, why bother replacing him?

Phil

So this teacher walks into the Department for Education. "I'd like to make an appointment with Michael Gove." "I'm sorry," says the receptionist, "Michael Gove doesn't work here any more." Half an hour later the teacher's back: "I'd like to make an appointment with Michael Gove." The receptionist thinks, this is odd, but stays polite: "I'm sorry, Michael Gove doesn't work here any more." Half an hour later it's the same thing: "I'd like to make an appointment with Michael Gove." "Look," says the receptionist, "you know perfectly well that Michael Gove doesn't work here any more - I've told you twice already. Why do you keep coming back?" "I'm sorry," says the teacher, "it's just so good hearing you say it."

Malcs

The Sinica podcast recently did an interview with a Chinese educationist who talked about a slowly growing awareness in China that the relentlessly test-driven education system was good for some things but really not good at promoting certain other skills in analysis and creative thinking. The PM just ushered out a guy who brought in tests for six year olds and abolished coursework for GCSEs and A levels.

My sister, a primary school teacher in London, told me recently about a conversation she had with the mother of a six year old who came home from school one day demanding extra tuition because she was falling behind.

Seems to me like Ben F is on the money re: the divide between ruling class Stern Stoic Acceptance of Sensible Reform and anyone who knows anything about education tearing their hair out saying what the actual fuck is this guy playing at. Sounds a little bit like what I remember of internet discourse on economic reform circa 2010...

guthrie

Meanwhile, it seems that the success of 'free' schools in Sweden is no such thing at all, with results inflated due to market pressure etc:
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_dismal_science/2014/07/sweden_school_choice_the_country_s_disastrous_experiment_with_milton_friedman.single.html

I know a teacher or two, and indeed they are all in despair at Gove and his ideas. One forum has a thread devoted to Gove and his ideological fuckups, it's at 131 pages just now.

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