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Barking mad political correctness!

Discussion in 'Education news' started by David Getling, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    The loony left Sutton trust wants our top universities to drop their requirements by two grades for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. So, Sarah who worked her butt off to get her A grades might now be denied a place at her university of choice, simply because she comes from a nice family and went to a good school. Whereas ne're do well Johnny, who didn't work that hard and isn't that bright, gets in on some C grades because he comes from a council estate and went to a typical UK school. Yeh, that's really fair.

    It's NOT the universities that need fixing, it's the bad schools and bad parenting! Taking in under performing students will damage our best world class universities. And if this crazy policy were applied to medical schools then the consequences don't bear thinking about.
  2. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

  3. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Established commenter

    Except that the evidence suggests that people from more deprived backgrounds outperform those from wealthier backgrounds with the same grades once both reach university, suggesting that Sarah isn't necessarily brighter or more hardworking than Johnny. This is because getting Cs requires huge effort and focus if you don't have support either at home (I teach students who, for example, don't study as much at home as they should and sometimes don't even come to school because their parents are getting them to look after younger siblings) or at school (we all know schools where so long as a student is going to pass SMT will not give a toss about how they do), far more than achieving As in a supportive home and school environment. Yes we need to fix the poverty and social problems that are at the core of our education system, but in the mean time we can at least try to ameliorate the worst effects and replace mediocre middle class students with brighter working class ones.

    But don't let facts or logic get in the way of a good "political correctness gone mad" rant.
  4. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Not saying you're wrong but could you link to that please. I'd be interested to read it before forming an opinion.
    george1963 and Pomz like this.
  5. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

  6. drek

    drek Lead commenter

    I think hard working bright people should be given top places in University no matter what their background.

    But to let down an entire generation by saying to some, well you’ve worked hard, achieved the grades but this is real life....we’ve given your place to the lazy sod because he/she had a really hard beginning....

    And to the other half....no matter how little the effort you put in so far....you will be rewarded for it. you got a D because some bad teachers allowed you to be disruptive, rude and lazy.....as a reward for being poor but ‘bright’....Your motto should continue to be...don’t try, feel sorry for yourself, you’ll be given a leg up anyway. And if you still aren’t thankful enough we’ll pay future employers to walk you straight into a management role.....

    Wait isn’t that already happening in some places.....?
    JosieWhitehead likes this.
  7. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Established commenter

  8. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

  9. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    There are a lot of youngsters with A and A* grades at A level who get turned down by Oxbridge because there aren't enough places for them. I've taught some.
    I have sympathy for them, and for others who seem to be displaced by people who have lower grades.
    This is a topic that gets my Cambridge admissions tutor friend hot under the collar. He tries hard to find talent and has seen students with lower grades mess up as well as thrive.
    I don't think anyone's suggesting a badly behaved student with D's should be admitted (although Toby Young was).
    I do have sympathy with the plight of bright underachievers. I don't know what the answer is, apart from maybe the "top employers" looking beyond the headline self proclaimed top universities.
    JosieWhitehead likes this.
  10. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    Not everyone you disagree with is a loony leftie, I'm a far left winger university lecturer. I think diluting the standards in a attempt at affirmative action is wrong and I believe in immigration control.

    Tip- try not to pigeon hole everyone as lefties.
    les25paul and PeterQuint like this.
  11. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    It's a great evidence-based idea

    I hope it succeeds and grows
  12. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    Are you suggesting that every child in a state school is from a deprived background? Not necessarily priviledged, certainly. But deprived? I'm not sure your study proves that.
    The grade adjustment is for poorer students. I think that those students do have more barriers to success , and this proposal is trying to address that.
  13. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    NB my son went to a state grammar school. He was the only pupil in the school on free school meals at one point.
  14. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Established commenter

    More deprived is a relative measure (as in indices of multiple deprivation which I'm sure we're all familiar with), so yes, on average, state school pupils are more deprived than those at private schools. I agree though that it's not a perfect proxy for deprivation and it would be good to see the outcomes of focussing on the more deprived portion of state school students.
  15. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

  16. george1963

    george1963 Occasional commenter

    Evidence? You mean the carefully selected piece of statistics that proves 'your' case?
    woollani and drvs like this.
  17. george1963

    george1963 Occasional commenter

    I know, but why bother with grades? Why not make all rich families' children (was very aware of putting the apostrophe in the right place then!) binmen and women. Thereby assuming they are lower roles
    [This comment/section/image has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]

    If the grades set the standards, keep the standards. If they are the wrong standards...change them. But to adapt them based on whether you come from a seemingly good (or bad) family is quite frankly yeuch and something that is currently in fashion to support. Pfft, yeuk and triple ballahulisch.
    woollani likes this.
  18. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Lead commenter

    Am I right in thinking that the argument in defence of positive discrimination in this instance goes something like this?

    I. Education and home background influence test scores.
    2. A student with a background of deprivation who scores, say, 55% in an admission test may therefore have better prospects of graduating in minimum time than a more privileged student who scores 70%.
    3. Adjusting test scores on this basis would therefore not mean admitting disadvantaged students to the detriment of better qualified ones. It would reflect a decision that the disadvantaged students really were better qualified than the others.

    If I am correct, looking at this dispassionately, points 1 and 2 could presumably be substantiated or disproved by empirical research. So it's really whether that research actually exists and conclusively settles the matter. Based on what I have read so far, some of it points in that direction but is not conclusive.

    Have I missed something? Are there other studies that support what Sutton wants to do? And are there other factors to consider e.g. whether students from disadvantaged backgrounds would wish to possibly be saddled with the stigma that they only got their places as a result of positive discrimination?

    I'm not taking sides here. I'm just intellectually curious about the issue.
    george1963 likes this.
  19. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Because that's a stupid idea.

    The scheme proposed is evidence-based and will improve things. Once into Oxbridge, the students in question perform extremely well.

    "One-legged, black transgender woman" needed a hyphen, but well done with the apostrophe.
  20. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    The tone of the OP is absolutely ridiculous, whichever side of the argument you stand.

    There is an idea, be it proven or not, that students from poorer backgrounds do less-well at A Level than their peers.

    Now if someone wants to argue that this isn't the case, that's fine.

    If you want to argue that this may well be true, but that this sort if scheme may have flaws, and may not be the way to deal with the issue, than that's fine too.

    There's an argument to be had. And taking part in intelligent discussion, debate, and yes even argument, is what we're here for.

    But to just throw around terms like 'loony left' and 'political correctness', only adds heat rather than light. Nothing in the OP brings anything to the discussion at all.
    ilovesooty, phlogiston and george1963 like this.

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