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Labour to "guarantee" a C in GCSE mathematics for every student

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by DM, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. DM

    DM New commenter

    Today's TES says Labour will announce this as their education policy tomorrow. They obviously haven't met some of the students I teach.
  2. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Haven't you been reading the thread about gifted students DM? Apparently all students are capable of being gifted mathematically.
    I have some who still in Year 11 struggle with the basics. It must just be our fault for teaching them so badly.

  3. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Some of my pupils' parents would still be at school if this was a prerequisite for leaving.
    As for GCSE English? Forget it, 12% of the local adult population are illiterate.
    Still I'm sure with the right facilitation...
  4. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I've just read the article "I want to be realistic but...."!!!
    Mr Burnham needs to come and spend a few lessons with students in my bottom sets to assess how realistic his suggestions are.
  5. Labour, Booze-up at brewery, organising ....
    ... all mutually exclusive as far as I can see.....

    Judging on history, last 13 years .....
  6. <u>Labour to "guarantee" a C in GCSE mathematics for every student.</u>
    Mr Burnham told The TES that, with more &ldquo;focus and rigour&rdquo;, it should be possible to see 100 per cent of pupils hit the benchmark.
    &ldquo;I want to be realistic, but I want to see everybody leave school with at least a grade C in English and maths,&rdquo; he said.

    Sorry Mr Burnham. I thought you said, "I want to be realistic"
    I have been known to celebrate the achievement of some of the school's weakest students by giving them a 'high five' for a well earned grade G pass at GCSE.
    Mr Burnham ---- Get real!
  7. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    hhhahahahha glad i read this i needed cheering up!

    And if every body has it then surely it becomes worthless?

    Almost everybody has a grade of some description already and the employers know that if they got a C (or better) they are probably reasonably numerate whereas if they got less than a D they probably arent.

  8. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Can you imagine what this would do to the standard of an A*, leave alone an A?
    *shudders at the thought of trying to get students from A at GCSE through A level*[​IMG]
  9. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    oh dont worry bombay - satnadards wont drop - its just that we are all rubbish and if teachers did a better job then this standard can be achieved by all.

    Of course academics who advise the gouvernment love to support this view because then they get loads of grants to produce more strategies and do more how to teach maths reasearch so we can all be told what we are doing wrong.

    (Even though real life evidence suggests that standards have improved little and the majority of the millions spent on all these initives in the past has been money down the drain)

  10. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    I they had spent the money on actually employing more people to teach it would have had a much more positive effect (IMO)
  11. "Mr Burnham told The TES that, with more &ldquo;focus and rigour&rdquo;, it should be possible to see 100 per cent of pupils hit the benchmark."
    That's according to Barry Hymer. If you don't like his conclusions, read his PhD and criticise it. It's fairly easy to pick hole in it.
    Anyway it's totally irrelavent, isn't it, as both main parties seem to be determined to follow policies explicitly defined to elimate giftedness in lower attaining students. Although you could argue that Mr Burnham is rather vague about what the focus is to be on, I suspect his focus will be on winning votes so this focus will be on passing exams at the expense of considering the wider field of mathematical progress.
  12. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I'll make my own decisions about what to do about statements I do and don't like thank you. Feel free to make suggestions but issuing instructions is a bit beyond the remit of any fellow poster.
  13. You took something complex out of context and made it look simple.
    I'm posting more info to reintegrate the complexity of this issue.
    You are quite welcome to continue to treat it in an inappropriatley glib and superficial way. I am quite entitled to re-contextualise it.
  14. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    You didn't re-contextualise it. You issued me with an instruction. Perhaps you are missing teaching too much.
    I commented on where I had taken the comment from so people could look into the context if they wanted to.
  15. Have you taught low attaining students who've really come alive in mathematics, who love their lessons and are creative and original in them bombaysapphire? I'm guessing you probably have.
  16. I think that's pretty close to what Andy Burnham is thinking of, my spin would be
    and replace U with C-

    That should do it!
  17. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    The man is talking out of his backside. He plans to offer 1:1 tuition to those falling behind.
    At &pound;25 per session I see there is no end to Labour's plans to 'spend, spend, spend'.
    Quite hypocritical that some of the kids who have been thorugh Labour's numeracy hour at primary school are now the ones struggling to get a C.
  18. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    A jolly big question, Cas...

    I could go on for a very long time, and a lot of my thoughts are out there in the ether already.

    But my main point would be to say that actually it doesn't matter what I would want, because the whole process of a cross party, long term solution can only be successful with compromise. We should as a country step back, consider 30 years down the line - what do we want to achieve, what kind of society do we want, and why? Then from this point work backwards to sketch out how to achieve this.

    For me the key things would be to consider the energy wars of 2030, economic stability, energy security, growth, personal responsibility, social mobility and happiness. I would want to see an education system built around the premise that we have no idea (absolutely no idea) what the future will hold for those children in our schools now, so I would want to create a system built on the notion that the most important thing is transferability of skills, that as adults they will need to continually adapt, that they will enage with multiple professions in their lives, so they should know how to access and synthesise information and problems and work on complex, multi-layered approaches to solving such problems. These might be mathematical, and I see mathematical reasoning as being a key part of the arsenal of mental tools that the adults of the future will need, as well as the ability to evolve with technology and remain relevant.

    As the energy runs out and the wars begin, Britain will need engineering skills and the ability once more to manufacture. We will have a huge reliability on foreign languages, and we should be putting emphasis NOW on Chinese, Arabic and Spanish if we wish to protect the economy in the future.

    Alongside all of this, I would want to see a system that ensured we guard against extremism in politics so that Nazi tendancies or extreme left wing pacts can never rise in this country and threaten our democracy. I would want to see a world where personal and societal happiness was important. So I would want to see a system that immerses children in art, history, culture, debates, literature, so that our society has context and empathy.

    Something that I often work with people on is "futures thinking", taking some point in the future and daring to state what the ideal would be, then working backward and following the branches necessary to give the best possibility (or at least as good as the human mind can cope with) of getting there.

    I would like governemnts to say, hey you know what, Secretary of State for Education is too critical for it to be a playing ball for career folk, so if you want the job you have to be in it for the long term.

    I would like to see the Secretary of State say, hey this is about all of us. Not political ideals. It's about ensuring the preservation of a society that we want to live in. So we need to take this flipping seriously and and sit down together, all parties, experts, teachers, thinkers and commit to a plan. And part of this committment is that at some point we will all compromise for the greater good because we will listen and talk with intelligence and then deeply consider the ramifications
  19. Best thing I've read on here in ages.
  20. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    A bit depressing Tandy.

    "As the energy runs out and the wars begin" - why then do we bother educating them at all lets just train them all to be soldiers or except the reality that we are all gonna be nuked anyway?

    I agree we many of your other points though!

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