Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Twenty-third glorious year

It seems the success rate of GCSE passes has improved for the twenty-third year in a row. That is magnificent news of course, especially when one realises how thick those students of twenty-three years ago must have been, and how utterly mediocre their teachers most certainly were.

I wonder what has happened to the GCSE successes of 1987? They must be very near the bottom of the pile now. They couldn't possibly be the teachers of the latest and greatest set of triumphant scholars. They wouldn't have been bright enough.

And think of the degrees awarded back in 1987! The present GCSE cohort must be at least PhD level compared to them.

The future is in safe hands. Meanwhile, I return to contemplating the boxfish, a wholly rationalised structure for the oceans of tomorrow.


witwoud said...

It brings tears to my eyes to think how intelligent GCSE students have become. Furthermore, a scan of the newspapers shows that they are very pretty too: nothing but beautiful blonde girls.

The beauty of the boxfish, meanwhile, is that it is pre-eminently stackable. It is the Tetra Pak of the seas.

dana said...

Happily, thanks to President Bush's No Child Left Behind act 2001, "100% of students (including disadvantaged and special education students) within a school [will] reach the same state standards in reading and mathematics by 2014."

George S said...

I'd quite forgotten boys existed, Witwoud. Do they take GCSEs? How strange! Perhaps they are boys in blonde wigs, the scallywags.

Still some four years to go, Dana. It could happen. Or perhaps Bush meant 100% of each individual student. Each and every part of the individual student will reach the same standard as every other part of the same student. No part will be left lagging behind. The temporal lobe will be fully up with the cerebellum, the grades of the entorhinal cortex will match the grades of the amygdala.

Such things need a bold presidential initiative but are, no doubt, worth it in the log run.

Anne said...

Would anyone like to pay tribute to teachers who have performance targets based on rising exam rates and are graded and measured accordingly. No of course not. The students achieved it by themselves. No lesson prep, no marking, Amazing!

Its good to see boys' success in subjects like maths which I presume has NO connection to the fact that coursework has been scrapped.

George S said...

Teachers are the scum of the earth, Anne. Everyone knows they are responsible for whatever goes wrong later in a person's life, not to mention all the misery they cause in childhood. All the cool people were rebels from day one.

I don't think we are quite tough enough on teachers. When they fail to reach performance targets their food coupons should be withdrawn. The ones teaching today's GCSE successes are, of course, 23 percentage grades brighter than those 23 years ago, but it's still not good enough. Proper Stakhanovite principles are required.

The old hypothesis about course work was that it suited the students with neat pencil cases and humiliated the scruffs. I suppose some girls might be scruffs. And it is true that, according to some authorities, boys' performance declined when course work was introduced and when essay questions concentrated on Empathy rather than Strange Facts.

But surely, boys should not to be seen to be better at anything. It only encourages them to be men afterwards. Isn't that sexism?

Poet in Residence said...

That box fish is a wonderful metaphor. If the carp fits etc.

I remember a bus conductor winning the football pools jackpot in the days when 75,000 was a record fortune. Maybe that's where the X in the box game got started, Littlewoods, Vernons, Empire? I got a small dividend once - ten bob I think.

lizzieannie38 said...

Hmm food coupons! I like the thought - queuing up in a Jamie Olivered canteen for my daily bread - foccacio and rocket of course!

I Never had a neat pencil case - wouldn't know. I function on scraps of paper, stubby pens pocketed inadvertently in Argos and frequently illegible handwriting sometimes resorting to my own hand -disgusting! (Gotta love that whiteboard!)

I state unequivocally: I am glad to see the boys who will be men catching up.

What will governments do when pass rates plateau? How far can the scales slide?