Tuesday, March 08, 2005

but some men are more equal than others

what a minefield, this education thing.
black kids, especially boys, are performing worse than any other ethnic group in the league tables - and have been for quite a while.
whenever education is the subject of either political or media attention, the key phrases that keep turning up time and time again are 'equality of opportunity' and 'freedom of choice' - as if either of these might apply universally across the social spectrum.
obviously, black boys from poor backgrounds need more help than, say the Princes William or Harry, if they're going to get any passes in their GCSE's. if I really need to explain why that's the case, I'm talking to the wrong person. go away, nothing here for you, if you think that poor black kids as a genotype are more stupid than William or Harry (than whose own genotype only the equally pleasing ambulant shrub is more stupid).
the revealing thing is that, when someone who really knows what he's talking about comes up with a suggestion to improve things as they stand, he's immediately jumped on as if he'd pissed on the woolsack. I don't happen to believe that any kind of segregated education can help equalise an unequal situation. I'm sorry that some parents (those who are fortunate enough to be able to choose) find it necessary to send their sons and daughters to segregated schools (segregated, that is, either by race, religion, class, or gender) in order to better their chances. I believe that, if the idea that everyone's really entitled to equality of opportunity and equal freedom of choice were anything more than a notional soundbite, there wouldn't be any problem at all. alas, it isn't, and will never become an entitlement until it's legally enabled, which no government in any way dependent on support from the corporate sector and the higher band taxpayer will ever dare implement. so it will never actually be the case. which lets us all off the hook, doesn’t it?
meanwhile, the real teachers struggling to help our children and young people to get an education in the state schools are yoked to a cartload of political ballast that's absolutely irrelevant to the matter in hand. heroes, every one of them.

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