Cameron on Education

October 10th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

I love this speech by UK PM David Cameron, especially the part on education:

That starts with a good education – for everyone. It sounds so simple: proper teaching, good discipline, rigorous exams. But it’s hard. It’s hard because our education system has been infected by an ideology that instead of insisting on every child’s success has too often made excuses for failure. They said: “poor kids can’t learn.” “Black boys can’t do well.” “In this community we really mustn’t expect too much – don’t you understand?”

Oh yes, I do understand. Believe me I do understand and I am disgusted by the idea that we should aim for any less for a child from a poor background than a rich one. I have contempt for the notion that we should accept narrower horizons for a black child than a white one. Yes it’s the age-old irony of the liberal left: they practice oppression and call it equality.

What a superb line.

In Britain today, we have schools that are intolerant of failure, where ninety percent of pupils get five good GCSEs. Yes: private schools. You’ve heard me talk about social responsibility so let me say this. I want to see private schools start Academies, and sponsor Academies in the state system. Wellington College does it, Dulwich does it – others can too. The apartheid between our private and state schools is one of the biggest wasted opportunities in our country today. So let it be this party that helps tear it down.

What a novel idea – allow private schools to sponsor state schools.

Rigour back in learning. Standards back in schools. Teachers back in control. Yes – the Conservatives are back in government.

We can’t have standards can we.

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17 Responses to “Cameron on Education”

  1. peterwn (3,213 comments) says:

    I know a family with a boy and two girls. When the third girl got married, it was noted that the boy, bridegroom and other girl’s husband had all been to Wellington College – two to the one at Basin Reserve and the other to the Wellington College in England.

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  2. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    The UK Conservative Parties education policy is superb.

    Children will be instructed to learn poetry by heart and recite the kings and queens of England, in a return to a “traditionalist” education planned by the Conservatives.

    “I’m an unashamed traditionalist when it comes to the curriculum,” Mr Gove said. “Most parents would rather their children had a traditional education, with children sitting in rows, learning the kings and queens of England, the great works of literature, proper mental arithmetic, algebra by the age of 11, modern foreign languages. That’s the best training of the mind and that’s how children will be able to compete.

    History should be taught “in order — it’s a narrative,” Mr Gove said. Lessons should celebrate rather than denigrate Britain’s role through the ages, including the Empire. “Guilt about Britain’s past is misplaced.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7052010.ece

    It will make the State/NCEA and union dominated system here look like what it is, a wasteland of cultural nihilism and PC indoctrination.

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  3. YesWeDid (1,042 comments) says:

    @Lee01 – you serious or is that meant to be your attempt at satire?

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  4. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    I am serious. What passes for “education” in state schools is a joke.

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  5. Lucia Maria (2,239 comments) says:

    Cameron doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Take this, for example:

    So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative.

    Real conservatives do not support the redefinition of marriage because they know that successful societies are built on strong marriages between men and women.

    Lee,

    A traditionalist education is the removal of government from the equation. There’s nothing wrong with requiring the memorisation of poetry, I’ve done with both my children in a home school environment and it’s highly beneficial. However the major problem with education today in many Western countries is government control, where who ever is in power seeks to impose their ideology upon the children. Today the Conservatives (or National as in NZ) and tomorrow the socialists get back in, use the increased levers of control put in place (such as National Standards in NZ) to then further their own agendas. In each generation, educational outcomes are narrowed to make sure the children that come out at the other end think and act in a particular way.

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  6. Elaycee (4,332 comments) says:

    “Yes it’s the age-old irony of the liberal left: they practice oppression and call it equality” and “It’s hard because our education system has been infected by an ideology that instead of insisting on every child’s success has too often made excuses for failure.”

    Excellent comments that apply equally here in NZ. But in our case, we can only make the required changes once we have rid ourselves of the collective malaise that is the NZEI / PTA.

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  7. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    @ Lucia,

    Real conservatives do not support the redefinition of marriage because they know that successful societies are built on strong marriages between men and women.

    I agree with you, I’m not exactly thrilled about Cameron myself, for this and other issues. But I still think their education policy is superb, at least by comparison to the Left’s.

    I’m not exactly thrilled with John Key either for the same reasons, but I’ll take him over Goff and Labour any day.

    A traditionalist education is the removal of government from the equation.

    Again, I totally agree. For me though there is not Traditionalist party on offer, in the Uk or in NZ. The Conservatives AND National are supposed to be Tory Traditionalist parties, but they have lost the plot, in part because of electoral realities. So for me its a matter of supporting the lesser evils (compared to the Left) and taking whatever I can get policy wise.

    Again, not an ideal situation, but until the madness of cultural Marxism is defeated and buried once and for all, any small victory is still a victory, no matter how temporary.

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  8. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    And on the subject of defeating the enemy:

    How to Destroy the Enemy Class: A Manifesto for the Right. By Sean Gabb .

    http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc047.htm

    The purpose of this manifesto is to discuss how England might be taken over and indefinitely held by the political right.

    I mean by this term that consensus which is emerging in the English-speaking world between libertarians and traditionalist conservatives. It is not consistent in the ideological sense. Nor are its constituent parts agreed in all particulars. But it is united by a common vision. What we on the right want England to become can be summarised in the opening words of A.J.P. Taylor’s English History: 1914-1945:

    Until August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. He had no official number or identity card…. [B]roadly speaking, the state acted only to help those who could not help themselves. It left the adult citizen alone.

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  9. simonway (375 comments) says:

    Yes it’s the age-old irony of the liberal left: they practice oppression and call it equality.

    The age-old tactic of every politician: completely misrepresent what your opponents are saying.

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  10. RRM (9,663 comments) says:

    I love rhetoric too.

    The leg-humping that accompanies it is always amusing.

    Amusing and illuminating…

    http://www.howpilgrim.com/images/dog-humping-leg.jpg

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  11. Bob R (1,357 comments) says:

    ***Oh yes, I do understand. Believe me I do understand and I am disgusted by the idea that we should aim for any less for a child from a poor background than a rich one. I have contempt for the notion that we should accept narrower horizons for a black child than a white one. Yes it’s the age-old irony of the liberal left: they practice oppression and call it equality.***

    Oh dear, Cameron seems to be basically buying into the futile liberal obsession with equal outcomes. The reality is that there are _average_ group differences. This has been documented since testing began.

    This isn’t hugely surprising when you stop to realise that major population groups were in different cultural and geographic environments for thousands of years. Nonetheless, conservatives and liberals continue to deny human biodiversity.

    Gottfredson, L. S. (2006). Social consequences of group differences in cognitive ability (Consequencias sociais das diferencas de grupo em habilidade cognitiva). In C. E. Flores-Mendoza & R. Colom (Eds.), Introducau a psicologia das diferencas individuais (pp. 433-456). Porto Allegre, Brazil: ArtMed Publishers.

    http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2004socialconsequences.pdf

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  12. Don the Kiwi (1,649 comments) says:

    Bob R.

    I don’t think anyone is saying that educational achievement/ability is not divided often along socio-economic/ racial /cultural lines.
    What they are saying is that in today’s marxist styled systems, everything is dumbed down to the lowest common denomiator instead of encouraging competitive achievement and lifting up the lower achievers and directing them toward their talent base – limited though it may be.

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  13. mpledger (429 comments) says:

    I don’t think anyone really believes that
    ““poor kids can’t learn.” “Black boys can’t do well.””
    except David Cameron in attribution.

    One only has to look at Albert Einstein and Barak Obama to negate those propositions.

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  14. mpledger (429 comments) says:

    Don the Kiwi said:
    I don’t think anyone is saying that educational achievement/ability is not divided often along socio-economic/ racial /cultural lines.
    ~~~~

    I’ll agree that achievement is divided along socio-economic/racial/cultural lines but I won’t agree that ability is divided the same way.

    If ability were really divided that way then it must have a genetic link but reading and writing have only been practised in the last 6000-8000 years (and in the western world mainly by monks i.e. the childless) and that’s not nearly long enough for evolution to select for it.

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  15. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Lee01 (1,316) Says:

    October 10th, 2011 at 11:22 am
    The UK Conservative Parties education policy is superb.

    Children will be instructed to learn poetry by heart and recite the kings and queens of England

    So true. I lost a $90,000 sale today because I couldn’t recite the Kings and Queens of England. My employer is buying me a colouring in book with all of them and I must complete it in my own time and be able to recite forwards, backwards, alphabeitically before he will allow me back in the office,

    Jesusonalollipopstick – what fucking idiots christians are!

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  16. lastmanstanding (1,241 comments) says:

    Applies to NZ as those above have said. However they are some very good state schools. In Auckland we have the Grammars Auckland and Mt Albert and Epsom. What we need to transport their excellenece to the lower performing schools.

    We have to McDonaldise the education system. I know if I go to a Mc Donalds what I will get and the standard will be pretty much the same.

    But we wont get to this whilst we have the current ingrained education unions and their members.

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  17. Red Sam (122 comments) says:

    It sounds like he’s reading from the same hymn sheet as Tolley. That is, manufacture a crisis in the education system to justify ridiculous ‘one size fits all’ and rather centralised policies – such as national standards or the creation of privatised academies/free schools.

    If kids from poor families actually had a higher standard of living throughout their childhood, then on the whole maybe their attitudes to education and engagement with learning, self-worth, focus and direction, and academic achievement might actually increase. Why should youngsters be penalised because of the social class they are born into?

    I’ve worked in both low decile and high decile schools, and I personally don’t think policies like national standards and the introduction of academies/free schools will do much to reduce underachievement.

    I’m all for a McDonaldisation of education. To some extent that’s what we had before Tomorrow’s Schools, but then the fourth Labour Government decided to devolve far too much responsibility to Boards of Trustees, creating immense inequalities and inconsistencies between our state schools and in many cases schools governed by folk who have little idea what they’re doing. I agree when Cameron said, “Rigour back in learning. Standards back in schools. Teachers back in control.” Who wouldn’t agree?

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