[FoRK] The rise of the stupid?

zuzu sean.zuzu at gmail.com
Sun Feb 27 13:50:13 PST 2005

just want to throw this out there:

particularly the online book 'underground history to american education':

(he also wrote 'dumbing us down'; afaik only available through
traditional pulped-dead-tree print.)

basically, when you apply the "smoothing out" of statistics to people
writ-large, you get a mix of people who (rightfully) reject those
assumptions and people who allow themselves to _become_ "smoothed

hooray for mediocrity!


On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 21:34:52 +0000, Andy Armstrong <andy at hexten.net> wrote:
> On 27 Feb 2005, at 21:14, Ken Meltsner wrote:
> >> <http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/reports/>
> >
> > Nice to see that America is once again playing catch up in education.
> > Probably due to envy of the British "public" school system due to too
> > many movies and books romanticizing the joys of upper-class private
> > education, and too many American conservatives with blatant envy of
> > inherited titles.
> Heh... If that's the case they should come and check out the reality
> before committing to anything. There have been some truly dreadful
> schools in the UK in the past and it's nice to have a way of rooting
> them out them but the current metrics are having substantial unexpected
> side effects. For example one of the measures used is the percentage of
> pupils obtaining grades A-C in their GCSE (aged ~16) exams. School
> funding is tied to this and other performance indicators. As a result
> these grades have shot up, mainly because kids who seem to be at risk
> of not obtaining an A-C pass at GCSE are diverted into a parallel set
> of qualifications (GNVQ) which, although they provide the schools with
> A-C passes (a GNVQ is equivalent for those purposes to four A-C GCSEs),
> have very little currency with employers and in further education. Once
> embarked on this route (the implications of which are well understood
> by the kids) it is not possible for them to switch back to a GCSE
> course.
> As a result the school looks OK but the kids often lack any English or
> Math qualifications and have no route into continuing education.
> --
> Andy Armstrong, hexten.net
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