Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Problem Number 2 : A Shattered Pledge

Jennie says everything I wanted to say about the tuition fees issue, except ten times better.

You really should read her full post here but here's the key paragraph:

Let me spell this out in very small words: the problem is, as I said before it even happened, that, with twenty-one honourable exceptions*, our MPs broke their word. We ran our whole damn general election campaign on no more broken promises, we're not like all the others, vote for us and things will change because we're honest... And then we broke our word.

There are some excellent comments as well.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

First They Attacked Evolution. Now They Are Attacking Physics.

It's alarming how being a "Conservative" in America is starting to mean "Anti-Science". Hence "Conservapedia" which is a kind of right-wing creationist alternative to Wikipedia.

Now it's criticising relativity. Key quote:

The theory of relativity is a mathematical system that allows no exceptions. It is heavily promoted by liberals who like its encouragement of relativism and its tendency to mislead people in how they view the world.

The "Volokh Conspiracy" (which is basically a US intelligent,right-of-centre/ libertarian blog, concentrating on legal issues) has a very readable set of comments on the issue here.

Let's hope this kind of stuff is kept out of UK schools, eh?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Is It Time To Commission An Opinion Poll On Faith Schools?

There have been some very interesting discussions on Lib Dem Voice about how our party should interact with religious organisations and what we think about faith schools in particular.

I noticed one comment there (no 53) that official party policy is against faith schools - which is something that isn't often mentioned.

This issue isn't going to go away, especially if there is a likelihood of more faith schools being established. If more Islamic schools are going to be established, are they going to be based on priciples like this of the International Board of Research and Resources - "a brainchild of a group of Muslims stimulated into action by Brother Yusuf Islam.":
The primary sources of Islamic Education are universally recognised as follows:
1. The Qur’an
2. The Sunnah / Hadeeth
The secondary source of Islamic Education includes Ijtihad which is the interpretation and analytical deduction of scholars based on the primary sources of Knowledge, the Qur’an and Sunnah. This category of knowledge incorporates Ijma’ (consensus of the scholars); Qiyas (analogy); Istihsan (juristic preference); Istihslah (public interest); ‘Urf (common customs); the sayings of the Sahaaba and History.

I wouldn't like to see this as the basis for a British child's public education in maths, english, geography history, science etc. Neither do I want to see American-style battles over the teaching of evolution or even skirmishes with advocates of 'creationist physics'

Should we move out of the 'comfort zone' on this? Should it be in our manifesto for the next election to bring an end to faith schools? Or to put a freeze on the creation of new ones? I don't know. But I would really like to see the party commission a pollster to ask the public a question like this:

What policy would you like to see the government take on state-funded state schools?

1) Create ,if requested, more new state-funded 'faith' schools for the children of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh parents;
2)keep the existing ones open but not open any new ones except in exceptional circumstances;
3)turn all the existing faith schools into 'normal' state schools?

with the follow-up question:

If the Liberal Democrats adopted the policy you prefer, would you be more likely to vote for them?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Misleading Headline

The Daily Telegraph's main story is ... Middle classes abandon state schools.

Phew. Let's look at the figures they quote:

Figures from the Department for Children, Schools and Families showed that on average, 7.1 per cent of 11- to 15-year-olds were taught in independent schools in 2004. But by this year the proportion had risen to 7.3 per cent - a total of 232,620 pupils.

There was also a rise in the number of primary-school age children in private education over the three-year period, from 5.5 per cent to 5.6 per cent - a total of 199,030 pupils.

So there's been changes of 0.1 or 0.2 percent. Not quite an 'abandonment' then.
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