Friday, September 19, 2008

Like "I could care less" and "I couldn't care less", I guess

I happened across this article as I went though my day.

While I generally agree with the sentiments expressed in the article, there were two things that provoked my Bemused Face Syndrome.

The first was this lovely paragraph:

"Ofsted, which based its findings on a study of 192 schools, said 11 percent of maths lessons were outstanding, 44 percent good and 40 percent satisfactory, a level which commentators said implied they were not up to scratch."

Now, my understanding was that "not up to scratch" meant "not meeting an acceptable standard". Another word for this, if we were aiming to express the concept succinctly, might be 'unsatisfactory'.

So, apparently, the thinking is that schools that meet the 'satisfactory' level are, in fact, unsatisfactory. Got it.

But there's more. The gist of the article is that schools are teaching too much 'to the test'. This makes sense, and is something I've complained about before. The article therefore ends with this message of hope:

"Earlier this year the government announced a 140 million pound strategy to increase the number of maths and science teachers, make lessons more exciting and improve exam results."

Good to know that rational thinking is still at work in education.

1 comment:

Captain Ric said...

Personally, I like the "teaching in almost a half of all maths lessons was only satisfactory or worse".

You could also give the overwhelmingly positive messages that over half of all maths lessons were good or outstanding, or that 95 percent of all maths lessons were satisfactory or better.

Stats are great aren't they? You can just fiddle the numbers to say what you want to.