July 19, 2005


Teachers say no-one should 'fail' School tests (BBC, 7/19/05)

"Deferred success" should replace the idea of failure for low-achieving pupils, a teachers' organisation will hear at its annual conference.

The Professional Association of Teachers will be told next week the label of failure could undermine children's enthusiasm for school.

You know the old saying, "the war for England was lost on the levelled playing fields of Eton."

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 19, 2005 11:38 PM

Eton was not, in those days, a school.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 19, 2005 11:42 PM

"What we have here is a deferred success to communicate."


Posted by: obc at July 20, 2005 12:07 AM

Not only that, but neither Gilbert nor Sullivan ever went there. What are you trying to pull here, oj?

Posted by: joe shropshire at July 20, 2005 12:27 AM

I have no problem allowing kids extra chances to succeed. The REAL PROBLEM is that we don't fire the stinking TEACHERS who fail to teach.

NOR do we have the moral strength to re-assert some form of societal SHAME on the stinking parents who fail to instill a thirst for knowledge & understanding in their children.


Posted by: BB at July 20, 2005 1:44 AM

In what days wasn't Eton a school?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at July 20, 2005 1:46 AM

What the good Duke obviously meant was that had he enjoyed Eton (and its playing fields) a bit more, he may have gone on to become the toff he was destined to be instead of the man who defeated (with a little help from his friends) Little Big Man.

Fortunately, however, Eton (and its playing fields) proved a real turn off. The rest is history.


Posted by: Barry Meislin at July 20, 2005 7:30 AM


I agree that teachers should be held accountable to some degree. Apathetic students, however, can make their job quite a struggle.

It takes a degree to become a teacher. To become a parent on the other hand...

Posted by: Bartman at July 20, 2005 7:50 AM

Removing disruptive students and placing them in schools which are specifically designed for them and completely separate from the general school population would work wonders. Even in the worst schools, only a small percentage of the little snotnoses are actual felons-in-training. And the poor quality of inner-city public education has lots more to do with the 'Lord of the Flies' social order that prevails in them than with money spent.

Teaching the basics ain't expensive.

Posted by: bart at July 20, 2005 8:18 AM

But bart, think of what that would do to their self-esteem? You are a heartless brute!

Posted by: erp at July 20, 2005 8:28 AM

BB: I hope to "instill a thrist for knowledge & understanding" in my own children, but I remember a lot of people at college who just wanted the degree for a well paying job.

Posted by: Buttercup at July 20, 2005 9:01 AM

This is fine, as long as these children will be happy with a deferred income from a deferred job once they receive their deferred diploma.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at July 20, 2005 9:21 AM

Bart: nice comment; my thoughts exactly. In fact. . ..

One must spend time in the belly of the beast to realize how hopeless it is. Urban public schools have relinquished the degree of social control necessary to teach even the basics. At the end of my last year teaching, my four best students (all SWG's--smart white girls) bailed out of the system: one across the river, one to the suburbs, and two to Catholic school. They had been wasting their time in a system catering to the dregs of humanity, and their parents knew it. I followed them out the door.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 20, 2005 9:29 AM

Lou, if you are still here, who exactly "relinquished the degree of social control necessary to teach even the basics"

Teachers, Admins, public sector unions?

Posted by: Perry at July 20, 2005 11:43 PM


Like most horribles in modern America, it was a political choice that occured in the 1960s, the most evil decade in American history. The decision was made by politicians, as it is politicians who ultimately control public education, who bought into the woolly-headed notions of some of the loopier child psychologists out there. Of course, such loopy ideas did play into the hands of politicians. They have a word for parents who believe that their little snotnoses can do no wrong, should have no obligations placed upon them, be held to no standards and should not be compelled to behave in a decent and civilzed manner. Those parents are known as 'voters.'

If every kid gets an 'A' and no kid gets disciplined for his anti-social behavior, no parents bitch and moan at the school board or City Council meeting. And politicians like it that way.

Posted by: bart at July 21, 2005 5:44 AM