Discussion:
what can you do?
(too old to reply)
Himself
2003-11-10 20:49:20 UTC
Permalink
I teach IT to 11-15 year olds, totally through macs, more or less
entirely avoiding MS sruff (I do the odd bit on <spit> PowerPoint
because I have to).

Today, I received a letter from an irate parent accusing me of teaching
his kid "irrelevant" information using an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".

Have drafted a reply.

Anyone care to provide comment that I can give to the poor disillusioned
fool?
--
Himself
Martin
2003-11-10 21:13:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
Anyone care to provide comment that I can give to the poor disillusioned
fool?
Ask him to predict what OS we'll all be using in 6 years time so that
that you can start teaching his kid how to use it right now...
--
Martin

"Disregard then, reader, my title and my character,
and attend only to my arguments." P. J. Proudhon.
PeterD
2003-11-10 23:02:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".
Out of interest, can any of you Windows users tell me how
legacy-friendly Windows has been?
Can you run Windows 3.1 apps on Win 2000, WinXP?
Did successive iterations of Windows require upgrades to core
applications?
--
Pd
Roger Merriman
2003-11-10 23:09:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Post by Himself
an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".
Out of interest, can any of you Windows users tell me how
legacy-friendly Windows has been?
Can you run Windows 3.1 apps on Win 2000, WinXP?
Did successive iterations of Windows require upgrades to core
applications?
well my mums word processor wordprefect didn't make the leap from win
3.1.1 to ME the app was 8 years old, but she liked it, it did what was
needed in less fuss than any of the more moden ones we've tryed.

and talking to mates with pc's at work games often don't work etc.

roger
Woody
2003-11-10 23:22:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Post by Himself
an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".
Out of interest, can any of you Windows users tell me how
legacy-friendly Windows has been?
mixed
Post by PeterD
Can you run Windows 3.1 apps on Win 2000, WinXP?
Some you can but they are so hard to use they would have probably
upgraded them by now.
Post by PeterD
Did successive iterations of Windows require upgrades to core
applications?
pretty much like the mac. depends how close they were to the guidelines
and whether they touched the hardware or not.
--
Woody

www.alienrat.com
Bruce Horrocks
2003-11-11 11:18:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Post by Himself
an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".
Out of interest, can any of you Windows users tell me how
legacy-friendly Windows has been?
Can you run Windows 3.1 apps on Win 2000, WinXP?
Did successive iterations of Windows require upgrades to core
applications?
A curate's egg, I'm afraid. I have some DOS apps that run just fine
under Windows XP (full screen though, so on a large monitor the
characters are about a centimetre high!)

From a business pov, old apps are always failing under a new version of
Windows and re-testing existing apps is a major, major cost. E.g. we
have one client with about 8-900 apps that they have written themselves
- mostly in VB. They all have to be re-tested before they can upgrade
desktops to XP.

Actually, it's cheaper to use software that allows multiple versions of
Windows to co-exist on the same machine and then have the right version
of Windows invoked when the program runs.

Regards,
--
Bruce Horrocks
Surrey
England
<firstname>@<surname>.plus.com -- fix the obvious for email
Woody
2003-11-10 23:12:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
I teach IT to 11-15 year olds, totally through macs, more or less
entirely avoiding MS sruff (I do the odd bit on <spit> PowerPoint
because I have to).
Today, I received a letter from an irate parent accusing me of teaching
his kid "irrelevant" information using an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".
Have drafted a reply.
Anyone care to provide comment that I can give to the poor disillusioned
fool?
You are teaching computer skills, not operating systems.
The mac has been around for 20 years, windows has been around for 10 (as
a system that anyone used). In that time they have both changed a lot.
If you were teaching them windows XP now, in 5 years time it would be
just as 'irrelevant' to them as any other system.
--
Woody

www.alienrat.com
Himself
2003-11-10 23:26:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Woody
You are teaching computer skills, not operating systems.
The mac has been around for 20 years, windows has been around for 10 (as
a system that anyone used). In that time they have both changed a lot.
If you were teaching them windows XP now, in 5 years time it would be
just as 'irrelevant' to them as any other system.
yup, that's pretty much the gist....
--
Himself
Bob Wardrope
2003-11-10 23:31:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
I teach IT to 11-15 year olds, totally through macs, more or less
entirely avoiding MS sruff (I do the odd bit on <spit> PowerPoint
because I have to).
Today, I received a letter from an irate parent accusing me of teaching
his kid "irrelevant" information using an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".
Have drafted a reply.
Anyone care to provide comment that I can give to the poor disillusioned
fool?
Shurley your there to teach your students transferable IT skills which
will allow them to utilize any future OS or application they may
encounter and not how to use a proprietary operating system which will
tie them to the Devil and his spawn 8-)

Bob W
Alan Frame
2003-11-10 23:42:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
I teach IT to 11-15 year olds, totally through macs, more or less
entirely avoiding MS sruff (I do the odd bit on <spit> PowerPoint
because I have to).
Today, I received a letter from an irate parent accusing me of teaching
his kid "irrelevant" information using an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".
Have drafted a reply.
Anyone care to provide comment that I can give to the poor disillusioned
fool?
Umm, I don't blame my teachers for teaching[0] me CP/M on an RML 380Z
and Apple DOS on a ][...

... 'course if they'd taught me ITS emacs on a PDP running multics, then
it might have been more use to me now ;->

You can always go for the High Ground and explain that you are teaching
them thought process required to use any computing/IT machine - c.f. my
degree happens to be in Comput*ing* Science and not Comput*er* Science.

rgds, Alan
[0] Well, OK, I probably taught *them*...
--
99 Ducati 748BP, 95 Ducati 600SS, 81 Guzzi Monza, 74 MV Agusta 350
"Ride to Work, Work to Ride" SI# 7.067 DoD#1930 PGP Key 0xBDED56C5
Stuart Bell
2003-11-11 11:50:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Frame
c.f. my
degree happens to be in Comput*ing* Science and not Comput*er* Science.
Not sure that means much. Mine's the latter, erm. . . . Pascal, Algol
68, PDP 11 Assembly Language, PDP 8 ditto, MUDL, COBOL, George 3 on ICL
1906A, CDC 7600, MU5.

Linus Torvalds not even born.

Of course, had they taught me to use Panther in 1973, it would have been
so useful now. ;-)

Stuart
--
Spamfritterspam exists only in the world of the address
harvesting spam bot. Try stuartsmacs at the same domain
if you want to email me.
I HAVE paid for MacSoup - waiting for the registration code!
Woody
2003-11-11 12:19:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stuart Bell
Not sure that means much. Mine's the latter, erm. . . . Pascal, Algol
68, PDP 11 Assembly Language, PDP 8 ditto, MUDL, COBOL, George 3 on
ICL 1906A, CDC 7600, MU5.
Linus Torvalds not even born.
Of course, had they taught me to use Panther in 1973, it would have
been so useful now. ;-)
Same here. the bastards wasted my time with ICL and PET computers, neither
of which I have used since leaving school. If I didn't already have a well
paid job programming, I would definately sue them for teaching me on such
irrelevant machines.

Worse than that, they didn't even touch on windows when I did computer
studies in 1977-1981.
--
Woody
Alienrat Design Ltd
www.alienrat.com
Bruce Horrocks
2003-11-11 00:55:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
I teach IT to 11-15 year olds, totally through macs, more or less
entirely avoiding MS sruff (I do the odd bit on <spit> PowerPoint
because I have to).
Today, I received a letter from an irate parent accusing me of teaching
his kid "irrelevant" information using an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".
Have drafted a reply.
Anyone care to provide comment that I can give to the poor
disillusioned fool?
Tell him that it's an anti-cheating measure: obviously absolutely no one
has these machines at home so students can't cheat by getting help from
friends or relatives.

Regards,
--
Bruce Horrocks
Surrey
England
<firstname>@<surname>.plus.com -- fix the obvious for email
Bella Jones
2003-11-11 08:02:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
I teach IT to 11-15 year olds, totally through macs, more or less
entirely avoiding MS sruff (I do the odd bit on <spit> PowerPoint
because I have to).
Today, I received a letter from an irate parent accusing me of teaching
his kid "irrelevant" information using an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".
Have drafted a reply.
Anyone care to provide comment that I can give to the poor disillusioned
fool?
For a start, the school's educational policy is not your fault/problem,
and you're using the equipment that they have made available to you.

And, as someone else just said, *all* OS's will have moved on in that
time...
David Kennedy
2003-11-11 15:36:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
I teach IT to 11-15 year olds, totally through macs, more or less
entirely avoiding MS sruff (I do the odd bit on <spit> PowerPoint
because I have to).
Keynote.
Post by Himself
Today, I received a letter from an irate parent accusing me of teaching
his kid "irrelevant" information using an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".
Have drafted a reply.
Anyone care to provide comment that I can give to the poor disillusioned
fool?
"Business Week Magazine sings Apple's praises: "From the latest desktops
to a new version of Mac OS X, Apple is getting the little things right."

The report praises Apple's new OS for its “subtle improvements”, as well
as its OS-unique features, such as Exposé, "a simple idea but an elegant
tool for taming your desktop".

The business magazine also offers a positive report on Apple's growing
selling points for corporate buyers. "Many corporate tech managers would
rather see a virus invade their systems than let a Mac in the door."
This eschewal of Apple may be headed for a thaw, as Panther allows Macs
to "participate fully in a Windows network." The report suggests
companies should take another look at Macs. "

Consumer ignorance fuels the problem and, with most customers assuming
that the salesman can advise them about alternate operating systems
there is little hope of an improvement.

Nice quote about the virus......
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
beenie
2003-11-11 18:25:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
Anyone care to provide comment that I can give to the poor disillusioned
fool?
I suspect they shop at

PC World
Dixons
Currys
DFS
JJB Sports

etc.....

I wonder if the same parent complains about what Maths books are used ??
Himself
2003-11-11 18:33:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by beenie
I wonder if the same parent complains about what Maths books are used ??
From what I can gather, yes he does.
He's been on the school's case for a number of years now about
everything. I've been told to more or less ignore the guy, but I don't
want him to assume that his stupidity is ok, you know? learning for life
and all that.
--
Himself
Patrick Navin
2003-11-11 18:45:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
Post by beenie
I wonder if the same parent complains about what Maths books are used ??
From what I can gather, yes he does.
He's been on the school's case for a number of years now about
everything. I've been told to more or less ignore the guy, but I don't
want him to assume that his stupidity is ok, you know? learning for life
and all that.
Of course parents are now encouraged and cajoled to "get involved" and
"be heard". None of these policies take into account that, as much as it
can be said that schools or the system is failing kids, parents are
failing kids equally and on a massive scale.

Only today the question of choosing the sex of a child was being
discussed again, pushing children further and further in the commodity
of choice box that modern Western living seems intent for us all to occupy.

A day or two ago I heard a discussion about choosing schools for kids. I
was amazed to discover what a minefield it is and how much parents are
willing to do and spend to put their precious little darlings into the
appropriate hothouse, thereby consigning the less well off to the ghetto.

If parents spent a little more time learning with their kids, talking to
them and less time buying them playstations and dressing them in
designer gear I'm certain the ills and woes of the current school system
would be relieved, albeit slightly.
--
Patrick

Ireann go Brach
Boru Blog:http://www.patrick.navin.btinternet.co.uk/B834763868/index.html
"'Cause when a man holds a thing well made,
There's connection,
There's completeness when a man holds a thing well made"
Jim PKP
2003-11-11 18:59:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Patrick Navin
Post by Himself
Post by beenie
I wonder if the same parent complains about what Maths books are used ??
From what I can gather, yes he does.
He's been on the school's case for a number of years now about
everything. I've been told to more or less ignore the guy, but I don't
want him to assume that his stupidity is ok, you know? learning for life
and all that.
Of course parents are now encouraged and cajoled to "get involved" and
"be heard". None of these policies take into account that, as much as it
can be said that schools or the system is failing kids, parents are
failing kids equally and on a massive scale.
<snip>

all true. however, the sad fact remains that paying a packet for your
wikkle darling's education means that doors will open that would
otherwise remain firmly shut. its not about the quality of education,
its about the school named on the college application
--
Jim PKP
PeterD
2003-11-11 23:39:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim PKP
its not about the quality of education
Bollocks. It's *all* about the quality of education. My daughter goes to
a school that I pay for, enough to buy several lovely 17" Powerbooks a
year with all the trimmings. I have to drive an hour a day to get her
there. I do it not because I'm filthy rich, I do it because as Tony
Blair so famously lied, the three most important priorities are
education, education, education.

It's nothing to do with having the right name on the application, it's
all to do with having a high teacher to pupil ratio, a dedicated music
teacher, a dedicated French teacher, a dedicated PE teacher. It's to do
with the attitudes of the people who send their kids there. Those
children say please and thank you, they open the doors to visiting
adults, they love going to school and they learn loads every day because
they love it.

We looked at Steiner, we looked at State schools, we went to an appeal
hearing to get her into the local state school that was over-subscribed
and finally paid to give her the best education we could find
locally(ish).

People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
--
Pd
Giles
2003-11-12 00:18:30 UTC
Permalink
PeterD <***@dsl.pipex.invalid> wrote:

[snip bits for which a certain sympathy might be present, if I ever had
kids, which isn't going to happen]
Post by PeterD
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
[runs out of putative symapthy rapidly] Bollocks.

Giles
--
apws22atdsldotpipexdotcom
"Many men," saith Gellius, "are very conceited in their inscriptions,"
The Anatomy of Melancholy.
Bella Jones
2003-11-12 07:17:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Giles
[snip bits for which a certain sympathy might be present, if I ever had
kids, which isn't going to happen]
Post by PeterD
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
[runs out of putative symapthy rapidly] Bollocks.
Personally, I would like to see the assets of all the private schools
seized (some of those places own a *lot* of land and property), and
ploughed back into the whole system.
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 08:49:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bella Jones
Post by Giles
[snip bits for which a certain sympathy might be present, if I ever had
kids, which isn't going to happen]
Post by PeterD
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
[runs out of putative symapthy rapidly] Bollocks.
Personally, I would like to see the assets of all the private schools
seized (some of those places own a *lot* of land and property), and
ploughed back into the whole system.
Excuse me for butting in but that is exactly what the government did
when they set up the state system.
Now that this has broken down there is - obviously - a demand for it
[private schooling] again and so they are here again.

One of the things that most parents want is the best they can provide
for their kids. If the state sector is working then fine. If not then
I'm damned if Tony Blair is going to ruin life for my kids when his own
opted out so very smoothly.

I am fortunate in that my kids go to a local [church] school which is
good and gets excellent results. Of course it is also over subscribed.
However I will admit that not all schools are as good, not all teaching
staffs are as caring and not all education authorities give parents as
good a service as we seem to get here. The kids get picked up and
dropped off by the school bus - virtually to the door - and there is a
good range of other activities as well as the normal curriculum [which
is another bag of worms] So, all in all, here 'I' (1) am getting good
service from the state system.

However, when it was time for my daughter to start primary school I took
one look at the local [allocated] primary and went private the following
day. Yes it was expensive but by getting rid of the un-necessary things
like holidays and new cars etc. we managed it for two years until we
gave up the fight with the local education authority for a better school
(2) and moved.

I must say that the move worked in more ways than one as not only did we
get better schooling but a better quality of life all round.

1. Can't speak for other parents of course but is works for us. I
suspect that those whose kids can't get into the school They want would
have a different story to tell.

2. We were reduced priority for a place in the better schools as we had
gone private. If we had stayed with their [appalling] choice then they
would have moved us up their list. This might not have helped but it
would have meant not having to listen to the same garbage every time I
spoke to them.
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
Patrick Navin
2003-11-12 08:53:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bella Jones
Post by Giles
[snip bits for which a certain sympathy might be present, if I ever had
kids, which isn't going to happen]
Post by PeterD
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
[runs out of putative symapthy rapidly] Bollocks.
Personally, I would like to see the assets of all the private schools
seized (some of those places own a *lot* of land and property), and
ploughed back into the whole system.
I can't see this helping. It's the year in year out funding that's the
issue. One has to ask oneself what our priorities are. For several years
now the Lib Dems have campaigned on a 1% "direct to education" tax - yet
no-one's voting for them. It's quite clear that the British people do
not care about "education" as concept but do care, almost obsessively,
about their own kids education, even at the expense of (or perhaps this
is in fact an essential) others' kids education.
PeterD quite rightly pointed out that the quality of education is the be
all and end all. With this I wholeheartedly agree. Quality means more
teachers and more resources. It means decent computer labs, it means
employing people with a little more than a 3rd in performing arts.
"We'll give you £6000 to train" they say. How does that help a mid 30's
mortgage payer who perhaps finally wants to put something back into the
community? Could anyone here survive for a year on £6000? We can find
£4m to protect Bush for 3 days but my local school can't get £20,000 to
refurb the computer lab and stop the water coming in and destroying the kit.
It all costs, and if you want it you have to put your hand in your
pocket. Unless taxes are increased the education system will continue to
suffer, it's as simple as that.
--
Patrick

Ireann go Brach
Boru Blog:http://www.patrick.navin.btinternet.co.uk/B834763868/index.html
"'Cause when a man holds a thing well made,
There's connection,
There's completeness when a man holds a thing well made"
Bella Jones
2003-11-12 09:24:08 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by Patrick Navin
Post by Bella Jones
Personally, I would like to see the assets of all the private schools
seized (some of those places own a *lot* of land and property), and
ploughed back into the whole system.
I can't see this helping. It's the year in year out funding that's the
issue.
Both, I think. By 'ploughed', I meant invested, as well as just spent.
Post by Patrick Navin
One has to ask oneself what our priorities are. For several years
now the Lib Dems have campaigned on a 1% "direct to education" tax - yet
no-one's voting for them. It's quite clear that the British people do
not care about "education" as concept but do care, almost obsessively,
about their own kids education, even at the expense of (or perhaps this
is in fact an essential) others' kids education.
Poisonous culture of 'aspiration'. They can smell the posh 'top' schools
in the wind, and want to get a bit of it for themselves. NB: Aspiration
in itself is of course not bad - but when it is so driven by class then
it is.
Post by Patrick Navin
PeterD quite rightly pointed out that the quality of education is the be
all and end all. With this I wholeheartedly agree. Quality means more
teachers and more resources. It means decent computer labs, it means
employing people with a little more than a 3rd in performing arts.
"We'll give you £6000 to train" they say. How does that help a mid 30's
mortgage payer who perhaps finally wants to put something back into the
community? Could anyone here survive for a year on £6000?
Ha...
Post by Patrick Navin
We can find
£4m to protect Bush for 3 days but my local school can't get £20,000 to
refurb the computer lab and stop the water coming in and destroying the kit.
I may well be boxed in here on Bush Day(s), if they close the roads.
They are still debating exactly who is going to pay, I think. Grrrr...
Post by Patrick Navin
It all costs, and if you want it you have to put your hand in your
pocket. Unless taxes are increased the education system will continue to
suffer, it's as simple as that.
Their problem, though, is taxing the very rich without alienating them.
PeterD
2003-11-12 09:26:42 UTC
Permalink
We can find £4m to protect Bush for 3 days but my local school can't get
£20,000 to refurb the computer lab and stop the water coming in and
destroying the kit. It all costs, and if you want it you have to put your
hand in your pocket. Unless taxes are increased the education system will
continue to suffer, it's as simple as that.
I agree with most of what you've said Patrick, but I don't agree that
taxes have to increase. I haven't increased my income to pay for my
daughter's education, I've reallocated funds. As David said, they did
without unnecessary things like holidays and new cars.

It's just a matter of what the taxes we already pay get spent on. As you
say, we can find £4 million for Bush, but not £20k to stop a school
computer lab leaking.
It's quite clear that the British people do not care about "education" as
concept but do care, almost obsessively, about their own kids education,
even at the expense of (or perhaps this is in fact an essential) others'
kids education.
As I said elsewhere, my share of the education budget stays in the state
system, so I'm paying twice, once for my own kids and once for everybody
else's. Why is that a problem for some people?
--
Pd
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 10:27:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
As I said elsewhere, my share of the education budget stays in the state
system, so I'm paying twice, once for my own kids and once for everybody
else's. Why is that a problem for some people?
because, unless you're a labour MP, then as soon as you use private
education you're automatically an elitist twat.
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
PeterD
2003-11-12 10:49:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kennedy
Post by PeterD
As I said elsewhere, my share of the education budget stays in the state
system, so I'm paying twice, once for my own kids and once for everybody
else's. Why is that a problem for some people?
because, unless you're a labour MP, then as soon as you use private
education you're automatically an elitist twat.
Ah, I see. Except that I would have thought a Labour MP (or PM) sending
their child private would have made them a hypocritical elitist twat.

But so far, apart from some generalised body noises and a plea to get in
with the state system for the good of the collective, I haven't heard a
single reason why paying for education twice hurts the state system.
Smells like NotW stylee chip-on-the-shoulder us-and-them Eddie Grundy
thinking to me.
--
Pd
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 11:01:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Post by David Kennedy
Post by PeterD
As I said elsewhere, my share of the education budget stays in the state
system, so I'm paying twice, once for my own kids and once for everybody
else's. Why is that a problem for some people?
because, unless you're a labour MP, then as soon as you use private
education you're automatically an elitist twat.
Ah, I see. Except that I would have thought a Labour MP (or PM) sending
their child private would have made them a hypocritical elitist twat.
True. But they still do it. Wasn't the latest Diane Abbot ?
Post by PeterD
But so far, apart from some generalised body noises and a plea to get in
with the state system for the good of the collective, I haven't heard a
single reason why paying for education twice hurts the state system.
Smells like NotW stylee chip-on-the-shoulder us-and-them Eddie Grundy
thinking to me.
The private education sector is one of the few examples doing a
generally good job. It shouldn't be necessary but, as it is then we're
fortunate to have it. Critics seem - mainly - to be either childless or
fortunate enough to have good local schools.
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 11:02:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
But so far, apart from some generalised body noises and a plea to get in
with the state system for the good of the collective, I haven't heard a
single reason why paying for education twice hurts the state system.
Smells like NotW stylee chip-on-the-shoulder us-and-them Eddie Grundy
thinking to me.
You're shifting here. (Changing from 'helping' to 'not hurting')

I agree you have a right to send your children to a private school - and
if I had the money I would too. But I would not argue that in doing so I was
_helping_ the state system. The numbers are just too small to make a
difference.
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 MRC Lab of Mol Biol
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/
-- 'Bring me the hedge of Alfredo Garcia' --
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 11:05:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
Post by PeterD
But so far, apart from some generalised body noises and a plea to get in
with the state system for the good of the collective, I haven't heard a
single reason why paying for education twice hurts the state system.
Smells like NotW stylee chip-on-the-shoulder us-and-them Eddie Grundy
thinking to me.
You're shifting here. (Changing from 'helping' to 'not hurting')
I agree you have a right to send your children to a private school - and
if I had the money I would too. But I would not argue that in doing so I was
_helping_ the state system. The numbers are just too small to make a
difference.
Small or not; in this country the system is in such chaos that every
scrap helps.
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 11:15:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kennedy
Small or not; in this country the system is in such chaos that every
scrap helps.
No.


Scraps do not help. They merely address symptoms, not causes, and do
more harm than good.
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone the song is over, thought I'd something more to say
- Pink Floyd
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 11:41:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
Post by David Kennedy
Small or not; in this country the system is in such chaos that every
scrap helps.
No.
Scraps do not help. They merely address symptoms, not causes, and do
more harm than good.
Agreed that the causes need to be put right but, meanwhile, a scrap
given to my local primary school might have saved a class teacher so
that argument is simply not true.
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 11:53:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kennedy
Agreed that the causes need to be put right but, meanwhile, a scrap
given to my local primary school might have saved a class teacher so
that argument is simply not true.
Ah, but suppose the teacher was no good and needed to be 'let go' for the
good of the children.

Eh, eh, answer me that.
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 MRC Lab of Mol Biol
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/

Mach' es wie die Sonnenuhr, zŠhl' die schšnen Stunden nur.
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 13:21:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
Post by David Kennedy
Agreed that the causes need to be put right but, meanwhile, a scrap
given to my local primary school might have saved a class teacher so
that argument is simply not true.
Ah, but suppose the teacher was no good and needed to be 'let go' for the
good of the children.
Eh, eh, answer me that.
No.
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 12:05:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kennedy
Agreed that the causes need to be put right but, meanwhile, a scrap
given to my local primary school might have saved a class teacher so
that argument is simply not true.
You've also put me off a point, to which I shall now turn.

There's an assumption in this argument that the size of the pot of money
remains constant, no matter how many children go to private schools.
This is mistaken.

There is not a fixed percentage of tax income that goes to education.
All the government's tax takings go into a big pot, whence it is divided
according to the whims of the Treasury. This is why, despite petrol &
diesel taxes being (among the) the highest in Europe, our roads are not
necessarily getting better.

Ditto education. You might think that 30% (say) of your taxes goes to
education. It's impossible to make that kind of sum work. So there
isn't x billion pounds set aside for education, regardless of numbers of
children making use of it. Instead, if numbers of schoolchildren
decrease, so will the size of the pot that funds education. The more
children are sent to private schools, the less the government will have
(i.e. be forced to) to spend on the State system.

So it's the same for health - the guvmint _encourages_ takeup of private
healthcare (and private education) so that they can spend less on it.
ditto pensions. They want you out of SERPS so that they don't have to
pay you. (That latter is a tad more complicated than that - the guvmint
now want you back in so you can pay for those who didn't opt out).

So you could argue - because infrastructure costs remain constant or
increase with time - that taking children out of the State system _harms_
it, because the guvmint will reduce the education budget as a direct
consequence.
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 MRC Lab of Mol Biol
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/
'Rule 6: There is noooooooooooooooooooaaaawwwwww Rule 6'
PeterD
2003-11-12 12:44:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
So you could argue - because infrastructure costs remain constant or
increase with time - that taking children out of the State system _harms_
it, because the guvmint will reduce the education budget as a direct
consequence.
At last! An actual reason why paying twice for education for my children
might not be helpful for state educated children. An almost completely
fallacious argument, but at least one with some reasoning behind it.

In real life on the very local scale, my closest local state school has
a reception class of 29 children. If my daughter was in that class,
there would have been 30 children. That's a simple piece of arithmetic,
that says there is a difference between a 29 to one ratio and a 30 to
one ratio. Certainly if the same thing happens to thirty reception
classes, then the government may well say, we have enough teachers to
keep the class size at 30 to 1 if we sack one teacher.

But blaming me for the loss of that teacher's job because the government
are a bunch of mealy mouthed wankers is not a valid argument for
abolishing private schools, it's an argument for a change of government.
--
Pd
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 12:51:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
But blaming me for the loss of that teacher's job because the government
are a bunch of mealy mouthed wankers is not a valid argument for
abolishing private schools, it's an argument for a change of government.
For the umpteenth time, I am _not_ arguing against private schools!

I am pointing out a fallacious argument in the case for them, one that
should be dropped because it is harmful.
--
<slaps Alex> Be a man, not a whimpering, lily-livered, your-mother-was-
a-hamster-quoting, monkey-glandular, frogleg-eating wet fish insult to our
fine organization! Snap to it, or I shall fart in your general direction.
HdJ demonstrates the compassion for which he is renowned in csmgf-s
PeterD
2003-11-12 14:01:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
Post by PeterD
But blaming me for the loss of that teacher's job because the government
are a bunch of mealy mouthed wankers is not a valid argument for
abolishing private schools, it's an argument for a change of government.
For the umpteenth time, I am _not_ arguing against private schools!
I am pointing out a fallacious argument in the case for them, one that
should be dropped because it is harmful.
How many times do I have to say, I agree with you!
(Well, once, over there -> )

Point taken, but phallacious arguments don't make me a dickhead.
--
Pd
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 14:06:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
How many times do I have to say, I agree with you!
(Well, once, over there -> )
:D
Post by PeterD
Point taken, but phallacious arguments don't make me a dickhead.
I know. I didn't call you a dickhead. I was saying, 'don't be a
dickhead'. Cos *I* know you're not. So don't act like one.
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 MRC Lab of Mol Biol
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/
-- 'Dear Dr Fleming, your lab is a mess' --
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 13:01:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
In real life on the very local scale, my closest local state school has
Ah. Anecdotal evidence. Excellent.
Post by PeterD
classes, then the government may well say, we have enough teachers to
keep the class size at 30 to 1 if we sack one teacher.
And silly me, I was forgetting that it was just about _teachers_. I
won't make that mistake again.
PeterD
2003-11-12 11:12:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
Post by PeterD
But so far, apart from some generalised body noises and a plea to get in
with the state system for the good of the collective, I haven't heard a
single reason why paying for education twice hurts the state system.
Smells like NotW stylee chip-on-the-shoulder us-and-them Eddie Grundy
thinking to me.
You're shifting here. (Changing from 'helping' to 'not hurting')
I agree you have a right to send your children to a private school - and
if I had the money I would too. But I would not argue that in doing so I was
_helping_ the state system. The numbers are just too small to make a
difference.
If one child either in the class or not in the class doesn't make a
difference, why did the LEA refuse to give a place to my daughter on the
grounds that to give her a place would mean that IF during the school
year someone moved into the area with a reception aged child, then they
would need to provide a place for that child and that would adversely
affect the education of the children.

If it's the difference between 29 kids in a class and 30, then it's near
enough to 3%. If three percent is no difference to you, please send me
three percent of your salary. I need it for my child's education.
--
Pd
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 11:21:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Post by Richard P. Grant
I agree you have a right to send your children to a private school - and
if I had the money I would too. But I would not argue that in doing so I was
_helping_ the state system. The numbers are just too small to make a
difference.
If one child either in the class or not in the class doesn't make a
difference, why did the LEA refuse to give a place to my daughter on the
grounds that to give her a place would mean that IF during the school
year someone moved into the area with a reception aged child, then they
would need to provide a place for that child and that would adversely
affect the education of the children.
Peter, are you deliberately missing the point? Do you believe
_everything_ the government(al bodies) say? Do you believe that they
believe it? It's politics. A class size of 29 is more acceptable when
it comes to the ballot box than a class size of 30, whereas it won't make
any significant difference in the classroom.

It's why shops deal in 99p instead of rounding up.

What is the percentage of school age children in private education?
Answer that, and we can start discussions.
Post by PeterD
If it's the difference between 29 kids in a class and 30, then it's near
enough to 3%. If three percent is no difference to you, please send me
three percent of your salary. I need it for my child's education.
Please. Now spread that 3% saved over the class of 29 (and teachers) and
tell me if it makes a difference to the number of books, teachers,
pencils, cereal boxes . . .
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 MRC Lab of Mol Biol
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/
+++ Divide by cucumber error. Re-install universe and reboot +++
PeterD
2003-11-12 13:40:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
Peter, are you deliberately missing the point?
No I'm not missing the point. *I* know it's politics, on a national and
on a local Education Authority level. The headteacher was perfectly
happy to accommodate one extra child, but the LEA wouldn't let her.
Post by Richard P. Grant
Please. Now spread that 3% saved over the class of 29 (and teachers) and
tell me if it makes a difference to the number of books, teachers,
pencils, cereal boxes . . .
Of course it makes a difference. If a school's budget is £1 million, do
you really think they wouldn't be able to use another £30,000?

I'm rather surprised by the reaction here, which suggests to me that
there is something else going on other than the obvious. Probably
something around the idea of class and privilege, but I'm not sure.
--
Pd
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 13:54:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Of course it makes a difference. If a school's budget is £1 million, do
you really think they wouldn't be able to use another £30,000?
for sure. Except (a) your figures are suspect (I know it was a
rhetorical device. Does one child really save the school 30 grand?) and
(b) the guvmint will reduce the school's budget by that amount.
Post by PeterD
I'm rather surprised by the reaction here, which suggests to me that
there is something else going on other than the obvious. Probably
something around the idea of class and privilege, but I'm not sure.
I guess so. For myself, my reaction was to that one point, not to the whole
thing. I'm sorry you seem to have a hard time grasping that.

We are all Mac users, after all - aren't we supposed to be elite?
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 MRC Lab of Mol Biol
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/
-- In Ventum Faciens Aquam --
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 14:16:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
We are all Mac users, after all - aren't we supposed to be elite?
Then I demand we're declared illegal by teatime at the latest.

Anyone owning a mac after tea time will be asked nicely not to do it again.
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
PeterD
2003-11-12 09:16:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bella Jones
Post by Giles
[snip bits for which a certain sympathy might be present, if I ever had
kids, which isn't going to happen]
Post by PeterD
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
[runs out of putative symapthy rapidly] Bollocks.
I don't expect sympathy, putative or disputative.
I just expect the freedom to educate my kids however I think best.
The government don't take money out of the state system and give it to
the private school you know - the resources my daughter would be using
at a state school are still there, spread between fewer children.
Perhaps you'd like to explain exactly why my statement was bollocks, or
perhaps you'd rather blame the state of the universe on everyone else,
the Royal Family it's all their fault the mines have closed you know.
Post by Bella Jones
Personally, I would like to see the assets of all the private schools
seized (some of those places own a *lot* of land and property), and
ploughed back into the whole system.
Freakin commies to the left of me, commies to the right of me...

You little Blairites should have seen a wonderful programme about Woburn
Abbey yesterday. There was a lovely little vignette where Lady Tavistock
was asked to give a talk to some school kids about "aristocracy", and
she pointed out that the big houses were a form of social security in
the days before welfare. If you worked on the estate, you were housed,
fed, looked after for life.

It's all too easy to point out the bad aspects of the class system and
attack the big landowners for exploiting the bruvvers, but without
people of vision with big dreams, big ambitions and the ability to
create educational institutions, you'd all still be peasants and you
certainly wouldn't be arguing the toss on usenet.

I'm not defending privilege based on birth, but I am defending the idea
of a meritocracy, and the right to spend money on things that *I* think
are important. If you poor downtrodden and exploited plebs want to spend
your welfare money on beer, fags, News of the World and Nestle "formula"
for your 12 kids under 5, then feel free. If I want to choose how my
children are educated rather than leave it to some centralised nanny
state that doesn't even use the state system themselves, then I want
that right too. Don't sacrifice greatness for universal mediocrity - it
is possible to promote the highest achievements without crushing the
proletariat. It is possible to help the worst off in society without
cutting down the tall poppies.
--
Pd
Bella Jones
2003-11-12 09:39:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Post by Bella Jones
Post by Giles
[runs out of putative symapthy rapidly] Bollocks.
I don't expect sympathy, putative or disputative.
I just expect the freedom to educate my kids however I think best.
Post by Bella Jones
Personally, I would like to see the assets of all the private schools
seized (some of those places own a *lot* of land and property), and
ploughed back into the whole system.
Freakin commies to the left of me, commies to the right of me...
Not a commie, or a Blairite! And I've said elsewhere that I don't blame
anyone for paying for their child's education, given what's at stake.
But I grew up knowing intimately the effects on the psyche (not mine,
unless you count second hand) of a certain kind of 'top' schooling.

Notions of innate superiority, and bigotry, were taught to those boys
from an early age, encouraged by masters who were not of their social
background, but *so* wished they were. I have met too many men damaged
by that kind of education, and since they often end up in positions of
power, whether local or national, the effect spreads everywhere.
Post by PeterD
If I want to choose how my
children are educated rather than leave it to some centralised nanny
state that doesn't even use the state system themselves, then I want
that right too. Don't sacrifice greatness for universal mediocrity - it
is possible to promote the highest achievements without crushing the
proletariat. It is possible to help the worst off in society without
cutting down the tall poppies.
Trouble is, so many of those who come out of the 'top' schools are not
superior at all, brain wise or anything else. They've just been coached
more, and know the right things to say. To drag the argument to its
limits, look at the Royals - mediocrities to a (wo)man.
PeterD
2003-11-12 10:24:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bella Jones
But I grew up knowing intimately the effects on the psyche (not mine,
unless you count second hand) of a certain kind of 'top' schooling.
I live in an area where I suffer the effects of a certain kind of
"state" schooling. I live on the main road from the centre of town to
the council estate, and every day, I clean up the bottles, cans, fish
and chip wrappers, fag packets, crisp packets and general detritus that
these lowlifes throw into my front garden because they haven't the wit
to see they're shitting in their own bed. Every night at closing time
little clots of drunken scum bellow their way down the road swearing and
cursing at each other, oblivious to the families sleeping, or trying to.
Several times a week the fire engines go past on their way to put out a
burning vehicle.

Perhaps we should shut down the state schools and put all the bludgers
into factories making "designer" sport shoes. Do the economy and the
crime rate a power of good.
Post by Bella Jones
Notions of innate superiority, and bigotry, were taught to those boys
from an early age.
Notions of innate worthlessness, and chips on the shoulders, and "the
state owes me a living" are taught to these kids from an early age.
Post by Bella Jones
I have met too many men damaged
by that kind of education, and since they often end up in positions of
power, whether local or national, the effect spreads everywhere.
I have met too many men damaged by that kind of education, and since
they often end up in the streets, the effect spreads everywhere.

It's not "top schools" or "state schools" that are the problem, it's
just the British implementation of them. And not all graduates of "top
schools" are evil power-hungry snobs. My best friend is a graduate of
Eton, now farming in South Africa. [I originally had a list of "good
works" he's instituted, but have no wish to get into some kind of
"mini-imperialist" argument]. I think he's one of the nicest, kindest
and most generous chaps I've ever met. I have no idea whether it's
because of his education or in spite of it, but he does seem to agree
with a lot of your feelings about his schoolmates.
Post by Bella Jones
To drag the argument to its limits, look at the Royals
- mediocrities to a (wo)man.
I can't say I know very much about the Royals, but apart from stupid
tabloid headlines about "Charles PRIVATE life" (emphasis mine - and to
all the tabloid writers and readers I'd just like to say, on the topic
of Charles' sexuality orientation or lack of... WHO FUCKING CARES!?!??!)
all I ever see about the Royals is that they're raising awareness about
architectural aesthetics or endangered species or the use of landmines
and the curious lack of legs and arms of some children or presenting
awards to encourage excellence or visiting old people who get a real
kick out of meeting a royal or opening some park or just generally being
nice.

What does it cost the British public to have a Royal Family, who appear
to do not much other than provide tabloid fodder and encourage good
stuff and the nobler instincts?

How much is spent in a single day by the DTI or the Encouraging Poor
Countries to Buy Our Killing and Maiming Apparatus So British People Can
Have A Job and Read the Daily Mail Commission, to help make the world a
worse place to live in?
--
Pd
Bella Jones
2003-11-12 14:28:40 UTC
Permalink
[snip problems of all schools}
Post by PeterD
It's not "top schools" or "state schools" that are the problem, it's
just the British implementation of them.
That's my point...
Post by PeterD
Post by Bella Jones
To drag the argument to its limits, look at the Royals
- mediocrities to a (wo)man.
What does it cost the British public to have a Royal Family, who appear
to do not much other than provide tabloid fodder and encourage good
stuff and the nobler instincts?
A quick google throws this up from uk.royalty:

"I do wish the British public would get some sense of proportion about
the expense of the royal family. Even on the most extravagent estimates,
the entire cost of the monarchy is about £55 million pa, i.e. £1 per
head of the population per year. 1 lottery ticket, 1/2 a pint of beer -
oh wow! And that is not taking into account the income which the
monarchy generates for the country (impossible to calculate), or the
£100 million+ which the Crown Estates give directly to the public
purse."

No idea of the accuracy, but that's still, er, quite a lot. and there's
very little noble about them, I think.
PeterD
2003-11-12 14:54:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bella Jones
No idea of the accuracy, but that's still, er, quite a lot. and there's
very little noble about them, I think.
According to royal.gov.uk, only the Queen and Phil are paid an allowance
by parliament - the Queen pays back the allowances to the rest of them.

I really don't want to get into a royalist debate, but my *opinion* is
that they're worth every penny in terms of publicity, tourism, raising
awareness of issues. It's no worse than some testosteroned Hollywood
celeb being made governor of California on the basis that he's famous.
--
Pd
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 10:30:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bella Jones
Not a commie, or a Blairite! And I've said elsewhere that I don't blame
anyone for paying for their child's education, given what's at stake.
But I grew up knowing intimately the effects on the psyche (not mine,
unless you count second hand) of a certain kind of 'top' schooling.
Notions of innate superiority, and bigotry, were taught to those boys
from an early age, encouraged by masters who were not of their social
background, but *so* wished they were. I have met too many men damaged
by that kind of education, and since they often end up in positions of
power, whether local or national, the effect spreads everywhere.
There are many private schools doing a fine job. Very few are Harrow,
Winchester or Eaton.
Post by Bella Jones
Post by PeterD
If I want to choose how my
children are educated rather than leave it to some centralised nanny
state that doesn't even use the state system themselves, then I want
that right too. Don't sacrifice greatness for universal mediocrity - it
is possible to promote the highest achievements without crushing the
proletariat. It is possible to help the worst off in society without
cutting down the tall poppies.
Trouble is, so many of those who come out of the 'top' schools are not
superior at all, brain wise or anything else. They've just been coached
more, and know the right things to say. To drag the argument to its
limits, look at the Royals - mediocrities to a (wo)man.
Why do you want to bring in superiority as an issue ? All Peter is
saying is that his choice affects no one else apart from his family.
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
Bella Jones
2003-11-12 14:28:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kennedy
Post by Bella Jones
Trouble is, so many of those who come out of the 'top' schools are not
superior at all, brain wise or anything else. They've just been coached
more, and know the right things to say. To drag the argument to its
limits, look at the Royals - mediocrities to a (wo)man.
Why do you want to bring in superiority as an issue ? All Peter is
saying is that his choice affects no one else apart from his family.
Because it is those bred to feel^W be 'superior' who end up running
things. But I *don't* mean that's everyone whose parents pay for their
education.

Anyway, I'm sure I had a MacSOUP query; it's on the tip of my tongue...
:-)
PeterD
2003-11-12 14:58:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bella Jones
Because it is those bred to feel^W be 'superior'
who end up running things.
What about all those bluff self-made captains of industry Yorkshiremen?
Is Prescott public school?
--
Pd
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 10:47:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Perhaps you'd like to explain exactly why my statement was bollocks, or
Perhaps you'd better come up with some hard numbers to justify your
statement.

r
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 MRC Lab of Mol Biol
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/

All generalizations are wrong
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 11:02:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
Post by PeterD
Perhaps you'd like to explain exactly why my statement was bollocks, or
Perhaps you'd better come up with some hard numbers to justify your
statement.
r
You don't really need hard numbers to know that if Peters kids are not
using the system then it has more cash available for those who are.

But, if you do need a hard number, I've always favoured 7.
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 11:14:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kennedy
You don't really need hard numbers to know that if Peters kids are not
using the system then it has more cash available for those who are.
To the tune of what? tuppence per child over the UK?
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 | . . . life is beautiful all the time
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk | And I'll be happy to see
http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/ | Those nice, young men
Napoleon XIV - TCTTMAHH | In their clean, white coats
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 11:43:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
Post by David Kennedy
You don't really need hard numbers to know that if Peters kids are not
using the system then it has more cash available for those who are.
To the tune of what? tuppence per child over the UK?
So what ? It's still available.

Rural schools need the tuppence that you're so dismissive about and, as
for inner city schools.....
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
Patrick Navin
2003-11-12 08:44:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Post by Jim PKP
its not about the quality of education
Bollocks. It's *all* about the quality of education. My daughter goes to
a school that I pay for, enough to buy several lovely 17" Powerbooks a
year with all the trimmings. I have to drive an hour a day to get her
there. I do it not because I'm filthy rich, I do it because as Tony
Blair so famously lied, the three most important priorities are
education, education, education.
Not great for the environment or traffic congestion though is it?
Post by PeterD
It's nothing to do with having the right name on the application, it's
all to do with having a high teacher to pupil ratio, a dedicated music
teacher, a dedicated French teacher, a dedicated PE teacher. It's to do
with the attitudes of the people who send their kids there. Those
children say please and thank you, they open the doors to visiting
adults, they love going to school and they learn loads every day because
they love it.
This I can only agree with. These are the factors missing from a lot of
state schools. Underfunded with low morale and no authority, teachers
can't be expected to perform at the top of their game given a total lack
of resources. I'm also appalled by the "quality" of language teaching
here. The French taught in this country is almost universally crap (I
include fee-paying schools here if they don't utilise native speakers).
My 8 year old neice in France can converse with me in French or English
with almost no difficulty in the latter. she has been learning since she
was 4. She also gets by in Spanish. She has never visited either Spain
or the UK. I don't know of any english kids who have a corresponding
ability.
Post by PeterD
We looked at Steiner, we looked at State schools, we went to an appeal
hearing to get her into the local state school that was over-subscribed
and finally paid to give her the best education we could find
locally(ish).
Again, the self same problem that giving "choice" to parents causes. A
few dozen oversubscribed schools and the remainder left languishing.
Post by PeterD
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
I can't really accept this kind of attitude, though you're obviously
entitled to it. The "be grateful we're reducing the burden" mentality is
one I've never really subscribed to. It's a little too Tebbit-like for
my blood. What we *all* need to do for the future of *all* our children
is to stop voting with our pockets and start to realise that 22% and 40%
are *not* sufficient rates of tax to run a modern "social democracy"
like Britain. Every complaint I hear about the schools, health, post and
rail only serves to convince me that this Thatcherite legacy of low
taxation is a cancer on our society. If you want public services you
*have* to pay for them. The alternative is to keep going the way we are
which will result in you needing a credit card to get an ambulance.
--
Patrick

Ireann go Brach
Boru Blog:http://www.patrick.navin.btinternet.co.uk/B834763868/index.html
"'Cause when a man holds a thing well made,
There's connection,
There's completeness when a man holds a thing well made"
PeterD
2003-11-12 09:48:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Patrick Navin
I have to drive an hour a day to get her there.
Not great for the environment or traffic congestion though is it?
No, it's completely crap for the environment, although the traffic
congestion on a strictly micro level hasn't changed because our
next-door neighbour's children are going to the same school so the
journeys haven't increased.

We really did try to get her in to the school a short walk up the road,
where her friends were going and next to where she'd been going to
playgroup. At the appeal hearing, the LEA said they had to keep a number
of places for children who "might want to go there" during the school
year, so they refused a place to a child who definitely did want to go
there now, who the Headteacher of the school wanted there and said there
is a place for, whose doctor and health visitor both provided evidence
that it was the best place for her to attend school. Some small-minded
bureaucratic mentality decreed that there was no place despite all the
evidence to the contrary, so there was no place.

The school she was allocated was perfectly adequate, and perfectly
dismal. In every classroom, there were huge posters about not talking to
strangers, about what to do if another person wants to touch you, about
all the horrors of life. The first thing you see when you arrive at
school in the morning is a list of 14 RULES. The kids coming from
assembly in the morning were silent, orderly and blank faced.

The school she's going to now is alive with colour and laughter. There
is one rule: "Consideration Always". The kids are polite, not crushed.
One of the subjects on the curriculum is "Reasoning". It's a Catholic
school, but there are Jews, Muslims, Hindu and atheist kids in the
classroom.

Perhaps for the good of the collective, I should have sent my kid to a
state school, and spent all my time and energy fighting from within to
raise the level of education for all. Perhaps we should all quit our
jobs and join the peace corps or work for some humanitarian cause.

Call me selfish, but I'm not the next Hero Of British Education.
Post by Patrick Navin
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
I can't really accept this kind of attitude, though you're obviously
entitled to it. The "be grateful we're reducing the burden" mentality is
one I've never really subscribed to.
Can you explain why it doesn't apply? Is it because the state not only
has my money, you think they should also have my time and energy? For
the good of the collective?
Post by Patrick Navin
If you want public services you *have* to pay for them.
Absolutely. I really want the state to provide a high level of education
and health care, but if I can find the money to get what *I* consider to
be a better education for my kids, or to have an operation now rather
than in two years time, then I'd be a fool not to. Or a hero. And I'm
neither.
--
Pd
Chris Brown
2003-11-12 09:49:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Patrick Navin
The alternative is to keep going the way we are
which will result in you needing a credit card to get an ambulance.
No, no, it's not a credit card, it's a passport (soon to be renamed to
"happy cards"). Have you not been listening to the nice Mr Blunket? *Bad*
citizen, report for reeducation at once.
Bruce Horrocks
2003-11-12 12:54:21 UTC
Permalink
What we *all* need to do for the future of *all* our children is to
stop voting with our pockets and start to realise that 22% and 40% are
*not* sufficient rates of tax to run a modern "social democracy" like
Britain. Every complaint I hear about the schools, health, post and
rail only serves to convince me that this Thatcherite legacy of low
taxation is a cancer on our society. If you want public services you
*have* to pay for them.
Maybe true, maybe not. Assuming it is, your solution won't help in the
short term and that is the killer.

"If you pay peanuts then you get monkeys" is an expression that I'm sure
you are familiar with. Rather unfair, but there is an element of truth
in all such things. Well, unfortunately, those monkeys are now in the
system and are unsackable[1].

Spending decent amounts to attract decently qualified people - the kind
of people that we would like to see in charge of our children - will not
solve the problem in the time that my children are at school.

So what are we supposed to do?

Well, there are a number of things, many of which are anathema to the
teaching unions, which doesn't really help. For example, good
headmasters being put in charge of more than school is a blindingly
obvious and long overdue step.

Zero tolerance for bad and loutish behaviour, etc. from pupils is
another. I'd quite like to see CCTV cameras in every classroom with the
pictures being used as evidence for the school, or even the other
parents, to prosecute/sue the parents of the troublemakers. Why not
broadcast the pictures over the Internet with access codes for parents?
Coming home to be greeted with a "why were you talking to Smith all the
way through maths instead of paying attention?" is a pretty good
deterrent.

I've met teachers from US schools where drug dogs and metal detectors
are permanent features. Unless we wish to end up the same then zero
tolerance is a good start.

Regards,
--
Bruce Horrocks
Surrey
England
<firstname>@<surname>.plus.com -- fix the obvious for email
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 13:28:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce Horrocks
"If you pay peanuts then you get monkeys" is an expression that I'm sure
you are familiar with. Rather unfair, but there is an element of truth
in all such things. Well, unfortunately, those monkeys are now in the
system and are unsackable[1].
Unfootnoted reference. Internet dumped.
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 MRC Lab of Mol Biol
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/
-- Non cogito ergo goon --
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 13:41:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce Horrocks
What we *all* need to do for the future of *all* our children is to
stop voting with our pockets and start to realise that 22% and 40% are
*not* sufficient rates of tax to run a modern "social democracy" like
Britain. Every complaint I hear about the schools, health, post and
rail only serves to convince me that this Thatcherite legacy of low
taxation is a cancer on our society. If you want public services you
*have* to pay for them.
Maybe true, maybe not. Assuming it is, your solution won't help in the
short term and that is the killer.
"If you pay peanuts then you get monkeys" is an expression that I'm sure
you are familiar with. Rather unfair, but there is an element of truth
in all such things. Well, unfortunately, those monkeys are now in the
system and are unsackable[1].
Spending decent amounts to attract decently qualified people - the kind
of people that we would like to see in charge of our children - will not
solve the problem in the time that my children are at school.
So what are we supposed to do?
Well, there are a number of things, many of which are anathema to the
teaching unions, which doesn't really help. For example, good
headmasters being put in charge of more than school is a blindingly
obvious and long overdue step.
Zero tolerance for bad and loutish behaviour, etc. from pupils is
another. I'd quite like to see CCTV cameras in every classroom with the
pictures being used as evidence for the school, or even the other
parents, to prosecute/sue the parents of the troublemakers. Why not
broadcast the pictures over the Internet with access codes for parents?
Coming home to be greeted with a "why were you talking to Smith all the
way through maths instead of paying attention?" is a pretty good deterrent.
I've met teachers from US schools where drug dogs and metal detectors
are permanent features. Unless we wish to end up the same then zero
tolerance is a good start.
Regards,
Where's the footnote !!!!!!!
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
PeterD
2003-11-12 14:03:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kennedy
Where's the footnote !!!!!!!
Where's the snip?
--
Pd
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 14:18:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Post by David Kennedy
Where's the footnote !!!!!!!
Where's the snip?
Couldn't be arsed today. I've got a stinking cold and I had thought that
a nice argument might cheer me up but I couldn't even get excited about
that.

And besides, have you seen some of the non snipped headers going around
lately........
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
D.M. Procida
2003-11-12 10:01:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
*Choke*
--
Apple Juice Ltd
Chapter Arts Centre
Market Road www.apple-juice.co.uk
Cardiff CF5 1QE 029 2019 0140
PeterD
2003-11-12 10:43:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by D.M. Procida
Post by PeterD
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
*Choke*
I gather this notion has some history in the UK, Tebbit has been
mentioned as a proponent of this view. Although that in itself is
incredibly damning, I haven't heard anything with substance.
So far, all the counter-arguments I've seen have consisted of:

Choke.
Bollocks.
I don't accept that view.

Not exactly compelling, is it? I'm completely open to changing my mind
about things given sufficient reason. I've changed my views about MMR,
having read sufficient apparently scientific reports that did seem to be
looking for truth rather than pushing a particular agenda. I'm prepared
to change my views about the pros and cons of state vs private schools,
but not on the strength of an argument like "choke".
--
Pd
D.M. Procida
2003-11-12 11:05:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Post by D.M. Procida
Post by PeterD
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
*Choke*
an argument like "choke".
It's not an argument, it's a response indicating disbelief that anyone
as intelligent and thoughtful as you would manage to come out with that.

I'm not going to get into a discussion of it here, because it's not the
place, but if I had my way, private schools would be illegal, along with
private health-care, and that way the affluent, educated, articulate,
audible, visible and confident people in society would find it harder to
take care of themselves without also taking care of others not so
fortunate.

Daniele
--
Apple Juice Ltd
Chapter Arts Centre
Market Road www.apple-juice.co.uk
Cardiff CF5 1QE 029 2019 0140
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 11:11:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by D.M. Procida
I'm not going to get into a discussion of it here, because it's not the
place, but if I had my way, private schools would be illegal, along with
Then you're a fool which surprises me. Until you come up with a high
quality system that covers all children in every area. The present
system of teaching children with supply teachers in porta-cabins doesn't
even get close.
Post by D.M. Procida
private health-care, and that way the affluent, educated, articulate,
audible, visible and confident people in society would find it harder to
take care of themselves without also taking care of others not so
fortunate.
Daniele
Those with cash will always find a way. However, the problem is the
government lying and manipulating figures. If we had good education and
health care then everyone would use it from choice. Your way reminds me
a lot of the way East Germany used to be.
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
Chris Brown
2003-11-12 11:42:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by D.M. Procida
I'm not going to get into a discussion of it here, because it's not the
place, but if I had my way, private schools would be illegal, along with
private health-care,
Why stop there? If someone is to vet how people are allowed to spend their
money, then why not just do away with money entirely and give people what
you think they should have been allowed to buy, when you think they should
have been allowed to buy it?
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 13:23:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chris Brown
Post by D.M. Procida
I'm not going to get into a discussion of it here, because it's not the
place, but if I had my way, private schools would be illegal, along with
private health-care,
Why stop there? If someone is to vet how people are allowed to spend their
money, then why not just do away with money entirely and give people what
you think they should have been allowed to buy, when you think they should
have been allowed to buy it?
Now you're being silly.
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
PeterD
2003-11-12 12:32:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by D.M. Procida
if I had my way, private schools would be illegal, along with
private health-care, and that way the affluent, educated, articulate,
audible, visible and confident people in society would find it harder to
take care of themselves without also taking care of others not so
fortunate.
Lovely, compulsory mediocrity. If that was the situation I'd quit
working and teach my daughter myself.

I would have preferred the state system. I spent a lot of time and
effort and research to enable my daughter to walk three hundred yards up
the road with me to the state school. The state said no you can't go to
that school, you have to go to this other school, which makes you feel
grey and dead just walking in the front door.

You seem to be perilously close to advocating a soviet-style communism.
That's fine, you have your political beliefs, and I have mine. I believe
in the ability of individuals to aspire, to inspire, to achieve. I also
believe we should encourage individual responsibility, while providing a
safety net for the less affluent, educated, articulate, audible, visible
and confident.

You seem to be advocating some form of compulsory uniformity.
--
Pd
D.M. Procida
2003-11-12 12:56:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
You seem to be perilously close to advocating a soviet-style communism.
You seem to be advocating some form of compulsory uniformity.
You seem to be mistaken.

But this is not the place for these discussions. There are other places,
which are.

Daniele
--
Apple Juice Ltd
Chapter Arts Centre
Market Road www.apple-juice.co.uk
Cardiff CF5 1QE 029 2019 0140
PeterD
2003-11-12 14:06:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by D.M. Procida
But this is not the place for these discussions.
There are other places, which are.
Where? uk.education.something?
And will you come over and bring your communist arguments with you?
--
Pd
D.M. Procida
2003-11-12 14:14:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Post by D.M. Procida
But this is not the place for these discussions.
There are other places, which are.
Where? uk.education.something?
And will you come over and bring your communist arguments with you?
I'll bring them over to the post-MacExpo meal. No, don't leave,
everyone, please, you won't have to listen.

But I guess uk.education.something, or uk.politics, would be the
appropriate place for this kind of thing.

Daniele
--
Apple Juice Ltd
Chapter Arts Centre
Market Road www.apple-juice.co.uk
Cardiff CF5 1QE 029 2019 0140
PeterD
2003-11-12 14:58:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by D.M. Procida
Post by PeterD
And will you come over and bring your communist arguments with you?
I'll bring them over to the post-MacExpo meal.
I suppose I'll have to come then. Pity Patrick's not going to be back by
then, he could get upset and punch me on the nose.
--
Pd
Simon Stuart
2003-11-12 13:12:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
You seem to be advocating some form of compulsory uniformity.
And what's *wrong* with that, at least where education is concerned? Why
should a child fortunate enough to have been born with a Marks and Spencer
spoon in their mouth get all the benefits? Why should a child whose parents
can't afford private education have to suffer in some "grey and dead" hole?

Every child should be given the same chances, the same opportunities, the
same quality of education. If they choose to waste it, that's their problem,
or their parents' problem (I know plenty of private-school kids who've made
a complete mess of their lives).

Inequality breeds inequality: I'm with Daniele's argument all the way, which
is that private schools should be illegal. They're a disgusting perpetuation
of elitist, bigoted values ... and I should know, I went to one. It was
almost exclusively peopled by wankers. I hated it.

Some of the teachers were excellent, of course (others, however, were
shocking). Naturally: if you're a good teacher and you've got the choice of
the "grey and dead" school or some newly refurbished private job full of
Stepford children being taught that they're part of the elite, you might
well choose the latter - thus depriving the state sector of your skills.

But hey, who cares? As long as one's little darlings are all right, the rest
can go hang. That, like it or not, is the private-school ethos. And it
sickens me to my soul.

Simon
PeterD
2003-11-12 14:44:32 UTC
Permalink
Why should a child whose parents can't afford private education
have to suffer in some "grey and dead" hole?
Show me one of these parents. I'll show you someone who is spending a
year's private education fees on something else they value more.
Do they smoke? There's £1500 a year on killing themselves. Do they spend
twenty pounds a week down the pub? There's another grand. Do they own a
car? Do they own a TV, video, DVD player...

Yes, I'm sure there are people who really are on the bones of their
arses and absolutely could not divert the money from other things to
fund their child's education privately. But the way you're talking it's
like tens of thousands of pounds, and only the aristocracy loaded with
blood money from colonial conquests can afford it.
Inequality breeds inequality: I'm with Daniele's argument all the way, which
is that private schools should be illegal. They're a disgusting perpetuation
of elitist, bigoted values ... and I should know, I went to one. It was
almost exclusively peopled by wankers. I hated it.
You went to ONE, therefore all private schools are a disgusting
perpetuation of elitist, bigoted values. How bizarre that an entire
school (apart from one or two shining examples) should be wankers.
What was that about bigotry?

More and more it's becoming obvious that this isn't about private vs
state education, it's about some preconceptions the British have about
class, privilege and "life should be fair".
some newly refurbished private job full of
Stepford children being taught that they're part of the elite
Clearly we're talking about two entirely different things. The private
school I chose is encouraging children to develop to their full
potential in a safe, caring and fun environment. The dead grey state
school is churning out fearful crushed little duplicates ready for the
factory presumably, blaming their parents, the government, the weather
and the rich and secret elite for everything that's wrong with the
world.
But hey, who cares? As long as one's little darlings are all right, the rest
can go hang. That, like it or not, is the private-school ethos.
In your world.

In my world, the private-school ethos is one where some weirdo Austrian
philosopher can create a style of education, and if some parents agree
with him they can send their kids to that kind of school. It's where
some weirdo Roman Polish nutcase in a fancy suit can believe in his own
infallibility, and if parents think that he's got a good point, they can
send their kids to that kind of school.

Don't assume that your experience of privately funded schools is all
there is Simon. State-enforced uniformity is the kind of attitude that
resulted in the mediocrity of the disastrous Soviet experiment, and
required such a massive effort from the thought police to stop people
thinking differently.
--
Pd
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 14:51:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Show me one of these parents. I'll show you someone who is spending a
year's private education fees on something else they value more.
Do they smoke? There's £1500 a year on killing themselves. Do they spend
twenty pounds a week down the pub? There's another grand. Do they own a
Don't smoke. Possibly a fiver a week on booze, maybe ten, but that's by
no means every week.
Post by PeterD
car? Do they own a TV, video, DVD player...
My car is eight years old. The TV is older, the video same age as the TV
and essentially dead - we just don't know whether we can afford to
replace it yet. Bought a DVD for about a hundred quid last year. Hey
big spender. The iBook, nearly 2 years old, bought with redundancy money
and K might be made redundant again. The iMac, 4 years old. We don't
have the capital for a deposit and so we rent our house, which means we
can't even sell it and get a cheaper one.

We do spend a lot on fruit and veg - maybe we should down on that?

So don't give me that 'anyone can afford private education' crap.

r
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 MRC Lab of Mol Biol
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/
-- Silence! - in Polish!! --
PeterD
2003-11-12 13:41:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by D.M. Procida
if I had my way, private schools would be illegal, along with
private health-care, and that way the affluent, educated, articulate,
audible, visible and confident people in society would find it harder to
take care of themselves without also taking care of others not so
fortunate.
oh, and everyone would be forced to use Windows. That way the affluent,
educated, articulate, audible, visible and confident computer users
would be a bit more active in forcing Microsoft to produce decent secure
software. Yeah right.
--
Pd
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 10:45:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
teacher, a dedicated French teacher, a dedicated PE teacher. It's to do
What is it about fscking _French_? That's a tourist language. Teach
them something _useful_ from an early age, like Japanese, Spanish or even
German.

sheesh.
Post by PeterD
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
Don't be a dickhead, Peter. You just torpedoed your argument.
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 MRC Lab of Mol Biol
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/
-- I laugh in the face of danger. Then I hide until it passes --
PeterD
2003-11-12 11:16:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
Post by PeterD
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
Don't be a dickhead, Peter. You just torpedoed your argument.
The list of clever counter-arguments just goes on increasing:

Bollocks.
Choke.
It's a little too Tebbit-like
Don't be a dickhead.

If this is the level of reasoning that the British state system
produces, it's no wonder those that value education opt for private.
--
Pd
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 11:31:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by PeterD
Bollocks.
Choke.
It's a little too Tebbit-like
Don't be a dickhead.
If this is the level of reasoning that the British state system
produces, it's no wonder those that value education opt for private.
Peter,

don't fall into the trap of sinking your entire argument - of sending
children to private school - by tying it up with one rather dubious
assertion, and certainly don't alienate your friends by, when they pick
up on that weak link, assuming they think your entire stance is untenable.

I've said it before, I'll make myself explicitly clear here. Yes, send
your children to a private school. I'd love to be able to afford to do that.

But do not fool yourself into thinking that by doing so you have anything
more than a vanishingly small positive effect on the State system as a
whole, or that by doing so you're thus a good socialist[0].

All right?

r

[0] Is that an oxymoron?
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 MRC Lab of Mol Biol
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/
When MS created NT, how did they get an infinite number of monkeys?
David Kennedy
2003-11-12 11:45:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
whole, or that by doing so you're thus a good socialist[0]
[0] Is that an oxymoron?
No.

But don't imagine for a minute that 'New' Labour is a socialist party
either.
--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com
PeterD
2003-11-12 13:58:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
I've said it before, I'll make myself explicitly clear here. Yes, send
your children to a private school. I'd love to be able to afford to do that.
But do not fool yourself into thinking that by doing so you have anything
more than a vanishingly small positive effect on the State system as a
whole, or that by doing so you're thus a good socialist[0].
All right?
All right, I take your point. If that's the objection, then I withdraw
the obnoxious "you lot should be grateful" comment. It obviously pressed
a few pre-primed buttons.

I think there is some difference in background showing up here. In New
Zealand the state system provides a very good education. I went to a
state school, and we were often in direct competition with private
schools in academic, artistic and athletic recognition.
Sending your kids private was usually a religious choice (Catholic)
rather than a class thing. Private schools were also subsidised by the
state, which is fair enough in my view because they're still providing
the education that is supposed to be available to all.
--
Pd
Bruce Horrocks
2003-11-12 12:36:59 UTC
Permalink
In message <1g4a9bb.yy93ejwxpl1cN%***@dsl.pipex.invalid>, PeterD
<***@dsl.pipex.invalid> writes

[snip bits I agree with]
Post by PeterD
People who send their kids to a state school should be pleased that
we're actually reducing the pupil to teacher ratio for them as well.
Maybe for one or two pupils, but once pupil numbers drop by a
significant amount, the school will then merge two small classes into
one larger one. This is because schools are funded according to numbers
of pupils enrolled and so can't afford to continue with two small
classes. At the right trigger point, therefore, going private can make
things worse for public schools.

Regards,
--
Bruce Horrocks
Surrey
England
<firstname>@<surname>.plus.com -- fix the obvious for email
Dave
2003-11-12 08:56:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim PKP
Post by Patrick Navin
Post by Himself
Post by beenie
I wonder if the same parent complains about what Maths books are used ??
From what I can gather, yes he does.
He's been on the school's case for a number of years now about
everything. I've been told to more or less ignore the guy, but I don't
want him to assume that his stupidity is ok, you know? learning for life
and all that.
Of course parents are now encouraged and cajoled to "get involved" and
"be heard". None of these policies take into account that, as much as it
can be said that schools or the system is failing kids, parents are
failing kids equally and on a massive scale.
<snip>
all true. however, the sad fact remains that paying a packet for your
wikkle darling's education means that doors will open that would
otherwise remain firmly shut. its not about the quality of education,
its about the school named on the college application
Mmm. This I why I like living in a country that doesn't have a private
school system. It has a scattering of international schools (mostly for
diplomats' spawn) and a handful of Steiner & Montessori schools, but
everyone else is together. I had extreme scepticism at first, but after
a couple of years with the system, I'm very impressed.

When applying for college/uni, nothing counts except your score. School
name means nothing. Which is how it should be.

--
Dave
Oslo
Bella Jones
2003-11-11 19:48:36 UTC
Permalink
[complaining parent]
Post by Patrick Navin
Post by Himself
Post by beenie
I wonder if the same parent complains about what Maths books are used ??
From what I can gather, yes he does.
He's been on the school's case for a number of years now about
everything. I've been told to more or less ignore the guy, but I don't
want him to assume that his stupidity is ok, you know? learning for life
and all that.
Of course parents are now encouraged and cajoled to "get involved" and
"be heard". None of these policies take into account that, as much as it
can be said that schools or the system is failing kids, parents are
failing kids equally and on a massive scale.
Parenting, AFAICS, is about the most difficult thing a person can do.
Yet there is no real training, education or therapeutic support
available to people anywhere, whether before they decide to conceive, or
after.
Post by Patrick Navin
Only today the question of choosing the sex of a child was being
discussed again, pushing children further and further in the commodity
of choice box that modern Western living seems intent for us all to occupy.
Not just the West though; look at China. And anywhere where one sex is
valued over the other.
Post by Patrick Navin
A day or two ago I heard a discussion about choosing schools for kids. I
was amazed to discover what a minefield it is and how much parents are
willing to do and spend to put their precious little darlings into the
appropriate hothouse, thereby consigning the less well off to the ghetto.
This is partly because many schools are not being backed properly by the
govt, and partly because peoples' priorities seem to change when they
have their own kids - they want the best for them, and who can blame
them? I know people who've gone very churchy all of a sudden, just to
get their kids into the right school. Given the current lottery, I might
well do the same if I was in that position.
Post by Patrick Navin
If parents spent a little more time learning with their kids, talking to
them and less time buying them playstations and dressing them in
designer gear I'm certain the ills and woes of the current school system
would be relieved, albeit slightly.
A nice ideal...... But the only way it could happen is through a mass
anti-consumerist movement, because few parents are going to put their
own child through the social embarassment of not letting them have those
things. And then there is the cost of living - dual income, ie both
going out to work, is the only way for many people...
Simon Stuart
2003-11-12 00:54:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bella Jones
Parenting, AFAICS, is about the most difficult thing a person can do.
Yet there is no real training, education or therapeutic support
available to people anywhere, whether before they decide to conceive, or
after.
Exactly. Which is why people should stop and think a little bit harder about
why they're having kids.

Many of my friends and acquaintances have been deciding to spawn recently.
"We're having a baby!" they announce with glee.

And I feel like saying: no you're not. You're having a human being. It's not
a f***ing lifestyle choice. You're making the terrifying decision to bring
another life into the world. Which means you have to perform the most
difficult balancing act imaginable: on the one hand, doing everything you
can to smooth that being's path, and on the other, ensuring that said being
interacts in a decent, morally acceptable way with all the other billions of
beings already out there.

Many parents are all too aware of this. But from where I'm sitting - happily
childless, a state I intend to maintain until my dying day - many more
aren't. Fine: we're genetically programmed to spawn all over the place
without thinking. But if we can overcome our genetic ability to, say, beat
each other up and nick each other's dinner, I'm sure we can, as a society,
think a little bit harder about whether we really have the ... I'm stuck for
a word here, so I'm going to plump for "ability" ... to bring up kids.

I know I don't. I'm impatient, irascible and dogmatic. I can't see how the
presence in the world of a child of mine would improve things one bit. [1]

God, sorry, that became a bit of a rant. I'm not even going to get on to the
private schools bit ;0

S

[1] And don't bother extrapolating that one. I'm a nihilistic atheist, and I
honestly don't care whether humanity survives another thousand years or not.
(Given the arse we've made of things, it's probably best that we don't.)
Instead of worrying about continuing our own lines, why don't we look around
us and try to improve things for the people - children and adults alike -
who already exist?
Sak Wathanasin
2003-11-12 00:36:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bella Jones
Not just the West though; look at China. And anywhere where one sex is
valued over the other.
There isn't a tradition in the West of ancestor worship is there? It isn't
that girls are valued less, but when they marry they leave the family to
become part of their husband's and their children would be expected to tend
to the husband's ancestors, not the mother's. Not to have descendants to
tend your grave and make offerings to you is like being sentenced to
purgatory for all enternity. That is why having a son to carry on the family
name is more than just a matter of life and death to a traditional Chinese
family. It was the rigid application of the 1-child rule that caused the
problem in the PRC. In Singapore, for example, where it was done with tax
incentives/penalties, the problem (of girl infanticide) didn't arise.
--
Sak Wathanasin
Network Analysis Limited
http://www.network-analysis.ltd.uk
Patrick Navin
2003-11-12 08:46:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sak Wathanasin
Post by Bella Jones
Not just the West though; look at China. And anywhere where one sex is
valued over the other.
There isn't a tradition in the West of ancestor worship is there? It isn't
that girls are valued less, but when they marry they leave the family to
become part of their husband's and their children would be expected to tend
to the husband's ancestors, not the mother's. Not to have descendants to
tend your grave and make offerings to you is like being sentenced to
purgatory for all enternity. That is why having a son to carry on the family
name is more than just a matter of life and death to a traditional Chinese
family. It was the rigid application of the 1-child rule that caused the
problem in the PRC. In Singapore, for example, where it was done with tax
incentives/penalties, the problem (of girl infanticide) didn't arise.
Nicely put and wonderfully explained - thanks Sak.
--
Patrick

Ireann go Brach
Boru Blog:http://www.patrick.navin.btinternet.co.uk/B834763868/index.html
"'Cause when a man holds a thing well made,
There's connection,
There's completeness when a man holds a thing well made"
Bella Jones
2003-11-12 09:24:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sak Wathanasin
Post by Bella Jones
Not just the West though; look at China. And anywhere where one sex is
valued over the other.
There isn't a tradition in the West of ancestor worship is there?
Well, if you take the Royal Family and ancestrally-obsessed private
schools into account, perhaps there is... ;-)
Post by Sak Wathanasin
It isn't
that girls are valued less, but when they marry they leave the family to
become part of their husband's and their children would be expected to tend
to the husband's ancestors, not the mother's. Not to have descendants to
tend your grave and make offerings to you is like being sentenced to
purgatory for all enternity. That is why having a son to carry on the family
name is more than just a matter of life and death to a traditional Chinese
family. It was the rigid application of the 1-child rule that caused the
problem in the PRC.
In Singapore, for example, where it was done with tax
incentives/penalties, the problem (of girl infanticide) didn't arise.
Thanks for pointing that out, Sak. But as we've seen with, say,
communism, in another thread, the practice of something is often a lot
more negative than the theory and/or tradition behind it.

And 'tradition' has been used as a way to keep women down since time
immemorial.
Richard P. Grant
2003-11-12 10:41:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Patrick Navin
If parents spent a little more time learning with their kids, talking to
them and less time buying them playstations and dressing them in
designer gear I'm certain the ills and woes of the current school system
would be relieved, albeit slightly.
Grrr.

We sit and help our girls learn. And then we find out what shite they
teach them, we have to fight to get them to give Rachel decent books to
read, we find that she's not allowed to write a 7 in the European way
(I'm just *spoiling* for a fight over that) and the whole business of
teaching to read - kids her age (6 - 7) are _still_ being taught 'ah'
'buh' instead of 'aye' 'bee'. I've deliberately left out the third in
that series as an example of its idiocy.

And last night I had the pleasure of demonstrating the sum 190 + 60 :

19
+ 6
----
25

190
+ 60
____
250

You should have seen her eyes light up as she grasped it.

Sorry, didn't mean to rant.
--
Richard P. Grant 0x5F9559B1 MRC Lab of Mol Biol
rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk http://www.rg-d.com/BioLOG/

I kinda enjoy going up to town on the bus and getting it... -- Peter Ceresole
PeterD
2003-11-12 11:03:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard P. Grant
the whole business of
teaching to read - kids her age (6 - 7) are _still_ being taught 'ah'
'buh' instead of 'aye' 'bee'. I've deliberately left out the third in
that series as an example of its idiocy.
How do you spell naughty? Nih ah uh gih huh ti yih.
And what does that spell? Naowahgittyah?
Very good.

Kids learn *so* fast that the letter "en" makes the sound "nnn", that
the letter "see" sometimes sounds like "k" and sometimes "s". It's so
much easier for them to have one name that doesn't change, rather than
using an onomatopoeic name that is sometimes like the letter, and
sometimes isn't, and for some letters is never right. Y for example, is
never pronounced "yih", but obviously they can't call it "eee" because
that's used for "e" oh no it's not, e is eh unless you have two together
then it's eee oh dear.
--
Pd
Jason Williamson
2003-11-11 20:53:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
Post by beenie
I wonder if the same parent complains about what Maths books are used ??
From what I can gather, yes he does.
He's been on the school's case for a number of years now about
everything. I've been told to more or less ignore the guy, but I don't
want him to assume that his stupidity is ok, you know? learning for life
and all that.
Ah he is one of those. We know the sort as us Mac users meet them and try to
put up with them safe in the knowledge that they are harmless unless they go
into management or politics.
I work in an IT security development role at a UK bank. But I would be a
rich man if every time someone said how come you use a mac then, they are
for people that can't use real computers, I got a fiver.
Then when I explain I work on unix all day, and my mac has a nice unix
terminal under it, and it is IMHO inherently more secure than a PC
non-hardened, they go glassy eyed and wonder off, in the distance I hear
them mutter, must be a fool glad I don¹t bank with them.
The ignorant masses annoy the educated classes some famous person once said,
I think we can apply this quote in your case.
Jim PKP
2003-11-11 21:30:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jason Williamson
I work in an IT security development role at a UK bank. But I would be a
rich man if every time someone said how come you use a mac then, they are
for people that can't use real computers, I got a fiver.
Seriously? What's their thinking on that one?
--
Jim PKP
beenie
2003-11-11 18:26:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
Today, I received a letter from an irate parent accusing me of teaching
his kid "irrelevant" information using an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".
also ask him for next weeks lotto number cos it seems he can see into the future
better than most of us!
Marc
2003-11-11 23:28:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Himself
I teach IT to 11-15 year olds, totally through macs, more or less
entirely avoiding MS sruff (I do the odd bit on <spit> PowerPoint
because I have to).
Today, I received a letter from an irate parent accusing me of teaching
his kid "irrelevant" information using an OS that "probably won't be
around in 5 or 6 years".
Have drafted a reply.
Anyone care to provide comment that I can give to the poor disillusioned
fool?
The future of the Mac is in Unix (Mac OS X) - and without a doubt, Unix
will be around in 6 years. In fact, most Unix boxes running now probably
wont have had half as much as downtime as the windows boxes in 6 years time.
Chris Brown
2003-11-12 00:40:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marc
The future of the Mac is in Unix (Mac OS X) - and without a doubt, Unix
will be around in 6 years. In fact, most Unix boxes running now probably
wont have had half as much as downtime as the windows boxes in 6 years time.
Indeed. UNIX is now in its fourth decade, and continues to go from strength
to strength. Wheras in the early 90s, it was the preserve of big iron and
academic users, UNIX in the guise of Linux is taking more and more ground in
both server rooms and on the desktop in industry. For the home user, there
is a good case to be made for UNIX (both Linux and OS X) being the choice of
the "discrening" home users. ;-)
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