Lowering Standards

Some more right-wing nonsense appeared in Wednesday’s London Evening Standard:

One paragraph in particular caught my eye:

Mark Zuckerberg (the founder of Facebook), the Education Secretary points out, mastered French, Hebrew, Latin and Ancient Greek, before taking his maths degree – an intellectual biography that “powerfully underlines the lesson that a rigorous academic education is the best preparation” for modern working life.

Now the statement along the lines of ‘My cat is black, therefore all cats must be black’ is of course well known as being logically nonsense. As, surely, is the statement: ‘Mark Zukenberg had an academic education and was then highly successful, therefore all people who have an academic education will then be highly successful’?

Mind you, there’s always an exception to the rule: ‘Mr Gove’s policy is ill-informed and deluded, therefore all politician’s policies are ill-informed and deluded…’?

3 comments on “Lowering Standards

  1. Or…: Mr Gove believes he is right, no matter how many people point out how he’s wrong, therefore Mr Gove believes all people are wrong, no matter how right they might be!

    How about: ‘You can educate some of the children all of the time, and all of the children some of the time, but you can’t educate all of the children all of the time.’ ?

    Alternatively: Most privileged children get well-educated all of the time, and other children get poor chances a lot of the time, but are children educated appropriately most of the time?

    Maybe it’s just me, but are we missing something in education? It’s not just about doing maths properly, being able to write well, quote something in Latin or more generally, to be “academic”. Many of those things will come naturally once the spark of interest is ignited and sadly, from what I see in society, a lot of that is extinguished by education, particularly for all those that the system seems to fail. There is more to education than academic training and learning by rote; physical and mental skills, life skills, dexterity, building and making, practical applications. There is nothing to be sneered at in those that are good with their hands or would like to work in a hairdressers rather than stuff facts into their heads all day long. As long as the adults of tomorrow are keen, interested, positive and productive towards a happy society, then each can develop in their own way and find what they are good at and will find the facts sinking in by natural interest.

  2. How about:

    The national curriculum must be revised so that all schools teach essential knowledge; academies are schools so they must teach the revised national curriculum – oh no, that’s not right, they can opt out of the NC. The logic has broken down somewhere…

  3. I’d just like to point out, that if you do any basic research in Mark Zuckerburg, for example by watching the rather famous film that came out recently, one would know that he only partially studied those subjects so he could gain access to a fraternity, which he saw as a ticket into ‘the old boys’ network where he knew he could make the contacts required to make money. In fact as soon as he discovered he didn’t need those contacts, he immediately dropped out of academia in order to focus on his business, not completing his education. I don’t know if this lesson was lost on Mr. Gove or whether he just chose to ignore it for the perceived gains of the sound byte, but anybody who has watched David Fincher’s films, knows quite what a moronic thing this is to say.

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