Battle of the SATs

While Head Teachers and Government Ministers go to battle on SATs, I notice, as usual, there's no mention of consulting parents and children.
 
I’ve never liked the content of SAT examinations but I don’t disagree with the principle of testing. We cannot go back to a system where our children had been so neglected that some were actually illiterate when leaving school.
 
The Education Act requires parents to provide a suitable and effective education for their children. Testing not only helps parents to monitor their child’s progress but enables the government to monitor the effectiveness of teaching and teachers. It appears the teaching profession is less concerned with the development of our children and more concerned about the assessment of their own questionable abilities.
 
The idea that SATs put undue pressure on children is nonsense. If it were true we would have to abandon all educational testing, from weekly spelling tests to GCSEs. Surprisingly, one never hears of such banter when it comes to sport, where the pressure of regular competition and success and failure are part of the ride. Yet, ironically, the educators also want to make learning fun.   
 
The fact is, we need regular testing in education just as our children have regular testing in their sporting pursuits. Yes, there is pressure and that’s all part of learning and developing. We’ve heard so many sport personalities from boxing to football citing their sport as their saving grace. I find this unfortunate, because it means school education had failed them.
 
I give you one example out of hundreds to prove a point. In the state education sector Somali, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afro Caribbean children are apparently the worst performing children. So many reasons from poverty to bilingualism are used to excuse this failure. So how come these same inner city children become the nation’s best performing children when taught by alternative teachers at Best Tutors?
 
With respect, it’s not the children, it’s not the families, it’s not inner city and it’s not poverty. It's the teaching.

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT ON 7 JUNE 2009

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