John Clare: Why all the fuss about 'illiteracy'?

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Susan Godsland
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John Clare: Why all the fuss about 'illiteracy'?

Post by Susan Godsland » Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:04 pm

John Clare in his Any questions? column of the Daily Telegraph:

Q: According to the Government's statistics, 83 per cent of 11-year-olds reach the expected level in reading, which seems quite impressive. Why, then, all the fuss about "illiteracy"?

A: The problem is that no one outside the education establishment believes that the expected Level 4 in reading means very much. Scepticism is reinforced by the same government statistics, which show that the proportion of 14-year-olds who reach the expected Level 5 is 60 per cent. So what happens to the other 23 per cent between 11 and 14? The only explanation is that the tests for 11-year-olds, on the results of which much government propaganda and the fate of schools hangs, are essentially hollow because children are crammed for them.

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