The government admits that 40% are incompetent at KS2.

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bwking
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The government admits that 40% are incompetent at KS2.

Post by bwking » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:21 pm

In the last couple of days the government has been broadcasting an admission that despite the SATs tests producing up to 80% average results in so-called examinations of skills, when it comes to putting these together some 40% of children aren't equipped to tackle texts in the secondary schools.

That is after six years of predominantly 'mixed methods' teaching. Let's hope a gradual victory over the parallel world of the teacher-trainers by the Rose report will begin to reduce this shameful statistic in Britain.

As for the remaining 60% it is the rare pupil who, in fact, has not been affected by the carelessness about spelling, grammar and punctuation. They have all been robbed to some extent by ideology from year one.

Brian K.

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:46 pm

...when it comes to putting these together some 40% of children aren't equipped to tackle texts in the secondary schools.
That's my 40% who have Reading & Comprehension Ages below CA, then! It might seem perfectly 'normal', and conform to the bell curve, but it doesn't equip them for 'life' :sad:

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Post by chew8 » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:30 pm

My understanding was that the 40% consisted of those who did not get Level 4+ in Reading, Writing and Maths - i.e. 80% might get Level 4 in one or two of the three, but only 60% get Level 4+ in all three. Is my understanding wrong?

Jenny C.
Last edited by chew8 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Lesley Drake
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Post by Lesley Drake » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:42 pm

It's those darned boys again, "retarding" progress towards the government's targets.

Lies, damn lies and statistics

Why is there no gender gap in synthetic phonics schools?

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Post by Lesley Drake » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:51 pm

This blog has some interesting points to make on the subject.

Faking it

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Post by JIM CURRAN » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:04 am

Thanks Lesley, for some very interesting reading which only reinforces what most Secondary school teachers already believe about Key Stage 2 testing.

chew8
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Post by chew8 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:02 am

I wrote 'My understanding was that the 40% consisted of those who did not get Level 4+ in Reading, Writing and Maths - i.e. 80% might get Level 4 in one or two of the three, but only 60% get Level 4+ in all three. Is my understanding wrong?'

This was what I thought I saw and heard in the media a couple of days ago, e.g. when Nick Gibb was interviewed on TV (BBC News??) immediately after Andrew Adonis.

The BBC report (Lesley's link) says something slightly different, however, in the sense that it seems to be talking about English (Reading and Writing combined), Maths and Science rather than about Reading, Writing and Maths: 'The overall results show that four out of 10 children have failed at least one part of the tests - or conversely, that six out of 10 children have made the grade in all the elements of the tests.'

I was a little surprised when what I first heard (or thought I heard) was put in terms of Reading, Writing and Maths rather than English, Maths and Science, so maybe I misheard. Either way, though, it does seem as though the '40%' relates to the children who get Level 4 or better in only one or two 'elements' but not all three. But Brian K. says that there were reports that 'some 40% of children aren't equipped to tackle texts in the secondary schools', which implies that the 40% relates specifically to reading. Could someone point me to these reports?

Jenny C.

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Susan Godsland
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Post by Susan Godsland » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:39 pm

Times: Primary school pupils miss all government targets

http://timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_s ... 218142.ece

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Post by maizie » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:24 pm

Love the comments...

"Bring back the belt" Eh :???:

chew8
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Post by chew8 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:58 pm

I still haven't seen anything that says that 'some 40% of children aren't equipped to tackle texts in the secondary schools' (Brian K's words), but I could have missed it.

The editorial in the 'Times' of 8 August, which a neighbour has now given me, says that 'two-fifths of the 600,000 pupils taking national tests at 11 failed to reach the required Level 4 in at least one subject'. That fits in with what I understood from the reports I saw and heard. As I say, I accept that I may have missed something, and I hope someone will point me in the right direction if I did. In the meantime, though, I'm concerned that we should not state the problem as being that 40% can't cope with the reading demands of secondary school if this is not the case.

Jenny C.

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:39 pm

I'm concerned that we should not state the problem as being that 40% can't cope with the reading demands of secondary school if this is not the case.

Well, 40% of our intakes can't, Jenny, and I've been told on other forums that we should think ourselves lucky, other secondaries are worse.

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Post by g.carter » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:10 pm

I think you're right, Jenny - but it just reflects the degree of frustration and cynicism there is following bucket-loads of spin, obfuscation, hype and sheer lack of accountability...if only things were transparent, and if only transparency existed with respect to what is taught to trainee teachers, if only we knew how much experience the 'advisers' had in actually teaching synthetic phonics. Yes, elements of the Ed world have worked very hard - but in the political/ed world it's the sole voice of the Conservative, Nick Gibb, who is speaking out.

And in the Telegraph: Has Ed Balls got what it takes?
The narrow statistical sense in which this constitutes a "best ever" performance is tenuous enough: a one percentage point rise in English, maths and science over last year. But the reality behind this hyperbole is a national scandal. Only 60 per cent of the 585,000 11-year-olds in England who took the tests this year managed to reach the standard expected (Level 4) in all three areas of reading, writing and arithmetic. There has been no recordable improvement in reading over the performance of two years ago, and none in writing over last year.

In other words, any initial signs of improvement in primary education standards have now disappeared, leaving nearly half of all pupils below an acceptable level of competence in the skills that are required for educational progress....

Gordon Brown, on becoming Prime Minister, declared education to be his "passion", and insisted that it had to be "the priority for the country". In his previous incarnation as Chancellor, he poured unprecedented levels of funding into the state schooling system, determined that as much should be spent on the education of a state-school child as on the average private one. He has appointed his closest and most trusted political ally, Ed Balls, to the newly created post of Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.

These three facts ought to imply that nothing should stand in the way of the Brown Government succeeding where previous ones have failed in what ought to be the most minimal requirement of an advanced democracy: the provision of basic educational skills to all children of normal intelligence.

To do this, it will have to find the political will to act on a diagnosis of the problem that has been widely available for a long time. Some of the remedies are straightforward: it is outrageous, for example, that "synthetic phonics" has not been universally adopted for the teaching of literacy......

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Post by bwking » Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:32 pm

Jenny,

The BBC news broadcasts (unattributed) said the new pupils (40% average, obviously) were unable to tackle the texts of the secondary curriculum. What proportion of this incompetence was due to literacy problems and what due to mathematical ones they didn't say. I'm sorry: the broadcasts were very brief. But the government figure backs up what we have all suspected to lie beyond the customary 25% average and the teachers' reports do likewise.

Brian K.

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Post by JIM CURRAN » Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:55 am

In disadvantaged areas the 20 % figure reading below Level 4 translates to anywhere between 40% - 60 % reading below this level. North Tyneside Council reported that in 2007 67 % of children in care failed to achieve level 4 at key stage 2 .

chew8
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Post by chew8 » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:25 am

Hi, Maizie - you write 'Well, 40% of our intakes can't [cope with the reading demands of secondary school], Jenny, and I've been told on other forums that we should think ourselves lucky, other secondaries are worse'.

I know you have said that 40% of your intake have reading ages below chronological age. Are you saying that all these 40% also can't cope with the reading demands of secondary school? Is this the consensus of your colleagues who teach History, Science, Maths., Biology etc?

If your answers to the above questions are 'yes', I would be a bit surprised, for two main reasons:

1. The reading age required by much secondary-school work is probably quite low, or at least it was when I was still teaching. Someone did an analysis of GCSE question papers in the 1990s and found that many of them required a RA of only 12 or 13. Maybe things are different now, however - it would be nice if so.

2. At the local junior school where I have helped on a voluntary basis since I retired in 2000, children who are reading a bit (up to a year, perhaps) below chronological age at 11 strike me as likely to cope with the readijg demands of secondary school without too much struggle.

We have to remember that Level 4 in reading at Key Stage 2 is not supposed to mean that a child is reading at or above chronological age - it includes children who are reading a bit below CA as well. There's nothing wrong with that - reading at CA is 'average', and all children can't be average or better.

There would be something wrong, though, if there was a mismatch between national standard for Level 4 at the age of 11 and the demands of secondary school, so it would be useful to know what percentage of children who get Level 4 really can't cope with reading at secondary level.

There would also be something wrong if the standard required to reach Level 4 was below the level that children would be capable of if really well taught from the beginning of school. This is the thing that I believe really is wrong at present. It means that things are not good enough even if most children who get Level 4 or above are coping with the reading demands of secondary school.

Jenny C.

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