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Monday, September 24, 2012

Fairfax and the art of National Standards

Sigh - remember when National Standards were first raised and everyone (Tumeke included) immediately criticized them as a first step towards league tables and the Government denied that was their intent?

Yeah, well lo and behold, the tables are here and surprise, surprise the newspapers are leading the charge.

National standards tell you little of any value because young children learn at very different rates, it's like comparing apples & screwdrivers, that's why national standards are such crap. They are academically worthless because there are no conclusions to be drawn from rating primary school children's academic achievement when children learn at such different levels.

But Fairfax media don't give a flying rats arse about the fallacies of national standards, they know one truth and one truth only - education rankings sell newspapers faster than naked page 3 models. Metro Magazines biggest selling issue of the year is when they rank their top schools, the middle class neurotic fetish with education knows no limits and will drive parents into a feeding frenzy of 'choice' created by this false competition model.

From the point of view of Fairfax Media, it's a case of 'don't hate the player, hate the game'. They have to sell newspapers, if eroding confidence in the public education system is what's required to make the shareholders happy, erode the public education they will.

If parents don't want to be manipulated into succumbing to this pressure, they should simply ignore the medias attempt to whip up false comparisons for the purposes of selling newspapers.

If National Standards are incomplete - why release them? Since when was spreading public panic a legitimate communication strategy?



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