Monday, August 20, 2007

CBI vs NASUWT -Seconds Away, Round One!

A poll of 507 employers shows that over half think that the English and Maths of school leavers is not good enough.

Chris Keates who is leader of the NASUWT, one of the many teachers unions; disagrees. He says that 'progress in Maths and English over the last ten years has been remarkable'

Who is right?



The teachers, chances are that this is just low wage employers who are realizing that all the mathmatically able students have gone to university to study for higher paying jobs.

A few questions for you, Mr Chalk

At the end of your book it says you have left teaching, so what are you now?

In the book you encourage someone to join the army, would you encourage a child of your own to become canon fodder for the cowardly politicians?

You comment in the book about the underclass dress sense, but what business is it of yours, how someone dresses?

You comment in the book about teaching at a middle class area school and how easy it was. Why are you still teaching at the slum school St. Judes when you can obviously get a job elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

From the bad punctuation in this message, I assume amigauser is one of the teachers he/she thinks is in the right. Possibly a teacher of English, even.

Anonymous said...

They both are.

Getting it down to just half is a remarkable achievement.

The Daddy

Jerry said...

The employers. As one, I am sick of interviewing not just 16 and 18 year olds, but also graduates from so called Universities who can barely string a sentence together.

Far too many are unable to write a straightforward report, or judge whether a numerical answer is roughly correct.

Stu Savory said...

Orl tree R rite ;-)

JoBloggs said...

"Employers need to invest more in training" Chris Keates (NASUWT)

What an idiot. Why should employers have to make up for what the schools don't do?

Anonymous said...

"English and Maths ... IS not good enough." ?

Surely, ARE?

Anonymous said...

I still have a book of 1961 "o" level maths exam papers. Perhaps someone might like to evaluate?

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine the effects of a 1961 O Level question (with a book of log tables rather than a calculator)?

It would be considered child abuse.

Anonymous said...

Give us an example question from 1961

Anonymous said...

OK try these. However, I should first mention that these questions are taken from:

Revision Excercises in "O" level Mathamatics by R.J Otter B.Sc., M.A

First Edition 1961 reprinted 1962.

Paper 1, Section A Q3:
a) Find the radius of a circle whose area is 154 sq. in (pie = 3 1/7)
b)Express as a single fraction:
x/xsq-4 - 1/x+2
c)Evaluate 8.54sq-1.46sq

Section B Q7.
In an experiment to determine the variation of the electrical resistance of a certain wire with its length, the following observations were made:

Length of wire in cm. (l)100 90 80
70 60 50 40

Resistannce in Ohms (R) 4.58 4.15 3.67 3.20 2.75 2.55 1.80

By plotting values of resistance against length of wire show that the values approximately obey the law R=ml and find the value of m from your graph to two decimal places.

As I recall, normally, in section A all questions were to be attempted (in this case five). In section B three questions were to be attempted out of five.

I could, possibly, copy some of these papers and send via email or post to intested parties.
It seems to me that some of the algebra in these papers is more in line with the A levels of today rather than GCSE standard.

Didactophobe said...

The employers are right. As are the vast majority of teachers, who would agree with them. Literacy skills across the ability range are truly shocking.

If any of your readers have marked exam scripts, I am quite sure they will be aware of the vast difference between students from comprehensive and independent skills. Not just in attainment, but in the structure and fluency of their writing.

amigauser's post is risible. 'The teachers', for a start, are not all represented by the daft comments from the NASUWT man. Perhaps the lazy and stupid ones are; the ones who cannot string a sentence together themselves.

Why, Mr/Mrs/Ms Amigauser, to add to your many questions, are there two spelling mistakes and several instances of sloppy punctuation in your own message?

Anonymous said...

But it has been remarkable. Remarkable in how appalling it is and remarkable in how much figure-fiddling and spin has gone on.

Anonymous said...


Typical response from those who feel threatened attack the messenger not the message.

Silence any criticism.

Head in sand stupidity.

Sage King said...

Maybe thats the new Post Modernism in Maths and English courses he is taking about? which alarmingly brings up 1,370,000 results in Google for Maths and an astonishing 2,110,000 in English!

Sylvia said...

I tend to agree with the first 'anonymous' and with Didactophobe that many of our children are being 'taught' english by people whose own grammar and spelling leave much to be desired.
I once went through my child's end-of-year report, written by a teacher of GCSE english at a comprehensive school, and red-pencilled all the errors of punctuation, spelling, and grammar in the same way that my english teacher used to mark my essays in the late 1960s. There were over thirty errors in less than a hundred words (and, as this was a hand-written report, none could be excused as typographical errors)!
After two generations of teachers seemingly being instructed to not correct badly-written english, on the grounds that such correction would stifle the little darlings' creativity, what can we expect?

Anonymous said...

a) Find the radius of a circle whose area is 154 sq. in (pie = 3 1/7)

Radius = 7

Anonymous said...

I never knew "pie" was that much back then!!!
It's pi surely, hmmm?

Anonymous said...

Whoops I’m afraid is was me who entered “pie” into all this. I couldn’t enter the Greek character for pi into Mr. Chalk’s blog space and entered pie. It was my pork pie starved imagination that triggered this mistake. Pork Pies are not available where I live.
On math’s questions of this era pi was given either as 3.142 or 3 1/7.
I’m a bit surprised that no one has posted with the assertion that pi is not a rational number etc,.

Anonymous said...

Chris Keats (NASUWT) is a woman not a man.

Anonymous said...

Blimey, those 1961 questions make you realise how quickly you forget stuff you don't use! Ok, it's been over 20-odd years since I studied maths, but still...

I got A (a) and (c) bout just looking at (b) gave me a headache...

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