Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sounds Like A Job For The Handicapper General

One of Labour’s key players on education has called school choice ‘naïve’. Is it ironic or just stupid that an alleged expert on education uses such a moronic arguement ? Thirty years of near-monopoly control of the institutions has robbed them of the ability to make an actual argument, so all they’re left with is variations on the theme of calling Conservatives stupid.

I’m not sure a guy who claims that school choice could lead to some schools being ‘bloody awful’ should be calling anyone else naïve. Judging by trivia such as literacy rates, I think we’ve got the whole awfulness angle pretty much covered already. But don’t worry, Bazza’s got a plan. He’s thinks school admissions should be by lottery.

No, seriously.

It don’t get any easier than this. On the one hand, we have the ideal of parents as empowered consumers, on the other, head teachers meeting to divvy up the fresh meat. What more need be said about the difference between Left & Right ?

Never mind the superficial stupidities – like parents of three kids potentially ending up with a school run that looks like the mark of Zorro. Consider the underlying philosophy. Liberals have been telling us for years that teachers are like really smart brain surgeons, but with a dash of Merlin. Now, Bazza’s telling us that the only way to improve results at a school is to press gang smart kids onto the school rolls. As far as alchemy goes, this is like turning lead into lead.

And that’s the nice interpretation of what Bazza is saying. The alternatives are even worse. Maybe he thinks that if only working class kids sit next to aristocrats, they’ll turn out to be as smart as Prince Harry. Well, maybe not. Or it could just be that he’s finally realised the truth about Labour’s core support, and decided that there’s nothing worse he can do to rich kids than make them sit next to Labour brats.

Or it could just be, and I realise I’m going out on a limb here, that Bazza understands perfectly well that the problem with school choice isn’t that it’ll create terrible schools, but that it will expose them. Once parents have the chance to evacuate their kids from Loser St Comp over to Destiny Academy, a whole bus load of senior managers are going to be getting that ‘naked on the street’ feeling.

Ann Coulter joked that the traditional greeting at Democrat conventions was ‘and what do you teach ?’ The same holds true for Britain. Forget the miners, they were mere amateurs. Ditto, the lawyers - they might be running the show, but it’s the teaching unions that have a death grip on the Left.

Now Nu Lab is faced with a dilemma. Carry on as before with head teachers carving up the supply of customers, or go over to a real system of school choice, with consequent risk of Jimmy Stoner and friends getting the old heave ho’. It’s a toughey, all right, but I think the union paymasters will win out.

No comments: