Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 19, 2009


One of the problems with the test tyranny of public schools is that this is not the way things are done in successful private schools. These schools emphasize not only routine learning, but its application in real life situations through extra curricular activities. A British report notes the value of this.

Guardian, UK - Private schools offering lavish extracurricular activities give their pupils an unfair advantage and should be forced to share their facilities with state pupils, says a report commissioned by the prime minister.

Former cabinet minister Alan Milburn was asked to look at how class barriers could be broken down in Britain and found that middle-class children whose parents do not move in the "right" circles, as well as those from poorer families, now risk being shut out of professions that have become more socially exclusive.

Milburn says that fee-paying pupils benefit from an emphasis on "soft skills" such as teamwork and communication, which are imparted through sport, music and drama. With more pupils now getting the academic grades needed for university, private pupils get ahead because of their more rounded CVs and confident presentation.


Anonymous m said...

I have always wondered why teacher's unions have expended so much effort fighting evaluation and testing, while inflicting as much as possible of same upon their students.

July 20, 2009 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's because teachers see what a scam testing is, but testing students is job security.

July 21, 2009 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

I'd say it's because they understand at an intuitive level that there's no way to effectively measure their own performance as teachers, but they haven't studied enough psychology to know that the same is true of their students' performance as learners.

Most teachers have to take a course or two in Methods Of Evaluation, but they're cookbook courses in how to do it that don't get into the sticky issues of whether anyone will be any the wiser for them having done it, if they do it.

July 21, 2009 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The War on Kids,

Winner of Best Educational Documentary at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival


July 22, 2009 11:30 AM  

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