Monday, October 24, 2005

Bronx school inspires McConnell

From the beeb:
"Teachers, pupils and parents could be asked to sign a "contract" under ideas being considered by Jack McConnell.

During a visit to a school in New York's Bronx area, the first minister expressed interest in its 'Knowledge is Power Programme'.

Mr McConnell said written agreements, which involved making commitments to school life, would help engage parents and motivate pupils.

He said he was eager for Scottish schools to learn more about the system."
Hmmm - I'm always a bit worried when they let Jack go abroad; he always comes back with crap ideas - like the time he went to Ireland and decided the thing to do was to ban smoking in public places. I don't want to prejudge but with news items like this, there's usually an earlier indicator within the piece itself that shows they've missed the point already, and this case is no exception. Here it is:
"The so-called contract signed by the 250 pupils, their parents and 17 teachers at the KIPP Academy in the Bronx, commits them to work to their full potential and attend school every day."
250 pupils, Jack. And how many do we have in the average Glasgow Secondary? More than four times that many at least, would you say? What would the Executive in Scotland do to a school that had only 250 pupils, Jack? That's right; you'd close it down, wouldn't you? In fact, you've closed down a few that had three times that many, haven't you Jack? Care to explain why an area the size of Maryhill has no non-denominational school at all but the West End of Glasgow has three? Because these 'successful' schools can absorb the populations of the closing schools, thereby raising attainment and combating social exclusion? Care to have a chat with a few comrades who work at the chalk-face who would take issue with that? Or if you don't want to take our word for it, perhaps you could explain why these schools are plummeting down the league tables? No? Ok then - we don't want to talk to you anyway...

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