Wednesday, 11 May 2011

SATs: Raising banners not 'standards'

“You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.” George W. Bush


Sadly I can't repeat the remarks about SATs I overheard in the staffroom this morning- let's just say they were articulate, heartfelt and pithy. I'm in the fortunate position of having nothing to do with them and happily have no prospect of doing so. Primary teachers are used to them, they cope with something the vast majority believe are, at best,  a waste of time. As an outsider now, listening in, I hear highly competent, experienced teachers despairing but dogged ; putting up with something that should have disappeared years ago as soon as it became apparent. that the predictions of teaching to the test and the narrowing of the curriculum had come true.
The Cambridge Primary Review amassed reams of evidence that a broad curriculum truly raises standards.
The outsider might wonder why teachers put up with it: the answer being coldly, carefully manipulated pressure - which has nothing to do with the education of children, except in the bland reassurances of  Whitehall.
But what has all this to do with a media blog you may ask? I firmly believe that media education should be at the heart of Literacy teaching from the earliest years. There's even an organisation (now in its final year, of course) called Film:21st Century Literacy.  But for this to happen we must have a bigger idea of what literacy is and SATs are like Guy Fawkes cell - too small to stand up or lie down in.
To the barricades!

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