It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

Here we go again

Posted by chrisrick13 on August 15, 2014

It is obvious: I’m not stupid

I write this blog entry once a year – five times now.

I own the evidence.  I have all my school exercise books from the start of my O-level courses to the end of A-level.  I can make the comparison between what we were taught then and what was expected of us.  I cannot make a comparison of the intelligence of school children then and now.  I don’t have to.  It is the same.

If you are a mathematician ask an O-level student about differential equations and integration.  Ask them to prove Pythagoras and a bunch of other geometric theorems.  They can’t.  Not because they can’t but because they have not been taught.  They have not been taught because it makes no sense to teach something that is not examined.  I and my peers were examined on that though.

(I’ll add that at university in the 2nd year we noticed that we were getting tutorial sheets with a ‘3’ in the reference and the 1st year people were getting stuff at the end of the year that we got at the beginning of the 2nd year.  I wonder when (if) that turned around.)

This is another example of changing the baseline.  It is only in mathematics that you can make a good comparison.  Because even though there is still lots of new stuff so much of what you learn is fundamental stuff you need before you can move on.  It is constant and available for comparison over a long time.  1+1 was 2 then and it still is now…except when it is 10.

So A-level grades have gone up for 30 years without a drop.  Suddenly, after a public outcry, grades have gone down.  Just a little, but enough to deflect the media and the unthinking public.  But even that does not matter except to oldies like me who still feel far superior.

What matters is that people are paying £27,000 in fees and another £27,000 to live while getting a bit of paper that is worth just about what that bit of paper costs.  They are being giving skills, first principles and deep knowledge of b***er all.

It is obvious: I’m not stupid and I’m not dead yet either.


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