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Petite Sorciere

Aug 28, 05 - 1:06 AM
Academical Girls

I am not given to reading newspapers, but I happened to be in a café (as blondes tend to happen to be) and I chanced to notice the lists of the top 100 schools in this year's Yeekish A-level results.

Naturally what strikes everyone immediately is the regular, creepily Sovietesque claim - year after year - that this year all-time records have been broken in A-level results.

Everyone knows that academic standards in the Yeek are in terminal decline and that the continually "better" results are simply the product of deliberate qualification inflation. No one but the veriest simpleton is unaware that this year's "A-star" pass is equivalent to last year's "A" and the year before's "B".

The inflation isn't quite that dramatic, but that is the pattern. And just like monetary inflation, it consists of printing more and more paper qualifications, issuing them more easily and their value consequently dropping through the floor.

Today, in the Yeek, a person has to go to University until her early twenties, incurring massive debts in the process, in order to have a qualification that is as valuable in academic terms and as useful in vocational terms as three good A-levels gained at the age of 17 fifteen years ago.

This is common knowledge; and yet the soviet-style government and mass-media continue to laud the continual "improvement" in results yielded by the latest five-year plan.

However, that was not what struck me today. What struck me was that among these inflated results, the highest achievers of all - as always - were dominated by girls. Of the top ten schools, Eight were all-female establishments. In the top 100, "Blank school for Girls" and "St So-and-So's Convent" recurred with huge regularity. Of the rest, a proportion were girls' schools that did not advertise the fact in their names, many were mixed - and one can be sure that the girls were the highest achievers - and then there were the handful of the best (and most expensive) boys' schools in the country.

It strikes me that the very comparison is unfair. Boys' schools should not have to compete with girls' schools in academic results. It is unreasonable as expecting women to compete in Heavyweight Boxing.

Aug 28th, 2005 - 10:51 AM
Re: Academical Girls

How true. And when you consider that the single-sex girls' school has been virtually eliminated for most girls by the teeming mixed-comprehensive hellhole, it is astonishing how the few remaining girls-only schools manage to sweep the board.

Or is it?
Ellen Dale

Sep 3rd, 2005 - 12:08 AM
Re: Academical Girls

The surprise is that any work gets done in schools. I was in a classroom situation recently with other adults who did not want to be there. They acted as I have been told schoolchildren act, talking among themselves, calling out �witticisms� and personal questions, challenging the �teacher�, who managed by going along with them for the most part, trying to slip in occasional bits of information and arranging rather aimless pieces of role-play. No wonder so many children say they find school boring. I have been less bored watching grass grow.