A modern-day pogrom

by Chris Bertram on October 2, 2003

Hysterical use of language alert: “Rachel Cooper in the Spectator”:http://www.spectator.co.uk/article.php3?table=old&section=current&issue=2003-10-04&id=3575 , reacting to the suggestion that British universities admit student from rough state schools with lower A-level scores than their peers from expensive private schools:

bq. Professor Schwartz is happily preparing the ground for a pogrom of the privileged children whose successful grades are the product not only of their hard work and ability, but also the school they attended.

Those pogroms aren’t what they used to be you know.



Robert Schwartz 10.03.03 at 2:19 am

One of these days someone will write an explanation of the British Educational System that the average American can understand.

Two countries separated by a common language.


Lawrence Krubner 10.03.03 at 4:40 am

I understand that the British have “public schools” that are really bastions of priviledge. Kind of like here in America where small companies are usually privately held, but large multinationals are always “publically” owned. But not in any sense the French would understand.


Maria 10.03.03 at 8:15 am

I thought last week’s Economist (sorry, can’t find the ref) had a quite convincing take on this issue. Their argument was that middle class cramming skews childrens’ results slightly upwards, and these students perform less well than projected at 3rd level simply because they’re not as bright as their results indicate. Children of the working class/under class, on the other hand have their A level results skewed downwards because they attend under-performing schools. By this logic, weighting admissions from worse schools is simply an exercise in correcting for statistical bias.

I think the emphasis on working meritocracy, as opposed to the purely theoretical version, is coming from the top at the Treasury, and is to be applauded. It’s awful to think that after 30 years of an education system designed to bring more people from ‘outside’ into 3rd level education in the UK, that social mobility is almost entirely unchanged.


EssJay 10.04.03 at 6:03 am

Grover Norquist describes wealthy Americans as oppressed people – like Holocause victims and blacks under apartheid.

He emits plenty more ignorance, but that was the topper. You can hear the interview at freshair.org.


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