30.8.04

It's bad all over

Teachers still in agony over Shakespeare tests (login required)"Pupils were marked for their writing skills in the 30-minute paper but were not expected to show any knowledge of the play. A second 45-minute section of the Shakespeare paper, worth 18 per cent of the marks, assessed their understanding of two scenes from the play, which were printed on the paper and which schools were told about a year in advance."
So much for the much vaunted British education system. I'm not sure which is worse: dumbing down the selections to meet the requirements of local and state pressure groups ("The New York State Education Department omitted mentioning Jews in an Isaac Bashevis Singer story about prewar Poland, or blacks in Annie Dillard’s memoir of growing up in a racially mixed town. California rejected a reading book because The Little Engine That Could was male." (from The Language Police by Diane Ravitch), or dumbing down the test. (via Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind)

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