Children are ranked in four categories: above standard, at standard, below, or well below. As Gracewood writes, ‘at first blush, there’s an old fashioned straightforward appeal – it’s the Three Rs in modern dress’. Gracewood has two reservations – there is no category for well above and if the whole curriculum is crucial, why require reporting on only those basic skills?
As for the standards Aitken says ‘she doesn’t have a problem with the idea of having some signposts about roughly where we would like kids to be but I’m just not a 100 per cent convinced that the child who’s always "below" needs to hear that time after time. Often we’ve made a significant difference, but they’re still below standard.’
|A level playing field?|
|Lynda Stuart May Road School (Decile 2)|
Stuart believes the answer is to emphasize the children’s accomplishments and by providing opportunities the children wouldn’t get otherwise. ‘If we could get that happening throughout the country we could shift a lot of things....My students are just as eager to learn but they are starting from a much harder place.’
|Profoundly democratic - yeah right!|
|Time for a conversation|