Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yet another database

It seems we're about to have a national ‘gifted’ database based on Key Stage 2 results (and presumably courtesy of the National Pupil Database):
A new national register will track secondary school pupils who come in the top five per cent in England for academic test results.
Since when were key stage results a reliable indication of exceptional ability? The CE of the National Association for Gifted Children points out:
"You can't make a proper judgment purely on a child's performance, as many gifted children are known to underachieve at school. Gifted children often recognise they are different from other kids and try to play down the differences, while others may have their talents concealed by dyslexia and dyscalcula."
We know there are plenty of home educators who will second that.


At Tuesday, July 11, 2006 1:40:00 PM, Blogger Carlotta said...

Too right. For starters, I remember one of my friends failing her 11+, only to get a scholarship to Oxford a few years later.

The assumption that useful intelligence can be reliably measured by SATS is just laughable, and appears to be tackling the wrong end of the problem, since if a child is well-motivated, interested in his subject and determined to solve a set of problems, he will get himself out there and solve them without any need for outside assessment of his intelligence and wildly inaccurate databases.

But then again, how many school children end up like this? Given the de-motivating effect of much schooling, I can see how such a database could be envisaged as being a way of solving the skill shortage in subjects such as physics and chemistry, but it certainly isn't the best or most reliable way to solve this problem and indeed would be completely unnecessary for many autonomously motivated, home educated children.


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