From last week’s Economist, about the abolition of the 11 plus in Norn Iron:
When Labour came to power in 1997 it proclaimed its determination to make every school a good school. That optimism has given way to a sadder, meaner goal of preventing the middle classes from monopolising the good schools that already exist. The rules governing admissions have been made mandatory—and bewilderingly complex (yes to selecting 10% of pupils according to “aptitude” but not “ability”, and only for “specialist schools”; yes to “fair banding”, which classes children by ability and admits a representative sample, but no to the 11-plus—unless you are one of the 164 grammars; yes to religious schools demanding baptismal certificates and the like, but no to interviewing to ascertain devoutness; and so on for 82 pages). Are Northern Ireland’s politicians really sure where their path leads?
Do those politicians in Norn Iron who have set us on this course know where it leads? No, they do not. But they don’t care; all they care about is the sad, mean goal of dragging everyone down to a level of their choosing. They don’t want anyone rising above the rest by dint of merit or otherwise.
They don’t care that every possible alternative to academic selection that has been tried has been shown to be worse than it; has been shown to have no greater effect on social mobility; has been shown to be more open to corruption.
They’ve taken a dislike to the 11 plus. And thusly, they’ll fucking destroy it, and to hell with anyone who gets in their way. And then they’ll not bother coming up with an alternative, because they don’t really care about education, they only care about destroying that which they don’t like.
In fact, they’re acting like spoiled three year old brats. And I hope that someone comes along at an election in the future and gives them a smack on the arse that’ll have them crying for years.