Monday, October 17, 2005

Busing to expand in the UK.

UK: Why is it that to have a better education for children stuck in crappy schools, this comes up with the fairness argument being pushed? Why don't you fix the bad schools to begin with or would that force the fair for everyone crowd to judge teachers, students and the system itself? If you do that you might have to take actions that could be seen as racist or unfair.

Free bus travel for children from council estates will be announced next week as part of the Government's effort to end the middle class stranglehold on popular schools. "Choice advisers" will tell parents about schools outside their areas to which they can apply and help them through the admissions process. Groups of schools will be allowed to test children and put them into ability bands, sharing out the most and least able so that their intakes reflect the profile of the local authority or national area. Although the "fair banding" system will not be compulsory, the Government will strongly encourage schools to adopt it to end the so-called admission by postcode lottery, which rewards those families that can afford to move closest to schools with the best reputation. Research has shown that schools in middle class areas have a higher proportion of top band children. Critics of banding say it is the antithesis of parental choice because a child living next door to a school could miss out on a place and end up being taken by bus to one farther away if too many pupils of the same ability lived in their area. ....Sir Cyril Taylor, a Government adviser and chairman of the specialist schools and academies trust, believes that the present system leads to distortions because schools continue to reflect their local areas rather than the wider profile of abilities. Middle class parents have nothing to fear, he said, because a greater social mixture of pupils will improve schools and give them more from which to choose. It would end the unfairness of narrow, shrinking catchment areas which deprive parents living just outside of any choice. Sir Cyril said: "It is not some kind of social diktat or American-style enforced de-segregation but groups of schools working together and children travelling on yellow buses instead of parents having to drive them all over the place, polluting the atmosphere." Middle class parents could also benefit from the greater choice and mobility because good schools in poor areas, such as Government's flagship academies, would be open to them, he said."
I take it that "council estates" is a nice english term for bad area? The problem here is the government sticking its nose where it doesn't belong. Why would a parent in a good area with a good school want to send their kid to a bad area with a supposed good school? Thats why they moved to the good area in the first place. The best scenario is leave the kids where they live and fix the bad schools. Busing in good students is not going to suddenly change the system.

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