Gove tries to claim Gramsci

Submitted by martin on 7 February, 2013 - 12:21

Speaking on 5 February, Tory education minister Michael Gove claimed to have been inspired by Antonio Gramsci, who was a leader of the Italian Communist Party in its early years.

Either Gove has never read Gramsci, or he is lying about him.

Especially since Harold Entwistle wrote his book Gramsci: Conservative Schooling for Radical Politics, it has become quite widely accepted on the left that Gramsci had what would now be called 'reactionary' views about schooling, or even about education in general.

Venezuela: Lies, damned lies, and statistics

Submitted by AWL on 13 December, 2012 - 3:36

“Anybody familiar with Stalinism will know the technique; figures record yet another triumphant over-fulfilment of the five-year plan while the peasants drop dead of starvation in the fields.”

NCAFC held its AGM last weekend in Birmingham where Student Broad Left – the student front of Socialist Action – proposed a motion so absurd that only the four members of Student Broad Left present at the NCAFC conference voted in favour of it.

Teachers' rank-and-file conference

Submitted by AWL on 4 December, 2012 - 9:53

This Saturday December 8th the network of NUT branches (known as divisions or associations) which was established in response to the retreat in the pensions struggle earlier in the year will hold its second national conference in Leicester. Local Associations for National Action (LANAC) emerged in March last year after the NUT National Executive voted to call off a planned national strike due to take place on March 28th despite 73% of members voting for the strike in a union survey.

CBI calls for end to “exam factories”

Submitted by Matthew on 28 November, 2012 - 6:53

The CBI has attacked the current regime of testing children, calling some secondary schools “exam factories”.

This, coming from the high table of the British bourgeoisie, highlights the absurdity of over-examining school pupils.

Naturally, the reasons given by the CBI were terrible: “Qualifications are important, but we also need people who have self-discipline and serve customers well”, said the CBI director general, adding that measuring attainment by criteria beyond test scores might boost economic growth!

News in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 7 November, 2012 - 7:10

The announcement that subjects such as drama and art will not be included in the new “English Baccalaureate” (EBacc) and that it will only focus on “core” subjects (English, maths, science, history and languages) has provoked criticism from people in the arts that the country’s “creative edge” is at threat. But this misses the point.

The narrowing of the curriculum will badly affect working-class students who have fewer opportunities for self-expression.

Sell out

Bring back the pamphlet!

Submitted by Matthew on 26 October, 2012 - 9:00

Material conditions for socialist education and self-education are better than they’ve ever been.

Much socialist literature which previously you could read only if you could get into a good library is now freely available on the web. Vastly more has been translated.

Thanks to second-hand book sales moving onto the web, printed books which you’d previously find only by searching second-hand shops are now also easily available.

Blame the teachers?

Submitted by Matthew on 11 July, 2012 - 2:04

The figures for 16-18 year old who are not in education, employment or training — NEETs, as they are termed — have risen over the previous year (8.1% now compared to 7.5% in 2010).

This must be good news for the coalition. NEETs are a fantastic opportunity for apportioning blame; if crime levels in particular area rise, find a correlation with NEET levels. If it is felt necessary to stir up the electorate by attacking the teaching profession (with its strong level of union activism) then suggest that this is all the fault of education and demand support for imminent reforms.