In response to Chris McGovern: We need better teachers to close the performance gap with the rising economies of the east, David davis wrote:
The point is completely missed, as ever.
The reason why Asia-Pacific students are three years ahead in their teens is that they are taught things worth knowing three years earlier. This used to be done here; 55-odd years ago, I had been taught (for example) how to differentiate and integrate by the age of 12, do partial fractions, know how to combine and resolve any vectors, and I could translate between Latin/Classical Greek and English haltingly but more or less intelligibly. We also knew joined-up-history, and could name and place about 50 capital cities on a world map. I was not in any kind of extraordinary school either.
By 12, we had read the complete texts of Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Richard III and Much Ado about Nothing. We had _acted_ Julius Caesar in full; I played both Lepidus and Calpurnia (because I was a nerd and nobody liked me…I would have preferred to be Mark Antony, with great lines like “this is a slight unmeritable little man…meet to be sent on errands…”)
I’ve got otherwise-normal and well-adjusted 15/16-y-o students who struggle with the basic concept of division (they can’t work out from first principles “which way up the sum should be”), can’t “do” fractions, and have no broad picture of this nation’s continuous history.
All this is the deliberate result of socialist intervention in education. That is to say; it has been done on purpose. As Ayn Rand has said rightly: “mistakes as huge as that cannot be accidental”.