Sunday, November 15th What to make of England’s politically-driven education debate? Well, often it seems to verge on the surreal. The latest example came my way today, courtesy of two articles in the Sunday Telegraph. One was a piece by Ed Balls, the schools secretary, setting out his plans to “intervene” in schools where results are said not be good enough. The other was the news story in which further flesh was put on this announcement. Both talk about a new bill, to be announced in the Queen’s Speech this week, which will include these capabilities. The first sense I got, on reading the pieces, wasRead More →

Tuesday, November 10th I was at the Guardian’s Innovation in Education conference in London yesterday, and noticed several comments arguing that the current accountability regime stifles fresh thinking in schools. One of the keynote speakers, Larry Rosenstock, the chief executive of a group of American semi-independent charter schools in San Diego, certainly appeared to be making this argument, although I think he was probably the fastest speaker I’ve ever heard at a conference, so it was hard to keep up. But he appeared to be arguing that centralised standards-setting and regulation by, for example, high-stakes testing and regulation, could drain the life out of aRead More →