England having trouble reading?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by smallcoffee, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. smallcoffee macrumors 68000

    Oct 15, 2014
    North America
    I found this article to be pretty interesting. Wasn't aware that England had such poor literacy levels.


  2. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    Your source doesn't link to the specific report, just to the OECD site in general. I'm looking for that particular report and will link to it when found. If anybody else can find it, that would be appreciated.

    As for your comment about England having such poor literacy levels, you do need to consider that it's being compared to other OECD nations, so the degree of "poor" is relative. And I suspect that the report would reveal other OECD nations with similar results.
  4. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 604


    Jan 17, 2013
    Wales, United Kingdom
    One thing that is confusing is the article mentions students graduating, but then names the group as 16-19 year olds? You have to be at least 21 to graduate here as you can't start university until you are 18.
  5. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Not a surprising article, with all the inbred dole-hunting council-chavs pottering about the place. Ignorant, willingly stupid, and not at all prepared to even humour the thought of making the most of their great education. A terrible, stinking, self-entitled attitude passed down from one toothless generation to the next.

    Conversely, the good/educated that does come out of England is world-class. So I don't think this is a reflection of British education as much as the people who inhabit it.
  7. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    Isn't this all based on the Pisa tests? There's a huge debate in Education circles as to their relevance and accuracy. (Just Google them).

    Here's an article from the TES - link here

    Excerpt below:

    I do think we have a problem with educational inequality in England but there has been huge efforts in the past 20 years to improve education results here by all political parties. My local schools are much improved and I have to say that my children seem to be getting a better education than I did.
  8. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    So not just America has a problem with parents not doing their job the way malcontents scream "Nobody has a right to tell my kid what to do except me!" when someone else tries to correct the brat for misbehaving.

    Or parents legitimately don't have the time or other problems...

    That or it's another trumped up article to justify the continued downfall of developed countries as the migration to developing ones continues - I mean, they don't need fancy electronics to do things faster and better than the peoples of the developed countries and they make the electronic toys...
  9. Robisan macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2014
    I blame soccer's arrogant, infantile disregard for subject-verb agreement.
  10. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    How do they define literacy in this case? Enough to communicate and idea? Complete mastery of a language? Somewhere in between? IF complete mastery is required, then the English lads have a rough go of it, since English is, hands down, the most difficult language to master.

    Most languages have a well defined structure and the fundamentals are few and easily mastered. English has a billion rules and each rule has a billion exception. He who hasn't written a run on sentence, or split an infinitive, or dangled a participle; let him cast the first stone.:D

    Now being bad at math. There is no excuse for that. English school kids are idiots.:p:p

    It was the complete opposite of when I was a kid. EVERYBODY had the right to correct me. Hail, even my friend's parents were expect to break out the Belt™ if I had a case of sass mouth.:eek: Dad, uncles, grandfathers...every adult had a Belt™.o_O
  11. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
  12. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    descending into the Maelström
  13. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008

  14. colourfastt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2009
    The ASBO army strikes!
  15. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    I think that's an outdated view.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 29, 2016 ---
    Part of the issue is that given the insane price of property in large parts of the country if you grow up poor you have to do insanely well to actually be notably better off that bumbling along in social housing.

    I'm not convinced growing up poor and becoming a teacher would put you ahead.
  16. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    Not surprising, they have all of those unnecessary extra lettours. :p
  17. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    I've been skeptical of these international comparisons for a long time, for several variations on the sample bias theme.

    I should be there in one of those histogram bars. I've taken a lot of standardized tests in all my years, but, I've never been asked to take one of these series of tests (i.e.PISA). Who takes the tests? Who selects the sample of people who take them? http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/january/test-scores-ranking-011513.html

    Many moons ago, I visited some third world countries. One of the things that I always like(d) to do was visit a local bookstore. I've met very well educated people in very poor countries that way, had interesting discussions, and sometimes have seen the textbooks used in local high schools. Perhaps not surprisingly, they sometimes use some very advanced books in some very poor countries. How is this possible? It turns out that kids who attend high school in poor countries are a much smaller fraction of all students, with a much larger fraction of "gifted" students in those high schools. A dumb test comparing average high school students between the U.S., and, a country where only 2% of kids go beyond 8th grade, is going to suffer from sample bias.

    And, immigrants really confound the statistical picture, because you are measuring two very different things-- how well does your system educate all students who grew up with it, and, how many people are there who are taking the test in a second language?
  18. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    My father-in-law had Latin and Greek as required courses at the Jesuit school he attended in the late 40s. I would have loved an opportunity to take Latin.
  19. colourfastt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2009
    The cadre of council-flat chavs going about and collecting ASBOs is an outdated view?
  20. XrayTed macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2014
    UK as is well known has quite a hoard of recent 3rd world "immigrants", I suspect this is the cause - Same thing we'll be hearing from Germany soon.
  21. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    I think anti-social behaviour is much less of an issue than it was.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2016 ---
    No, the underachievers are almost entirely non recent immigrants. Lots of them are white.
  22. Scepticalscribe, Jan 31, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016

    Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    There is more to it than that, however, and more to it than simply smaller numbers attending schools. For what it is worth, I have worked in a few third world countries, and one of the things that has struck me is that education - and people with education, or people who are seen as educated - are highly respected in these societies.

    Education is seen as a means of acquiring knowledge and - of even greater importance - it is also seen as a means of achieving social mobility. Teaching is a profession that is highly respected and the kids who attend school tend to be very motivated and very much want to learn.

    In Kosovo, a decade and a half ago, just after their conflict with Serbia, I spent some time supervising, monitoring and observing elections. Among other public buildings, - such as community halls - we used schools as polling stations.

    One winter's day, I still remember our formal meeting with the Principal in one of the schools we planned to use as a polling station during the elections. A thoughtful and idealistic and hard-working man, he was honoured and showed us around, offering coffee and cakes in his office, and later inviting me to dine in his home.

    Anyway, as I had a background in education, we discussed education, and - with a shy pride - he showed me his meticulous - hand-written timetable, put together on a large chart.

    This showed that the school had three shifts a day - 7.00-11.00, 11.00-15.00, and 15.00-19.00; different students attended class during each shift.

    I was awestruck, at his professional pride, the work rate and fierce dedication of both his staff and himself to educating those kids and at his meticulous hand-written timetable, which ensured that all of the kids managed to have an opportunity to attend school, even though the country had just emerged from a nasty war, and in the schools and towns the electricity supply was sporadic, and heating intermittent and unreliable. Yet the kids were motivated enough to make sure that they attended school.

Share This Page