Thursday, 16 October 2008

Fox News is more balanced than this sort of British reporting

Here in Buenos Aires we get to choose between the hilarious 'fair and balanced' Fox News and BBC World News for our hotel room coverage of the US election and global finance crisis. But then reading some of the British press coverage of domestic news makes Fox seem like an oasis of objectivity. How can you write a report like this which piles assertion upon assertion without giving the readers one basic independent fact, namely that in 1997, only a third of youngsters got five good grades including English and Maths whereas today it is close to half? I'm not saying they shouldn't run the rest of their spin, but there was a time when the Daily Telegraph {which is not alone in this respect} used to give you all the key facts first. No longer.

2 comments:

Alex said...

Only a true fan of the government could read the following line and not smile:

"..in 1997, only a third of youngsters got five good grades including English and Maths whereas today it is close to half"

Schools these days have plenty of options to boost their 5 A-C % without any rise in standards. I know. I teach some of these scams. For example the OCR National in ICT. Supposedly takes 90 hours to teach "1 GCSE's worth" (about half the teaching time of a proper GCSE) but our local authority is telling us we can do it in 60 (and they are right). So our kids get 2-3 GCSE "equivalents" when a few years ago they studied for 180 hours for a single "good pass". Rising standards? I’m not a better teacher than I was 3 years ago and my students are much the same. But now my pupils are racking up multiple “GCSE equivalent passes” in variety of league table boosting options such as DiDA, OCR Nationals and BTECs.

Conor Ryan said...

Alex - that may be boosting the overall 5 A-C grades figure, which is now over 60%, but the figure including English and Maths is a way largely of discounting their impact on GCSE results. That's why I focused on that figure.