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Desc:David Mitchell quickly sums up most of what's wrong with education
Category:Classic TV Clips, Educational
Tags:BBC, education, david mitchell, mock the week
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Comment count is 16
nonplusplus - 2013-07-06
That sums up approximately none of the things that are wrong with education.
CIWB - 2013-07-06
Counterpoint: yeah, it does.

HarrietTubmanPI - 2013-07-06
Then you nothing about the current education system in America - which is doing exactly this with standardized tests, and are putting all of their eggs in the one basket of standardized testing.

But I guess the video isn't prancercising, so ME CLEVER YOU CLEVER

Oscar Wildcat - 2013-07-06
Now don't go dragging poor prancerciser into this, she didn't do nothing.

Old_Zircon - 2013-07-06
It's not like standardize tests are any less harmful if they're harder. They're completely useless and counterproductive no matter what. So yeah, -1 for him implying that if they were more challenging they'd somehow actually work.

takewithfood - 2013-07-06
I thought part of what he's saying is that they're masking the fact that kids are failing these tests by making them easier and easier to pass - that way nobody finds out that education standards are continually slipping.

memedumpster - 2013-07-06
How is reality not testable on a standard?

Bort - 2013-07-06
While it's true that we're relying overly much on standardized tests in the US, there are a number of deeper issues, such as inequitable funding of schools, crappy teacher wages, overemphasis on sports, and the slashing of "unimportant" curricula such as the arts (and that's just off the top of my head). David Mitchell could possibly be expressing what's wrong with the British school system -- maybe -- but it's woefully insufficient to explain what's wrong with American schools.

HarrietTubmanPI - 2013-07-06
Because education is different from standardized tests.

If you teach some child how to multiply numbers and to figure out what the product of any two numbers are, they can multiply any numbers they want. If you only teach them the multiplication tables (because that's all that there is on a test), then they won't learn.

Standardized tests are usually never open ended or consisting of essay questions unless you make it to AP level courses in high school. The majority of standardized tests are easy multiple choice exams where all or none of a school's funding comes from. Pass the standard test with flying colors? You get more money! Fail it, you get less money and you don't get that upgrade to your computer lab that is still using Pentiums with MMX technology.

Of course since we can't afford to have children sit in school year after year until they are 20, we might as well make sure an equal number pass every year, so we make the standardized tests simpler so we can get them off of the government tit.

If you 'educate' someone for a test, all the student will do is memorize answers. They won't know WHY or HOW something works, or be educated enough to know any real detail about anything.

Now, it's good to have educational standards, like making sure a child knows how fundamental science works, or can read and write to a certain standard, but a standardized test graded electronically by a scantron machine will never catch that. It's up for the individual teacher to test the individual student in whatever way they can to see if they are learning or if they are failing.

And, if they do fail, then LET THEM FAIL so they can keep trying until they can get it right.

Of course, this also doesn't touch base on lazy parents who don't bother to check to see if their kids are getting an education because they don't have one themselves and BOOK LARNIN NEVER DID NO DID GOOD ME NUN, but that's a societal problem anyway. If children want to learn, they'll learn with or without their idiotic parents.

HarrietTubmanPI - 2013-07-06
Bort - but it's a start. If you were aware of the administrative crap that teachers had to go through just to do their jobs, which they like to change year after year, and all of the extra overtime (read: unpaid) work that teachers have to do to keep up with the legal paperwork and administrative fluff that's got nothing to do with actually teaching students...

Or aware of the many teachers who teach kids who have no parental oversight whatsoever, so if the teacher tells a kid to do their homework, the parent can now sue them and the teacher can lose their job. If the teacher loses patience with an unruly brat and calls them a name because they're mad, then they can be sued and lose their job over it.

An idiotic public elects an idiotic school board consisting of idiotic citizens who then put in administrators who get paid 5 times the salary of a teacher and who love to do nothing more than to create more red tape and more paperwork so they can feel powerful and important.

Granted, David Mitchell didn't touch base on all of the problems with american education, but he only had a minute, and he was talking about Britain.

There's a good parallel here though.

Bort - 2013-07-06
I have more than an idea, between a family full of teachers and too many friends' families that are the very shitty parents you describe. David Mitchell may have had only 30 seconds to work with, but he sounded no more informed than the guy at the bar who really has no idea and blames it all on lazy teachers.

cognitivedissonance - 2013-07-07
David Mitchell has a degree in History from Cambridge, so I suspect he may have some sort of sense of scale not being attributed to him during his comic monologue he did as a comedian, for money.

I will not let you talk about my Fantasy Comedy Husband like that.

That guy - 2013-07-07
Needs 'unexpected debate' tag.

Bort - 2013-07-07
Fair enough, David was most likely shooting for this "comedy" thing you speak of, and that gives him grounds to pare the situation down to the most workable joke. But I'm not on the side that thinks his joke carries insight.

Still better than "South Park", where they really do believe simplistic bullshit.

Aelric - 2013-07-07
On one hand, this IS true, where schools care about a high score on an easy test before real results because that means more funding flows in, but on the other hand, most average peoples (i.e. parents) suggestions are to forgo testing altogether and make it an even easier A+ hippie love fest where everyone passes and the teachers become toothless, and those parents are winning, because they scream so loud that their dime-a-dozen dumbass kid is so fucking special and infallible that it must be our fault he can't figure out how to add whole numbers or read anything in proper, non-texting English longer than a paragraph despite being 17.

The Worst thing in education these days are not the kids, it's not the fund standards. Those things are problems but not nearly as much as the real root of it all: parents that refuse to believe failure could spring from their loins and then puts him in a feel-good charter school so he can get a crocodile sticker for his spelling test.
nonplusplus - 2013-07-07
"failure springs from their loins" tag?
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