John O’Dowd of Sinn Fein exhibits his practiced ignorance over the 11-plus transfer test while commenting on the AQE promoted replacement. If the transfer test fails to meet internationally recognised and accepted standards, including those of validity and reliability, why does Mr O’Dowd, his party Sinn Fein and the vast myriad of anti-academic selection protesters not legally challenge the transfer test in a British court prior to its use again in November?  Why has he not insisted that NFER, DENI and CCEA stop the “abuse of children” over the past number of years with immediate effect? After all the Minister and her officials pay for the conduct of the tests.

Mr O’Dowd and a long list of other evangelists opposed to equality of opportunity are attempting to foist their failed ideology upon parents and children unwilling to accept the imposition of comprehensive schooling.

One only need look at the low numbers of pupils from the “enriched curriculum” schools of the Shankill Road entered for the transfer test to see the real harmful effect of the new curriculum.  Clearly teachers don’t want to see their work measured by attainment results. Sinn Fein claim concern for the Protestant disadvantaged community but seem determined to further disadvantage their most vulnerable members through unethical experimentation. O’Dowd should be insisting on good numeracy and literacy teaching for all pupils in primary schools and holding to account those who fail to deliver. Less experimentation and more hard work.

For all the weasle words surrounding academic selection one fact remains immutable : If you’re not in – you can’t win John.

 

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