Andreas Schleicher, conservative party, ConservativesNI, Grammar Schools, John O'Dowd, Michael Gove, OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education Northern Ireland, Ofsted, PISA, Sir Michael Wilshaw
Yet another of Michael Gove’s poor choice of heroes, Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has been pushed forward to launch a war on the parental right to have their children educated according to their philosophical convictions.
The Observer http://www.observer.co.uk front page on Sunday 15th December, 2013 announced;
Ofsted chief declares war on grammar schools
It should be made clear that Michael Wilshaw did not launch the attack alone. He has the support of the Conservative leadership in the form of Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education in England.
Last week Michael Gove met with the leader of Kent council, Paul Carter and made it clear that he would not approve the expansion of grammar school provision in Kent. Gove claimed he would be “genuinely open” to another application in coming months – after the European elections no doubt.
Sir Michael Wilshaw went even further though and stated unequivocally that he would not support the expansion of grammar schools.
Both men are linked in their support for the OECD Pisa tests used to create international comparisons of education systems. Both men have failed to explain with facts their position given that the Pisa rankings have been shown to be fundamentally flawed and useless.
If Michael Gove and Sir Michael Wilshaw have a rebuttal they should publish their answer and make it available to Dr Hugh Morrison, Professor Svend Kreiner and David Spiegelhalter for comment. Mr Gove should also make contact with Diane Ravitch education policy analyst and former United States Asst Secretary for Education and author of Reign of Error
OECD Pisa have attempted to link academic selection and the existence of grammar schools to the UK’s “poor rankings”.
This report, OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment, was commissioned by another of Michael Gove’s dear friends, Sinn Fein Education Minister in Northern Ireland, John O’Dowd.
There is no doubt that the Conservative Party would be delighted to have the thorn of pushy parents and their demand for new grammar school places disappear before the next elections but pushing Sir Michael Wilshaw out to begin their war will result in immediate casualties.
The silence from the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland on the attack on grammar schools will cause problems. Michael Gove must rebut his critics with facts or withdraw his support for Andreas Schleicher and the flawed OECD Pisa rankings.
He must then surrender to the will of parents and voters on the issue of grammar schools otherwise the Conservative Party will pay at the ballot box.