At Last: Gove Goes For the Culture of Excuses
Davies Giddy MP, 1807
“The academic, subject-based curriculum is a middle-class creation . . . whose effect, if not intention, has been to make it difficult for many children not from a middle-class background to adjust to a highly academic school culture.”
Professor John White, 2007
Although two centuries and the political spectrum divide these two quotations, they are united in an important sense: both deny the ability of poor children to benefit from an academic education. The first quotation comes from a Tory MP speaking against the 1807 Parochial Schools bill. The second comes from a man at the heart of today’s education establishment, an emeritus professor at the Institute of Education, University of London. His is a different sort of bigotry, one that comes with the gentle inflection of liberal sympathy, but is no less socially damaging. “The soft bigotry of low expectations” is a phrase many, including the Education Secretary Michael Gove, have used to describe such thinking.
Read the full article on the Standpoint website here.