One of the more interesting and promising features of the Jeremy Corbyn Labour Party leadership years was the way in which a parliamentary opposition with a set of alternative policies was able to moderate and modify government policy without itself being able to enact legislation. It was able to promote greater public exposure of these … Continue reading What future is there for the British Labour Party?
This article is published Feb 2020 in 'Significance' - the Royal Statistical Society journal In public discourse it has become common to claim that a programme or policy is “evidence informed”. Indeed, it is often felt sufficient merely to state that a particular decision is “evidence informed”, rather than describing the nature and … Continue reading The role of evidence in public policy making
As if a further example of the futility of appeasement were needed, another has surfaced over the issue of MP Chris Williamson’s suspension from the Labour Party over, as it turns out, his rather pertinent remark that the Party had been ‘too apologetic about antisemitism’. As I have argued in previous posts, the Party’s approach … Continue reading Evidence, its abuses and antisemitism…an addendum.
Evidence and its abuses in public life: the case of antisemitism Current concerns about the use of evidence in public debates are very much focussed around so called fake news (i.e. lies that ignore evidence) and there is considerable debate among the ‘providers’ of evidence, broadly speaking the scientific community, about how to deal … Continue reading The abuse of evidence in public debates
In the continuing debate about the extent of antisemitism in Britain, arguably the most obvious feature is the lack of good evidence to support the views of most commentators. I have already commented on that in a previous blog that was largely concerned with allegations against the Labour party. Leaving that aside, there has also … Continue reading The extent of antisemitism in Britain
The current pitiful state of mainstream political debate within the UK is hardly news – one has to look no further than the machinations over Brexit to realise that sad fact. Yet, rivalling even that debacle, is the way in which various politicians and interested parties have sought to utilise allegations of antisemitism within … Continue reading Where is the Antisemitism?
The publication of a new consultation document on the future of OFSTED school inspections raises concerns about its approach to inspection that have in fact been around for some time (https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/education-inspection-framework-2019-inspecting-the-substance-of-education ). This commentary reiterates them in the light of this new consultation. A reading of the foreword by the chief inspector Amanda Spielman appears … Continue reading The role of OFSTED – a critique of OFSTED’s consultation
There is still an argument about whether school league tables, despite their well-known side effects, actually improve the performance of pupils by ‘holding schools to account’. This is despite careful analysis of extensive data collected by Government on all pupils in England via the National Pupil Dataset (NPD) and details can be found at http://cmm/team/hg/full-publications/2011/predicting-probabilities-school-choice.pdf … Continue reading Do league tables really improve test scores?
For over a decade OECD has been promoting its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) as a robust means of comparing the performance of educational systems in a range of countries. The latest results of tests on 15 year olds was published early in December and the British government, along with many others in Europe … Continue reading PISA and Public Policy
The trend towards private schoolinghas largely been a phenomenon of industrialised country education systems,starting with Charter schools in the USA and spreading to other countries such as England where Government policyannounced in 2016 is to convert all schools into ‘academies’ run by so-calledmulti-academy chains. In these systems the commercial returns fromprivatisation is often indirect, being expressed … Continue reading The role of private school chains in Africa