Stories from the education system (April 7, 2012)

Brazilian schoolchildren wearing micro-chips, teens jailed for food fight, middle-school students with reading skills of five-year-olds, and teachers rewriting homework answers for higher exam scores 

Photo: Four Michigan teens jailed for food fight

Tales of incompetent educators,  short-sighted policies, and the general failure of the public education system

DALLAS, April 7, 2012 — The headline from Daily Mail UK reads: Secondary school calls in primary teacher to solve its reading crisis as pupils have abilities of a FIVE-year-old

A secondary school in Britain has been forced to recruit a primary school teacher due to the fact that so many of its pupils have the reading and writing abilities of five-year-olds.

Liz Atwood is teaching students between the ages of 11 and 13 at Sirius Academy using picture books designed for youngsters barely out of nursery school. She is working with 38 children in Year Seven and 24 from Year Eight, around 10 per cent of the pupils in those age groups. According to the Daily Mail, Nick Seaton, of the Campaign for Real Education, praised the initiative at the academy school but criticized standards at primary level. ‘

Children should be learning stuff like this when they are five or six, not 11 and 12, Seaton chided.

It’s good to know that there are people out there like Seaton to remind us of these things.

From the Daily Blaze, Michigan, High School Food Fight Lands Four Teens In Jail with Misdemeanors

Apparently, school discipline is getting so bad that the only way to get kids’ attention is to send them to jail for a day or two. WXYZ reports that a Monroe high school food fight on March 27 ended with several students being arrested and others suspended. The students who were arrested walked into court Wednesday in handcuffs and striped jail uniforms after spending the night in jail.

“Food fight. Going to jail for a food fight? Are you serious?” said 16-year-old Corey Long, who was among the suspended students. In a statement, Superintendent Craig said the school will not tolerate this type of behavior, claiming that damage done to the property and potential for student injury is what caused us to treat this more seriously than just some cafeteria horseplay.

Sometimes, you just have to call the cops.

Back to Britain where the Daily Mail reports that a Survey finds teachers bend rules to boost students’ exam scores

A new poll, released by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, reveals that many teachers are willing to sacrifice academic excellence in order to maintain high ratings. The survey questioned 512 teachers, and lecturers working in state-funded and independent primary and secondary schools, academies and colleges in England.

The Daily Mail reports that almost 40 per cent of those surveyed admitted the ‘overwhelming pressure’ to ensure that pupils achieve good grades ‘could compromise their professionalism’.

These admissions follow an undercover newspaper investigation that discovered some teachers paid up to £230 a day to attend seminars with chief examiners, during which they were advised on exam questions and even the wording pupils should use to get higher marks. One state teacher said, I know of an exam meeting where it was strongly hinted which topics would come up in the exam. I was glad my school was there but I felt sorry for those that were not.

Another said: We don’t go to many exam seminars because we can’t afford it. We probably lose out to those who can.

Some of the teachers admitted to fiddling with exam scores. A primary school teacher owned, I have been forced to manipulate results so that levels of progress stay up.

88 per cent of those polled said the pressure to get pupils through exams prevented the teaching of a broad and balanced curriculum, while 73 per cent claimed it had a detrimental effect on the quality of teaching. 71 per cent said it affected the standard of learning.

The Associated Press, Brazil, reports that 43,000 Brazilian children will be required to wear locator chips on their uniforms

Schools in northern Brazil are now embedding their uniforms with locator chips that allow the tracking and monitoring of their students. Radio frequency chips in “intelligent uniforms” let a computer know when children enter school and it sends a text message to their cell phones.

Parents are also alerted if kids don’t show up 20 minutes after classes begin with the following message: Your child has still not arrived at school.  By 2013, all of the city’s 43,000 public school students, aged 4 to 14, will be using the chip-embedded T-shirts, Secretary Coriolano Moraes said. 

“I believe we may be setting a trend because we have received many requests from all over Brazil for information on how our system works,” he said.

The chips, similar to those used to track pets in many countries, are placed underneath each school’s coat-of-arms or on one of the sleeves. The T-shirts, can be washed and ironed without damaging the chips, explained Moraes, adding that the chips have a “security system that makes tampering virtually impossible.”

A history buff, self-taught artist, and enthusiastic autodidact, Bryana brings her always politically incorrect and usually passionate views about politics and the theory of government to her readers. In addition to writing for the TWTC, she also writes for The College Conservative and maintains the official High Tide Journal at You can also find her on twitter at @HighTideJournal and on facebook.

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Bryana Johnson

Passionate about liberty, and the theory of government, Bryana serves as the vice president of a local political club and reports on political happenings around the globe.
In addition to her political activities, Bryana has won prizes in multiple poetry contests and her first poetry collection, Having Decided To Stay, was released in 2012. She writes regularly about the good life, literature and the world’s great Lover over at You can follow her on twitter at @_Bryana_Johnson and on facebook. 

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