I think that the current British Government are seeking to emulate the worst travesties present in the US system. This is largely because emulating the best practice in more successful education systems will cost money and as such is the last thing they are likely to do.
I disagree the free schools and academies freedom from following the National Curriculum is not a move towards standardised testing. What it does is give them licence to not teach subjects that they view as peripheral (arts, Design and Technology, Food Technology, RE etc) which is likely to lead on more focus on the subjects that are EBAC subjects. This is likely to result in more standardisation of the curriculum and a significant narrowing of the curriculum. it also allows them to opt out of certain subjects that require expensive specialist rooms or equipment.
The governments decision that Qualified Teacher Status is not needed is a nonsense that can only harm children. It is an attack on the teaching profession and a transparent attempt to worsen teachers pay and conditions and make our ineffectual unions even less effective. It also proves that all their rhetoric about raising the status of the profession was nothing more than a lie.
Their making the process for sacking poor teachers part of the performance management process is ill conceived and makes a poor, meaningless process significantly worse. Their constant teacher bashing displays a dislike of and contempt for the profession that fits in with their decision to allow academies and free schools to employ unqualified teachers.
Sadly there are a large number of teachers that appear to be enthusiastic about the worst of these changes and are determined to be the turkeys that vote for Christmas.
There are those that support performance related pay and local pay bargaining because they for some reason believe these will result in them getting paid more.
There are those career-oriented types that vocally support any nonsense that is introduced without first engaging their brains and looking at it. So desperate are they to appear on message they will endorse any old nonsense and try to make us all embrace it too. When I think of the amount of money that has gone from our schools into the hands of private companies for all kinds of nonsense I despair.
My main concern is that government policy flies in the face of their stated aims.
They say they want to give schools more autonomy:
They say they want to raise the status of the profession:
They say they want to support teachers with behaviour issues:
I think that all of these moves are a prelude to privatisation and the creation of a two tier system. The creation of academies once past a certain number of academies will make national pay bargaining impossible. The removal of national pay bargaining is an essential step for the right in the march towards privatisation.