back to article Trainee teachers score F all in maths tests

The LibDems have proposed that the government take advantage of mass layoffs in the City to boost the country’s increasingly innumerate teaching profession. The third party has uncovered government figures that show “increasing numbers of trainee teachers are having to resit basic maths tests” which are a pre-requisite for entry …

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Anonymous Coward

teachers eh

When at school myself, (less than 10 years ago), i did a-level economics.

After many problems with the teaching the class as a whole (with parental support) managed to get the teacher to sit the mock exam with us...... she got an E !!!!

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Happy

"We should draft the City’s leftovers into the education system..."

"... presumably to teach maths, economics and geography."

Thank you El Reg, I genuinely guffawed out loud at this without needing to read the explicit trainee paragraph that followed it.

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Best laugh all week, but it's still only Tuesday

Bloody brilliant idea. If the city's wankers could add up then maybe the banks wouldn't be in such a mess. Best leave them to retrain as plumbers.

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Alert

As they say...

Those that can, do.

Those that can't, teach!

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Anonymous Coward

Lib Dems hopelessly optimistic

Assuming that many of these boys can add up, even in a creative way. Far too many arts graduates as it is still mainly about getting on with people rather than maths.

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Dead Vulture

Can we have _all_ the numbers please

It's interesting that a report on maths tests is surprisingly light on numbers that actually mean anything.

Come on el Reg, you can do better than this: if the average number of tests for Maths teachers was 2 in 2001 and is now 2.4, and the average number of tests for literacy was 3 in 2001 and is now 3.48 (which would fit in with the figures), it could still demonstrate how the teaching profession is stuffed full of English graduates unable to get jobs as poets. And also that the number of extra tests is 0.4 per maths teacher and 0.48 per social science graduate, which I'm presuming is the same pool from which journalists are drawn ;)

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Just goes to prove the old saying...

If you can't do, teach.

What is being reported here is that:

1. Teachers who can't do maths are on the rise.

2. Teachers who can't do English are on the rise.

3. The solution is to employ cast-off people who couldn't do the maths to stop the economy going *ping* and have been sacked as a result.

Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children???

Perhaps if you want standards to rise in schools, it's time to start making the teaching profession an appealing career option to encourage the better academics to become teachers.

I for one see nothing appealing about the job of teaching (my mother was a teacher and the amount of abuse she used to talk about 20 years ago was bad enough, let alone how it is now)

Until people can be encouraged that it is a good job, you will continue to get the "can't do" grade of educators as the "can do" will continue to look for jobs with greater prospects, remuneration and respect.

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Anonymous Coward

Explanation

For those that haven't seen this

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x684wa_the-last-laugh-george-parr-subprime

Full link because I can't get to tinyurl

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Math problem Number 1

You are bank A, you don't have any money so you take a loan from another bank B.

You give out the money from your loan to other people who have no way of paying the money back. You business grows so you give youself a huge bonus, the stock markets gamble on your business growing and give themselves huge bonuses.

You realise that the people you gave money too can't pay back the loans, so you cannot pay back bank B, you decide to borrow more money from Bank B with the idea that you can lend this to out to more people so that hopefully some of them will start paying it back. You give youself another huge bonus for such a great idea. Bank B then stops loaning money.

How much money is in the system.

a) Lots. So lets have another bonus

b) F*** all.

c) Who cares the govenrment will bail us out, and then I'll get another cosy position when it all picks up again.

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possibly drawing the wrong conclusions

I'm not saying this is the case, but teachers getting thicker is not the only way to interpret this. it could be that test failures are up, because what is being taught as maths is so far removed from what the teachers consider maths they can't relate. From the examples I've seen recently i probably wouldn't pass tests on the joke that is being taught as science.

As for getting people in city jobs to become teachers, good luck with that! How many of them would want to put up with a load of feral little sh*ts all day.

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I wonder what sort oft maths questions they'd set?

Tarquin's bought his house with a £2.5million mortgage. It is now worth 73% of what it was when he bought it. He has a fleet of Porsche's worth £42,995 each. How many will he have to sell to make up the negative equity?

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Unhappy

fuck fuck fuck...

This whole recession thing is just getting depressing! It's like a giant sign hanging above my head saying 'you should've got a job 3 years ago instead of starting a phd'. Now I'm probably going to have to do a postdoc just to let some time go by over which (hopefully) the economy will recover. That or join the soon to be masses queuing to become the next one-under. Neither fill me with delight.

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As someone who has taken these test...

I can attest that they were a piece of piss.

The IT tests are just as bad - I managed to carry out all of the application process online and yet when I started I had to do a test to show that I could send an email and use the internet.

If the average literacy of people in this country was the same as the average numeracy, the Times Literary Supplement would be a four page spread on Peter & Jane books and Spot the Dog.

See bank. See bank run. Run, bank. Run!

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Mean While on Planet Earth!

WTF !!!! You work in the city and earn £100+ a year you have a huge morgage, you become a teacher and earn 20K a year...... HELLO McFLY ......... do the maths lib dems before you start tis utter rubbish. Since the Lib Dems don't have any power why don't they do some teaching instead of the preaching.

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Joke

Anyone remember

The teacher sketches in "Armstrong and Miller"?

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Boffin

Re: Mean While on Planet Earth!

Hmm - where to start on this one.

You USED to work in the city on £100,000+ (£100+ - if you were working there maybe). Most likely your mortgage is already paid off or you were renting a swanky apartment close to the Square Mile. Now you earn £0 a year and can go do some worthwhile vocational work for £20K instead.

The £100K+ salaries and unjustifiable bonuses were the problem, so sending these guys back to school for a nice reality-check would be welcomed greatly by those of us who have lost thousands in savings and investments.

If I even get 10% of mine back I'll donate the lot to the Lib Dems if they could somehow pull that off.

@Steve - your literacy fears are confirmed by the comment I've just mentioned. That depresses me more than this media-fuelled recession.

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Advanced Maths

Well, at least they'd be able to do complex numbers, given that there's a lot of imaginary stuff involved.

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@ Pete

"The £100K+ salaries and unjustifiable bonuses were the problem"

errrrr no they weren't

The problem was playing pass the parcel with the debt, just hoping it wouldn't go bang in your hands.

As much as it erks the rest of the population, earning big piles of money is probably good for the economy. People with lots of money usually spend it and that employs lots of other people.

The problem was the disassociation of risk and reward. When banks lent people their own (the bank's) money and then owned the debt they tended to only lend money that was likely to be paid back. When it became possible for one bank to lend out another banks money to people who weren't ever likely to pay it back, and didn't face any risk in operating like this then that was a problem.

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Anagram for liberal

Is Braille!

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Paris Hilton

So where is Wacky Jacky...

....when you need her?

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@Dazed and Confused

>just hoping it wouldn't go bang in your hands

And by that you reckon the high salaries plus bonuses were justified?

The whole world and is dog can play pass the parcel and hope. Maybe they should have been playing musical chairs instead.

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@ @Dazed and Confused

"The whole world and is dog can play pass the parcel and hope. Maybe they should have been playing musical chairs instead."

No, that's Whitehall game.

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Gotta love the envy

Why is it whenever this sort of thing comes out we get the standard "The £100K+ salaries and unjustifiable bonuses were the problem".

Dream on, you obviously have never worked in the sector and know precious little about it. Plenty of lower down, non-trading workers were earning this kind of wage.

What you're probably referring to are the 200k+ salaries and astronomical bonuses given for a theoretical unrealised profit reliant on incorrectly priced risk where the reward scheme encourages ever more extravagant practices.

Let's also no forget who borrowed the money and can't pay it back (the public) and who failed to regulate the credit business - Governments, ergo it's fitting they pick up the tab for allowing the shit to happen. Any twat can tell you self-regulation doesn't work. Government got side-tracked by the whole thing because the money was rolling in from all angles. Not any more though.

If you're going to have a snipe at least know what you're talking about as bitter words based on mainstream media education mean precious little. The World is full of journalists that love to write all sorts about finance but general know FA.

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Respect for the teachers...

Would be nice to have. Results are consistently higher when students don't despise the teacher as a low-life who couldn't get a proper job.

I'm all for higher selection in hiring new teachers!

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Anonymous Coward

I say we replace the teachers

Look all you need is the curriculum, and 100% exams.

So, we could develop software designed to show the curriculum and ask questions about it, voila no need for meat teachers.

People could power thru' the qualifications, not being held back by the meat teachers, and able to go at their own pace.

We convert the schools into night clubs, gambling dens, and houses of some type of repute, rejuvenating the economy.

Just remember folks that hell is someone else trying to teach you something.

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Anonymous Coward

I wouldn't be a teacher...

...even though I was once a qualified tertiary-level lecturer. Not because I don't like the job (I actually relate quite well to children), but because I am male. Being male means being under a constant cloud of paedophilic suspicion, and it only needs one nasty-minded little brat to make a false allegation and you can kiss your career, your reputation and your social standing goodbye. Maybe if the feminist man-hating ideology that pervades our society and the associated ongoing paedophile witch-hunt were to be allayed, I might consider switching professions and going back to teaching, but the way things are right now, it's not going to happen.

I wonder how many eminently qualified men are shying away from teaching for the same reason?

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Go

Try it yourself

I did my skills tests and passed them all first time. The actual tests were significantly easier than the practice tests. I have since left school teaching and now do adult education.

TRY IT YOURSELF:

http://www.tda.gov.uk/skillstests/numeracy/practicematerials.aspx

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Go

I for one...

would like to welcome our 'Shadow Children' underlings...

They sound far more pleasant than the yobs/chavs round here..

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Coat

Teachers failed the test 20,000 times?

Fuck me that's a lot of resits.

Seriously, after the first 10,000 attempts they really ought to give it up as a bad job.

And how long was the exam?!

Maths - Piss Easy Level - 22 October 2008 12:00

Please show your working.

Q1. 2 + 2 =

End of Exam

FAIL

Maths - Piss Easy Level - 22 October 2008 12:30

Please show your working.

Q1. 2 + 2 =

End of Exam

FAIL

Maths - Piss Easy Level - 22 October 2008 13:00

Please show your working.

Q1. 2 + 2 =

End of Exam

FAIL

Etc, etc 19000 more times.

Mine's the one with the scientific calculator in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IT Tests

I know what the other poster mentioned about IT tests.

Originally when I applied to my current employer I got asked all sorts of things, Networking, Exchange servers, backup policies, Active Directory etc.

I went for an internal post on another section providing technical support. I was asked 3 questions: How do you map a network drive? How do you find your ip address? Do you know how to ping ?...

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Anonymous Coward

teachers? what're they then?

The problem is that the goverment doesn't want teachers - hasn't done for years - it wants mindless drones prepared to spaff out the national curriculum and spoon feed kids through their SATs/GCSEs and not encourage any kind of critical thinking or analysis. Kids are taught to nod their heads, eat shit and not question their masters. Free-thinkers are dangerous.

The last thing the teaching profession needs is more "fallback teachers" who're only doing the job because they failed in the business world, who don't want to be there and have no desire to actually teach. Unfortunately that's exactly the kind of "teachers" this government (and the last one near the end for that matter) seems to want.

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Coat

@teachers? what're they then

rant/

Now I'm usually not an opponent of encouraging creative and free-thinking in our 'yoof' but the whole problem is because teachers have been teaching by this method more and more for the past 25 years. Trouble is, the basics don't require critical thinking or analysis. Times-tables aren't open for negotiation, spelling doesn't need to be analysed (unless you go to university and study some language science type thing), it just needs to be done right. It needs to be taught by teachers that can do it and encouraged by parents who aren't too useless to get off their fat arses and interact positlively with their kids.

Get the basics, then at least you can do your analysis and creative thinking with some basis of validity and not just disguising terminal ignorance as free-thinking bollocks.

/rant

Free think all you want, just pass me my coat first please, attendant.

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"And If You Direct Your Attention To The X-Axis, You'll Find I Have No Idea What I'm Talking About"

This teacher must be one of 'em:

http://www.theonion.com/content/opinion/and_if_you_direct_your

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Happy

so to follow this to a logical end

People who can't do computing are top management and

People who don't understand databases and security are government?

'Bout got that right now, innit?

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Unhappy

@Sooty

teachers getting thicker

Blimey, tell the blighters to stop eating so much.

@Dazed and Confused - People with lots of money usually spend it

That only works if it's a large portion of the population and not just the top 1%; and especially not to them if they're only money grabbing, fake-paper writing / passing investment types.

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