Relentless: The Death March to Educational Excellence – sample

Considering dysfunction in our primary schools

Boys and Girls, your school is not well.

How, in the light of all our ambitions, have our primary schools become so stressed and dysfunctional? And why have the various fixes and improvements ended up having the opposite effect from the intention?

Here we address this topic by casting wide the net of causality and see what we can haul in. The intent is serious, for this is a serious issue, although the methods are whimsical. Indeed, much of the nonsense which blights the institution is only worthy of mockery.

Mockery; allow me to oblige.

Other book samples: Targets | Shirley Clarke: Specialist in Failure

Curriculum for Excellence: Celebrating Achievement

The brick collected from the bottom of the pool
the float made from trousers, and a classmate rescued
and pumped dry as per training.

After eight weeks practice, the recognition;
lined up pool-side for the society’s representative
to personally shake our hands.

The ‘Well done!’ and accompanying badge
reinforced two weeks later at assembly
with a name-bearing medal handed

out personally in a little ceremony overseen
by our colonel head-teacher.
Public recognition of our achievement.

Glory feels like this in 1969.

Nearly fifty years later, the same children
leave the pool at the last session to,… nothing.
The society’s representative replaced

by an internet link by which (eventually)
allowed the class teacher to download a certificate
which they can print out in their own time

to be given out when you find the time,
or whenever! Who cares anyway?
The magic link by which

a real success was recognised by a neutral
whose presence exclusively confirms
the achievement, broken and gone.

The gloire clouded over by the cloud
of the internet.
The VIP line-up replaced by a download link.

Glory feels like this in 2014.

Degrading the achievement when
you degrade the ceremony and
societal approbation denuded of value.

So many false distinctions rewarded weekly
and this real one rationalised to oblivion,
this is how we celebrate achievement in our end of days.

Here’s the link to download a PhD, by the way.