Unions against ‘pay per sitting’ entrance exams…

It looks like some of Catriona Ruane’s external consensus building is paying off. Both the major teaching Unions in Northern Ireland are forming up against any proposals to run Grammar School tests and charge parents for their cost.

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  • k

    As a teacher, the fact that seems to get lost in this debate is that we nearly all support Ruane’s position on the 11 plus. Unionist politicians might support its retention as part of their efforts to maintain the class divide, much to the detriment of their own community, but an overwhelming majority of teachers support Ruane.
    Her problem is that, while we agree that the 11 plus should be scrapped, she has failed to outline in detail, the alternative and unfortunately the devil is very much in the detail!
    Area based selection seems logical but how would it function in reality in a town like Newry? We have 4 grammar schools, all within a mile of each other. They all chose from the same catchment areas of Newry, S.Down, S.Armagh and N.Louth.
    How will we differentiate between them? And I can guarantee that there will be fierce opposition from the Newry schools if they are told that the children of the Catholic middle class Doctors and lawyers in Rostrevor will now have to go to the nearest schools in Warrenpoint and Kilkeel.
    We know what the problem is but what is the solution?

  • willowfield

    Both the major teaching Unions in Northern Ireland are forming up against any proposals to run Grammar School tests and charge parents for their cost.

    Hardly a surprise, given that the unions are opposed to academic selection.

  • Delta Omega

    k

    on what basis do you claim that “an overwhelming majority of teachers support Ruane”. Most that I talk to (and there are four in my family circle alone) must fall into your minority. Ruane is a disaster – incompetent, unbelievable and downright laughable.

  • Ned

    Absolutely sickening.

    Teachers are public servants. As such, it is their job to implement the type of education system upon which elected politicans decide.

    As public servants, they have a right to a voice over issues such as health & safety, their own pay & conditions etc.

    However, they should absolutely not be wading into the debate on the type of education system that we have. They are there to serve and implement the wishes of the tax-paying electorate, not to charge into the debating attempting to foist their views on us all.

  • Essentialist

    Mick,
    Your comment on consensus building is either incredibly naive or an attempt by the forth estate to further the pretence of the possibility of compromise.There is no possible compromise in this matter in much the same way, as suggested by Churchill, between the arsonist and the firefighter.
    The teachers’ unions sat on Burns and Costello. This education chaos is down to them as much as Ruane. If you were not aware then may I suggest a little background reading.
    This isn’t a matter for grammar schools or politicans to decide this is about the rights of parents. Imposing comprehensive education infringes those rights. Surely you understand this?

  • Mick Fealty

    Is that true? Arguably too much focus on pay and conditions has pushed the TUs out of the picture. Greater focus on the ‘how’ of the delivery of education would give them a more powerful input to the policy making cycle.

    Once the political problem of selective education had been externalised, it’s hard to see why the unions would and should not have become involved.

    That’s not even coming to the fact that there is no clear direction coming from government.

  • Essentialist

    The TU’s are in this progressivist, constructivist change agenda up to their necks. One reason for their support for proposed changes is the removal of measurement and accountability. Perhaps what is required in schools is the introduction of the equivalent of a “Matron” ,a la heath service, to erradicate the MRSA and C. Difficile equivalents poisoning our children’s education health. The Inspectorate are not up to that job as evidenced by their evaluation of the enriched curriculum.

  • Essentialist

    K.

    Teachers against doctors and lawyers. I know who i’m backing on this one.
    A return to acceptance that the 11-plus works is the solution. How simple.

  • Garibaldy

    “The TU’s are in this progressivist, constructivist change agenda up to their necks. One reason for their support for proposed changes is the removal of measurement and accountability.”

    Nonsense. In fact, errant nonsense. As is the idea that professional educators should not be expressing opinions as to how children should be taught.

  • Mick Fealty

    Essentialist:

    “Imposing comprehensive education infringes those rights. Surely you understand this?”

    No, but I am willing to listen. I’m not sure this is going to be a zero sum game. In some ways it cannot be. The DUP ultimately hold the power of veto over ‘constructive’ changes proposed by SF (by which braodly I mean additionality to what is already there). But they cannot stop ‘destructive’ (or subtractional) change.

    In practice, a compromise might entail retention of a hard core of grammars, and the introduction of a comprehensive-lite system like that in Craigavon.

    Is it the best of all worlds? As your chuchillian aphorism indicates, no. Push the Grammars out and you effectively privatise top line education and dirve a deeper wedge between the working class and middle classes.

    As my Brassneck colleague Elizabeth notes:

    “The OECD’s latest PISA rankings show that the UK has a comparatively large gap between higher and lower performing students. Independent schools now dominate league tables and entrance to elite universities. The proportion of parents who would send their children to a private school if they could afford it has increased by 9 percentage points in the past four years.”

    That’s a continuing trend in Britain. And whilst the abolition of Grammars likely only one of several factors (the sale of council houses, I suspect is another). What we have on our hands is an ideological squabble in which the last thing to be considered is the consequences (intended or otherwise) of wholesale reform..

  • Garibaldy

    Do you think Mick we would see the development of a huge fee-paying school culture in NI? I’m not so sure we would. The amount of money involved in establishing them and their reputations would be huge, and most likely unsustainable. As Ross McKibbin argues in the LRB, the mistake Labour made was not eradicating the public schools when creating the comprehensive system.

  • Essentialist

    Mick,
    The DUP inflate their importance in preventing constructivist change.They are more interested in keeping the flawed model Assemby from collapsing. Spell out their education policy for me. Like most politicans and political parties they fail to understand the politics of education. Teachers however have the professional responsibility for deciding how to teach. DENI and CCEA can decide what to teach and their clear choice has been to lean away from subject based approaches to themes based approaches. Teachers appear willing to accept the DENI line without examination of the evidence. This could prove expensive to them. It is the failure of the curricular changes that require intense examination not the 11-plus transfer test. Citing the Craigavon system as Newton Emerson does at every opportunity ignores the difference in attainment between pupils in grammar and secondary schools for the ages 11-14. These differences were described in the DENI Gallagher and Smith publication of 2000 and were significant.

  • Mick Fealty

    Is that piece online? There is a truth in that of course. But I cannot think of a single western European polity were such was ever accomplished. And I am not sure what ultimately it would have achieved.

    I’ve worked in many comprehensives in England and Wales. The best of them are on the smaller numbers end. But many of them (like some of the huge inner city state Lycees I’ve worked in in France) are more ‘institution’ than sites of education.

    As I say, pedagogical considerations appear to be the last thing on anyone’s agenda here.

  • Essentialist

    Garibaldy,
    Cite ONE example to support your contention. Teachers want to hide behind unions and others rather than act as professionals using an evidence based approach to education. I’ll not hold my breath on a prompt reply.

  • Garibaldy

    Mick,

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n13/mcki01_.html

    The problem in France is the overconcentration on the elite schools, no?

    The abolition of the public schools would have prevented precisely the massive imbalance that is emerging ever more clearly in England (things don’t seem to be as bad in Scotlan) between the state schools and the private sector. Especially when we remember a lot of these private schools, especially at the smaller end, are far from value for money.

  • Mick Fealty

    Gari,

    “Do you think Mick we would see the development of a huge fee-paying school culture in NI?”

    It depends entirely on whether Ministers can tackle the underperformance on the sectors outside the Grammars. An old school friend of mine had his kids billeted in two different grammar schools with the third going to a private ‘comp’.

    The economic base in Belfast certainly exists for that to happen. I don’t see what levers the minister is proposing that would prevent it.

  • Garibaldy

    Which contention is this? That your description of the 11 Plus as a means of “measurement and accountability” is nonsense? Do 11 Plus results form part of teachers’ evaluations? No. Precisely because everyone can see what a biased and unfair system it is, and precisely because everyone can see how important a factor class is in educational attainment under that system.

  • Garibaldy

    Mick,

    I don’t agree that it is the sectors outside the grammars that matter for the emergence of a private system. Surely the situation is that the middle classes are delighted with the system as it stands, and would only abandon it if the schools that are now grammars were after reform to decline at a massive rate, e.g. in grades, access to Oxbridge. Without that, why would they go fee-paying when a serviceable alternative exists. My sense is that this is the case in certain parts of England where “good” state schools continue to exist.

  • Essentialist

    Garibaldi,

    No they don’t form part of teacher evaluations. Thank God. The 11-plus measures attainment. Perhaps teachers don’t like it for that reason? Tough say parents. BTW teachers will still be preparing pupils for this years tests, including unfortunately the coaching outside of school which only benefits the middle class. Tough being a hypocrite isn’t it?

  • Mick Fealty

    My fault. I was unclear. What I meant was that you have to convince the Middle class that sending their kids to a ‘comprehensive’ rather than a ‘grammar’ won’t harm their prospects. Some of what is driving people into the Grammars is the sheer terror (in some cases) of what the high schools will do to their children.

  • DC`

    “The problem in France is the overconcentration on the elite schools, no?”

    The French system has a very privileged element it in that their schooling system is elitist and built on grand Napoleonic views. From my recollection after a discussions with an uncle who lives in Paris is that most of the bureaucrats and civil servants are taken from ‘Universities’ named ‘ Grandes ecoles’, without going to that one cannot ever join up or be taken seriously in highest realm of public sector work. Very much debarred so Tory-boy eat your heart out.

  • Ned

    “My fault. I was unclear. What I meant was that you have to convince the Middle class that sending their kids to a ‘comprehensive’ rather than a ‘grammar’ won’t harm their prospects. Some of what is driving people into the Grammars is the sheer terror (in some cases) of what the high schools will do to their children.”

    As someone from Northern Ireland living in England, I can tell you that they are right to be terrified.

  • Garibaldy

    Essentialist,

    Teachers’ unions don’t like the 11 Plus because it is a bad tool for measuring academic ability and attainment. As for preparing students in the current system, that’s their job.

    Mick,

    I see then we are in agreement. I have a feeling though that the local government and the small size of NI, coupled with the responsive and populist nature of our politics, means that the system could never end up like England.

    As for the system in England. I don’t think it’s as universally appaling as people like to think though parts of it are a disaster. But there are reasons for this that reach far beyond educational policy into the culture of society.

  • Rabelais

    Garibaldy,
    Thanks for reminding us that schools and education do not exist in a cultural vacuum. The champions of selection are fond of pointing to the spectre of ungovernable English children (knife crime etc) as a warning to us all of the dangers of tampering with our own system. But they tend to omit any reference to the broader cultural, social and ecomonic currents within which schools exist.

  • Peat Blog

    There are elitist schools everywhere. It just so happens that in Norn Iron people haven’t had to pay to go to grammars for a good standard of education. I have no doubt that a fee-based system will emerge, although probably only on a small scale. The rich, middle class or whatever you want to call them will always find a way.

    If my understanding is correct, around half of all kinds in Edinburgh go to private, fee paying schools and there are most definitely elitist schools in the south of Ireland where class is still a major issue (especially amongst the nouveau riche).

  • Dewi

    Lessons from Finland – Very interesting from the Economist – Finland seem to suceed without selection.

  • essentialist

    Garibaldi,
    Your lack of willingness to confront the evidence exposes your ideological bent on this subject. Where is it possible to determine which 11+ candidate is from a particular socioeconomic group? This lack of understanding may be because you are using the same flawed argument of the teaching unions that somehow the teaching of numeracy and literacy skews the primary curriculum. Sheer unadulterated nonsense. The facts are clear; disadvantaged pupils are further disadvantaged when their teachers suggest non entry for the transfer test. Of course every working class kid that steps aside makes way for a middle class underachiever, perhaps even a teacher’s child.

  • Garibaldy

    I’ve never hidden my ideological bent. But that’s no reason to misrepresent the argument I did make. The exam doesn’t say which group the candidate is from – how does that invalidate the argument I am making, which is that the class background of the candidates plays a very heavy role in determining the outcome? There is a clear correlation that is there for all to see between the likelihood of passing and socio-economic background. Where did I talk about the curriculum (which by the way now extends way beyond the old structured reasoning that sought to test literacy and numeracy)?

    Most people I know who didn’t sit the 11+ did it not because of what teachers said, but because of parents wanting to spare them the trauma of potentially failing, in at least one case against the advice of a teacher who reckoned a good grade was likely.

    Show me some evidence and I’ll confront it.

  • 0b101010

    Most people I know who didn’t sit the 11+ at all did so because of anti-intellectualism, were proud of it and remain so.

  • Essentialist

    “Most people I know who didn’t sit the 11+ at all did so because of anti-intellectualism, were proud of it and remain so.”

    I take it you didn’t attend a Shankill Road primary then? If the 30+% of pupils not entered for the transfer test were happy with the decision then why the beef from others with academic selection?

    The curricular changes are a crucial element since the changes were designed to avoid measurement. What elements in primary education are more important than numeracy and literacy? I repeat the important issue. Those of lower socioeconomic standing are disproportionately absent from the cohort of 11-plus entrants. Evidence obtained under FOI from Shankill Road primaries shows that very few pupils are entered. Even worse is the low rate of entry for those on FSM. One principal blamed the parents neglecting to confess his “ideological bent”.

    BTW what is a passing grade for the 11-plus?

  • Essentialist

    Garibaldi,
    The entire 11-plus / academic selection debate can be summed up in an acceptance of ideological difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome / results.

    Denying children the equality of opportunity for a grammar school place is a serious matter. Suggesting that a certain proportion of children on FSM obtain places is equality of results. Failing to teach numeracy and literacy thoroughly to pupils denies them equality of opportunity.
    Trying to pass of equality of results/outcome as equality of opportunity reveals the weakness of the Marxist ideology.

  • willowfield

    GARIBALDY

    Mick we would see the development of a huge fee-paying school culture in NI? I’m not so sure we would. The amount of money involved in establishing them and their reputations would be huge, and most likely unsustainable.

    There would be no need to establish them: they already exist as grammar schools. But I agree there would not be a huge fee-paying culture in NI – because insufficient people would be able to afford the fees.

    As Ross McKibbin argues in the LRB, the mistake Labour made was not eradicating the public schools when creating the comprehensive system.

    Very true.

    … the class background of the candidates plays a very heavy role in determining the outcome? There is a clear correlation that is there for all to see between the likelihood of passing and socio-economic background.

    Aren’t the reasons for this obvious?

    1. Cultural reasons: middle-class parents are more likely to take education seriously and to encourage their children at school than working-class parents.

    2. Genetic reasons: middle-class people are more likely to be engaged in “intellectual” occupations which require them to have developed their intellects to a greater degree than working-class people. This is genetically passed on to their children who are more likely to pass “intellectual” examinations.

    The abolition of the 11+ will not alter either of those factors.

  • Essentialist

    Getting back to the theme of the thread – what exactly are teachers and their precious unions going to do or refuse to do that will prevent parents from taking an independent 11-plus test? Confiscate the application forms like the Swedish teacher did for the birthday party invitations?

    Why don’t the 11-plus opponents just run up the white flag and admit defeat? Nothing better from them as a replacement after millions of pounds and countless hours spent venting their spleen.I was one who wished to see an improved instrument since the Transfer Test manipulations lose information but NFER,DENI and CCEA know about this weakness as do the academics who denigrate the 11-plus also. The ctitics have nothing new to offer it is time for them to accept defeat and take their generous retirement packages instead of this incessant torture at great public expense.

  • Rabelais

    Willowfield,
    Are you suggesting that working class children are genetically predisposed to ignorance. Class is not genetically defined in anyway, it is a social construct. Those who look for inherent traits are more often than not simply looking for a way to naturalise and rationalise gross inequalities that they have often brought about or are seeking to sustain. We’ve disregraded, quite rightly, the idiocy that race or gender determine intelligence but there seems to a risdual belief that the poor are poor because the deserve to be.

    The seeming inherent ignorance of the working class has operated like an unconscious assumption (and sometimes more explicitly) throughout this debate about schools and selection. Its rationale is that there is nothing can be done for working class kids, so maintain the staus quo.

    On the other hand, class has its cultural elements, among then may be a contemporary disregard for the intellect but that is not just peculiar to the working class. Northern Ireland has a large enough lumpen middle-class to demonstrate that.

    Finally does the ability to pass tests demonstrate intellegience? I’m not sure that it does. I’ve meet a huge number of young people who are well schooled in passing exams but they don’t know how to think critically or independently. A sad indictment of an education system driven by league tables perhaps?

  • willowfield

    Rabelais

    Are you suggesting that working class children are genetically predisposed to ignorance.

    I’m making a general observation which, to me, seems rather obvious. Intelligent parents are more likely to have intelligent children than unintelligent parents. Intelligent parents are more likely to be middle class than unintelligent parents.

    Class is not genetically defined in anyway, it is a social construct.

    I know it is, but intelligent people are more likely to achieve middle-class status because society attributes greater social status to those engaged in “intellectual” rather than manual work. Surely this is obvious? The lawyer has greater status than the roadsweeper. It requires more intelligence to become a lawyer than to become a roadsweeper.

    Those who look for inherent traits are more often than not simply looking for a way to naturalise and rationalise gross inequalities that they have often brought about or are seeking to sustain.

    I have not brought about any inequalities and, rather than seeking to sustain them, I seek to reduce them. That does not, however, mean that I blind myself to reality.

    The seeming inherent ignorance of the working class has operated like an unconscious assumption (and sometimes more explicitly) throughout this debate about schools and selection. Its rationale is that there is nothing can be done for working class kids, so maintain the staus quo.

    Well, that is not my rationale.

    Finally does the ability to pass tests demonstrate intellegience?

    That is a good question, but my gut instinct is that an intelligent person is more likely to pass a test like the 11+ than an unintelligent person (with the caveat that I am generalising).

    I’ve meet a huge number of young people who are well schooled in passing exams but they don’t know how to think critically or independently. A sad indictment of an education system driven by league tables perhaps?

    Indeed, some people who are less intelligent than others will pass exams because they have been well-educated, but – if everyone was educated to the same standard, I believe the intelligent people would be more likely to pass than the unintelligent.

  • 0b101010

    If the 30+% of pupils not entered for the transfer test were happy with the decision then why the beef from others with academic selection?

    An inability, or refusal, to link cause and effect.

  • rabelais

    Hi Willowfield,
    You’ve made a few assertions about it seeming obvious that intelligent parents will having intelligent children (Which I hope you’re right about. Although I have to confess that little Rab’s end of term report was crap. But according to you that probably reflects rather poorly on my own modest abilities. Thanks for that!) Anyway, I could ask you for supporting scientific evidence for that your remarks about inherited intelligence and you could look back over my posts and ask me to support some of the assertions that I have made previously and then we could spend the rest of the evening plundering through the bookshelf (or looking up Wikipedia) but bollocks we both have better things to do. So I get on with my substantial point. And it is this: there is a nasty undercurrent to this debate which is that middle class parents really don’t want there offspring going to school with working class kids. This is because the image and reputation of the working class is in the doledrums, the worst it has been since before the second world war. I haven’t really made my mind up about whether I think selection is a good idea or not. That’s largely because I find it difficult to separate opinion based on research and evidence from what just sounds to me like middle class prejudice.

  • Garibaldy

    Essentialist,

    I don’t see any evidence you’ve confronted me with.

    I’ve know problem with equality of opportunity. So let’s have a fair test. And I see you are wilfully ignoring the fact that the 11 Plus now tests a range beyond literacy and numeracy.

    Willowfield,

    “I know it is, but intelligent people are more likely to achieve middle-class status because society attributes greater social status to those engaged in “intellectual” rather than manual work. ”

    The pay of teachers and academics in comparison to that of a lot of tradespeople and self-employed people suggests otherwise.

  • willis

    Essentialist

    “Getting back to the theme of the thread – what exactly are teachers and their precious unions going to do or refuse to do that will prevent parents from taking an independent 11-plus test? Confiscate the application forms like the Swedish teacher did for the birthday party invitations?”

    I’m not sure they threatened to do anything. They have made two perfectly reasonable points.

    Public money should not be taken away from education to fund tests over which the public has no control.

    The Prod Grammar lobby should not label as “Common Entrance Examinations” tests which only allow access to 50% of Grammar schools.

  • willowfield

    RABELAIS

    So I get on with my substantial point. And it is this: there is a nasty undercurrent to this debate which is that middle class parents really don’t want there offspring going to school with working class kids. This is because the image and reputation of the working class is in the doledrums [sic], the worst it has been since before the second world war.

    I think that’s one factor, but not the only one, and not necessarily the most important one.

    GARIBALDY

    The pay of teachers and academics in comparison to that of a lot of tradespeople and self-employed people suggests otherwise.

    Self-employed tradespeople may earn more money than teachers and academics, but the latter still have a higher social status, and are still considered to be middle class whereas the former are considered to be working class.

  • Essentialist

    Willis said,

    “Public money should not be taken away from education to fund tests over which the public has no control.”

    Yet in the most comprehensive test of opinion carried out on education reform in Northern Ireland teachers wanted to see the retention of academic selection and also a transfer test.

    Every year hundreds of thousnads of pounds of public money is spent on the transfer test. This year will be no different. I have yet to hear of a teacher refuse to participate or refuse payment for invigilating, coaching, marking or otherwise profiting from the 11-plus.

    That a group of schools wish to continue with a transfer test rather than the socially selective Pupil Profile or a post code lottery should concern you less than the admission by the Northern Ireland Catholic Bishops that they have abandoned objective academic selection and grammar schools. Where is the equality of opportunity for Catholic parents? What was it that changed for the Bishops? The fear of contamination of their schools with non-Catholics? Check the figures for yourself with DENI – Catholic schools grammar and secondary are 99.4% Catholic in intake. Not a Prod or dissenter or non-believer about the place. The two schools with others enrolled are only there to keep the place open and because their parents want a grammar school education for their children.
    If you believe that selection will end inside these Catholic schools I have some swamp land in Florida worthy of your consideration.

  • Essentialist

    Garibaldy said,

    “I don’t see any evidence you’ve confronted me with.

    I’ve know problem with equality of opportunity. So let’s have a fair test. And I see you are wilfully ignoring the fact that the 11 Plus now tests a range beyond literacy and numeracy.”

    Your difficulty Garibaldi is that there is none so blind as he who will not see.
    I take it from your acceptance of equality of opportunity as a dufferent ideological concept from that of equality of results/outcome that you adhere to the former. In doing so you must have rejected the latter since there is no equality between them. Well done.

    On the transfer test: the tests examine pupils knowledge on English / irish, Mathematics and science/technology. Science and technology has been dropped in the substitute test because many teachers in primary schools are not competent to teach the subjects. The test is easy.

    The real interesting issue Garibaldi will be to see the new promised product from CCEA commissioned by Caitriona Ruane to test the revised curriculum. Since the themes based child centered curriculum described by Carmel Gallagher of CCEA as a “Trojan horse” was designed to be incapable of measurement Neil Anderson of CCEA has found himself in a conundrum, Having promised a test he must deliver one.

    The CEA test must improve on the validity and reliability of the 11-plus otherwise it takes us backwards. Perhaps as far back as the 1930’s in the U.S. (Dewey et al) Unless of course the educationalists see sense and back the public demand for retention of the 11-plus. It has come to this because of the failures of the academics and educationalists. The revised curriculum will be the next project to come under intense public scrutiny. Rumblings from parents after receipt of “useless” reports this year are turning to anger and frustration over the failure of teachers to stop this descent into chaos.

  • Essentialist

    Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the “Prod” or non-denominational grammar schools were inundated with applicants from Catholics for their CEA tests?

    Chances are that parents will make the stark choice. Grammar school education or faith-based education.

    Now what happens to the Department’s home to school transport policy? What exactly will a suitable school be defined as?

    Translink are rubbing their hands in anticipation.

  • willis

    Essentialist

    “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the “Prod” or non-denominational grammar schools were inundated with applicants from Catholics for their CEA tests?”

    At last something we can agree on.

    Half of all Prod Grammar places lost. All Maintained Grammars with full rolls. middle class Prods having to make do with High schools

    Ken Bloomfield’s effigy on bonfires.

    Still it would require a strategic genius to organize that.

  • willis

    “That a group of schools wish to continue with a transfer test rather than the socially selective Pupil Profile or a post code lottery should concern you less than the admission by the Northern Ireland Catholic Bishops that they have abandoned objective academic selection and grammar schools.”

    Well given that I have tried to have a sane debate on the election concept on two other threads you can see that it is not a subject that daunts me. Unfortunately each time it seems to close the thread. However you will not disappoint this time I hope.

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/loss-of-faith/

    If you need the relevant quote from the Bishops press statement here it is:

    “Some five years ago we said that we should move to election of schools by parents and away from selection of pupils by schools. While we pay tribute to the excellent reputation and tradition that many schools have developed over the years, at the same time we should not lose sight of the fact that publicly funded schools together exist to serve the whole of society and its communities, not just their own interests. Schools are to be evaluated as good schools when they provide a range of opportunities for all children and are responsive to the particular gifts of every child.”