Michael Gove Says External Exams Stop the ‘Bigotry’ of Teachers

Tim Ross, Telegraph (London), November 14, 2012

Teachers are guilty of “soft bigotry” by giving children from ethnic minorities lower marks than white pupils, according to Michael Gove.

The Education Secretary will argue that externally-marked exams are “fairer” than coursework because pupils are not blighted by the “low expectations” of teachers who know them.

He will mount a staunch defence of the role of “proper tests”, which are set and marked externally, and the results of which are recorded in league tables ranking schools in order of their achievements.

Mr Gove’s speech follows a report from the examinations regulator, Ofqual, which found that teachers, under pressure to achieve targets, were too generous in marking GCSE English papers.

In a speech to the Independent Academies Association, Mr Gove will dismiss claims from unions that pressure to achieve exam grades stifles creativity and undermines the chances of the most deprived pupils.

Evidence showed that teachers had “under-marked” children from ethnic minority backgrounds in assessments of their own pupils’ work, while white pupils were “more generously” graded, he said.

“External tests are fairer,” he will say. “With external testing there is no opportunity for such bias—the soft bigotry of low expectations—and tests show ethnic minority students performing better.

“So external tests are not only a way of levelling the playing field for children of all backgrounds they are a solvent of prejudice.”

Success in exams also gives pupils a sense of achievement and “happiness” that motivates them to work harder and achieve more in the future, he will say.

Mr Gove will argue that memorising facts, times-tables and lines of poetry is the “precise opposite” of “dull” and is an essential “precondition” for genuine creativity and understanding.

“Only when facts and concepts are committed securely to the working memory—so that it is no effort to recall them and no effort is required to work things out from first principles—do we really have a secure hold on knowledge,” he will say.

The government has announced plans to scrap GCSEs due to concerns of grade inflation and the “dumbing down” of the exams. Plans to reform A-levels are also being considered.

Under the current system, schools are ranked in league tables on how many of their pupils score at least five C grades in GCSE subjects including English and maths.

Teachers’ unions have complained that pressure to perform in tables and to meet government targets is narrowing the curriculum and denying children a rounded education.

However, Mr Gove praised “the clarifying honesty” of league tables.

He insisted that ranking schools on their results meant that those in deprived areas were no longer unfairly “written off” while schools in more affluent neighbourhoods could not get away with “coasting”.

Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow education secretary, Stephen Twigg, will warn that schools in seaside towns and parts of the north are failing their “white working class” communities.

In a speech, he will suggest that the decline of domestic tourism due to the increasing availability of cheap overseas flights has damaged coastal towns, while schools in “isolated” areas struggle to recruit teachers.

He will identify an “arc of underachievement” running through “many of our seaside towns and coastal cities”.

“There are too many schools which are not allowing pupils to make the most of their potential. Many schools in these communities are below the national average for GCSE results,” he will say.

“In many areas, it is white working class children who are being held back.” He will propose that successful schools should be encouraged to collaborate with weaker neighbours in the same region.

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  • Puggg

    Okay, so grade the tests and work and papers externally. Then get back to us with a new excuse when the achievement gap is still there and just as wide.

  • i’ve got an idea. just pass and fail as many as have to be of whites and blacks until you get the numbers you want. sort’a like a quota system.

    • The__Bobster

      There already is a quota system for meting out punishment in some schools.

  • JohnEngelman

    Is “the bigotry of teachers” responsible for the persistent race gap in mental aptitude tests?

    • David Ashton

      Irrelevant to our British political class, educational establishment and media-controllers, thanks to the Cultural Marxism that has been imposing “equality” and “diversity” formally and informally on our nation. Since all races are presumed equal, if equality of outcome does not occur then “equal opportunity” has not been authentic: black failure MUST be due to white racism. I have seen all this happen at first hand and watch PC ideology move upwards through the institutions. Similar developments re gender variations.

      The latest fly in the ointment has been a subsequent report that white working-class children are lagging behind (undefined) ethnic minorities at school!!!

      • JohnEngelman

        I will make a gentlemen’s bet that those undefined ethnic minorities are Orientals, or perhaps Jewish immigrants from Russia.

        • T_Losan

          I think the unnamed minority is probably “British Asians”, ie ethnic Indians/Pakistanis/Bangladeshis, whose culture emphasizes scholastic success. Funny how it’s always blacks who fall victim to white racism, while Asians, both the brown and yellow variety, do not.

          • JohnEngelman

            From what I have read here on the American Renaissance website Pakistanis cause problems, but east Indians do not. According to Jared Taylor and J. Philippe Rushton Orientals have lower crime rates than whites. They benefit every country they move to.

          • IstvanIN

            Orientals have lower crime rates than whites. They benefit every country they move to. Good grief, Comrade, your record is so broken at this point I am surprised it doesn’t fly off the turntable and head into outer space.

          • JohnEngelman

            No matter how many times I am flamed for telling the truth about Orientals it remains the truth.

        • i am

          If orientals and jews are so great, why are the white countries still better off than Israel and Asia? Why do the orientals and jews come to white countries? I will make a gentleman’s bet that YOU believe it is because they are so noble that they put the white race above their own.

          • JohnEngelman

            The Washington Post

            Emily Matchar, Published: November 23

            After applying for 279 jobs over two years, my husband finally got the offer he’d been hoping for: a well-paid position teaching philosophy at a respected university. We should have been thrilled. There was just one little thing.

            The job was in Hong Kong…

            Sean Love, 27, traded a job as a medical research assistant in an “understaffed and underfunded” lab at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore for a similar job in Singapore. But the new position comes with better funding, happier co-workers, twice the number of vacation days,..

            “Asia is without a doubt the new land of opportunity for those brave enough to buy a plane ticket,” Love says. nearly free health care and a much higher quality of life…

            There are more opportunities in Asia “simply because of the higher growth rate,” explains Megan Fitzgerald, an international career coach based in Singapore, who says young Americans are drawn to the money and the sense of possibility in the Eastern Hemisphere.

          • kc

            Looks like the American Dream has given way to the Asian Dream.

          • JohnEngelman

            In the first “Karate Kid” movie the protagonist and his mother move to California to start a new life. In the most recent “Karate Kid” movie the protagonist and his mother move to China. That should tell us something.

        • David Ashton

          Chinese and Hindus I should think, not Jamaicans or Bangladeshis.
          Parental encouragement is stronger among the Asians than among the English underclass.

  • Daisy

    External testing would be a ‘solvent of prejudice’ if practiced in the US: admit students into universities by the external tests like, gee, how they did on the SAT’s, their GPA’s, etc. and end racist affirmative action!

  • Svigor

    We should only let blacks teach blacks. And police them, serve them welfare, etc.

    • GM (Australia)

      “…and PAY for their welfare”

      • Svigor

        Yeah, I’d like to see tax dollars ear-marked by race. Blacks can get out of the state what they put in, same for whites, etc.

        • The__Bobster

          Dat wood beez razzist, nome sane?

    • AutomaticSlim

      Agree 100%.
      And hopefully, this would all take place in designated and isolated geographical

      locations. Preferably on a separate continent, if that could ever be done.

      • Xanthippe2

        It was (more or less) done in the past, and is not physically impossible!

    • I only…

      Unfortunately, blacks know they can’t survive without us so they cling to us like, well,…

      • i am

        Most minority groups cannot survive without white people. Even Asians have a hard time. Even Japan needed the white man.

  • Other than writing essays and math tests which require to show the work, most tests could be done as multiple choice exams.

    Of course, even these tests have been condemned as ‘culturally biased’ and unfair to minority students.

    Unless these third party examiners are going to grade on ques which they will be looking for from minority students (which I believe is the real purpose here) the third party examiners should be assigning similar grades as the teachers.

  • dd121

    Soviet hive-think at its finest. It will only get worse.

  • jay11

    Uh, yeah… We have always graded our own tests and mosst of us have learned to be very ‘generous’ graders on the state tests. Those few hapless teachers who grade like teachers used to do in better times and ‘hold students accountable’ are the first to be called ‘ineffective’ and axed.
    For the first time our state exams will be sent out to random graders outside the school. (It’s now a citywide policy.) My colleagues and I are expecting disastrous results.

    • The__Bobster


      Former Philly principal details destructive impacts of test cheating
      November 20, 2012
      By Benjamin Herold

      In July 2010, when Saliyah Cruz was named principal of Communications Technology High, state test scores said the small school in Southwest Philadelphia was one of the best in the city.

      Everything else said something different.

      SAT scores were poor. Summer enrichment programs were empty. Loads of kids tested into remedial reading and math. According to Cruz, even the police complained that many students had spent much of the previous school year at the nearby Penrose Plaza strip mall instead of in class.

      “Those kinds of things didn’t add up for me,” she said. “If my kids were out in the street when they were supposed to be in school, how were [75] percent scoring proficient?”

      Two years later, an answer appeared: A mountain of circumstantial evidence now suggests that Comm Tech’s results on the 2010 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) exams were inflated by adult cheating.

      • dhs

        With a name like “Communications Technology High”, is any thinking man surprised?

  • In my experience, virtually all public school white teachers are the epitome of the naive ideologies of egalitarianism and anti-racism. If they do have low expectations for non-white students, it is most likely due to a general, persistent and consistent exposure to low-performing non-white students. Even if this were the case, it should have no impact on the test results, when considering that all students – black and white – have had the same teaching, training, and exposure to the course work. Besides, most white public school teachers, with low expectations for blacks, probably double and triple their efforts in teaching them, just to validate themselves and their ideology.

    • jay11

      Where I’m at, the white, latino, asian and black teachers (it’s a ‘diverse’ workforce) all make constant jokes/laments for how god awful dumb our students are. It’s a running joke that is referenced daily. There are a couple of brainwashed liberals here (all white women for some reason) so when they’re around, we pipe down.

    • David Ashton

      There is some truth in this. Teachers in all British state schools are required to conform to PC guidelines, and this has driven many of the best teachers into other occupations or early retirement. I have taught pupils from most of our ethnic minorities, and one day when time permits will write up my experiences and comments on the state of “education” in our country, to which I have briefly alluded in previous AmRen posting.

  • fsagas


  • pablo

    AHH, again with the blame the teacher excuse along with the conspiracy theory about slanting exams against ………………( insert minority here ).

    Whatever you do, don’t find fault with the dim witted black or his bad attitude about education. It is not PC and you will be attacked as a co conspirator.


    Yeah, because blacks and Pakistanis will do real well on machine scored standardized tests.

    My guess is that more objecting grading will lower the scores of “ethnic minority” students.

  • KenelmDigby

    This man, Michael Gove, is in fact a Conservative MP, and not some rabid, brainless leftwinger.
    That a British Conservative MP ( and one that is considered to be on the right of the party), can make such a bullpoopy outrageous and damnably stupis remark tells you all you need to know about the Britisn Conservative Party.
    – There is no difference between Labour and Conservative with regard to ‘race’ in British politics.

    • freddy_hills

      Don’t be so quick to condemn this guy. You may be right but we don’t really know what his motives are. It may be that he suspects teachers are padding minority grades and he wants to use external exams to put a stop to it. Only if he said that was the reason everyone would attack him. But if he frames it the opposite then he can get it done. I’m not saying that’s what is happening. It’s just hard to say without more information.

      • i am

        I find that when conservatives think one of their compatriots is really a super intelligent person planing some secret covert double flank assault on the liberal forces, they actually turn out to be brain dead imbeciles giving in to the other side. Judge Roberts comes to mind, as does Bush #1.

    • George

      There are a number of movements in British Education.

      This is one of them. External markers *can* be more objective. This won’t, of necessity, improve minorities’ grades & test scores. Every teacher, when faced with grading an assignment, is regularly faced with the challenge of evaluating the work presented.

      I do believe that external markers will merely continue to grade things as they are. The difference will be that teachers will grade other teachers’ assignments, in the same fashion that teachers have always said ‘pass your paper to the person behind you, and we’ll take it up’.

      Unfortunately for Jamal et al, it means the external reviewer won’t have personal knowledge of the student. Ofttimes, a teacher will give at least partial credit for understanding what a student means and is driving at, but the work is lacking. This is based on a student’s classroom performance, discussions, etc. In effect, minorities will lose this ‘grade subsidy’ and their marks will reflect their true performance. The performance gap, if anything, is likely to increase.

      British universities have complained for years about ‘grade inflation’. The main movement is to ‘Whip Inflation Now’. What better inflation to whip than the undeserved inflated marks of the semi-literate savages sitting in the back of the classroom?

  • trigon400

    White liberals are now exasperated & desperately seeking excuses as to why their multi-culti, bussing & anti-segregation schemes pushed onto us 40 years ago haven’t produced the results they promised to the concerned parents who resisted those changes.
    The much maligned “racists” were correct; ending segregation would lead to violence against many white students in schools & a degradation of standards for all the rest.
    Think they will get smart & try something different? Forget it! This will get much worse.

  • Jeddermann.

    Scores and test results will be about the same, no matter what. Teach em’ poetry and have them memorize. Sort of like rap isn’t it? The Bantu are good at rap.

    • i am

      They should train them all to get jobs in home and building demolition. Instead of having them use a sledgehammer or other mechanical device, you could just have them live in the house or building for a month until there is nothing left.

      • IstvanIN

        You mean Detroit and Camden and Baltimore are just giant demolition training grounds?

    • David Ashton

      All children should learn good poetry.

      Rap, of course, is mostly monotonous doggerel, and when it threatens violence against women or white folk it is vicious doggerel.

      It is not easy or sensible to translate most poetry from one language to another, apart from a few songs. I sometimes wonder how we could ever translate certain forms of scientific or philosophical prose into the languages of tropical tribes, though I am told the Bible in Pidgin English is good fun.

      “Cultural Marxists” who profess belief in racial and linguistic “equality” should try to translate their own Jacques Derrida on Grammatology, Herbert Marcuse on Reason and Revolution, or David Theo Goldberg on Racist Culture, into the native tongues of Australia, New Guinea or northern Siberia.

  • asdf

    They should think about what they’re asking for here. It will accomplish nothing but to take yet another excuse for the “achievement gap” off of the table. I say go for it.

  • Xanthippe2

    “Only outside examiners can overcome white teacher bias.”
    Somehow I doubt it — unless they are alligned with “cheat mills.” A profitable biz for the future, I am sure!

    • The__Bobster

      I hope they can. I once had a biased white female teacher who would add points to the test scores of minorities.

      • i am

        Is that like a points spread in gambling?

    • IstvanIN

      He seems to forget that tests, in and of themselves, are racist, or haven’t the British discovered that little truism yet?

  • gemjunior

    How THICK do these DWLs have to be to continue this whole charade? It’s almost as if the truth that blacks cannot learn at the level of other races would cause them psychiatric damage and so they are repressing or “blocking out” the truth. Refuse to see it, no matter what the cost. Not only can they not keep up, but they have VERY little interest.

    • IstvanIN

      So very true. I have worked with black women who were determined to have their kids graduate from High School and stay out of trouble and believe me it is a lot of work. The kids are not at all interested in school, get into fights easily, including the girls, blame the white teachers for their troubles and just are not that bright. These are kids whose mothers want them to do well, keep their kids on a short leash and are not themselves racists. But it is still a lot of work because, in general, blacks are just not suited to sitting still, listening, or learning complex concepts. If they had a separate society they could deal with their own miscreants however they wanted and let the cream of their crop rise to the top. And they wouldn’t be able to scream racism. If blacks had a separate society it would save white kids from liberal do-gooders. When the black society inevitably failed the DWLs would have to go there to assist them, we wouldn’t let then bring the blacks back here. Of course the DWLs would still blame YT, but in a separate society we could listen politely white paying no real attention to them.

      • sandy truthtree

        They already have a separate society, last I checked it’s called africa!

      • David Ashton

        My British classroom experience is that black girls are brighter and harder-working than black boys (I had one exceptionally brilliant Nigerian girl); the Barbadians are better motivated than Jamaicans. West Indians suffer from multiple absentee fathers, and the white underclass is following suit. The case for black-run schools for blacks is strong, and the few schools that more or less fit this bill in Britain do pretty well. The “racist teacher” excuse cannot be used, but the “liberal elite” frowns on strict discipline and Christian formality. A few black male intellectuals here are well aware of the problem and the solution, except that they will not publicly admit to innately low IQ levels, and they are not well regarded by the black leftists who ingratiate themselves with the violent “protesters” etc. Very much more can be said on this subject – but in short the case for “separate but equal” is quite strong, after all the misery.
        One last little point: I was quite open in friendly discussion about immigration and racial problems with blacks, and asked one girl: “Do you feel a fish out of water in England, and would you be happier ‘back home’?” “Yes, if had decent jobs there, a lot of us would go back tomorrow, but if you said ‘Get out!’ we’d refuse to go.”

        • IstvanIN

          Too bad the British wouldn’t consider refusal to leave fighting words.

  • Why not have the teacher distribute labels with random numbers on them to the students? Each student writes down the number in a notebook and attaches the label to their assignment or test. Teacher grades student submissions, then posts grades identified only by numbers, not names. Problem solve. This eliminates the cost, time, and expense of external graders. Of course, we all know there will be a new excuse when minority student grades don’t improve.

    • IstvanIN

      They would still know who answered: Civics test in Britain: Who is our current monarch?
      Kid 1) Her Majesty, Elizabeth II.
      Kid 2) Dat whites wimin in da castle.
      They would still know the race of the “student”.

  • Jeff

    That’s going to be a colossal back-fire with even worse marks for black students, unless the external examiners are aware of the race of the students and told to apply some “affirmative action” scoring techniques. Maybe that’s the real plan here. Anything else is likely to make the achievement gap worse because most teachers are flaming liberals and probably give their black students more benefit of a doubt than white and East Asian students.

  • JohnEngelman

    Excuses. Excuses. I stopped making excuses for those people years ago. They are responsible for their own problems.

  • T_Losan

    It’s a shame that despite the UK’s strong identity and ambivalent feelings toward the US, the UK seems to import some of our worst cultural trends. Management by Objectives has a spotty record at best in the corporate world, often resulting in management manipulating figures and implementing short-term fixes to meet their targets. Why would anyone think it would work for schools? England seems to be headed down the same road as the US, and I won’t be surprised if the next stories to come out will be teachers helping their students to cheat on assignments and tests so they can meet their targets.

  • moderated

    Forget all that. Are whites not bigots and racists just by virtue of the fact that they were born white of the European caucasoid race? What a joke.

    This is why races were separated into 3 NWO groups on 3 different continents of Europe Asia and Africa and given their own identities after the great flood when the single human race was wiped out or at least thats what the ancient jews wrote approved by the jew messiah and later Constantine of the Roman Empire who put it all together 1700 years ago. This makes much more sense than the evolution theory by Darwin by atheists (anti-theists)who was high on drugs for 5 years in his South Pacific vacation voyages in the late 19 century and a ministers son buried in the family church graveyard in London after renouncing all his outrageous drug induced idiotic babbling still held close by the idiots symbolically.

  • libertarian 1234

    That entire administration are nothing but flakes, oddballs and misfits.