Xenops wrote:In the U.S., there is a trend toward Common Core, where the standards are lowered so everyone "succeeds", rather than bringing the suffering students to higher academic standards. Would you say that the case in the UK is similar, or different?
I'd say that's exactly what's happened here, although unofficially.
There used to be a selective system where, at the end of primary school, children could sit the Eleven-plus exam to go to a grammar school ('academic'), or they could go to a technical/vocational school, or a secondary modern. Children at the latter were arguably 'failed' by the system, and there weren't many technical schools. In the '60s, the Labour government effectively abolished the whole system, replacing it with non-selective comprehensive schools. Children were treated equally - now they all got a poorer education, unless you could pay the fees for a public (i.e. private) school. We also have a core curriculum, in terms of compulsory subjects and the topics covered (languages were made optional a few years ago). These days it's really about teaching to tests, so that schools and universities can look good in the league tables. Pupils/students actually learn far less information now.
That's a pretty basic overview. The systems in Scotland and Northern Ireland are a bit different, but the outcome is broadly the same.
I'm just trying to research and ask questions when possible.
Very sensible! I hope you're able to make a good decision in the end. Most people (in the UK, at least) only go to one school, one university. They probably feel their experience/education is fine, as they have nothing to compare with objectively. I've been to more than one, so I have a slightly different perspective.
Best of luck!