Small Schools Are Ahead in Graduation

This item may not have a place in this blog, but since it supports what I have maintained since the opening of Kidbrook Comprehensive School, that small(ish) is beautiful in schools, I indulge myself. It's from The New York Times. This is the beginning. Use the link for the rest.

Small Schools Are Ahead in Graduation

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Published: June 30, 2007

Graduation rates at 47 new small public
high schools that have opened since 2002 are substantially higher than
the citywide average, an indication that the Bloomberg administration’s
decision to break up many large failing high schools has achieved some
early success.

New Education Secretary

The new Education Secretary seems to have a background in economics. The big question is whether he has the self-control to refrain from meddling in the education system. Let him imitate the House of Lords “in good King George's golden days” – let him that knoweth his G and S understand.

Profile: Ed Balls

Hélène Mulholland
Thursday June 28, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

“the deputy chancellor” before he was elected to parliament in 2005, Ed
Balls is still regarded as one of Gordon Brown's closest political
allies. This was reflected in his appointment as the newly-created
schools and children secretary.

The chancellor's former chief
economic adviser has risen quickly since he was parachuted in to the
safe Labour seat of Normanton, where he won on a majority of 10,002 and
51.2% of the vote in 2005.

Widely seen as a key figure behind New Labour's economic reform
policies, Mr Balls was appointed economics secretary in May 2006 – just
one year after reaching parliament.

earned a reputation as a Eurosceptic within Labour circles because of
his opposition to both entry into the Euro and the EU constitution
during his time as a Treasury adviser. More recently he has called for
closer European cooperation on the environment.

The 40-year-old
began his career as lead economic writer at the Financial Times after
studying PPE at Oxford and as a Kennedy scholar at Harvard. He joined
Gordon Brown's team as an adviser in 1995. Balls has played a prominent
role in the Fabian Society, the thinktank and political society founded
in 1884 which helped to found the Labour party in 1900.

He is
married to Yvette Cooper, the MP for the neighbouring constituency of
Pontefract and Castle, West Yorkshire, with whom he has three children.

Correspondence on Latin in worship

You might like to look at the Times correspondence on the return of the Latin Mass.

Having blogged quite a lot on this subjects I'm not sure there's much new to report, but …

Whiteboard projector safety fears

Common sense, really, like not staring at the sun, but I pass on this warning from the BBC:

Interactive whiteboards have been heralded as
devices that will enhance education and be a major plank in the
government's drive for new technology in schools.

But the BBC has learnt that while millions of pounds
have been spent on them, very little attention has been paid to a
potential threat to the eyesight of teachers and children. more…

Looking for a Latin Tutor for September 07

Email from Kimberley Crowley. If you can help her, please email direct at the address below.

I am not sure if you are able to help but I work at South Cheshire College and we are looking for a Latin Tutor who would be able to teach in the Crewe area starting in September.

The classes would be on a Wednesday Evening from 18:30 – 20:30pm.

I would be very grateful if you know of any contacts that might be interested in this position

Look forward to hearing from you

Many thanks



Latin mottoes for Gordon Brown

To hear Peter Jones suggesting Latin mottoes for Gordon Brown on Radio 4 go to

Listen again

and choose today's (28th June) Today Programme 7.30 to 8 a.m. When it starts to play, go to exactly 10 minutes into the section.

Interestingly, Peter Jones (a vice president of ArLT) recommended the ArLT motto as his top choice for the new government:

Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis.

A quick look on Google for the origin of the hexameter line found this from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable:

Omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis,” is by Nicholas
Borbonius, a Latin poet of the sixteenth century. Dr. Sandys says that
the Emperor Lothair, of the Holy Roman Empire, had already said, “Tempora mutantur, nos et muta’mur in illis.

Another site has:

Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis,

“Die Zeiten ändern sich, und wir ändern uns mit ihnen”

Dieser Hexameter geht auf ein mittelalterliches Vorbild zurück.

Die Quelle dieses Spruches ist unbekannt.

Er wird häufig in der Form zitiert:

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis.

Gordon Brown's school motto

The Guardian confirms what I suspected, that Gordon Brown's school motto is in Latin, and he gave an English version in his first speech as PM:

Gordon Brown began his premiership by saying he would govern the
country according to the motto of his old school – “I will try my
utmost.”Kirkcaldy High School's motto is actually “Usque conabor” (Mr Brown did not attempt the Latin)

9-year-old doing sponsored Hadrian's Wall walk for charity

The website is here for a sponsored walk of Hadrian's Wall.

We can give through the Just Giving organisation here.

They have so far raised £520 towards their target of £3000.

'Exam qualifications worth less than they were' – Civitas report

The Guardian has a summary of a Civitas report, with link to the full report (pdf).

“Essentially a post-Blair A-level is worth a whole grade less than a pre-Blair A-level.”

Although many Classics teachers may feel that the standards required have indeed been dropping, it is important to make some allowance for the consistently hostile tone of the report, written by Anastasia de Waal and Nicholas Cowen.

Tougher GCSEs to be encouraged – but not Latin or Greek

If the government's intention is to encourage pupils to take academic GCSE subjects by including Science and Modern Languages in the league tables – as the shadow education minister commented:

“It will make it more difficult for schools to
artificially boost their league table positions by switching to softer
GCSE options at the expense of academic subjects that are more useful
to children in the long run.”

then it's hard to see why Classical languages are not included.

Anyway, the BBC report is here.