“I’m in a board meeting. Having a miscarriage. Thank goodness, because there’s a fucked-up three-week hoop-jump to have an abortion in Wisconsin.”
Thus ran Penelope Trunk’s tweet, which she defends further here.
Liberal Conspiracy provides a vehement defence of her action, in the face of a barrage of outraged responses. There Laurie Penny attacks such outrage as an attempt to police women’s emotional responses, and notes that the shame attached to public airing of biological function is peculiarly inconsistent (when that function is pornographic or sexualised, the shaming abates…). Interestingly, Penny argues that Trunk is engaged in an important process necessary for gender equality, advocated by Mill:
The knowledge which men can acquire of women …is wretchedly imperfect and superficial, and always will be so, until women themselves have told all that they have to tell.
Exam boards responsible for developing courses at secondary level compete with one another to sell their courses to schools. Unsurprisingly, schools like to buy courses that result in the best grades, since good grades = better position in league tables = more students at school = money to pay teachers and to buy resources. Given these facts, what’s the best way to sell your course? Make it easy, of course. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this brings a big risk of lowering standards. According to the Head of the Royal Society of Chemistry, this is exactly what has happened. Exam boards focus on simplicity and use multiple choice questions on exam papers, to the detriment of education. Studies carried out by the scientific community have found science papers with no maths in them, indeed, they have found science papers with no science in them. This all goes to show that applying a business model to education is a crap idea. You can read more here.