Friday, 14 August 2020

A Tory Algorithm is Stealing our Children's Futures

A-level students who could not sit exams due to Covid-19 have had their A-levels graded by a computer algorithm which is overruling teachers' predictions. The algorithm is basing its grades on school post codes, rather than the previous academic achievements of the child, such as performances in mock exams. As a result, 39.1% of students (about 280,000) from working class backgrounds have seen their A-levels downgraded, many from BAME communities. Some have unfathomably dropped three grades, yet no students from Eton have been downgraded. Private schools have actually seen their grades rise by 5%.

It would appear our racist and classist government has created a racist and classist algorithm to deny working class and BAME students opportunities. Clearly private schools and tuition fees were not enough to keep the riffraff away from the top jobs so they've taken further measures. These measures have resulted in top performing students seeing their university offers withdrawn. Disgraceful.

Social media has been rife with smug upper-class idiots like Jeremy Clarkson boasting how they received terrible A-level grades and still did okay. They neglect to mention their wealthy families, or that back in their day, the socialist ladder was well and truly in place until they kicked it down. Houses are unaffordable to young people now and higher education is inaccessible, leaving them with zero hours contracts and poverty wages. That is the reality for both Millennials and Gen Z.

According to my teachers, I was the most gifted kid in my high school and they would often tell me I'm destined for great things. Yet I had to drop out of college when I became homeless and this situation led to years of instability as doors were slammed in my face. People weren't willing to give me a job. I was forced to participate in medical research for money and I had nothing even approaching stability until my mid-twenties. This led to mental health issues, missed opportunities and massive underachievement. I was trapped, and smug idiots like Jeremy Clarkson who grew up in a different world really don't help when they patronise younger generations. Old Tories keep stealing pieces of our future and they wonder why the youth are being driven towards socialism.

The sections of the red wall which changed to blue in 2019 have been particularly hit by this scandal; their kids denied the chance to escape the poverty a decade of Tory rule has cemented. And the Prime Minister Boris Johnson is refusing to back down, calling the racist and classist post code algorithm "robust".

The government is refusing to use teachers' predictions or mock grades for students in England and the appeals process is said to be far from transparent. Plus I understand an unsuccessful appeal comes with a £100 charge! Scotland however has been awarding grades based on mock results and as such has not seen this problem.

Today's 18 year olds are being robbed of opportunities just like I was, and of course I empathise hugely. I've seen friends on social media telling me their straight A kids were "awarded" B's, C's or even D's. The Tories want drones working for poverty wages and they don't want privately educated kids filling those roles. They want your kids to fill those roles. That is the top and bottom of it.

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