Out for the count

28th September 2001 at 01:00
Some of the Education Minister's advisers clearly felt the speech they had prepared for him on assessment (page four) required some gravitas. So they brought in Einstein.

The great man had apparently a sign on his wall bearing the legend: "Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts."

This was clearly an early warning against national testing and it inspired the speechmakers to greater oratorical heights. Jack McConnell added: "We want to ensure that everything in Scotland's schools that is counted does count, and that what cannot readily be counted nevertheless counts in other ways." We think we know what he means.

Einstein can prove a mixed blessing. Mike Russell, for the SNP, thought the grand old man of physics was espousing exactly the opposite of the new assessment regime McConnell had just announced. This, Russell said triumphantly, "just proves that Einstein and Jack McConnell are not like minds."

Russell had another opportunity when Brian Monteith, for the Tories, asked an innocent-sounding question: "When is a test national and when is it not?" The Nationalist rottweiler pounced. That question "shows that Mr Monteith and Einstein are also not like minds".

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now