THINGS aren't that much different on the other side of the...


June 15, 1994

THINGS aren't that much different on the other side of the Big Puddle.

Here are the first 11 paragraphs of a recent story in the Daily Mirror, a mass-circulation tabloid newspaper in England:

"The teaching of every school subject is facing a massive shake-up.

"Government advisers have thrown away the Tories' national curriculum after five years of classroom chaos.

"Instead, a new scheme, with the backing of Education Secretary John Patten, will be unveiled on Monday -- letting schools choose what their pupils should learn on at least one day a week.

"OUT goes the compulsory memorizing of dates of important events such as the 1066 Battle of Hastings.

"OUT goes a plan to correct sloppy English in the school playground.

"OUT goes the compulsory study of any playwright other than Shakespeare in . . . exams.

"IN come compulsory team games for children aged 14 to 16 in an attempt to improve Britain's sporting reputation.

"IN come studies in work-related courses, such as how to be a nurse or hairdresser.

"IN comes a recognition that teacher, not the government, knows best.

"And regional accents such as Geordie and Scouse will no longer be officially frowned on in the classroom.

"Teachers will not have to insist that all pupils try to speak BBC-style standard English."

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