More than three quarters of people believe that bright children should be taught separately to push them further, according to a new study.
The overwhelming majority either want more streaming by ability in comprehensive schools or the chance to send high-fliers to selective grammar schools.
Almost as many people said that weaker children could also benefit from being segregated at school, said the report by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), a Right-wing think-tank.
Regular people seem to understand better than educators that when you put the Einsteins and the Forrest Gumps into the same classroom neither is going to learn to their capacity. The Einsteins are going to be bored to tears as the class moves at, what to them is, a glacial pace and the Gumps are going to be overwhelmed by, what to them is, a breakneck pace.
The results showed that 76 per cent believe "more academic" children at secondary school can maximise their potential by being taught separately. Of these, 40 per cent were in favour of children being streamed by ability within comprehensive schools and 36 per cent wanted them to be sent to a wholly selective school.
Only 20 per cent said bright children could be pushed in mixed ability classes.
This comes despite huge resistance by teachers to separating children by ability.
There they go again, getting in the way of a proper education. That'll be my theme for 2007: Educators getting in the way of education.
The reason why educators don't like separating by ability is because it creates an education ghetto of low performers whose failure to learn is painfully evident. When you mix them in with the other kids and socially promote them, it's easier to disguise the failure, at least until NCLB came into the picture. These low-performing kids still aren't learning, but when you mainstream them, some parents might not figure out the game.
Fundamentally, the problem remains the inability of schools to educate the bottom half of the curve to an acceptable standard. The solution that schools have come up with is a form of education socialism. Since they can't raise the lot of the lowest group, the next best thing is to pull everyone else down to this same low level. People didn't find this to be an attractive solution for the economy and it looks like they don't like it for education either.