Written by Rob Barratt
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Tags: data, God

Thursday, 3 January 2013

image for The God of Data - A Lesson From the Book of Dataronomy And the God of Data looked down upon the world of education

And the God of Data sat on his heavenly throne and he looked down upon the world of education and he said, "They know not what they do" And lo, the God of Data said, "I shall create a new world of education and it shall be created in five days, like what there are in a school week.

And on the first day the God of Data created targets so that all of the children could be numbered to be judged on the judgement day. And the targets were many and pointless. And the God of Data said, "The targets shall be SMART - silly, meaningless, awful, and really tedious" And they were. And those who did not believe in targets were cast out into the wilderness. And those who did not reach their targets were made to feel (whisper) … inadequate. And that word did put the fear of God into them.

And on the second day the God of Data created jargon. And the jargon did bamboozle and befuddle the teachers, especially those who did not believe in it. And it made them feel (whisper)... inadequate. And yea, behold there were action plans, quality control and differentiated success criteria. And the God of Data performed miracles upon the Earth. He changed children into learners and schools into professional learning communities. And lo, it was impactful, outcome-based and synergistic. And the disciples of the God of Data facilitated his will. For they did take learning walks and the disciples moved in mysterious ways their wonders to perform and this too put the fear of God into the teachers, which is what the disciples wanted.

And on the third day the God of Data said "Let there be league tables." And there were league tables. He said "Let us make education like the premiership so that all can spout statistics. Schools shall be political footballs and we shall ignore socio-economic factors like free school dinners for they are the work of the Devil."
And it was so.

And on the fourth day the God of Data sent down to Earth the Angel OFSTED in the form St Michael of Wilshaw. And low… morale was all around. And the Angel OFSTED was omnipresent and everywhere, like a rash. And at that time some teachers dwelt in the land of the Good and the Outstanding. And some teachers dwelt in the land of the Satisfactory/room for improvement for they had all been observ-ed by the disciples. And the observations were more in number than the hairs on thy head. And yea it is easier for a man or woman to get through the eye of a camel than to be outstanding in class on a regular day-to-day basis for verily they are merely of human form. And some teachers dwelt in the land of the (whisper) … inadequate. And they envied and despised those who were good or outstanding and even the satisfactory/room for improvement ones. And this did divide the teachers. And there was gnashing of teeth and they said, "Verily this is an iniquitous system". And the inadequate were demonised and sent to the fires of Hell and capability. And the Angel of OFSTED returned to God in his firmament and he said, "Thy will is done on Earth." And the God of Data looked upon the world of education and he saw that it was good with outstanding features.

And on the fifth day the God of Data sent forth his only begotten son the messiah Gehovah who was born under the star of King David, he who was conceived in the Garden of Eton. And Gehovah looked a little sinister - a bit like the child-catcher in Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang. And Gehovah sat on the extreme right hand of King David and Tory shone around. Gehovah begat aggressive performance management, which begat performance-related pay which begat regionalised pay. And all of these begat capability proceedings which begat more fear. And Gehovah, the God of Data incarnate, who did a lot of begetting, begat restructuring, the rationalisation of human resources and other euphemisms for educational cuts and job losses. And Gehovah built temples to worship the God of Data and he said, "They shall be called academies and free schools." And they were called that.

And on the sixth day the God of Data said "Behold it is the weekend and it shall be a time of rest, except for teachers who will take home piles of marking, lesson preparation and mind-numbingly meaningless assessments. And the Angel OFSTED shall be in their thoughts at all times and it shall be called "OFSTED-in-the-head". And they will be filled with the fear of God." And the God of Data looked down upon the world of education and he saw that it was outstanding with heavenly features.

And the teachers said, "Jesus Christ!" and "God help us!" But he did not.

Here endeth the lesson. May the God of Data categorise you all. In the name of the holy trinity, the three-in-one - the tick-box, the national curriculum level and the learning objective. Amen. (and women)

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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