I know this document has been out for a while, and I am not so interested in writing politics. But for a course I am on, here is my response:
Reading the report, the bottom line for me, from the point of view of a national body response for (perceived) standards in education is that you need to measure progress. It shoudl be said, from a philosophical point of view, that there is a cultural sickness that anything not ratified or measured is worthless, or at least not worthy of acclaim. Such a focus on measuring progress also implies that teachers do not aim for pupils to progress.
I have been fortunate in that I have been praised by the institutions of OFSTED and the LEA and internal PM systems. All have rated me the highest gradings possible. Of course, my performance is variable, as is the performance of my students. Despite this, all my classes achieve positive value-added, even with purposefully problematic compositions. However, in order to function, I have not always focussed on the quality of students’ work – I remember upon first beginning teaching how poor level 5 and A grade work seemed to be.
The drive to raise the base standards of a ‘C’ grades seems strange to criticise: it is functionality impossible to pass more than just the significant majority of a cohort. The halcyon age of literacy may have never existed.
The focus on boys’ writing may be linked to the lack of focus on ‘handwriting’ and ‘spelling’. Certainly, spelling is sometimes taught explicitly through NLS intervention starters. I use a rolling spelling sheet where student investigate rules they may have missed. However, I know many schools have no set spelling policies..
Point 9 focusses on the difference between outstanding practice, and academic standards. We still judge lessons based upon the performance of the teacher. This is partly because it is the easiest thing to do. We also judge the internal process of learning by the outwards characteristics of the learner: again, this is the easiest thing to do. From this, realise that practice is judged in many ways.:
a) As a performance to an observer.
b) As a perception from the students.
c) As a perception from the parents.
d) As data showing progress.
e) As summative data showing ultimate results against national targets (not pupil ability).