On Thursday Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of England's schools, waded into the row, ordering the academics to get "out of their ivory towers". Pupils needed to learn some basic facts by heart, especially in maths and English, he said.From The Guardian.
This makes me so angry! First the 'ivory towers' thing is just a cheap dig and a populist way to attack people who have spent their (in this case long and decorated) careers in education. And are probably some of the most educated people in the country. Perhaps they know something about education and you should listen?
But what really gets me is "...learn some basic facts by heart, especially in maths...". This sums up all that is wrong with the British (western?) attitude to maths. Learning maths by heart is not learning maths at all. If we taught maths properly then we might end up with some better (and more) science and technology students.