Michael Gove is probably a very nice man. I don't doubt he is well educated and his intentions are all good. If his aspirations to make every child achieve their full potential, then that's great but I get the feeling that because he had a good education that has served him well and he probably enjoyed it - every child should get the same experience. This appears flawed.
Every child at school X gets the same experience, yet different outcomes. Why, because children are not all mini Michael Gove's. They need different stimulation and have different abilities and strengths. In recent weeks we've had the call for poetry and Latin as if everyone likes that sort of thing and those are skills our employers are desperately seeking.
As a parent I have some experience of taking children through the 'but it's boring' homework. Home they come with a book from the 'Oxford Reading tree' about something. They are quite capable of reading the book and answering the questions, but don't want to. The other week I went through the familiar ask nicely, ask assertively and then moved on to the 'no sweets', 'not visiting nanny' threats, stopping just before the "your favourite teddy bear's in the microwave...".
The thing is, the reason my son was reluctant to read his school book about sports day was not because he didn't want to read, but he wanted to read an Astrosaurs book, actually a little harder to read, but a lot more interesting.
For those who don't know, rather than a meteor killing off the dinosaurs, they actually escaped earth in spaceships and the books follow captain Teggs, a stegosaur, on his missions through space taking on the evil carnivores and, if your 6, that's exciting stuff.
A rigid system could actually put children off learning. I hated reading the books I was given at school and never finished any of them. There is nothing wrong with Shakespeare, of mice and men or poetry, some love it, personally I get bored after about one page of the first one, didn't understand any of the second and really don't get the third. Even now, I've never finished a fiction book. I just don't enjoy it.
And on foreign languages, of all the things to pick - Latin. I know it supposed to be the language on which all western languages are based, but hardly anyone speaks it. If I was to pick the best language to learn it would be sign language. I'm guessing sign language is similar anywhere in the world, so if all nations had it as a second language, not only would the world be a bigger place for those with hearing and speech problems you wouldn't have to worry whether German, Mandarin or French was the best one to learn.
And to follow up his lurch back into history, he wants to re-introduce 'O' levels. A discredited system that meant life begins at 14 and many career options end.
There must be a good reason why schools stopped doing things Mr Gove would like them to do. Governments, teachers, heads don't drop subjects or methods to make teaching worse, they do it to make teaching more relevant.
Improving education means looking at the skills our children will need and having a flexible approach to how those skills can be taught. That means less interference from Mr Gove and more freedom for teachers.
Reciting poetry and times tables at 5 so you can sit down in front of the black board with your satchel at your side ready to take to take your Latin 'o' level, watched by a teacher with a cane, sounds dreadful.
Some of Gove's ideas for education would only be suitable for dinosaurs - and even they have spaceships now.