Eton College. Photo: Getty
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The best of the NS in 2014: Education

Our best pieces from the past year. In this selection, we pick the best pieces about schools and universities.

Education’s Berlin Wall: the private schools conundrum

By David and George Kynaston.

Does a better social mix make these schools acceptable? The left has been silent on this issue for the past 40 years.
 

Our segregated education system perpetuates inequality and holds our nation back

By Michael Gove.

The education secretary responds to the NS debate on public schools.
 

Why do state-school pupils earn less over a lifetime? Because they aren’t taught to dream big

By Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett.

Private schools instil their children with a sense of entitlement and confidence that is lacking among state-school pupils, argues Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett.
 

Michael Gove: my part in his downfall

By Jonn Elledge.

Seven habits of highly unpopular people. 


 

Inside the private schools educating China’s elite

By Zoe Alsop.

In recent years the number of private schools catering to Chinese nationals has grown rapidly. A Chinese-owned chain offering a Canadian curriculum dominates, with more than 30 schools across the country.  


"What I want to see is peace": When will Labour stop opposing academies?

By Harry Lambert.

Labour's unclear opposition to academies could drag high-performing chains like ARK back under local bureaucracy.  


Primary politics: parenting advice from Toby Young and Michael Rosen

By Melissa Benn.

Two publications ostensibly designed to provide reassurance and wisdom to parents of primary-age children and perhaps to tap in to the ever-growing “pushy parenting” market.  

The tests Nicky Morgan must pass if the Tories are to change on education

By Tristram Hunt.

The new Education Secretary should end the use of unqualified teachers and match Labour's pledge to teach English and maths till 18.


 

How failing schools help Ukip

By Tim Wigmore.

Schools are getting worse in Great Yarmouth, the second most likely seat for Ukip to gain their first MP next year.  


Grammar schools widen the gap between rich and poor. Why are we still surprised by this?

By Frances Ryan.

Meritocracy – embodied in the grammar school system – is concerned with achieving equality between equals and permitting inequality between un-equals.  


The free schools experiment spirals out of control

New Statesman leader.

All resources should be concentrated on ensuring that no child is denied the basic right to an education.  

Sad13
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Meet the pop star who wants to show you that consent is sexy

“I say yes if I want to.”

If you’re familiar with Speedy Oritz, the band whose 2015 album Foil Deer made waves in alternative music circles, then you’ll already know a little about their lead singer, Sadie Dupuis. Dupuis is now striding out on her own, under the name Sad13, with a more bubblegum sound. She debuted her first solo single, “Get a Yes”, from the upcoming album Slugger, on NPR this week.

“Get a Yes” explores the idea of receiving enthusiastic consent before each sexual activity. She told NPR:

How many kids learn about sex from pop music? And how many fun-sounding pop musicians do a heinous job as sex-ed teachers? Like “Genie In A Bottle”, which characterizes sex as an internal conflict between the mind and the body — rather than something you should only do when the minds and bodies of all parties involved are synchronized? Or “Blurred Lines” in which the narrator presumes to know what his partner wants?

Instead, “Get a Yes” demonstrates how consent is sexy:

You can only get to that affirmative yes through a lot of dialoguing, and I think that process should be viewed as fun, sexy and not at all daunting. So I wanted to make a pop song that explores the excitement inherent in getting and giving consent.

As Dupuis sings in the chorus,

I say yes to the dress when I put it on
I say yes if I want you to take it off
I say yes for your touch when I need your touch
I say yes if I want to
If you want to, you’ve gotta get a yes
Can I get a yes?

Listen to the song below.

Anna Leszkiewicz is a pop culture writer at the New Statesman.