Really, I thought, as I looked at the front page of City AM, this is not what I expect from a more or less reasonable newspaper. The Evening Standard has long given up any pretence of being one and its purpose seems to be to run endless campaigns to help or save somebody who is having a bad time. Furthermore, as I have pointed out before, people seem to support all these campaigns with great vigour without ever asking themselves whether the previous similar one had achieved anything worth writing home about. But City AM?
It has proudly announced that Michael Gove is backing their campaign "to improve financial literacy by boosting the number of students who study further maths at A-Level". In fact, this campaign makes some sense in that the drive is to ensure that there are more teachers teaching Further Maths to A level, thus ensuring that more people study Maths or related subjects at the better universities whose Maths departments are filled with foreign rather than British students.
Moving on from there, says Allister Heath, editor of said publication (and a friend), we must eliminate or, at least, greatly diminish the innumeracy and fiscal illiteracy that is "rife in this country". At least, unlike the Evening Standard, City AM does not scruple to lay the blame where it belongs: the educational system, the schools and the teachers.
As outlined by Mr Heath the campaign is targeted and focused as well as hard-hitting. One can support it with ease and I hope businesses do. I am a little less impressed by what, according to the BBC, Mr Gove actually said. It seems that, instead of concentrating on the quality of maths teaching and the need for better school and university qualifications in the subject, regardless of the pupils' background, Mr Gove once again waffled about making Maths compulsory up to the age of 18 and lamented, as he frequently does, the low level of maths teaching in this country as compared with that in East Asian countries.
The problem is, Mr Gove, that if the standard of maths teaching is low up to the age of 16 and not very high at A level, making something that is not good enough compulsor for more pupils is not the answer.