Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html en-gb 30 Tue 16 Sep 2014 03:17:54 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html DryDogBiscuit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=96#comment29 Children are born totally innocent. (Forget that evil notion of original sin.) Even teenageers are extremely influenced by the adults around them. To blame teenagers for anything is irresponsible scape-goating. It's the adults who don't take responsibility that is the problem. For an adult to blame a child shows a mind-boggling lack of understanding of the basics of how life works. How can people be so ignorant? Mon 28 Jul 2008 11:42:04 GMT+1 TheresOnly1Soupey http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=93#comment28 Well put Mark - it's funny how society likes to pick on the easiest targets.How about we start picking on the big boys like politicians for example.This motley crew of pre-advantaged scum have caused more social upheaval and social deprivation than any other set of people put together.Our own previous Prime Minister is guilty of:a) Being a Pathalogical liar (WMD, NHS funding, Cash for Honours.....too many to mention)b) Invading 2 countries and killing or displacing millions (Iraq + Afghanistan)c) Giving public money to people who really don't need or desrve it (PPI)d) Personally profiting from it all (The JPM job)In light of this great example - Teenagers (even the ones stabbing each other) are ironically the great hope for this nation! Thu 24 Jul 2008 12:59:55 GMT+1 sheilaellen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=90#comment27 It's fantastic to hear someone singing the praises of teenagers. They're only human, like the rest of us, and it can't be easy to ignore all the derogatory coverage that they've been getting in the press and from government recently. Thanks for bucking the trend and reminding us that they're not all bad. Wed 23 Jul 2008 10:55:13 GMT+1 Prodnose http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=86#comment26 An odd list. Whilst I think that most people would accept the idea that there is a certain amount of demonisation of youngsters that occurs in the media and that most are bright, personable, law-abiding individuals, like several others, I would question many of the items in this list and suggest that they don't prove much. 1. If teenagers do more voluntary work than others then this is to be commended, of course, but this is likely to say as much about the time constraints that so many in "the rat race" (Britain is acknowledged to have the longest working hours in Europe, possibly the world, as well as some of the longest commuting times) as it does about the altruistic nature of teenagers. It also fails to tell us how this compares ot the teenagers of 10, 20, 30, 40... years ago.2. More teenagers are staying on at school after 16 because they are being told to by the Government. Some may say that it is debatable whether the increased numbers staying on is actually a good thing - isn't leaving to learn a trade a good and responsible thing to do?3. It may be a good sign that more teenagers are going on to higher or further education but it may not be: this simply re-ignites the old debate about whether education is being dumbed-down and grades inflated.4. Saying that the country is a good place to grow up does not make you a good person. 5. Similarly, though we may empathise or sympathise with victims of crime and feel angry that more is not done to protect them, the fact that someone is likely to be a victim of crime is not really a reason to cheer them.6. As with 3, many will feel that the numbers of pupils achieving higher grades in exams says more about changes in the exams and their marking than it does about changes in the pupils. Incidentally, on a pedantic note, 20 years before last year was 1987: surely GCSEs were not introduced, nationally, until 1988?7 to 9 all appear to be genuinely encouraging signs and I can't think of much to quibble with them although ,as others have pointed out, their veracity needs to be interrogated and they need to be put in context. 10 One can enjoy going to school and think that the work is important and still be a knife-wielding thug ready to leap out and stab a granny for a fiver.As I say, my experience of teenagers would suggest that they're pretty reasonable people, so this was, perhaps a bit of an academic exercise.It would be interesting to have one of your maps to show youth crime (although the hexagons are, perhaps a bit too large to show detail at a local level and something finer is needed). I am sure that this would identify "hotspots" where it really is a problem but it would also show that these are small areas. The 'papers, of course, only report on the "hotspots" meaning that the impression is given that the whole country is like that. Also, of course, although the majority of the country does not suffer from these problems, it is scant consolation to those who live in the troubled areas. Wed 16 Jul 2008 09:55:44 GMT+1 Rachel Blackburn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=83#comment25 "They work hard at school - a record 62% of teenagers achieved 5 GCSEs grades A-C last year compared with 44% a decade earlier and 26% ten years before that."Er, they probably do - I know we did 30 years ago and I expect the ones of 10 and 20 years ago did too. But claiming you can extrapolate any meaning from the rise in pass rates and grades other than "the exams have got easier" is to insult the intelligence of your audience.I just wish those Government idiots who are so quick off the mark to "defend" today's students against non-existent criticism (it's not the student's fault the exams have been dumbed-down - all they can do is their best) would be slightly quicker to realise that it's those same students who suffer most from the grade inflation that devalues their hard work and achievements. Tue 15 Jul 2008 19:50:43 GMT+1 rrwholloway http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=80#comment24 Usually when presenting this kind of information it's desirable to provide the sources where they have come from. Please would you do so.Unfortunately I'm a cynic... so here's some rebuttals to these ten reasons...1. Where has this 10 times figure come from?2. Ahem, could that be because they are being bribed to do so by the Government?3. To be awarded what are fast becoming useless degrees from 'Universities' that really do not deserve the name. You chose not to mention that fact that more than ever are not going on to COMPLETE further and higher education. A lot join and then quit. The dropout rate at many of the old polys is running at 40% plus.4. What does this prove? That they haven't yet been hit with the horrific tax rises that the rest of the population suffers from.5. That's not a reason to cheer our young people...6. Right... You honestly expect us to believe that in the past 20 years our children have miraculously become 36% smarter than those educated in earlier times. If you really believe that then perhaps you should let Darwin know, it would be an extraordinary evolutionary leap if it were true. Perhaps you would furnish us with the corresponding levels of children getting high IQ scores over the last twenty years.No, the real reason for the higher passes is that pupils are now taught to pass a test, not to learn a subject. It's a very subtle distinction but it is having disastrous consequences for many children once they enter the real world of work.7. In what way? If it's through their school I'm tempted to ask why it's not 100 percent.8. Source please. After 11 years of this conceited Labour government do you really expect us to take these statements at face value? We've been lied to and manipulated too many times.9. What are the numbers for a decade ago, and a decade before that please?10. Again, can we have the survey source? What was the exact question and what was the sample? Tue 15 Jul 2008 16:04:34 GMT+1 JamesCathcart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=76#comment23 Dear Mark,Thanks for this. Ill circulate it to our membership of youth organisations across the UKAt the moment it feels like society has decided, or its representatives and commentators have, to blame the youth wholesale. Yet many as them as are concerned as the rest of us. Indeed they "become" us in a few years - working, parenting, caring .....Here at The British Youth Council I have the privelege to work for a group of young people who run this charity, on behalf of other young people in a UK network of member organisations - that is made up of many different youth groups , some main stream and national , some small and local. All are passionate about the issues and want to do something about it and our contribution is to give them a constructive voice, and skills to articualte their concerns and solutions both here and with youth people overseas - but we need more positive platforms.Anyway thanks for the boost and the opportunity to have a word in support of our nations 'youth' on this little platform!take careJames CathcartChief ExecutiveThe British Youth Council Tue 15 Jul 2008 15:05:05 GMT+1 MonkeyBot 5000 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=73#comment22 16. At 03:20am on 15 Jul 2008, michaelbenson wrote:"Every year come August media outlets spew out the same belittling garbage every year; "exams are getting easier", ...As someone who worked daily for hours on end for both my GCSEs and A-Levels and came away with some of the top results for both of my High School and College I can appreciate better than most the amount of work academically successful students put into their studies. "And every August they find a couple of kids who got good results and get this same inane statement about having "put in lots of work" and "they don't know how hard it is" when that is utterly beside the point.Because the exams are getting easier (yes, they are - I've taught them), someone with less intelligence than you who has put in less work than you can walk out with the same grade as you. That makes a mockery of the work that you have put.The problem is that the really talented kids don't get asked questions that are challenging enough for them to display that talent. Tue 15 Jul 2008 14:22:34 GMT+1 jamesgreenhalgh_myp http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=70#comment21 Not all young people deal drugs, want to stab you and steal your wallet (as some journalists, wrongly seems to believe): indeed the Youth Parliament is a fantastic organisation of Young people who have been democratically elected by hundreds of Thousands of Young people from across the UK. I have an 11th reason to cheer Young people: it seems that young people are far more interested and are becoming for more engaged in politics- whether supporting our UK youth Parliament campaigns on for free young peoples transport, the abolition of University fees or our environment campaign - or indeed any other issue - young people do care abut our fantastic democracy, our society and our great country, regardless of what some may say!" Tue 15 Jul 2008 13:15:11 GMT+1 jamesgreenhalgh_myp http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=66#comment20 Not all young people deal drugs, want to stab you and steal your wallet (as some journalists, wrongly seems to believe): indeed theUK Youth Parliament (www.ukyp.org.uk) is a fantastic organisation of Young people who have been democratically elected by hundreds of Thousands of Young people from across the UK. I have an 11th reason to cheer Young people: it seems that young people are far more interested and are becoming for more engaged in politics- whether supporting our UK youth Parliament campaigns for free young peoples transport, the abolition of University fees or our environment campaign - or indeed any other issue - young people do care abut our fantastic democracy, our society and our great country, regardless of what some may say!" Tue 15 Jul 2008 13:14:24 GMT+1 PeterH http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=63#comment19 13. At 00:51am on 15 Jul 2008, w1nst0nsm1th "If we're lucky, they'll all have heart attacks and die due to their obesity long before then."----------------------What a sad little mind you must have to be so cynical and negative. Teenagers from all generations get bad press. Think back to the Punks, the Mods and Rockers or the Teddy Boys and you'll see that teenagers have always been the same.I wonder what it is you contribute to society? You deserve no respect any generation if you are willing to tarnish millions with the same brush. I think maybe, if life is so awful for you living with British teenagers, you should leave the country and go back to where you have just returned from! Tue 15 Jul 2008 11:25:22 GMT+1 Soddball http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=60#comment18 I wasn't aware that everyone was demonising every teenager. This blog entry is tilting at windmills.As the figures that Mark reverently delivers show, the 90% are not the problem. It is the 10% who are the problem.Due to softly-softly justice systems, ineffectual ASBOs, overcrowded jails leading to short terms, and no drug rehab and no functioning parole systems, these knifing youths are out of control.Is there any party except UKIP which has committed in its manifesto to fund the criminal justice and rehabilitation services correctly? Not that I can find and I've read through them all, from the BNP's "Bring back hanging" to the Lib Dems "Psychos are just misunderstood". It's criminal. Tue 15 Jul 2008 10:41:58 GMT+1 Blogpolice http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=56#comment17 Mark,Yes the majority of society are responsible. However a minority are not and the question for the majority is how do deal with the minority who are irresponsible. Since deportation to Australia is no longer an option why not deportation to the less populated parts of the UK? I'm sure we can find an empty island or two?The challenge of daily survival on a rock may just make them realise that society and its rules isn't too bad after all. Tue 15 Jul 2008 10:27:44 GMT+1 dennisjunior1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=53#comment16 Markthanks for that report about kids not acting like little angels.... Tue 15 Jul 2008 03:02:40 GMT+1 michaelbenson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=50#comment15 Every year come August media outlets spew out the same belittling garbage every year; "exams are getting easier", "standards are being lowered", "O-Level to GCSE comparisons". When taking into consideration that a blind comparison between GCSE examination papers and O-Level papers is more akin to comparing apples and oranges than any valid point the above belligerent adults have made. Students spend years on their specific GCSE exam board course, being taught specific skills which the exam board deems will heed them well when it comes time to head out into the world of employment and higher education. Therefore it is no wonder when someone throws an outdated 30-year old O-Level paper that student performance is less than stellar in comparison. Since said students are not putting into practise those skills of practical application, but are instead being levied with theoretical questions - which whilst test certain assessment objectives for an exam board specification, have no bearing in the outside world.As someone who worked daily for hours on end for both my GCSEs and A-Levels and came away with some of the top results for both of my High School and College I can appreciate better than most the amount of work academically successful students put into their studies. Especially when you take into consideration that students are now firmly indoctrinated into the 'iGeneration', we are taking advantage of the wonderful academic resources it provides us. There are numerous online communities dedicated to students helping one another out with their studies, working together to revise for upcoming exams, and sharing great online books/materials. Not to mention the fact that AQA, Edexcel, OCR and other exam boards also place their past papers, mark schemes and examiner reports of all modules online for access, with such a vast wealth of information readily available in such an accessible way it becomes extremely easy for students to, if they put the hard work in to digest the aforementioned information and resources, perform well academically.I am now studying for a degree at Lancaster University, whilst also taking on numerous jobs, completing voluntary work and maintaining an active social life (which does not involve the drunken reckless vulgarity which is so often associated with teenagers these days). Sure teenagers are never perfect, but I find it frustrating that we are all so often tarnished with the same dirty brush of the standards set by the small, but vocal, minority. I would like to thank Mark Easton for bringing these statistics to everyone's attention, hopefully those with clouded brittle minds such as Poster #13 will eventually realise that this is the case too, because it is their idiotic rash stereotyping of all teenagers which causes just as much harm as anything else. Angering, poking and lambasting the whole teenage generation for the deeds of only a few does nothing but make the minority more powerful, and make those like myself feel less vocal and spits at our capacity to fight back against the caricatures you picture us all to be. Tue 15 Jul 2008 02:20:10 GMT+1 yoctoBarryC http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=46#comment14 This post has been Removed Tue 15 Jul 2008 00:55:23 GMT+1 morganwelsh http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=43#comment13 how is number 5 - "And yet it is young people who are the most likely to be victims of crime." a reason to cheer teenagers?I fail to see how teenagers being victims deserves cheer and elation. Probably wise to revise the blog title to - 9 reasons to cheer teenagers, just a suggestion. Tue 15 Jul 2008 00:54:10 GMT+1 w1nst0nsm1th http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=40#comment12 This post has been Removed Mon 14 Jul 2008 23:51:36 GMT+1 Natasha_S http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=36#comment11 Thank you so much for this list. I volunteer with a local youth charity - we go into schools and youth groups and educate young people about drugs and alcohol abuse. We meet every week for 5 hours to train and I now have recognised qualifications in peer education and leadership. Not only do the young people I volunteer with buck the 'horrible youngsters' trend, but many of the young people we present to do as well. They want to learn and are worried about the issues they face growing up.Young people are willing to do new things and help in the community, the vast majority of us are decent, and it makes my blood boil that I, as part of a group, am blamed and vilified for the actions of a minority.Oh, and I gained 11 GCSEs, A*-B. And nobody can take away my sense of achievement at that, certainly not when it's a bitter adult looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses. Mon 14 Jul 2008 22:13:02 GMT+1 redgloops http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=33#comment10 Good for the young people of today but does the survey state where these young people live.I would bet my bottom dollar that they dont live in the North.Of course there are some brilliant children up here but watching most of the young ones up here does not encourage me to believe that they are like the ones in the surveyWe have too many latch-key children up here, too many mothers out working, too many parents drinking their lives away and putting drugs in their bodies whilst their children are out in the night doing God knows what Mon 14 Jul 2008 18:54:26 GMT+1 bobmcpike http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=30#comment9 Well said, Mark. My daughter and her friends are a great bunch of youngsters, every bit as idealistic as my generation and a good deal more hard working, as they all realise that no-one owes them a living Mon 14 Jul 2008 18:49:35 GMT+1 Malcolm_Parker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=26#comment8 It would be nice to hold the British Press to account for the frequency with which this fiction about teenagers and other "decline in society" stories are repeated. Part of the problem is that bad news and misfortune sells. Read any newspaper from the 1890s and you'll find todays problems really are nothing new. Mon 14 Jul 2008 18:35:12 GMT+1 forestfan1985 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=23#comment7 Correct me if I am wrong, but are the exams not set by adults. I don't know of any children on the boards of AQA et al. There is a famous quote, can't remember who it was by but it goes thus;"You can only beat what is put in front of you"In this context, if a child opens the paper and finds that he/she can pass it with flying colours, good for them. Don't criticise young peoples ability on the basis of exam content upon which they have no control. Mon 14 Jul 2008 18:13:21 GMT+1 andy_hamflett http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=20#comment6 Dear Mark.I think I love you. So great to read a (rare) balanced perspective on this issue. I'll make sure I dsitribute this throughout our UK-wide networks. It will certainly be well received by young people. As we engage every day with the ever-burgeoning youth participation network which supports young people to be active citizens everywhere, I can tell you that young people are sick and tired of being demonised. Pretty much any consultation undertaken with young people - in any part of the country - to find out what their main issues are will highlight the unfair portrayal of young people in the media as being of particular concern.We all understand that youth crime is a major issue (but as you say, most victims are young peope, too), and that bad news sells (so everyone say, anyway), but we don't feel that any other group within society could be demonised in quite the same way as young people are, and there's a groundswell to try and do something about it. Watch out for a lot more news from us on this issue later in the year, and thanks again for writing this!Andy HamflettChief Executive UK Youth Parliament Mon 14 Jul 2008 18:05:04 GMT+1 Luke91 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=16#comment5 Thank goodness for this article, at last a fair representation of teenagers and at last a BBC correspondent who has the guts to challenge the perceptions in our society.As for GCSE's, they certainly aren't getting easier, they're just being done by a generation who are better prepared for them than previous generations were for O levels. They're a different type of exam and high grades are needed more than ever due to more competition. Mon 14 Jul 2008 17:19:57 GMT+1 tsborrowdale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=13#comment4 "The drop in standards in our kids' education levels over the past few years is so unequivocally blatant that I don't honestly know why we even bother publishing league tables. Utter waste of time."It is an utter waste of time to compare the education kids' receive today to that of O-Level times. The exam styles are different and students are prepared in different ways.It is possible to argue that education today is much more focused on important things rather than exceptionally hard questions ala O-Levels, but again, a waste of time.But to be frank, simply dismissing any improvements in results with the excuse that exams are easier is an insult to not only the students, but also the teachers and other support at schools and centres. Mon 14 Jul 2008 17:02:55 GMT+1 newtactic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=10#comment3 It is very unfair to criticise all young people in the light of the recent stabbings among the age group. Those who carry knives and those who use them aggressively are missing out on the circumstances which produce such energetic and caring young people as described above. How can we change this? That is what we need to ask ourselves. I don't think punishment and imprisonment is necessarily the answer.Impose dicipline to create order and purpose in their lives. When a good routine and diet has been achieved training and further education may give hope and positive ambitions. Young people usually learn quickly. Is it too idealistic to believe the small minority creating this current panic can turn their lives around? Mon 14 Jul 2008 16:49:51 GMT+1 ctxblogger http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=6#comment2 Quote: "a record 62% of teenagers achieved 5 GCSEs grades A-C last year compared with 44% a decade earlier and 26% ten years before that."Oh please, don't tell me you believe this spin, do you? I would have thought you, as a journalist, should know better than anyone how to see through this manufactured rubbish.Get an average 16 year old of today who has gained an A in a GCSE exam to complete an equivalent O-Level exam from a few years back and I absolutely guarantee they wouldn't do better than an E. The drop in standards in our kids' education levels over the past few years is so unequivocally blatant that I don't honestly know why we even bother publishing league tables. Utter waste of time.Otherwise a good article and I agree, they're not all bad :-) Mon 14 Jul 2008 16:28:57 GMT+1 bradshad1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=3#comment1 You want to see how good teenagers are? Go and look at the cadet forces, especially the air cadets, ut do they get any recognition? Nope, except for our Dear Leaders stupendously stupid idea for CCF's at more state schools. No, just make the schools utilise teh existing three cadet forces that are out there at the moment, you fool.phew, glad thats off my chest :) Mon 14 Jul 2008 16:23:10 GMT+1 giantbananarepublic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/10_reasons_to_cheer_our_teenag.html?page=0#comment0 Thank you for this list. In a context where young people are portrayed as a coherent social group and villified by many in the national press it is good to see some positive reporting about young people.The vast majority of young people have a positive attitude to life, respect other people and would not dream of carrying a weapon or harming someone else. They rarely get mentioned because they are good news about which we can be proud.Yet if you took the recent media hysteria over knife attacks as typical you would get the impression that we should either run and hide or lock up young people until they are in their thirties! Mon 14 Jul 2008 15:50:26 GMT+1