In his latest bid to collect data which will reveal 'effective' teaching, Bill Gates is spending $1.4million to develop a biosensor which pupils will wear on their wrists to enable teachers, and presumably the company promoting the sensor, to see whether each individual child is engaged by the lesson and whether the teacher is teaching in an engaging way.

This is the latest bizarre development in the attempt by the Gates Foundation to turn teaching into a standardised delivery process, which can process and add value to human capital at the optimum level. Quite apart from the obvious flaws in the biosensor idea - who's to say that the child is being stimulated by the lesson, rather than the snow falling outside the window? - the idea of measuring children in this way is chilling.

It is made more chilling by the fact that vast amounts of such data are held about individual children by private corporations, in particular Pearson, which in a recent  described itself thus: not only are we the largest textbook publisher, but also the largest trustee of student information in the U.S. 

Meanwhile, parents and teachers in New York were amazed to discover at least six examples of in the state's tests - Lego, IBM and Teen Titans were all name-checked.

Movements like those opposing standardised testing, both in Mexico and in the US, are part of the fight back against such a reductive view of education, which sees it not as a relationship between living human beings, experiencing the world and learning together, but something which can be reduced to spread sheets and test scores, aimed at developing a more flexible and biddable workforce and more enthusiastic consumers.