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Standards slipping

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, September 22nd, 2012 - 135 comments
Categories: Hekia parata, schools - Tags:

So the first ‘ropey’ National Standards data is slipping out.

It may not bear comparison, and not be moderated or indeed standardised, but Hekia Parata can now divulge the great wisdom that National’s StandardsTM provides:

In shock news, apparently Maori and Pasifika children aren’t doing as well.  And now we can target them to make sure we can help them improve.

Maybe by bringing back all those “Closing the Gaps” policies that Labour hurriedly cancelled once Don Brash’s Orewa speech made them too politically toxic.

Which party was Don Brash leader of again?

I’m glad we’re going back to the 50s and labelling lots of kids as failures at age 5, giving them complexes and blocks to their learning, all so we can learn… what we already knew.

Next week, Hekia will no doubt divulge that her 20% tail is in fact the ones the teachers were pointing out before they had to spend large parts of their day teaching to the National Standards test – back when they spent their time helping our kids fulfil their potential.

For yet more on how standards go horribly wrong, here’s an in-depth article from the US.  Schools getting fabulous results for their under-privileged kids, and looking like they’ll get punished financially because they don’t do well on the test.

That’ll motivate them.

Now why are we adopting the education policies of those countries far below us in education rankings (and falling), and not having faith in the 4th best education system in the world, that costs just about the least?

135 comments on “Standards slipping”

  1. IrishBill 1

    I was particularly disappointed to read John Hartevelt’s “explanation” of why they published the data. It seems they were given a lot of reasons why they shouldn’t and accept the rationale presented but have decided that it’s the right thing to do to publish because…?

    It was strangely defensive the way he stressed it wasn’t a “business” decision despite the fact nearly every parent in the country will want to see where their children’s schools are listed (even if they think it’s inaccurate) and the subsequent increase in page hits and newspapers sold will help Fairfax’s bottom line.

    Oh and John, just because journalists are making the decisions doesn’t mean the decisons aren’t business decisions – unless you would have us believe a senior journalist such as yourself has no care or understanding of his employer’s business needs.

  2. BM 2

    Great day for democracy.

    • mike e 2.1

      Hik town piranha has made a poor judgement on boys outcomes and reading outcomes Scandinavian countries don’t start teaching reading till eight years old and they have better outcomes than us
      she is one dumb idiot.
      Labours closing the gaps policy would have brought our education system to number 1 In the world today!

    • captain hook 2.2

      great day for democracy my arse.
      heka paratai does not know the meaning of the word.
      she should go back to school.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Definitely not, a dismal day where misinformation makes our democracy even more precarious.

      • BM 2.3.1

        All this data shows is that certain kids can’t read, write to a average standard.
        Nothing to do with the quality of the teachers.

        I don’t see why this data is ropy?, it achieves what it supposed to do which is point out which kids are below par.

        • OneTrack 2.3.1.1

          Unfortunately, it also helps point out which schools (and teachers) are below par as well. They might be encouraged to try something different. Oh the horror. But its easier to blame John Key and capitalism. Waa Waa.

          • mike e 2.3.1.1.1

            old timer the ERO already did that you imbecile oh woe is me just add another layer of bureaucracy that will fix it old timer!
            During the election campaigns in the 2000’s National said paper work and bureaucracy was getting in the way of teachers doing a good Job now we have the same party doing the opposite?

          • Dv 2.3.1.1.2

            BUT it is these sub par teachers that are making the judgements.
            SO the DATA MUST be wrong eh?

          • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1.1.3

            Unfortunately, it also helps point out which schools (and teachers) are below par as well.

            Nope, doesn’t do that either. All these standards do is show that some children can pass tests. They do nothing else. So judging teachers and schools on them will just result in the children being taught to memorise the answers (taught to the test) while learning nothing. This is why these standards have failed every time that they’ve been tried – they make education worse.

            On top of that, they’re not even standardised so that they don’t and can’t show what the RWNJs say that they show.

            • OneTrack 2.3.1.1.3.1

              Step one – standardise the tests.
              Step two – have the ministry rotate the tests each year to reduce teaching to the test.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Doesn’t work you idiot as has been shown in the US and the UK.

              • Georgy

                OneTrack – you make a fundamental mistake in your comments that clearly show you have no idea how all this stuff is done in schools. National standards are not tests. If you want to engage honestly in the discourse on education and Nationals policies you need to do some serious homework. Trolling is very unbecoming.

              • mike e

                Why not just breed wrote learning Zombie regurgitating repetitive teachers! when our teachers and teaching methods are seen by other countries they love our teachers!
                National and the waste of time and money testing for what we already know basically
                are ruining a very good system that needs a little tweaking and not throwing out the best value for money education system in the world! where our education system teaches us to think for ourselves .
                National want us to have our children turned out on a production line!
                Zombies that just do as they are told!

          • Georgy 2.3.1.1.4

            OneTrack – how did you come to that conclusion from this data?

        • mike e 2.3.1.2

          Blond Moment Every body knew that data all along closing the gaps was the answer accepting boys learn to read later and that poor people have poor outcomes all known! .
          So how come 40 out of 50 US states are dumping Standards testing aye Blond Myopic Idiot!

        • Dv 2.3.1.3

          Nope AVERAGE is the wrong word. They are based on a standard, and that has nothing to with averages.

          BUT what is the PAR, and can compare one to the other.

          Can you be confident that a judgement in northland is the same as the judgement in the west coast.
          What confidence can you that the same and different teachers apply the same and consistent standards.
          Can you be sure the judgements with the same next year.

          The Nation Standards are neither National Nor Standard.

          That why they are ropey.\

          The judgement have a lot to do with the quality of the teachers BECAUSE it is the teacher that makes the judgement.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1.4

          I don’t see why this data is ropy?

          Why don’t you ask John Key. He’s the one who described them as that but the general consensus is that they don’t measure anything. To be able to measure anything means having an accurate measure and National Standards aren’t accurate never mind the fact that not everyone is the same – as the RWNJs keep telling us – and so the same measure doesn’t fit.

  3. Carol 3

    Now why are we adopting the education policies of those countries far below us in education rankings (and falling), and not having faith in the 4th best education system in the world, that costs just about the least?

    Welcome to Planet Parata – going boldly where others have failed before.

    Looking at the image of Parata on the front page of this post, I realised why she is so far out of touch with realities of educational success – she’s a Trekkie!

    http://blogs-images.forbes.com/carolpinchefsky/files/2012/03/StarTrekCast.jpg

    First My Chemical Romance:

    http://wa1.cdn.3news.co.nz/3news/AM/0-Articles/206361/hekiaa.jpg?width=460

    http://visionaryartistrymag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/mc1.jpg

    Now this.

    • Adele 3.1

      Tēnā koe, Carol

      You do a dis-service to Trekkies!

      I am an avowed science fiction fan, although not a trekkie, I do appreciate the more serious extrapolations of the genre. Besides, Parata would fail the United Federation of Planets Inter-Galactic Diplomacy Test.

      Imagine trying to impose a monoplanetary set of standards across a broad spectrum of planets – say, lets rate them for how intelligent they are against the human standard as an example. The Romulans would eat us for dinner, the Cardasians for breakfast, and Klingons would use us for tooth-picks. Not to mention the Vulcans raising a collective eyebrow to imply the logical fallacy.

      The Ferengi would also make a killing, having already secured inter-galactic patents on the standards and its methodologies, and selling them back to planet Parata at super-nova prices.

    • tc 3.2

      Just another hollow lackey following orders, you give her way too much credit if you believe she even has shallow thoughts about what she’s doing.

      Boldly bulldozing where ayatolley floundered and the star trek reference is unkind as gene rodenberrys creation was all about seeking out intelligence for the betterment of mankind whereas…..see where this is going.

  4. just saying 4

    This is a debate the left could lead opinion on, with a concerted effort.

    Cool pic.

  5. OneTrack 5

    It is so horrible that parents can see how their school is relative to others.

    The results make it pretty clear why the teachers unions were so violently against National Standards.

    But the cat is out of the bag now. Do you think this might encourage schools and teachers to start giving some priority to harder subjects, such as “boring” reading, writing and arithmetic. But its more “fun” to do kapa haka and recycling. The kids “enjoy” it, and thats the goal of school isnt it – to have fun and do what we want?

    • ianmac 5.1

      Never mind One Track. Perhaps a little medication might help soothe your ill-conceived rant. Maybe when you calm down you might think of something helpful or even credible. Nothing so far.

      • Dr Terry 5.1.1

        It’s alright, ianmac, One Track clearly never “made it” at school and needs right now to join up with 5 year old beginners.

        • Jokerman 5.1.1.1

          ironically, 40 years after beginning school and mainstream cultural and media socialisation, and following recent Revelation/s, i often feel like i am 5 again; obviously not alone in feeling that emotional age, John Key!!

    • Dv 5.2

      >It is so horrible that parents can see how their school is relative to others.

      BUT what are you comparing. The standards ARE not moderated., so cannot be compared between schools with any accuracy.

      Sort of like in the olympics each country brings there own measuring devices tht are not moderated.

      ANY way if the data has any accuracy what is the next step?
      This stuff tells us nothing that has any value.

      • OneTrack 5.2.1

        So, we should start moderating then, shouldn’t we. Easy. Ohh, thats right, the teachers unions (and the left) are against having any sunlight shone on how are education system is really doing. And they are doing their best to kill any real oversight of what the do and the results thy get.

        For some reason, teachers saying “trust me, I know what I am doing” just doesn’t cut it anymore.

        What is the next step? Well this data, unmoderated which implies it has been padded by the schools to avoid looking bad, is even worse that expected. So, the education system should start putting some emphasis on these subjects and, maybe, just maybe, look at alternatives from the prevailing dogma, such as phonetics, etc.

        • Dv 5.2.1.1

          NOP teachers ARE NOT against moderation. (Got any reference for that) In fact they argued for a trial the start. But Nacts didn’t want that.

          Moderation is NOT easy. But as you say with out some moderation the data is meaningless.

          Yes if you have high stakes evaluation, then schools may pad the data. (Ref the hamilton school that fudged it NCEA results.

          >>Trust me, I know what I am doing”

          But with out sensible moderation that is exactly what is happening, because who are the evaluators?
          The teachers.

          So we come back to the original statement – what use is the data to do any comparison?

          • OneTrack 5.2.1.1.1

            You are joking aren’t you. The teachers have been against National Standards from the start and have done their best to sabotage the whole project.

            If teachers had engaged and did their best to get the best value out of national standards I would be supportive of them. But they didnt. They did all they could, including stamping their feet and ignoring ploicies of the democratically elected government because “they know best”. Democracy seems to come pretty low on their list.

            My understanding is that the standards WERE to be moderated but the teachers kicked up such a stink, it was dropped to make it “easier” for the teachers. I admit I might well be wrong in this, but that is my impression based on what I read and saw at the time.

            What use is the data? Now parents have something tangible they can go to their school with and ask why the school is at the bottom of the list for reading, say. That might just encourage that school to put some effort into reading recovery, or maybe even some focus so we ont even need something called reading rcovery. And when some bright spark says, lets have the whole day doing “recyling” or something, some teacher somewhere might actually think, no, lets do a period of reading first.

            You say the data is meaningless. I dont agree with that but, if so, what to do.

            Easy – fix the data. Do it now. Suggest a really standard set of tests that all schools can agree on. Start the moderation. You know, the stuff I always thought the education system was already doing. Like they did in the old days.

            • Dv 5.2.1.1.1.1

              YES Teachers are/were against the standard from the beginning. BUT not only the teachers a lot of education academics too.

              Remember the NS were forced through under urgency, the legislation didn’t go to a select committee if I recall.

              The teachers did want to engage they wanted a trial BUT that didn’t happen.

              The data does have a little meaning BUT it is very limited and doesn’t tell us any that wasn’t known already.

              There are many evaluations already that teachers as a whole agree on Astle, PAT etc and that give good data.

              I do agree that if standards are to work there has to be appropriate moderation and buy in from the teachers.

              In the old days we had school cert that was scaled to 50% pass. Only a written 3 hour exam. Not really appropriate for a 5 year old eh.?

              • OneTrack

                The trial as you describe it was obviously a delaying mechanism with the hope that if it was stretched out long enough, here would be a change in government and the “problem” would be solved. Even a slowmo like me could see that. Unfortunately, Labour lost the election so that plan didnt work.

                And with all these trained professionals around, why would you need a trial. As you said, there were testing methodologies already in use – pick one (astle?) and start using it, correct as required and repeat. It wasnt hard. Except the unions made it hard – much harder than it should have been if they were really looking out for the students instead of themselves.

                IMHO If the teachers had actually been positive about it, they could have had huge influence on the whole thing. They chose the other path.

                • McFlock

                  Pilot schemes aka trials are a good way of identifying whether a programme is conceptually clusterfucked before money is wasted on national programmes by pissant little toryboys like yourself.

                • Logie97

                  OneTrack – you appear such an expert on this theme – what are your connections with the education system? You throw the word moderation around with gay abandon. Perhaps you could advise on what criteria you would moderate 10 children’s pieces of narrative, on any given topic. Would be interested to know exactly what you mean?

                  • OneTrack

                    That is a “how” question that I would like to think could be easily? handled by the education establishment. Am I wrong to expect that? Should we get some educational professionals to come in from overseas to help us find out how we could evaluate students work?

                    I have this silly idea that teachers could actually communicate with each other and agree how a set of work would be marked for different ages. Or is it really rocket science and I didnt realise?

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                         
                      And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference between someone who knows about the field and some dropkick who insists on using words bigger than they are.  

                    • Logie97

                      One track would assess writing on whether simple punctuation was in place, or spelling of high frequency words was consistent. That’s the level he operates at. Judging on those criteria alone he would probably get a level 3A. Equivalent of the old Standard 4. For deaper features as in engaging an audience, about a 3P. So not meeting the standard I’m afraid.

                • Dv

                  >>Unfortunately, Labour lost the election so that plan didnt work.

                  Your timing is wrong.
                  The standards were forced thru under urgency AFTER the election. A select committee would have pointed to the difficulties.
                  Re democracy, there was no discussion before the election about NS implementation. (Just like charter schools)

                  They we ussng aste and pats as you suggest. These ‘test’ took several years of careful development.

                  >>IMHO If the teachers had actually been positive about it, they could have had huge influence on the whole thin

                  BUT what do you think a pilot is, they wanted a pilot to iron out some of the difficulties.. So it was the govt that being dictatorial.

                  NOW we have a set of ‘data’ that is close to meaningless, for a cost of 30 odd million

                  AND that will continue

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1.2

              They did all they could, including stamping their feet and ignoring ploicies of the democratically elected government because “they know best”.

              That’s because they actually do. No government, no matter how democratically elected, knows anything about education and so what they need to do is listen to the professionals, the teachers, who do.

              What use is the data? Now parents have something tangible they can go to their school with…

              No they don’t…

              That might just encourage that school to put some effort into reading recovery,

              The teachers have been wanting more access to Reading Recovery for some time – it’s the government that’s not providing it.

              Suggest a really standard set of tests that all schools can agree on.

              Why? What does it actually achieve when what we had/have is already doing it’s job and is one of the best in the world?

              Like they did in the old days.

              The education system has gotten better than what it was in the old days so why would you want to go back?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.2

          Ohh, thats right, the teachers unions (and the left) are against having any sunlight shone on how are education system is really doing.

          But we already know and we’re in the top 5. The countries that we’re copying are significantly worse than us and going backwards after implementing similar standards.

          And they are doing their best to kill any real oversight of what the do and the results thy get.

          The oversight was already there and working really well. What we’re against is putting in place policies that make our education system worse while costing lots of money.

          • OneTrack 5.2.1.2.1

            How do we know we are in the top 5? Oh, thats right – a standardised test, where all the results are presented in a league table. And, the world hasnt ended. Who knew?

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.2.1.1

              Oh, thats right – a standardised test,

              Yep.

              where all the results are presented in a league table.

              Yes again.

              And, the world hasnt ended.

              Yep but that’s because it’s measuring education over an entire country through random selection and comparing with other countries. In other words, it’s general enough that it’s of some use to the countries to indicate that they may want to work on their education system. Such a system doesn’t work at the individual level to then be used to compare schools and teachers as it measuring the wrong things.

    • quartz 5.3

      OneTrack is one of those rightwingers who thinks they should have done better at school than they did and rather than take personal responsibility for it blame “teh unions!” I think it’s time to just accept you’re a bit thick OneTrack.

      • OneTrack 5.3.1

        Thats good quartz – dont like the message, attack the messenger – lefty 101 isnt it?

        • quartz 5.3.1.1

          Let me speak slowly for you. You. Have. No. Coherent. Message. Because. You. Are. Thick.

          I’ve no interest in wasting my time arguing with morons.

        • Pascal's bookie 5.3.1.2

          That’s hilarious given that the whole argument from the right wing about this is

          “Don’t trust the experts saying this is a stupid policy, because UNIONS that’s why! ”

          That’s the argument you’ve been running is this very thread. That we shouldn’t listen to teachers because erm, they are a bunch of grasping lazy shiftless pricks, or whatever.

          ffs.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      It is so horrible that parents can see how their school is relative to others.

      I take it you missed the bits about the data being “ropey”, non-standard and generally incorrect? You know, something no one could actually draw a conclusion from.

    • mike e 5.5

      OldTimer So it that why our education system jumped up the ladder by 12 placings when Labour dumped your dumb arse policy out last time!
      Children need to be engaged and inspired boring kids to death does not work, to think children are not learning while engaging in these activities is very shallow and uninformed1
      Many studies have shown children who learn music and singing doe better all their lives because it forms more links in the brain!
      Which you have obviously missed out on !

    • Cat 5.6

      Have you ever been in a primary school? All the ones I’ve been in do prioritise reading, writing and maths – the challenge is doing justice to all the other curriculum areas that are also part of the New Zealand curriculum.

      And how terrible that teachers should want kids to enjoy school! Much better to try and make it as boring as possible – after all if it’s not boring it can’t be learning right?

    • Georgecom 5.7

      never mind that children learn in a variety of ways and that schools use all manner of ways to engage children in learning and weave a variety of curriculum strands through activities which are not directly maths or reading/writing. Chuck all that stuff out eh and give them RRR all the time, even if it bores them and demotivates them to learn.

      Bugger the unions who were actually interested in children learning stuff.

      Any other wisdom to impart onetrackmind?

      • OneTrack 5.7.1

        Too bad that the results dont seem to be matching the rhetoric though, isnt it? What “stuff” are the unions actually interested in teaching? Kapa haka seems high on the list, followed by closely by recycling.

        The public have been saying for a long time, teach our kids what they need to get a job.

        Now there is at least a limited positive feedback loop in place which will help do that.

        And nobody is actually saying chuck out all the other stuff. But I expect this will slowly change a few priorities which hopefully will mean less kids leaving school with no skills at all ie the long tail, which even the education establishment admitted existed, but until now, nobody (publicly) was aware of how long it was.

        Now we can start improving. Why is knowing you have an issue a bad thing?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.7.1.1

          Too bad that the results dont seem to be matching the rhetoric though, isnt it?

          The results that put NZ education in the top 5?

          The public have been saying for a long time, teach our kids what they need to get a job.

          Not the public, the RWNJs.

          … but until now, nobody (publicly) was aware of how long it was.

          Really? Wonder how it was that we could say that some people weren’t doing so well before hand then.

          Now we can start improving.

          No, under this system we’re going to get worse as international studies on it show.

        • Georgecom 5.7.1.2

          Lets go back to what you wrote.

          “Do you think this might encourage schools and teachers to start giving some priority to harder subjects, such as “boring” reading, writing and arithmetic. But its more “fun” to do kapa haka and recycling. The kids “enjoy” it, and thats the goal of school isnt it – to have fun and do what we want?”

          The point of schools is to engage children in education. If by having fun, kids learn, then that is good. In whatever interests a child and motivates then to enquire into learning, learning can occur. Other themes and curriculum strands can be woven through the subject that interests the child.

          Recycling you say. Within the wider theme of recycling I imagine a teacher can run a whole lot of learning including reading, writing and maths. If giving ‘priority’, as you call it, to the 3 RRRs does not engage children or motivate them, then, learning will suffer. If whatever is fun for children, and motivates them to learn, permits other things to be woven through it to provide multiple strands of curriculum, then learning will occur.

          If National Standards puts that ‘multiple strand’ learning as risk then it needs to be chucked in the rubbish.

  6. freedom 6

    Speaking of blocks to learning,
    I don’t care how broke the country is or what dogma of the week the pollies are preaching,
    this little article highlights the ever invasive short-sightedness of the 9th floor’s nincompoops.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/7710081/Dyslexics-denied-exam-aid

    • ianmac 6.1

      The sad thing is that many of the kids with ADHD or dyslexia (and others) are in the most intelligent groups. They find it extremely frustrating that the system denies them the chance to strut their stuff. Funny how Mr Thornton NZQA does not have the figures to support his “lower than usual denial.”

  7. lenore 7

    The thing is, we knew that the results would be published and I know the standards are subjective as it is a fine line between saying – is this student “below or at”,

    We also know the media is going to be making some good money publishing all the drama that comes out of the schools and NZEI etc about the standards being published. The Govt can sit back and watch it unravel.

    If we don’t kick up a stink then the media won’t have anything to get their teeth into. Let’s just not buy into this crap and work towards getting this bloody govt out of office!

    Personally I would like to see a benchmark of all children entering school at 5 years old as to their abilities around reading, writing etc – eg do they know how to hold a pencil even? Then we would see the stark realities between the schools in terms of children’s abilities from the get go. Kids living in poverty circumstances are generally starting at a much lower level than the kids who are generally attending higher decile schools.

    If the benchmark is much lower than if there was to be any comparison, it should be between schools with similar economic social circumstances

  8. ianmac 8

    Next week, Hekia will no doubt divulge that her 20% tail is in fact the ones the teachers were pointing out before they had to spend large parts of their day teaching to the National Standards test – back when they spent their time helping our kids fulfil their potential.

    And there you have it Bunji. What a pity that the NS millions hadn’t been spent on helping the teachers to help those kids. Smaller classes would help. Good food would help. Cultural respect and understanding would help.
    I imagine that Parata will gather money by taking from existing programs.
    And Primary Schools with rolls less than 250 will be amalgamated to save money. Starting in Christchurch then…..

    • mike e 8.1

      How come 40 out of 50 states in the US have dropped national standards!
      hik town Piranha is chewing up our fine education system and spitting back at us with her pathetic diatribe!
      Tell us something we didn’t already know!
      Boys develop skills later than girls !
      People from poor families do worse at school!
      So all this teacher time and Education money is being wasted,when we aschually need that money and time spent on teaching these children and making sure they have food in their belly to get on with leaning instead of disrupting and not concentrating!

  9. BM 9

    Going by the results that I saw today, there’s something that really stands out.
    How badly Maori and Polynesian kids are doing at school, even with masses of extra finding.

    The answer is simple.
    Maori/Polynesian boarding schools,remove the kids from their toxic home environment and into a place that values education and achievement.
    The teachers aren’t the issue, it’s the parents.

    • mike e 9.1

      Bellyaching Mongrel Thats a bit like the way aboriginals were treated in Australia!
      BM ignorance is bliss redneck rhetoric!
      Maori and Pacific Islanders have different values the start is for us to understand those different values ,one of the core values is strong family ties so your solution would lead to worse outcomes not better!
      Polynesian people are are far more physically and emotionally orientated1
      European tend to be more intellectual and logic orientated,
      Although in your case BM I think you are confused, lack Intellect and your logic is Racist!

  10. Jokerman 10

    apparently, as a child i had a “measurd” quotient of 137, yet labelling, pedantry and teacher/pupil ratio’s of the time saw me sat with a struggling maori boy at the back of the science class (yet without being encouraged to achieve my potential, i received the annual senior academic prize for science).go figure?

  11. captain hook 11

    tell me has heka paratais PhD arrived in the post yet?

  12. Mary 12

    Hekia comes from the same evil school of lies, nastiness, hatred and stupidity as Bennett. Peas in a pod. A very clearly identifiable type of person.

    • David H 12.1

      The question is this. Why do these two women hate our children, what have our children done to deserve this hatred?

      • Mary 12.1.1

        Their hatred and nastiness are aimed more at anyone who questions them. What they do to children comes more from their stupidity. Neither are anywhere near the sharpest knives in the drawer. Combine all of these traits and you get this very strange almost indescribable beast that won’t listen, is never wrong, is arrogant and totally illogical and condescending especially when challenged. It’s only one example among many but just look at the way Bennett handled the privacy complaint made against her. The most alarming thing, though, is that they’re both so incredibly thick it’s just beyond comprehension how they became MPs let alone ministers of the crown. And I know there are and have been a lot of thick MPs, but these two are exceptionally thick, and is no doubt the main ingredient in this weird, almost surreal personality type that Bennett and Parata seem to share.

  13. unpcnzcougar 13

    As a parent I want to know how my child compares with the rest of the country. If he was doing badly then I would want to help get him back up to standards. Having standards gives a benchmark and something to aim for. Without them it is simply a race to the bottom.

    When I was studying I liked getting an actual score out of 100. It told me whether I needed to work harder or not. Now you get “achieved”, “merit”, “excellence” etc. If you have “achieved” does this mean you were a couple of marks off “not achieved” or a couple of marks off “merit”?

    Actuals in my opinion should always be reported.

    • lprent 13.1

      Pity that National’s standards do none of those things. Even assuming that they are worth while as a concept. They are unmoderated and the standards being measured are completely arbitrary. Consequently the system is a useless for being able to measure changes in standards.

      More than that, the people putting them in appear to have no idea why they are putting them in. Ignoring the usual lapses of ministers into typical stupidity (like Parata asserting that reading standards were good for maths), there is no sign that the ministry will do anything more than measure. Which is a waste of time without rectifying.

      So far the only thing that has been exposed is what was already known – kids from more affluent areas and with English as a first language do better early on in school. So are there any signs that resources are going to be moved to even up the opportunities? yeah right.. I will think that this policy is worth while if we see something in the order of 25% of resources shifted from affluent schools to where the problems are.

      But all this horrendously expensive policy of unstandardised reporting seems to be designed to do is to make people like yourself happier that there are people worse off than you and your children. It is a classic conservative process of voter retention and does nothing to rectify any issues with the imbalances in opportunities for the kids of NZ

    • freedom 13.2

      unpcnzcougar and every other braindead automaton that think schools raise your children. . .

      So you want to know how well your child’s reading writing comprehension and arithmitic skills are progressing ? may i suggest you sit down with them for five minutes, turn off the idiot box grab a bloody book and find out.

    • OneTrack 13.3

      You are only a parent and have no rights. The intelligensia are in control. Trust us, we know what we are doing. Just give us more money so we can spend it widely, I mean wisely. No, not enough, give you more and we will spend it even more wisely.

      • McFlock 13.3.1

        lol
        Love the anti-intellectualism you inject into a thread about education.
             
        In case you haven’t noticed, for the last 4 years spending has been in the control of thick-as-pigshit oiks like yourself. What to we get for it: more poverty and idiotic arbitrary rankings like national standards. 
             
        At least the “intelligensia” know what they’re doing. But then if national standards were a coherent measure, you’d be in the lower decile.

    • Sunny 13.4

      My school days ‘in the old days’ were the most miserable days of my life! We were hit, frequently and savagely, with straps (on outstretched hands and around the legs) with rulers (over our knuckles and over the backs of our heads.) We were yelled at, ridiculed, made to feel ashamed, kept in for detention, burdened with ‘lines’ and collectively punished. As a result I hated school with a passion and for years after had a recurring nightmare that I was back there. The ‘old days’ of education were simply ghastly for many, many children and must never be allowed to return.

  14. Bill 14

    Now why are we adopting the education policies of those countries far below us in education rankings (and falling), and not having faith in the 4th best education system in the world, that costs just about the least?

    Because they ain’t education policies, they are profit maximisation policies.

    Education has always favoured the middle classes. That’s a fact that has a lot to do with the cultural assumptions and so on that are inherent to education programmes.

    Standardisation will merely highlight that fact and exacerbate problems associated with that fact. Education will become a series of ghettos. And the better off ghettos will privatise…become charter schools.

    Parents anxious to be seen to do what is best for their children will attempt to place their children in high ranking, privatised, charter schools, while those lacking the resources will have to settle for their kids being educated in situations where systemic barriers are concentrated. (Pupils with English as a second language or with a preponderance of non-english and non-middle class cultural backgrounds etc)

    And as those schools get lower and lower scores, that will be trumpeted as showing the efficacy of ‘standards’…charter schools will generally be higher ranking. It’s fcking criminal.

    But highly profitable.

  15. Completely agree. A big shock to find that Maori/Pacific are “failing”, as are boys. Just goes to prove that National Standards are POINTLESS because they are just telling us what we already know!

    • OneTrack 15.1

      Except they are telling us that the situation is even worse than we feared. Tell us again why we should trust the education establishment – the ones that seem unable to do anything except protect heir own patch and refuse to consider anything diffent.

      • quartz 15.1.1

        I give that comment three out of a possible 14.

        • OneTrack 15.1.1.1

          Fantastic comeback. That really shot my assertion down in flames. I am so mortified. Not.

          Does this mean you actually admit that the results are even worse than you expected and haven’t thought of a suitable response yet. I am sure the union will come up with something. Or maybe the Principals Federation (whatever) when they get back from their Melbourne junket. Taxpayers money -yay.

          How about this for a line – “Its all John Keys fault and John Banks and those rich pricks. They should give us all their money. If only we lived in North Korea, Cuba or Soviet Russia, everything would be wonderful.”.

      • mike e 15.1.2

        So why have we jumped from 6th in OECD stats in the 1980’s to 16th during the 1990’s and back to fourth in the 2000’s ?
        Because National are a bunch of Fwits that just want to bring costs down at all cost by bullying the sector into submission!
        Bean brained bean counters!

  16. Blue 16

    Breaking News: Kids from wealthy, white backgrounds do best at school!!!!!!

    Wait. We already knew that. Anyone hazard a guess at how much money we wasted to get told that?

    Not a dollar of that money went on improving education FOR ANY CHILD in NZ. All it did was tell little Charlie’s teacher that Charlie is good at reading but struggles a bit with maths. Just as Charlie’s teacher already fucking knew because they’re been in the class with him day in and day out trying to teach him.

    Now, let’s await the announcement of what National plans to do to actually help the children who are struggling.

    Bigger class sizes? Oops, no. Scrapped that.
    ‘Better’ teachers? Oops, no. Scrapped that.
    Food for poor kids so they can concentrate on lessons? Mmmm….no.
    Anything? Anything at all?

    • OneTrack 16.1

      But Charlie’s teacher didn’t tell Charlie’s parents about it, because then they might have asked what he was going to do about it and that might mean he wouldnt be able to leave at 3:05 every day. Oh no.

      But Charlie’s parents did find out when he got to intermediate and had to be put in a recovery group and it was a little bit late to catch up. Oops.

      Trust us, we know what we are doing.

      • Blue 16.1.1

        I sincerely doubt it.

        If you think any teacher leaves at 3:05pm then you haven’t the first fucking clue about education.

        • OneTrack 16.1.1.1

          Well you would be wrong then. Some teachers work on sure. Some others, not so much.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.1

            Yeah those ones are usually on part time, casual or itinerant contracts. Fuck wit.

          • PJ 16.1.1.1.2

            You have no idea.

            I’m not a teacher, but I know plenty, from relative newbies of my generation (1-5 years experience) through to experienced old-hands (25 years +).

            Not one of them leaves work before 5pm. Every one of them goes to school on a Sunday to work. Every teacher I know spends their evenings marking or planning.

            Get a clue.

            • Grumpy 16.1.1.1.2.1

              What fucking drugs are you on? The local primary school,s carpark is empty by 4pm.

              • McFlock

                Why the fuck do tories think that wherever someone parks their car is important in determining where they are or what they are doing?    
                       

              • PJ

                Um what? I’m the one on drugs? You’re the one sitting at home watching the local primary school at 4pm… Dodgy much?

              • Dv

                Private school Huh Grumpy

              • lenore

                I really hate these kind of dumb throwaway comments!!!

                Sometimes the car park is empty because the teacher is out taking the students to their basketball games because they are also coaches etc

                Also this is the 21st century with Internet. Many of us now work from home – hence if a teacher is not there, doesn’t mean they are not working. In the old days before Internet etc , my partner would go back to school til about 10 pm and go into school every weekend. Now they just work every night at home and all sunday. They also coach 8 school teams so are out several times doing that. Can I just say I think it sucks and has a big impact on our family life and under the new pressure of National standards, I want them to get out of teaching!!!

        • Fortran 16.1.1.2

          Blue

          Fact –
          All the cars from outside my house backing on to a primary school are clear by 3.12pm
          That includes all the teacher’s cars that are there all day. Including teacher’s new Porshe convertible with baby seat, and late model Merc coupe.
          Decile 10 with shocking results today, so perhaps you are right.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.2.1

            Including teacher’s new Porshe convertible with baby seat, and late model Merc coupe.

            I always knew you would resort to the politics of envy.

            BTW a $125,000 Porsche Boxster is NOT going to be purchased on a teachers (or even a principle’s) salary, despite your implication.

            You really are full of it.

      • Dylan 16.1.2

        Or, Charlie’s teacher told Charlie’s parents, but they didn’t care

        Or, Charlie’s teacher asked Charlie’s parents to come in for a chat, but they didn’t bother

        Or, Charlie’s teacher asked Charlie’s parents to encourage Charlie to read for fun while out of school, but they didn’t see it as their responsibility…because we all know that you learn only while actually at school…

        Or, Charlie’s teacher told Charlie’s parents, and he also told Charlie’s parents about the extra work he’d been doing with Charlie, and how Charlie had improved immensely over the last few months—but that doesn’t show up in NSs…

        Trust parents, they always do right by their kids

        And teachers are used to the argument: if the kid does well, it’s the kid and parents who caused that; if the kid does badly, it’s the teacher fault

      • mike e 16.1.3

        Old Timer all the full-time teachers I know work nearly 60 hrs a week in a job you sit on the side lines criticising but wouldn’t even contemplate doing this job ?
        We will just increase the class size reduce teachers pay and conditions and make more people poor so they can send their kids to school hungry and not able to study nationals policy!!!!

      • quartz 16.1.4

        I give this comment nine out of a possible 62.5.

  17. freedom 17

    Yesterday i visited the Stuff FB page, wow, and we thought the daily news service was bad on the Stuff site, try this little beauty on for size regarding their header for a National Standards post.
    http://www.facebook.com/Stuff.co.nz?ref=ts

    “After months of resistance, obstruction and stalling tactics from unions and hundreds of schools, you can can now view National Standards results. Read what the primary and intermediate schools have to say and let us know what you think of the system.”

    ( i too would like to ignore FB and pretend it does not exist but the fact is it does )

    • Jokerman 17.1

      to moi? i have closed all that rubbish down. Focus-as Uturn suggests; so much noise and very unpleasant and unhelpful trolling. People being motivated by fear

  18. captain hook 18

    f*c*book is for f*c*heads.
    you know.
    tory party toadies and that ilk.

  19. BernyD 19

    The only positive in Nationals’ stance is incentivising the parents participation in their childs future.

    A very worthy thing, but maybe we could be offering a few more ways of doing this?.
    Then the “message” wont need to be so loud, and may indeed be allowed to adapt according to the current understanding of the data available.
    Here’s some ways to do this off the top of my head ….
    1. Adult Education
    2. Trade Union style qualification heirarchy to follow
    3. More “Life” education content in current curiculum
    4. Civilised Advertising
    5. Peer bonding and Mentoring at night classes
    6. Posters in the WINZ office
    7. ….

  20. kousei 20

    My kid’s school has a room full of music equipment but the kids aren’t taught music unless an individual teacher has that ability and bothers to make it important. The kids are always given notices about private expensive music tuition all the time. I can’t count on two hands the number of teachers who play guitar, piano or other instuments in the school but no dedicated music teacher. The school sends me bills for technology classes for a bunch of materials. Never happened to my parents. We are asked for money for the kids to play school sports.

    Yesterday my twelve year old son told me they don’t really do much history, geography or social studies at school because they as he explained it they don’t really figure that much in the national standard stuff.

    He was then talking about the play that they had to do. It wasn’t the topic he wasn’t happy about but the fact that they were performing it without much preparation together with a bunch of the younger grades. He suggested it was because the teacher had told them it was part of the national standards so they had to do it.

    There seems to be a lot of box ticking going on with the NS. Token gestures as far as I’m concerned.

    There does not seem to be a strategy for developing all childrens potential. This is the important bit. This is the bit that worries me as a parent.

    • BernyD 20.1

      This is a really good point, shred a curriculum and start again, those teachers and kids are starting from scratch, the teachers may get some additional content happening but it’ll take another 2 years.
      Meanwhile …. back in government land, they’re clapping for themselves.

      • kousei 20.1.1

        I don’t think we can only fixate on a few measurable things. We run the risk of saying the values we can’t or won’t measure don’t exist and that spells disaster for us all whether your child suceeds or fails. Like or not we are all in this together.

  21. infused 21

    lol, no one is labeling them failures you retard. The shit you write is almost as bad as stuff.co.nz.

  22. xtasy 22

    Who needs standards?

    We have NONE!

    Hekia, John, Bill, Paula, Tony and consorts

    Signed: NatACT

  23. Lloyd 23

    Taking Maori and Pacifica Children from their parents might improve some children’s educational results but it probably won’t improve those of a large portion of the children and it certainly has a good chance to produce disastrous results like those that were imposed on Aboriginal families with the forgotten generation policies.

    A far better result will be produced by getting Maori and Pacifica parents into the classroom with the kids. If Mum or Dad is the classroom for their child to learn, then the results will be far better than the present situation where Maori and Pacific children work actively to be seen as not excelling in many classes because of peer pressure. Designing a system where parental presence in the classroom is encouraged and where the parents also receive benefit/education would help improve our society in several ways, but we appear to be far too busy testing to help schools achieve better outcomes for our youngsters and no National policy appears to be connected to a brighter future.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      A far better result will be produced by getting Maori and Pacifica parents into the classroom with the kids.

      Except in the many cases where both parents are on low wage jobs and have to be at work to have any hope of making ends meet.

    • BernyD 23.2

      This has been a problem for a while, it started with the funding models.
      Teachers feel like they spend more time on documentation than on teaching.

      Now it’s the curriculum, it’s like they’re trying to ISO9000 certify the education system without knowing what ISO9000 means.

      They’re not likely to change the approach any time soon though.

      One on One is great if the parent knows the content it really can help and visi versa of course.

      At the moment the only option for parents that are working is an open polytechnic style correspondence course @ home or the local library for other home studies they want to do.

  24. Posted also in open mike.

    There is an interesting series articles on National Standards in the Herald this morning, including the first league tables.  Interestingly not all schools were there.

    I found myself compelled to compare the results of my kids primary school with the neighboring schools.  A school with a poor reputation amongst professionals had better results.  Its principal is known to overhype things and it looks like national standard results are no exception.

    And the Herald’s conclusions are not earth shattering.

    1.  Girls do better than boys.
    2.  Maori and Pacifica are doing poorly.
    3.  Rich areas schools perform better.

    We are spending $50 million a year to produce dodgy data that will only hurt some schools.  The money would be far better spent on professional development for teachers and school breakfasts.  

    • Grumpy 24.1

      I had a look at some schools in Christchurch that I know, i was interested in maori achievement as my gradkids are maori.

      I compared Spreydon, Hoon Hay and Rowley primary with the intermediate they feed into, Manning.

      All the primaries do a reasonable job in educating maori kids in terms of the national average, Rowly, which is a particularly difficult area does a good job in the circumstances.

      however, when they got to Manning, everything changes with NO maori reaching National Standard for writing. In fact Manning did a terrible job all round.

      …….and….who was on TV the other night loudly complaining about being shut down, or forced to amalgamate?? Right, Mannings headmaster……

  25. Dv 25

    How do you know the result are comparable as there is no moderation.
    It may mean Manning is tougher on assesment.
    You just really dont know.

    • Grumpy 25.1

      Manning Intermediate feeds into Hillmorten High. A mate of mine is a teacher there. He reckons the Nation Standards data just confirm what teachers at Hillmorten have always known.

      • Dv 25.1.1

        BUT it still teacher judgment that is not moderated
        The NS are not national nor are they standard.

        You mate may well be right, and a lot cheaper than the 60M for a bunch of crap ‘data’

  26. irascible 26

    The data from the poorly constructed and imposed “National Standards” testing merely confirmed what PISA and the established reputable moderated tests have told us for years. Children in poverty do worse than those from affluent areas, ESOL children are handicapped when tested on an English language test, and that Maori & Pasifika students have reading & writing difficulties that stem from both economic and literacy poverty.
    Parata, however, has released the data to distract from her botch up in Christchurch, Bennett’scollapsing Beneficary bashing policies, to create a stick to hitthe teachers as they enter into contract negotiations and to create a positive spin cycle to disguise the corruption around Banks and KeY’s relationship.
    Whichever way you read it this release of KeY’s ropey data has been done as a smoke screen exercise.

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    A draft report on New Zealand’s performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has been released for public comment by the Ministry of Justice. ...
    Scoop politics
  • “Prominent Auckland businessman” a depraved predator
    The 15-year prison sentence imposed on a “prominent Auckland businessman” for shackling and sexually violating young drug-addicted girls in a dungeon, has been welcomed by sexual violence advocacy group, Stop Demand Foundation. ...
    Scoop politics
  • “Prominent Auckland businessman” a depraved predator
    The 15-year prison sentence imposed on a “prominent Auckland businessman” for shackling and sexually violating young drug-addicted girls in a dungeon, has been welcomed by sexual violence advocacy group, Stop Demand Foundation. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Proprietors of Wakatū v Attorney-General
    The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Wakatū Incorporation, Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kāhui Ngahuru Trust alleging breaches of trust and fiduciary duty against the Crown. The High Court had also dismissed the claims. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Proprietors of Wakatū v Attorney-General
    The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Wakatū Incorporation, Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kāhui Ngahuru Trust alleging breaches of trust and fiduciary duty against the Crown. The High Court had also dismissed the claims. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Reminder of the value of council recreation investment
    High holiday season demand for city parks, aquatic centres, cycleways and other recreation infrastructure highlights the vital importance of continued council investment in new facilities, says New Zealand Recreation Association Chief Executive Andrew Leslie. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Judge Advises Circumventing Law on Fluoride
    Justice David Collins has taken it upon himself to advise the NZ Ministry of Health's legal team on how best to circumvent the Judicial Review before him, regarding fluoridation in New Zealand. It appears the Judge is well aware that… ...
    Scoop politics
  • Consultation on NZ report on the Rights of the Child
    Sacha O’Dea, General Manager, Ageing, Disability and International of the Ministry of Social Development, announced the opening of public consultation on the Fifth Periodic Report under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) ...
    Scoop politics
  • Follow the Kiwi way these holidays
    New Zealanders are encouraged to ‘follow the Kiwi way’ over the holidays by showing respect for neighbouring landholders when accessing the country’s beaches, forests, rivers and mountains. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Irresponsible to ignore Auckland’s funding requirements
    We raised the debate on possible futures for the AECT to focus Auckland's attention on the parlous state of our city's development, says the chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association Kim Campbell. ...
    Scoop politics
  • PARS celebrates first graduation
    The first five participants of PARS’ (People At Risk Solutions) Toe Feso’ota’I Mentoring Programme graduated on Wednesday the 17th of December, marking the beginning of an innovative and culturally responsive mentoring programme that’s already helped ...
    Scoop politics
  • Back off the bumper this summer
    Media Release: 19 December 2014 Back off the bumper this summer A few seconds is all it will take to make our roads safer these summer holidays, says the AA. “Nearly 1 in 10 injury crashes last year involved someone… ...
    Scoop politics
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