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Teacher-bashing morons

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, August 20th, 2010 - 41 comments
Categories: dpf, education - Tags: , ,

National seems to hate teachers. Every time it is in office it attacks and belittles the profession. This incarnation of a National government is particularly bad. Over the national standards fiasco Anne Tolley has threatened school boards, bullied schools with threats of funding cuts, and censored the Parliamentary library. Nice.

National’s pet blogger DPF is among the worst of them. His post yesterday was an abysmal, lying, arrogant piece of rubbish. Here we go:

This is hilarious. Do you know why? The NZPF [New Zealand Principals Federation] is refusing to actually detail their concerns about the standards. They keep saying they are flawed, but have declined every request to detail how exactly they are flawed. They say they will not detail the flaws, unless the Government agrees in advance to suspend the standards.

No, it isn’t “hilarious”, it’s a serious matter about our children’s education. And DPF is lying. How can the NZPF be refusing to detail their concerns when they’re plastered all over their website? Like here for starters:

TWENTY FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS IN THE NATIONAL STANDARDS POLICY
W. B. Elley, May 2010

1. The National Standards policy assumes ‘One Size Fits All’. But our children vary enormously in backgrounds, interests, needs and abilities. They learn best if their teaching is pitched just above their present level. Each child should work to his/her own standard.

2. The Standards have been hastily prepared by committees, and untested for difficulty or intelligibility. They may well prove to be too hard, or too easy for the majority of children.

3. The wording of the Literacy Standards is vague and capable of many interpretations. They do not specify clearly how difficult the pupils’ tasks are to be, or how well pupils need to be able to perform, to pass the standard. Many are very similar from one year level to the next.

4. There is no research which shows that passing NCEA Level 2 requires the levels of progress indicated by the published National Standards. This is sheer guesswork.

5. Teachers will be expected to make their ‘Overall Teacher Judgements’ of their students’ achievement levels, based on various sources of evidence, which teachers and their students are to select. These sources will vary widely, from teacher to teacher, making comparisons between schools and between classes quite unfair and impossible to interpret.

6. The Ministry advice provided to teachers, in the Ministry web-site, on how to moderate teacher judgements is naive. It ignores the many problems which have dogged such policies.

7. When results are made public, league tables comparing schools will follow, and all assessments will be ‘High Stakes’. Lawyers tell us that they will have to be accessible under the Official Information Act. The league tables which the media love to publicise, represent THE MAJOR FLAW which has caused the abandonment of similar policies in other countries.

8. High Stakes testing for accountability in this way interferes with the formative value of assessment. It interferes with a teacher’s efforts to use tests for better learning. One test cannot serve many purposes adequately. If the standardised tests in current use are given early in the year for identifying children who need help, and for allocating pupils to groups, they cannot then be used for accountability purposes at the end of term or the school year.

9. Teachers will feel pressured to coach their children for the commonly used standardised tests such as the PAT tests, the Clay Tests, the STAR tests and the AsTTle tests (many of which are already stored in the schools) or the other forms of assessment that their overall judgements will be based on. There is much evidence from overseas on this. Teachers are found to drill children on the style of questions to expect, the specific contents that the tests cover, and in many cases the actual test questions themselves.

10. Overseas experience also shows that other key subjects in the curriculum will be downgraded, as more time is devoted to literacy and numeracy. There will be less time for science experiments or social studies projects, or oral language, or drama, or art, or music, or developing a lifelong interest in reading, and all the other desirable things that teachers do. Yet this is the time when teachers are expected to introduce an exciting new curriculum.

11. Teaching will lose much of its spark and spontaneity, and children become bored. There will be less time for the teachable moment, when a child brings a pet to school, or class excursions to the zoo or the fire station. There will be less time for class visitors, or reading and discussing a great story, or discussions about moral issues – bullying or racial prejudice.

12. Bright children and slow learners will not be challenged so much, as any gains in their achievement levels will rarely be reflected in assessment results reported publically. Overseas experience shows teachers focus on students just above and below the standard.

13. Schools will be judged unfairly, by parents and media, as the results of the assessments largely reflect the socio-economic level of their students, rather than the amount of learning that teachers generate. Surveys show that decile 9 and 10 schools, whose children enjoy the best of home and school resources, consistently outperform decile 1 and 2 schools, where many children are disadvantaged in terms of home language, access to books and computers, family support and other factors. These persistent trends tell us nothing about how well some individual teachers are lifting the performance of disadvantaged children.

14. Overseas experience shows that these kinds of compulsory assessment/reporting plans do not reduce the size of the tail of underachievement. Some say they go backwards.

15. Many children, who do not reach the national standards will be labelled as failures, by their parents and peers. This will be inevitable in Years 1 and 2, as the gap between high and low decile children at age 5 is already huge, and hard to eradicate in the short term. This factor will be tragic for young children, as negative labels are always hard to shake off.

16. Dedicated teachers who currently work hard to help students in low-decile schools will soon seek to move, rather than remain in a failing situation. In USA, many good teachers resign because they disapprove so strongly about high stakes testing with young children.

17. The National Standards policy will require much more teacher time spent assessing, reporting, moderating, and defending their judgements before and after they are made public. This is valuable time taken away from teaching and mentoring.

18. An analysis of the students in the lowest 20% would show the Minister that many are ESOL children, or have learning disabilities. Many come from dysfunctional families or communities that do not value schooling. National Standards will do little to change this.

19. This policy will require the full cooperation of teachers. Surveys of teacher opinion show that most believe that the policy is counter-productive, so full cooperation is unlikely.

20. ‘Big Shake-Ups’ as the Minister describes this policy, surely require a period of trial before implementation, as there are so many ways it can be screwed up or sabotaged. Our children’s education is too precious to allow a wholesale change of culture in a system that is working well for most children. The introduction of the National Standards-Based assessment system in Years 11 to 13, for NCEA, took over 10 years, yet the State Services Panel that investigated its failings judged that it had been implemented too hastily.

I’ve quoted that in full so you can see just how clearly the the NZPF have set out their concerns. But wait, there’s more, like this document stating ten “Criteria for Judging the Acceptability of National Standards”. Or this main resource page linking to expert opinion and warnings from a range of noted educationalists like John Hattie, Lester Flockton, Martin Thrupp and Terry Crooks. So when DPF says that the NZPF is “refusing to actually detail their concerns about the standards”, he is simply lying. And then he gets worse:

A principled stand ha ha ha ha. And ‘best interests of the children of NZ’ they should write comedy. They are going to disrupt as many schools as possible to prevent parents from knowing how their kids are doing against a national standard, and claim this is to protect the children. MyGod.

Yeah actually, to protect the children. And if DPF actually knew anything about the issue instead of just arrogantly pontificating he would know that 40 years of international evidence and the warnings of experts like the government’s own education advisor tell us just how damaging these national standards could be. But the depth of DPFs commentary on this vital issue is limited to snide cynicism and the reflexive Tory attack on teachers. MyGod indeed.

The Nats are trying to astroturf a claim that the parents of insert region here are on their side. But here’s a reality check. Parents like teachers. Parents and teachers are sharing a great task together. The task of raising and educating the young. It builds trust. That may be why, gee, teachers are near the top of NZs most trusted professions list along with firefighters, nurses, the police and judges. Politicians are at the bottom of the list with sex workers and telemarketers.

So who do you think we the people are rooting for when the government and their thugs attack teachers? DPF and any other teacher-bashing morons out there might like to ponder that question, and stop treating the education of our children as just another political football.

41 comments on “Teacher-bashing morons”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Farrar is a cynical ACToid to hooked on the baubles of power to have the balls to actually be honest about his political views. Hence, I see his double posts attacking teachers as simple spin, an attempt to divert his stable of useful idiot posters from talking about the ACT implosion, the rumbles in the Maori party, and the failure of John Key’s “leadership” that runs as a common thread through it all.

    Most of what Farrar posts now is simply diversion, distraction and sophistry.

    • comedy 1.1

      “Most of what Farrar posts now is simply diversion, distraction and sophistry.”

      A bit like this site when Labour was in power then ?

      • Blighty 1.1.1

        yeah. remember all those ‘i love helen’ posts? didn’t they have a tag for that?

        dork/

        [lprent: What 'i love helen' posts? Not here - we leave that type of slavish dog-like devotion to the right (eg DPF and recently Clint Heine). We never did many on either Labour or Helen.

        There has always been a distinct focus on the issues with letting the right apply their short-term focus on government. Most of the posts here look at the consequences of dumb short-term populist decisions. For instance the long-term stupidity of making Tolley type decisions (ignorant and stupid) on education.

        r0b: reading comments out of context, I think you missed Blighty's sarcasm there lprent! ]

  2. Blighty 2

    just turns my stomach to see that bastard accusing principals and teachers of not caring about the kids. why does he think people go into teaching? for the money?

  3. G-sus 3

    hear hear!!

  4. Sam 4

    Tolley has sent an email out to schools and staff saying a similar thing, that the NZPF are not providing her with details of the flaws. It’s insane. I’d paste it but I can’t figure out the blockquote tags :(

    Edit!

    August 2010
    A busy few weeks for education

    New Zealand Principals’ Federation

    I believe it’s important to clarify the facts around my discussions with the NZPF.

    I last met with the NZPF executive on 19 July, at which time they gave a short presentation on some concerns they had around National Standards. The NZPF agreed to make this information available to me, so that I could obtain advice from the Ministry and my Independent Advisory Group before having a further meeting with the executive. The NZPF has yet to give me this information.

    I can assure you I will continue to listen to the sector. There is a three year monitoring and evaluation programme, as well as an Independent Advisory Group. If changes need to be made, then that is what will happen. We are determined to get this right, so keep in touch. …

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any concerns. You can email me at:anne.tolley@parliament.govt.nz or of course at hightrust@parliament.govt.nz.

    Kind regards
    Hon Anne Tolley
    Minister of Education
    Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office

    I hope it’s not too large :(

    [A bit too large yes - hard for people to find the relevant section - I have trimmed to just that part -- r0b]

  5. Perfect response R0b.

    Please DPF reply to this and explain why you said things which on the face of it appear to be entirely incorrect.

  6. comedy 6

    “National’s pet blogger DPF is among the worst of them. His post yesterday was an abysmal, lying, arrogant piece of rubbish. ”

    Fight fight fight fight

  7. Chris 7

    I’ve always thought that National MP’s had a crap time at school and now they what to punish teachers for it.

    I’ve be a high school teacher for 5 years and I’m always stoked when it comes to parental support on these issues.

    They trust us that we have the best interests for students at heart and we do. Everything we do is to make education better not worse and those you think that are just deluded.

    The PPTA is currently trying to negotiate with the govt on our collective agreement.

    They have refused to address claims around class size, because having 30+ students in a class works out great!

    They have refused to address claims around professional development, because not trying to improve your teaching is the best way forward!

    They have refused to address claims around paying for our work computers, because having to pay for things you need to do your job is awesome! Don’t see people paying for their police car or shop assistants paying for their till.

    This govt, left unchallenged, will destroy education in New Zealand.

  8. Fabregas4 8

    I don’t care what the issue is – it takes an awful lot to get people to put their hands in their own pockets for a cause. The mere fact that Principals have resolved to give a days pay to help educate the public about National Standards should be seen for what it is – a commitment to ensuring that children get the very best chance at school and that NZ’s education system remains one of quality.

    They should be applauded for caring enough to do so.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    A RWNJ caught lying – again. What a surprise.

  10. randal 10

    knowledge is power
    if we educate the peasants then they will become powerful
    therefore
    dont educate anyone!

  11. Rex Widerstrom 11

    I’ve commented before that Tolley’s handling of this is appalling (as indeed is her entire performance as Minister). And most of the arguments advanced by the principals I find compelling.

    But I cringe a little at the worldview enunciated in the first point:

    The National Standards policy assumes “One Size Fits All’… Each child should work to his/her own standard.

    As a child grows older this becomes less applicable I feel. It’s wholly appropriate at primary, where you’re trying to instil the fundamentals and develop broad capacities. But once out of school and into the rest of the world people are judged against one another: in work, in politics, in love, in sport…

    Cocooning them from this reality does them no favours. And as an occasional employer I need a simple (albeit somewhat imperfect) means to judge candidate A against candidate B.

    So there are two issues that this statement from the principals overlooks: the inculcation of a competitive spirit as a motivational tool; and the very practical need to measure the outcome of education in terms of its effect on a learner in the latter part of their educational career.

    As an aside, from a purely strategic point of view it’s stupid to be citing “league tables” as the major flaw (IN CAPITALS!11!1!!) when this is something many parents – for better or worse – want. The points that resonate with parents (and make virtually unassailable common sense) are things like 10, 11 and 12.

    • Chris 11.1

      Its lucky then that National Standards are only at the primary level then.

      • felix 11.1.1

        Yeah and it’s lucky that the Fire At Will law only applies to small businesses.

        • Rex Widerstrom 11.1.1.1

          Good point. An inability to objectively rank one applicant against another against a standard scale provides a good excuse to support fire-at-will provisions lest, through lack of empirical data, you hire the wrong person.

          I don’t want to hear that someone has “consistently improved his own standard”, I want a means to judge whether he is better at certain skills that matter to me as an employer than the applicant whose CV is next in the pile. Without a work history on which to base this judgment, I need a comparative standard.

          Of course this applies only to school leavers… amongst the groups most vulnerable to workplace exploitation.

    • Puddleglum 11.2

      Actually Rex, it pays never to try to use a ‘one size fits all’ standard – especially in the ‘real’ world – IF your aim is to help someone develop their capacities. Of course, in hiring decisions the candidate judged the most competent and able should get the job, all other things being equal (though this is a far less frequent event than some might hope).

      But, once in employment it’s presumably in the interests of any employer to get the best out of an employee (especially given what I have often heard from employers about the prohibitive costs of going through the process of employing someone – 90 days arguments and all that). That means the task is ‘development’, ‘training’, ‘education’ or whatever you want to call it. For that task – as educators well know – the best approach is not to adopt a ‘one size fits all’ standard.

      On reflection, even if we are concerned about hiring someone we (as employers) would presumably wish the education system to get the best out of children in terms of developing their capacities to contribute to the workforce (personally, I have problems with that motive for education but I realise others don’t).

      Once again, the best way to achieve that is not to have a ‘one size fits all’ standard. As an employer you would only support it, so far as I can see, if you have no particular interest in having available the most skilled pool of potential employees as possible. That is, if your only concern is ‘how to select’ someone rather than the quality of the pool from which you select. That’s a pretty narrow and short-sighted concern.

      I would have thought individualist ideologies like those supposedly propounded by the likes of ACT and National would simply assume that ‘one size fits all’ is a flawed approach (as Burt often reminds us) – but apparently not. I guess if, primarily, you see people as commodities then it pays to treat them as fixed quantities in need of measurement rather than people who learn, adapt, develop and, basically, live. Better to think of them as immutable objects waiting to be weighed and measured by a standard system of weights and measures (that great economic invention).

      • Rex Widerstrom 11.2.1

        But, once in employment it’s presumably in the interests of any employer to get the best out of an employee … That means the task is ‘development’, ‘training’, ‘education’ or whatever you want to call it.

        Large companies (or at least the intelligent ones) do follow this path, yes. But in most small businesses “development” ranges from ad hoc to incidental to coincidental. I can provide feedback to someone I hire. If they (and I) are lucky it might even occur during the course of a project and not after it’s finished and it’s too late to change anything.

        I sincerely hope that less experienced people learn from watching me work (and I acknowledge I can learn from them too). But my business is a size – in common with many thousands of others – where the owner spends most of his her time “working in the business not on it” because it’s simply not economically feasible to do otherwise.

        That means if I hire someone I need to be confident they can do what I need with a minimum of supervision. OTOH I’m committed – and have been all my life – to offering young people breaks in what can otherwise be some very difficult fields to break into. So when faced with a line of shiny faced applicants, I need a measuring stick.

        • Puddleglum 11.2.1.1

          Thanks Rex. It honestly doesn’t surprise me that you’re aware of these issues (your comments on this site show that you are a thoughtful person and take moral responsibility seriously).

          It also doesn’t surprise me, however, that, in this kind of economy and society, you don’t have much of a chance of acting on that awareness. Ultimately, none of us know each other and each of our purposes are primarily self-interested, so, quite logically, we have to resort to ‘product labelling’ to make decisions about each other – particularly when it comes to buying someone’s labour (i.e., a portion of the life of someone we don’t know and only have an interest in to the extent that they can further our own projects).

          Perhaps, given that reality, an employer also needs to come with a label that gives an independent, authoritative measure of their likely viability over the longer term, their abilities, employment policies and practices, history with past employees, general experience in the area, etc.? And, perhaps, WINZ could have a policy that an unemployed person need only accept job opportunities from employers who meet certain standards through that labelling regime? After all, it’s an equal relationship, so I’m told.

          • Rex Widerstrom 11.2.1.1.1

            Puddleglum, thanks for your compliments. I think your last paragraph raises a brilliant idea, albeit one fraight with a few fish hooks (as I’m sure you’re aware).

            How you judge viability of a small business over the long term I don’t know (if you do, please tell me so I know whether I might as well give up and go work for MegaCorp as a Level 4a drudge!) I’m just brutally honest with people and say I haven’t a clue, I’m just a leaf buffeted on the wind of glocal economics and political whimsy… two forces that make fissionable material look stable and safe. And I hire on a project basis, so with a finite end point agreed in advance that’s not such an issue.

            How you assess past history I don’t know. Employee references would probably be about as much use as employer references (i.e. bugger all) and, if legislatively protected from libel laws, could be used to slander good employers. And if it wasn’t protected it’d be useless as unscrupulous employers would shut down criticism.

            But certainly WINZ ought to have a very thorough file on any employer, including details of any adverse findings in employment actions etc, and prioritise placement accordingly (or even refuse to place in some cases).

            Perhaps the government needs to establish some sort of “Employer Watch” website that consolidates information – good and bad – about NZ employers?

            As an aside I’d hope someone applying for a job (even if sent by WINZ) would be smart enough to do the sort of due diligence online that employers seem to make a part of any hiring process these days.

            • Puddleglum 11.2.1.1.1.1

              “I think your last paragraph raises a brilliant idea, albeit one fraight with a few fish hooks (as I’m sure you’re aware).”

              Yep, I sure was. I just through it out there (should probably have added an appropriate ‘smiley’). I guess what I was really trying to imply was that the logic of employment sets up an arms race that no side, ultimately, could afford (if it were a race between equals). The reality, of course, is that employers can demand evidence about the employee but employees (in most cases) can’t demand evidence about the employer.

              “As an aside I’d hope someone applying for a job (even if sent by WINZ) would be smart enough to do the sort of due diligence online that employers seem to make a part of any hiring process these days.”

              What, even the much harried small business person who is too busy working to train anyone has the time to do ‘due diligence online’ for each prospective employee?

              Also, my hunch is that most prospective employees don’t do that ‘due diligence’. Not because they aren’t ‘smart’ enough but because (1) they wouldn’t know where to start and the information wouldn’t mean anything to them (that’s a lack of ‘cultural capital’ not neurons); (2) most people don’t experience any job as particularly enjoyable or stimulating and they don’t expect much from it other than a regular pay packet for a while, so these sorts of issues about the employer would probably be marginal so long as some money flows in right now. You’d only do due diligence if you thought you had options.

              On (1), my Mum and Dad purchased their state house in the early 1970s with a 3% loan over 40 years from the Housing Corp (whatever it was called then). They’d never owned a house before and never had a mortgage. They left the repayments at the original level until they sold up in 1996 to shift into an ownership flat. They didn’t know, and no-one told them, that they could have increased the repayments. So far as they were concerned, they’d signed a contract and they’d stick to their end of the bargain. The original $19,000 loan was down to around $14,000 by then.

              I guess you could say they weren’t smart and that most people now might know about that. My point, though, is that we don’t all have lives that conform to ‘middle class’ (to use a much-maligned term) norms of what people should know or do.

              • Rex Widerstrom

                What, even the much harried small business person who is too busy working to train anyone has the time to do ‘due diligence online’ for each prospective employee?

                Okay, what I should have said was “10 minutes looking at their Facebook pages” :-P But we hear stories all the time of people failing to get a job because their clean cut interview image is at odds with some social networking page which pictures them downing a keg while waving their tackle about.

                But I take your point about the interpretation of information found online… it’s easy for soeone who spends 27 hours a day online (I dream about it too, compressing several more hours into a few miutes REM ;-) ) to forget that unearthing and weighing the credibility of business against various scales doesn’t come naturally to many.

                Which is why I genuinely think your idea is worth pursuing, in some way, somehow…

                • Puddleglum

                  Thanks Rex – perhaps some web entrepreneur can come up with a useful website to make it easy for people to run a quick ‘check’?

                  Anyway, we’ve probably wandered a bit far off the post’s topic (and you’ll want to celebrate the end of the Aussie election campaign!).

                  It’s been good ‘talking’ – let’s do it again sometime… off to bed

                • lprent

                  Personally I try to not have much of my identity on-line.

                  You can’t find photos, and the only stories you will find are the ones I choose to provide (well apart from the inarticulate and barely coherent ravings of Cameron). They aren’t the important parts of my life anyway, and are inextricably tied to the functions of what I’m doing.

                  But I’ve been around the net since before it was the net….

            • lprent 11.2.1.1.1.2

              …I’d hope someone applying for a job (even if sent by WINZ) would be smart enough to do the sort of due diligence online that employers seem to make a part of any hiring process these days.

              I do. Personally I find looking at the companies office is always interesting

  12. Fabregas4 12

    Respectfully Rex you may have missed the point. National Standards expect every child to reach a certain point at a certain time. To not do so labels them as not achieving to the National Standard which in turn labels them as not achieving as expected. Just as children learn to walk and talk at different rates they learn to read, write and do maths when they are ready too. I am a school principal and I charge my teachers to work collaboratively to ensure that when children leave our school that they are achieving at the expected level – this is what counts not the rate that they get there. Of course at my school, like in the great majority of schools we monitor children’s progress carefully so that we can provide extra assistance to those who need it or extension to those who are making the quickest progress this is done without the need for National Standards.

    As for parents wanting league tables I am not sure that you are correct in saying that parents want them. What is true is that league tables provide very little in the way of valuable information about school performance (i think you are suggesting that they will use them to judge this) and therefore what should be most important is that the negative effects of league tables on children’s achievement should be negated by Educational Leaders (including the Minister) doing their best to ensure that any policy they introduce does not allow for them and if necessary that they educate parents and caregivers about the shortcomings in League Tables rather than leaving it up to the teachers and principals to do so.

    • Rex Widerstrom 12.1

      I perhaps haven’t been as clear as I should be above. I think your comparison of learning to skills like walking is very apt for younger children but necessarily becomes less valid as they get older and hopefully educators have done their job of addressing any barriers to learning.

      By senior high school level it is surely reasonable to expect everyone (bar those with specific learning difficulties) to have reached a minimum level of competence in certain areas?

      In saying that I acknowledge that National’s “vision” seems to be about teaching to the standard and doesn’t address the strategies needed to ensure those who are struggling are supported and those who are excelling are encouraged and given the freedom to do so.

      If we’re not ranking students against their peers by senior secondary level then I believe (for the reasons I’ve enunciated above) we’re doing them a disservice.

      In terms of “league tables” (and I’m talking of these as applied in a secondary setting) I agree that as presented in the media they are worthless and give a distorted and unfair perspective. But OTOH I think Julia Gillard (no right winger) is on the right track in creating a web site which endeavours to compare like with like. That is to say schools in similar deciles and with similar ethnic mixes etc – attempting to filter out as many externalities as possible rather than ranking a decile 10 private single sex school in a table with decile 3 co-educational public schools… which is the nonsensical “statistics” we’re fed at present.

      My comment on parents’ demand for some form of ranking mechanism is, admittedly, based on the Australian experience. Perhaps it’s muted – or even non-existent – in New Zealand. Here, certainly, parents want some form of regular reporting on the performance of their child’s school (and I believe they have every right to demand that) though are open to debate as to what form it should take.

      • Fabregas4 12.1.1

        National Standards are not for Secondary Schools at all they are for 5 to around 12 year olds.

        I can give you a league table that will be reasonably accurate right now without visiting a single school (there will be a few exceptions of course) by following this formula. (a)List all schools according to decile (b) further sort them according to ethnicity placing those with most Maori children at the bottom of this list. That’s about it.

        Now there lies two questions:
        1. If we already know this then why are the government saying they need information?
        2. Is it a coincidence that schools from the lowest decile and with the largest number of Maori are those that struggle to help their children achieve or is this schools reflecting society?

        I’m not for one minute suggesting that teachers and schools aren’t achieving great things with these groups of kids (my own school is) but it is despite the societal effects that get in the way of learning.

        Want to lift achievement? Don’t look at schools (they do extremely well with relatively poor resources across all world measures for children not in low decile schools and children who are pakeha and middle class) instead look at a society that allows poverty, rampant drug use, lack of work opportunities, costly health care, poor state housing, and non existent early child care/new parent support. Like so many problems there is no quick fix – but focusing on the real problems would help and benefit each and every one of us.

        • Rex Widerstrom 12.1.1.1

          Thanks for this debate Fabregas4. FYI I chaired the board of a decile 3 state school with a high Maori / PI quotient so I know whereof you speak. I also got my education there.

          I understand national standards are proposed for primary and intermediate schools but the NZPF also have a dig at NCEA’s “failings” (not that there aren’t any) so I read their position paper more as opposing standardised testing across the board.

          I agree league tables could be compiled as you suggest and used to fume when newspapers would insist (in the days before formal “league tables”) on ringing round the schools in the area and asking for pass rates for exams, then publishing the results with no mention of the fact that we were struggling to get a toilet block made safe and re-opened while being ranked against an exclusive public school for which people paid over-the-odds house prices to get into the zone, not to mention several private ones.

          But because one measure is inaccurate does not mean all must necessarily be. The more data factored in and accounted for, the more accurate the result.

          And I particularly agree that the causes are primarily societal… though having sat and interviewed every teacher at two secondary schools which we were merging I cannot help but conclude that – like all professions – there are the mediocre and the brilliant amongst the ranks of educators and that therefore we need a way of measuring performance, rewarding it, and culling those who don’t measure up.

          • Fabregas4 12.1.1.1.1

            ‘ though having sat and interviewed every teacher at two secondary schools which we were merging I cannot help but conclude that like all professions there are the mediocre and the brilliant amongst the ranks of educators and that therefore we need a way of measuring performance, rewarding it, and culling those who don’t measure up’.

            You hit the nail on the head ‘like all professions’ but like many you feel that it is ok to comment on and critique teachers but leave the doctors, economists, dentists, etc etc alone. Everyone thinks that they know about teaching, everyone thinks that they can identify good and poor teachers, everyone looks to blame them – I don’t see this approach for other professions – I reckon its because everyone has been to school – but the truth is it takes more than that to be an effective teacher or a teacher at all. Last time I looked you needed a degree, two years supervised teaching, annual appraisal against professional
            standards, all the while getting pressure from Principals, Syndicate Leaders, parents, community, and having a great responsibility to the children in front of you and around the school in general.

            And still everyone expects every teacher to be perfect all the time.

            • Rex Widerstrom 12.1.1.1.1.1

              like many you feel that it is ok to comment on and critique teachers but leave the doctors, economists, dentists, etc etc alone.

              Whoa there a minute! You’ll find me criticising all sorts of other professions… even if you don’t count politicians as professionals. Specially the economists. But the greater impact they have on society as a whole, the more likely I’ll be saying something more often. That’s only natural.

              I’d suggest that, in addition to your reason why:

              Everyone thinks that they know about teaching

              it’s also because doctors aren’t in the media agitating for lower patient numbers and more money. And dentists just charge outrageous prices while people like me nurse toothache and can’t afford to pay, but they’re basically individals and aren’t organised at all. The effectiveness of the teacher unions in highlighting professional issues naturally stimulates discussuon of such issues… which is exactly what the unions want.

              …everyone thinks that they can identify good and poor teachers, everyone looks to blame them I don’t see this approach for other professions

              What, you’ve never heard of Coronial inquiries into, and debate about, the competence of doctors – individually and as a profession? I have – I used to handle spin for the College of GPs. Not as often as teacher comptence was debated but as I said, the NZMA isn’t nearly as active in lobbying.

              • Fabregas4

                What’s your profession Rex?

                Doctors are consistently agitating for better conditions (think Junior Doctors strike) and have a strong voice in advocating for better health care (just as teachers and principals do for better education). I expect them to do so because they know better than me about medicine. I actually expect some Doctors to be poorer than others because I live in the real world – just as I expect to get a piss poor shop assistant here and there, a dead loss banker, and a shockingly bad electrician. Why is it that every teacher is expected to be perfect or culled out when we have workers everywhere in every job who struggle. Man, I used to be in banking and saw a whole heap more lazy and incompetent people in that industry than I ever have in teaching.

                What I am saying is the regularity of negative comment about teachers is a dam cheek from those who are largely unqualified to comment in any depth but feel free to do so for some reason.

  13. George.com 13

    And whilst Principals are busy having to tell the Minister (repeatedly it seems) about the issues/problems with National Standards, they are not being able to properly implement a new (and world class) curriculum. I wonder what will make more difference to childrens learning, some National Standards or a new curriculum.

  14. popeye 14

    Let’s be frank…Nat Stds are not about improving student achievement. The Standards subjugate the work of schools and the rich tapestry of humanity that attend to a searingly retrograde idea like “children learn in a linear lock step fashion that can be measured in the same incremental units every year of the child’s schooling. For gods sake…haven’t we evolved a little further than this. I’m with you F4…the total lack of understanding of what constitutes modern learning, teaching and assessment is clearly evident in the many armchair critics who seem to want to go back to the 70’s when we moved from Std 1 to Std 2 to Std 3…systematic, uniform, mechanistic learning. We don’t accept doctors using outdated ideas in their work but we are very comfortable in decrying teachers desire to move on from ideas that are tired and unworkable.

  15. jbanks 15

    What do the parents want?

  16. Fabregas4 16

    They don’t know what they want when it comes to National Standards (most polling shows that very few parents understand or care about National Standards instead most comment that they are satisfied with information already provided by schools).

    In general most parents want their children to:
    1. Be happy at school
    2. Be excited about learning.
    3. Learn across a range of subjects (but mostly reading and writing)
    4. Relate well to others
    5. Make progress and improve.
    6. Do their best and learn how to persevere.
    7. Get opportunities to find their strengths by trying new things.

    That’s what I wanted for my kids and what I want for kids I teach.

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    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
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  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
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  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
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