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A school board member writes

Written By: - Date published: 4:44 pm, September 11th, 2011 - 74 comments
Categories: education, schools - Tags: , ,

First time commenter Griffo posted this comment in an older thread.  It deserves a wider audience…

The other night I resigned from the bot of my local school. My experience in the field of education is fairly varied, with time on both sides of the chalkface as it were. This education system is one of the cleverest in the world, and it is self improving. I am very proud of our school, in fact I have good reasons to believe that it is the best primary school in the district, but the bot has been forced by the government, through the moe to include national standards, and I can’t in good conscience be a party to such foolishness. I do believe in national normative testing, as we have used for some years now, and a wonderful tool it is, when used in it’s place.

There are a variety of reasons why NS is bad for the education system, such as:
Stratification of the system with league tables
Publication of students’ achievements in the public sphere
Unrealistic comparisons between unlike schools
Unrealistic comparisons between unlike students
Unreasonable influence over the way teachers teach
Unattainable goals
Disempowerment of bots and there communities
Starting points are ignored
Cultural learning is ignored
True individuality is supressed
Students whose learning style is not “normal” are disenfranchised
Lack of early success dooms the student to long term failure
Long term loss of flexibility in the populations mentality
Creation of an even more pyramidal society
And on
And on

The only other countries that use this system, worldwide, are Australia, the USA, and Great Britain. The Aussies are delusional, the Americans are falling fast, and the battles have started on the streets of England. In fact just today I read of strong reports coming out of England that teachers are upgrading test results and dropping the hard stuff to get the “achievements” that are demanded. No one in the press connected this with the mistake that this government is shoving down our throats
I haven’t met an educationalist who even remotely supports this.
I haven’t met an Englishman that supports this.
Same for the Aussies.
The young Americans shake their heads in despair when you ask about it.

The politicians who introduced this stupidity are acting on one of two impulses. The first is that they were told what to do by their philosophical masters, or Two, it was a quick grab of a policy that was different to the Labour party, and seemed like an easy do. You take your pick.

Please don’t force the schooling of our children to take a backward step.

74 comments on “A school board member writes ”

  1. Bill 1

    “The only other countries that use this system, worldwide, are Australia, the USA, and Great Britain.”

    People are going to get pissed off for me endlessly pointing this stuff out. But Great Britain is not a country (it’s an island that contains three separate countries). England is not Britain. And the English education system is wholly seperate to and different from the Scottish education system. There is therefore no such thing as a ‘British education system’, as claimed in the post.

    • Ed 1.1

      Is it a policy set by the UK parliament applying only to England? It doesn’t detract from the substance of the post though.
      I would be interested in a reference for the reports coming out of England. Have they applied the requirements to private schools?

      • Bill 1.1.1

        The substance of the post is fine if you allow for the discrepancy of the details.

        Here’s a link to proposed changes in Scottish education. Lots of info and apparently a lot of ongoing input from teachers and parents etc. Maybe you (or someone more involved with education) might want to contrast and compare with the proposals for NZ?

        From first blush they seem to be the diametric opposite of what is being proposed for NZ. And since it’s another english speaking country with its educational policies etc online, it might be a useful soource for ideas that could be used to positively oppose whats unfolding here?

        Just a thought.

        http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Education

    • Never any need to apologise for accuracy and precision, Bill.

      That’s especially the case when precision might lead to discovering something useful (e.g., how Scotland runs its education system in comparison to England – and which is doing best for the children.).

      From the wikipedia entry on ‘Countries of the United Kingdom‘:

      Countries of the United Kingdom is a term used to describe England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These four countries together form the sovereign state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is also described as a country.[1] The alternative terms, constituent countries and home nations, are also used, the latter mainly in sporting contexts.” 

      I think the important point – as you’ve rightly made before – is that these countries often have substantively (and substantially) different systems in place. Even more to the point of the present post, that might partly arise from a deliberate attempt to avoid problems with the systems used elsewhere in the UK.

      • Bill 1.2.1

        So in the interests of precision Puddleglum 🙂 … the post didn’t refer to the UK. It referred to Britain. And N. Ireland isn’t a part of Britain .

        edit. (for clarity, of course) The UK and Great Britain (or Britain) and the British Jsles all refer to different things. As for the nice international legality of the UK being registered as a country…hey-ho. Doesn’t really count for anything outside of international legal circles.

        • Puddleglum 1.2.1.1

          So in the interests of precision … the post didn’t refer to the UK.

          Indeed, but, in the further interests of precision, I never said it did. I simply noted that it was “Even more to the point of the present post” (emphasis added). 🙂

          Just to clarify (I know, this could go on forever), I used that quote and source not because of the UK reference but to support your point that we’re talking about different countries here (there). I noticed the reference to the UK being called a ‘country’ but, frankly, your point still stands – Scotland and England are different ‘places’ with different systems (e.g., educational).

          I was honestly trying to help – not nit-pick. 

          • Bill 1.2.1.1.1

            “I was honestly trying to help – not nit-pick.”

            I know. I was just feeling a tad, what’s the word…obstreperous.

    • Rich 1.3

      On that basis the USA and Australia aren’t countries either. Or Germany. Or Switzerland, Belgium, India, South Africa and dozens of other federal states.

      The UK (Great Britain is a geographical term for the right hand island) is a composite nation made up of four other nations. It has a system of devolved government where many public functions, such as education (as you point out), are organised at the Scottish or Welsh level. Others, like defence, are organised on a UK level.

    • Griffo 1.4

      O.K…..split imaterial hairs, the fact is that a headmaster from our area spent a week researching NS in London a month ago and he was overwhelmed by the overpowering disillusionment of teachers there in regards to NS.

    • Griffo 1.5

      O.K…..split imaterial hairs, the fact is that a headmaster from our area spent a week researching NS in London a month ago and he was overwhelmed by the overpowering disillusionment of teachers there in regards to NS.

  2. Anne 2

    Thank-you Griffo for your post. Comments like this almost leave one in tears.

    My personal view as a non-education expert is: the second ‘impulse’ is the correct one in this govt’s case. That is:

    it was a quick grab of a policy that was different to the Labour party, and seemed like an easy do.

    That they are willing to play with the futures of this country’s children in this way is abominable! I’ve said it before and I say again. They have found excuses to exempt the private schools from this travesty, and it’s common knowledge that almost all of the Nat. politicians’ – and their wealthy backers’ – children attend private schools. In other words, there’s no way they are going to have their children subjected to National Standards. Says it all!

    • Ed 2.1

      What is the excuse they are using for not applying “one law for all”?

    • Carol 2.2

      It probably has to do with the right wing belief that the private system does things better than anything state run. They would probably argue that private schools don’t need national standards because parent wouldn’t send their kids there if they didn’t think they were getting their money’s worth. But of course that ignores loads of relevant factors about the differences between private and public schools, whether parents can accurately judge a school’s performance, etc, etc.

      • Phaedrus 2.2.1

        There’s a very useful USA book “A Measure of Failure: the political origin of standardized testing” that explains all.

    • Phaedrus 2.3

      My informed view, after a huge amount of reading, and corresponding with overseas educators, is that the first suggestion is the accurate one – following the dictates of overseas string pullers. Too many similarities, including the jargon eg “raising achievement’ or ‘lifting the bar”. It’s all out there, and for people with ‘open’ minds, easy to find. To start you off, google ‘Diane Ravitch’

      • mickysavage 2.3.1

        Aye, National Standards was from memory a single sentence in National’s policy and it was one of the 100 days of action with a slight tweak to the Education Act.

        It was a policy born of a slogan that was opposed by anyone who knew what the fuck they were talking about.

        The subsequent “contest of ideas” has been one of who is strongest and loudest, not who is right.

  3. Phaedrus 3

    Yes, Bill, it is England who’ve gone down the testing road. The Scots have far more sense.

    • marsman 3.1

      And ironically it is said that Bill English is behinds Tolly’s ‘National Party Standards’.
      The whole idea is of course the dumbing down of education for the children of the masses while the MSM dumbs down the grown ups. Robots to do the taxpayer funded cleaning in Bill English’s taxpayer paid for house and to fill the private for profit prisons. Nasty people.

    • Bill 3.2

      Second time in the same thread that I’m going to give the same link. I don’t have kids. I’m not involved with education. But from the quick wee read I had here http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Education it looks like there is a genuine desire to educate well. I know there is bound to be a lot of propaganda or spin in there and like I say, I’m not involved with education, so don’t necessarily pick up on it.

      Somebody with more base knowledge than me should give it a ‘look, see’ since it seems that all other english speaking countries are going down the ‘dumb down’ National Standard league table road.

      Being able to posit alternatives from the real world can’t hurt in any resistance to NS, can it?

      • Griffo 3.2.1

        Look at this governments official literature on NS and you will see the most bewildering gobbledeegook, with no definitions, no facts, no workable guidelines that mesh with reality,
        and nothing that a sensible person can get their heads around. The MOE come to BOTs with stuff like “we understand that you are having trouble coping with the NS, and we will provide you with training to help you comply”. Said Trainers have nothing to give the BOTs but the party line, and have no answers to concerns raised. A big joke.It should be noted that the MOE spent a bundle on “explaining” NS in poster form junk, that was colourful but empty

  4. MrSmith 4

    Nationals standards always felt to me like a big stick that National could beat the teachers with for 3 years.

    The Nact’s are very aware that an educated underclass is a very dangerous thing, especially to their power, and people with a few clues don’t tend to hang around hosing cow shit at $12 an hour for long.

    The education system wasn’t failing, I suspect it was overachieving and the Nact’s had to try to put a stop to that.

    • Anne 4.1

      Hear hear MrSmith!

      • tc 4.1.1

        If it’s such a great system why not apply it to private schools who receive govt funding also? hardly a national standard from which to make valid comparisons is it.

        The best ayatollah can do is label the dissent as labour party activists which is an amateur attempt at diversion and insulting to hard working boards of varied persuasions.

        what a joke of a minister she is, didn’t she fail to complete school and what qualifications does she have?

        • Ianupnorth 4.1.1.1

          Because the playing field is already uneven; kids at private schools have access to many things most regular kids would never get. It would show up the inadequate funding of the public sector, and that would not look good for Mr. Key

  5. flossie 5

    National Standards were imposed for a variety of reasons – one of them being that if teachers do not educate children to reach the standards, then it will ultimately have an effect on their pay. There has already been discussion, votes and opposition to performance based pay for teachers – which is what the government is proposing. Currently, the unions have organised meetings to hold discussions very soon with teachers about a possible alternative remuneration package. The implied message there is that if teachers and unions don’t come up with a sound alternative to performance based pay, then it will be hoisted on them just like national standards have been. The government has persistently down-graded the qualifications of teachers over the last few years and continues to do so, successfully paying people less and taking away the practical ways that people could upgrade their qualifications while still working, thus ensuring that they cannot move up the pay-scale. National Standards have no place in any child’s education. They do not inform learning. They do not take individual needs into account. They do not take into account differing rates of learning in children. They do not allow for inquiry. They tell teachers nothing they do not already know. They will most certainly not improve the performance of teachers or schools.

    • aerobubble 5.1

      Performance is the issue you say. So will the govt minister in charge of the world cup
      take a pay cut for the balls up in the handling of the world rugby transport provision?

      As for performance pay alternatives, why not pay teachers based on past
      performance of their students and how well they do. So if teacher want a
      pension bonus they better hope their past student go to university and on to
      high paying professions. Parents then would not have to truck their kids
      to the best schools because teachers would be eager to give them more time.

      • Griffo 5.1.1

        The time you speak of will be gobbled up by mindless NS testing. Teachers are already struggling with the amount of assessment testing that is already going on.

  6. fabregas4 6

    I’m starting to hear that some BOT’s worried about the affect of NS debate in their school are now turning on Principals and telling them to shut up about their opposition to Nationals Standards. Well done Tolley – bad policy,destroyed School Ministry relationship, now destroying relationships between schools and their BOT’s. Be sure this a precursor to the end of Tomorrows Schools.

  7. SHG 8

    I haven’t met an Englishman that supports this.
    Same for the Aussies.

    One can only assume you haven’t met any Aussies. As the parent of a school-age child in Australia I spend time before school, after school, and in weekends with other parents. In conversation I have not encountered a single parent who doesn’t support the Australian NAPLAN national standards program and the publication of the results online. Not one.

    Actually, let me qualify that. One of my friends replied “Well, as a member of the teachers union I must say I’m against it. But as a parent I think it’s fantastic.”

    • Phaedrus 8.1

      Research of less than 30 people has no validity at all. For your ‘research’ to be valid and reliable, you would at the very least need to follow opinion polling methodology, and we all know how unreliable opinion polling is. Even at the very best, there’s still a margin of error of up to 4% in opinion polls. So on that basis how can you claim NAPLAN is well supported amongst Australian parents?

      • queenstfarmer 8.1.2

        This article’s author says “I haven’t met an Englishman that supports this. Same for the Aussies”, and it passes without objection from you.

        But as soon as someone says s/he has actually met a number of Aussies who support their version of National Standards, you leap in to object that “you would at the very least need to follow opinion polling methodology”.

        Perhaps you also adhere to the Sue Bradford school of statistics.

        • mickysavage 8.1.2.1

          Yep I am sure that there are thousands of Aussies who believe in competition between schools. None of them are trained educationalists or teachers or anyone who knows anything about the system but hey QSF you might have a point!

          Which is?

          • queenstfarmer 8.1.2.1.1

            LOL – I await Phaedrus to take you task: what “opinion polling methodology” did you use, mickeysavage, to come to the conclusion that “none of them are trained educationalists or teachers or anyone who knows anything about the system“?

            Please revert to dealing in facts.

    • So have you met anyone who understands the education system and thinks that standards are a good idea?

      Just asking.

      • SHG 8.2.1

        I mentioned one in my first post in this thread. A highschool teacher who, as a parent, thinks the Australian national standards program is fantastic.

      • tc 8.2.2

        What you mean get the trolls addressing the issue rather than mashing other posters points, quoting the CT handbook, reverting to ideological type etc….yeah right.

    • In conversation I have not encountered a single parent who doesn’t support the Australian NAPLAN national standards program and the publication of the results online. Not one.

      Reminds me of the guy that hired me as a brush hand during the 1981 Springbok tour. One lunchtime he asked us who the hell these tour protestors were, he’d never encountered a single one. I was one, but given that he seemed a complete nutter and I needed him to fund my drinking, he didn’t meet one that day either. Funny thing – a sample of the people you hang out with on a regular basis is more likely to be representative of you than of the population at large. It’s a mystery how that could possibly happen…

      • SHG 8.3.1

        When it comes to the issue of what education policies Australians support, I’m more inclined to listen to Australian parents in Australia than an ex-school-trustee in New Zealand.

        • Craig Glen Eden 8.3.1.1

          Oh god you honestly think Aussie has a good education system, what a dum arse!

        • rd 8.3.1.2

          BUT the Aussie scheme NAPLAN is NOT the same as the NZ National Standards.
          In the aussie standards there seems to bean attempt to have sort of national consistency and reliability.

          From the referenced web site for a description of NAPLAN
          >assesses students using common national tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) and Numeracy.

          That implies a written test.

          >NAPLAN tests are developed collaboratively by the States and Territories, the Australian Government and the non-government school sectors. Experts in assessment and educational measurement provide technical advice in the development of the tests.

          Thats different to NZ too. Many experts have panned the NZ Standards. Also note the the word ‘collaboratively’.

          >exemption from NAPLAN tests. These include students from a non–English-speaking background who have been in Australia for less than one year and students with severe intellectual or functional disabilities

          I dont believe there are any exemptions in NZ

          >A test administration authority in each State and Territory is responsible for the administration and delivery of NAPLAN tests, support for schools and delivery of reports. National protocols for test administration ensure consistency in administering the tests by all test administration authorities and schools across Australia.

          This implies a rigorous moderation. Not present in NZ standards.

          Many of the issues and problems in the NZ standards could have been sorted by a trial.

          The NZ standards are neither National Nor are they consistent reliable standards, and that is only part of the probem.

          • insider 8.3.1.2.1

            Where is testing required in NZ NS?

            • rd 8.3.1.2.1.1

              There IS no ‘national’ testing in NZ Standard.

              There is in the Aussie standards.

              I do not think I said or implied there was testing (in a national sense) in the NZ Stds.

              My response was to SHG who likes the aussie versions of the standards and seems to think that the NZ implementation is similar. I was trying to point out some of the differences in my opinion.

              • SHG

                @rd “SHG who likes the aussie versions of the standards and seems to think that the NZ implementation is similar”

                I said no such thing. All I’ve done is offer a counterpoint to the post author, who claims Australians don’t support national standards; I haven’t met an Australian parent that doesn’t support them.

                But you raise an interesting point: if the Australian program is different in so many and such fundamental ways, surely the author of the parent post is being dishonest in dismissing it as if it and the NZ plan are identical.

                • rd

                  SHG 12
                  10 September 2011 at 8:20 pm
                  As a parent I love national standards and league tables. Love em.

                  This was the first comment of yours that I was responding to in the More Armstrong bullshit.
                  No you didnt say it , BUT the comment was in a discussion about NZ. I dont think Aussie had been mentioned.

                  I copied the above comment from a reply I made to you in the ‘More Armstrong bullshit’ stream. You had not commented on that

                  Subsequent comment by you have clarified that in fact what you were talking about were the Aussie national standards and not the NZ version.

                  The Aussie standards are NOT the same as NZ as you agree so WHY put such a comment in a discussion about NZ standards, when the Aussie standards are so different!!

                  I am pleased you like the AUSSIE version of the standards BUT check out their moderation procedures.

                  • SHG

                    Are national standards and league tables inherently bad no matter how implemented (and I would strongly disagree with this based on personal experience)? or is it that the proposed New Zealand implementation is a bad one?

                    • drx

                      >>Are national standards and league tables inherently bad no matter how implemented

                      The short answer is NO. to NS, but league tables are fraught with difficulty.
                      BUT the major difficulty is the implementation.

                      The NZ system has be imposed, there is poor by in from the teachers and respected academics.

                      At the minimum for NS to work, they need to be well and carefully designed with agreement and support with the teachers.

                      There needs to be careful and appropriate moderation to ensure consistency across teacher, schools and time. I don’t believe there is.

                      They have been introduced in NZ to improve the reported 20% tail. at the l2 NCEA level
                      There is some assumptions there
                      1 that the 20% low achievers were not already identified. – that is not so as in NZ there are a number of well respected tools for that.
                      2 That the improvement would last for a couple of non NStds at secondary school. That may or may not happen
                      3 Identification does no automatically lead to improvement. That obviously requires intervention.

                      There is also a real concern of labeling 5 and 6 year olds as failure, as there is (I think) only a four point scale.

                      The NZ NS have been imposed by the Nat Govt.
                      There was a one or two line statement in the election proposals, then they pushed it through in urgency. There was no reference to a select committee.
                      They refused to have any sort of a trial.

                      League Tables
                      This really depends on the quality of what is measured.
                      They are usually simplistic, and can result in teaching to the test. That is to a certain extent OK BUT it depends on the quality of the test. and also can lead to a very narrow curriculum.
                      League table don’t take into consideration the back ground of the pupil and value added.

    • Griffo 8.4

      I was born and raised in Australia, and most of my family are there. If you aren’t in the right school in Aus, you ain’t nowhere

    • Jeff 8.5

      Hey Dimbo
      Thats ‘programme’
      Sorry, you are a failure at N/S English
      Back to Kindergarten.

  8. Hilary 9

    Reminds me of those parents Anne Tolley is always talking about that she meets in the Koru Club and who tell her they love National Standards. As if people who are Koru club members and who might also by crazy enough to approach her are not from a small elite section of NZ parents, but are a statistically valid random sample. She’s probably talking about one or two people at most (and who are also likely to be National Party members and have their kids at private schools anyway).

    • tc 9.1

      Koru club? There’re likely to be at private schools so NS would be irrelevant and probably yet another ayatollah porky.

  9. Todd 10

    Hilary
    I have three daughter in laws who all support NS,can you tell me what their personal views may be please.

  10. tsmithfield 11

    “The other night I resigned from the bot of my local school….”

    At least that person did the right thing which is to FOSE (fuck off somewhere else) if they can’t impliment government policy.

    • lprent 11.1

      But Tomorrows Schools, the programme that the National party has supported (and still does in words if not deeds as far as I can see) tried to devolve as much decision making down to the boards of trustees as was possible.

      National were the government in the 90’s who brought in bulk-funding for schools (and still supports it in policy if not in action) which was designed to increase local school autonomy even further.

      So what you’re saying is that you approve of this government attempting to roll back decades of organisational devolution to schools, and to impose decisions from the Ministry of Education headquarters in Wellington? People who obviously know more about other peoples local communities than the local boards of trustees?

      And if bulk funding was introduced for primary schools, then you’d be saying that they could spend on whatever they wanted apart from that they must pay for National’s idiotic and useless standards (rather than ones that are appropriate for their students).

      Face it, you’re a bit of hypocritical party pillock. On any other topic you’d be rooting for the devolution away from “big government” – except when it is stupid policy of your party. I guess you’re incapable of being more than National is. “Here are my principles, and if you don’t like them then I have others”

    • Griffo 11.2

      Are you saying that you would mindlessly obey anything they told you to do? Your comment paints the picture for us all.

  11. Mac1 12

    I agree, tsmithfield. Government policy on National Standards should be ‘implemented’- onto a manure heap with an implement such as a long handled fork.

  12. felix 13

    Well I know, like, a billion people who all think (x) plus my dad can waste your dad.

  13. fabregas4 14

    What a silly argument taking place here. So what if some Aussie folk like their assessment system. I raise your group of parents with almost every educational assessment expert in NZ and Australia and the UK and the USA and and and…

    You see whilst parents are important in this debate, this is a debate about the provision of a quality education. Parents, mainly, have little or no understanding of the theory and research around teaching and learning – it is a degree you know. Many think because they went to school that they know all about teaching and education – this is not true. I go to the doctor and I know bugger all about that. Tolley says she knows about education because one of her parents was a principal – well my Dad was a brain surgeon and my mum a lawyer anyone need some brain work or legal advice – this is simply silly!

    Sadly, the government has ignored evidence and theory too despite insisting and promoting evidence based practice around everything else (and not just in education – I heard Joyce saying that the other day that the Auckland rail loop shouldn’t go ahead because there is no evidence that it will work).

    Across the western world this type of policy is buggering learning – is this really what people want for our children- it is a simple as that.

  14. In Vino Veritas 15

    I am a BOT member and my school has adopted the NS wholeheartedly from BOT, Principal downwards. You can wail all you like, but may kids have been failing (thats FAILING) and something needs to be done. If were up to the NZEI and wet academics, and they have had plenty of opportunity to change this, but have not, we would tinker and fiddle forever and provide zero results. Line in the sand stuff has now occurred. Get on with it, teach the kids and help them succeed, instead of running around bleating.

    If as has been posted, NS brings about performance pay, then it’ll be a bloody good thing. It’s about time those teachers that are not up to it, are forced to step aside. Mediocre teachers produce mediocre students.

    Griffo, you won’t be missed, in fact, the rest of the Board should’ve cheered and clapped.

    • Griffo 15.1

      In my time on the BOT as chairman our school has achieved three exemplary ERO reports. If your children are failing, the main cause is in the poor little blighters home. School is an add on to the life of a child, the better that school, the better the educational results, but it sheets back in the end to parenting. NS is a pointless and retrograde wart on the load of the educator,the child and the school. You need to do some real world research, and give the wine a rest.

      • In Vino Veritas 15.1.1

        Of course Griffo. Our ERO’s in my time have also been exemplary, but that’s a side issue. What you are saying then, is that since parenting is the issue, teachers and schools have limited influence and shouldnt be held to account in any fashion.

        Our school staff do not find it a load as we have been reporting similarly to NS for some time before it was implemented. How it can be a load on the children is beyond me. Your ideology is painted thick and I certainly wouldn’t want you teaching any of the children at my school.

        There is an argument that schooling has been failing since the late 1960’s, since there have been vast changes in the way children are taught for eg: maths and how they are measured. These changes have not all be driven by the Government of the day – educationalists have also had their fingers well and truly in the pie. As with all the changes in direction and strategy NS will be measured in the fullness of time. It cannot be any more of a failure than some of the stuff implemented by people like you.

        As I say, get on with it. You have tools, use them. Strive for exellence without excuses. Be accountable.

        • Shona 15.1.1.1

          Wow you clearly have an axe to grind when it comes to the teaching profession In Vero Veritas. Those pinko know it all clever bastards have had it coming to em for so long and your’re just the control freak to deal it to them with narrow meaningless tests.Then those teachers will have to do what righteous tosspots with their great big sticks tell em to do or they wont get any money.
          You must feel really good wallowing around in all that righteous vengance and indignation.
          Griffo is an acquaintance of mine and a high achiever, a brilliant community leader ,a local icon and role model for a couple of generations. The education system can expand what it teaches IF it is properly resourced (which it isn’t). BUT it cannot go back to the narrow prescriptions of the past if we are to manage the enormous era of change we are in. We need the characteristics described in this post if we are to have a hope of survival.
          WHY DOESN”T THE PRIVATE EDUCATION SECTOR HAVE TO ADOPT NATIONAL STANDARDS? Ever given than any thought ?
          I teach privately. I have students from private , homeschooled, and state school backgrounds.
          My private school students are competent, pressured ,anxious fearful and lacking in imagination.They are organised generally and well mannered. My Homeschoolers and state educated students are friendly, imaginative ,original, exceptionally high achievers, independent outgoing and all read at above their chronological age. However when it comes to working in teams the privately schooled students always assume they are in charge.
          So to sum up IVV you’re another bossy boots authoritarian who doesn’t know which way the ground is pointing. BUT PEOPLE LIKE YOU SHOULD ALWAYS BE IN CHARGE BECAUSE YOU”RE RIGHT!

          • insider 15.1.1.1.1

            Why don’t private schools have to implement NS?

            Same reason they don’t have to follow the national curriculum. Same reason they don’t have to have elected boards. Same reason they don’t have to do NCEA. Because they are private…

        • Shona 15.1.1.2

          Do describe excellence INVV, your definition would make for a bit of giggle over the weekend.
          I’ve heard this term bandied about a lot over the last couple of decades,as it has become cliched it has of course ceased to retain it’s original meaning. Another overused jargon word like’passion’ which is used to bludgeon us into believing in our supposed inferiority.

          • In Vino Veritas 15.1.1.2.1

            Shona, as with many people that make comments about NS, you get side tracked, and I believe you have shouted at me. Griffo may well be everything you say he is, and good for him, but again, its a side issue. Vengeance, righteousness and indignance have nothing to do with my views of getting on with it. (perhaps you should re-read my post) Someone has had to make a decision, instead of having wishy washy nothingness abounding. Its been done. Live with it and work with it.

            I take issue with your comments regarding private school children, I know several teachers in private schools who would rebut the overall flavour of your comments.

            I also understand that education is underfunded. I work with it constantly as a BOT member, however, it’s not an excuse for underachieving in reading, writing and counting. Every government department claims they are underfunded, where exactly do you propose the funds come from?

            An end result of children who can spell, count, read and write to acceptable standards would be an excellent start Shona. And teachers should be accountable if they cannot facilitate this. Are you afraid of accountability? Vast change has been happening for decades, it is not new just to this generation of teachers.

            I have no view on whether NS will be “right”. But then damn near every other direction and strategy that has been implemented since the 1960’s hasn’t been. Just because teachers don’t buy into it, doesnt mean it will be worse than strategy they have bought into in the past. And esoteric nonsense does no-one any good.

            On excellence. I believe I posted “strive for excellence”. If you cannot attribute the original meaning this term, then perhaps you should review your chosen profession. And here is another “mediocrity begets mediocrity”.

    • Jeff 15.2

      “may kids”, what have goats born in May got to do with N/S?

  15. Shona 16

    I was endeavouring to alert you to the narrowness of your view. The teaching profession has not been consulted over NS .
    And yes if you are striving for someting it’s good to know what it is you are striving for. That you have a definition you can comprehend .
    ‘An end result of children who can spell, count, read and write to acceptable standards would be an excellent start Shona.’
    That is a description not a definition.It is a desirable and achievable outcome.
    My point is that for someone so anti the esoteric I would have thought you would have a definition at your fingertips.But you can’tdefine it. Because it is a nebulous expression when applied to education,
    We have all done our time in our communities as BOT members and Chairs etc .
    You are narrow right winger who is not a qualified teacher. You have an axe to grind as I stated and are clearly prejudiced against the teaching profession in NZ.
    NS is a stick to beat teachers with and you clearly can’t wait to have your turn.!

  16. Jeff 17

    IVV
    Only if you are a pisshead.

  17. Griffo 18

    The duty of a board is to provide the children of it’s community the best possible education, in a certain time. If anyone stands in the way of that duty it is surely the boards right and duty to resist that stance. If you are on a board and simply accept any daft edict by ignorant politicians, then you are a failure to your children.In VV, you don’t even know if NS will be “right”.What are you doing on a BOT?
    Tolley was bragging yesterday that “this government is delivering a better education to our children because of NS”. Those clowns in Wellington don’t “deliver” anything but poor policy, and just enough money to avoid embarassment. The delivery is entirely in the hands of your local school, and it would behove the Minister to listen, even a little bit, to the deeply felt concerns of,I would guess, the majority of parents and teachers.

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