But how much did the bus cost?

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 am, March 10th, 2010 - 24 comments
Categories: articles, education, national - Tags: , ,

Tolley finds ally in school mum” screams the headline of Audrey Young’s piece today.

You might think things are pretty desperate when the Herald is devoting pieces to each individual parent who support Tolley but it turns out this mum at no point expresses support for Anne Tolley or national standards.

“She thanked Tolley for coming” is the closest she came and that isn’t exactly a wholehearted endorsement of the minister and her policies.

In fact, any objective reading of Young’s own report shows that Tolley got a hammering and is falling back on desperate tactics to try to illegitimise real concerns about national standards:

“One of the teachers in the room challenged Tolley over what evidence she had that there was any link between national standards and improved achievement.

Her response?

National standards wasn’t evidence, it was just a tool to identify the problem to see where how it should be addressed.

She said it was sad and frustrating she said that she was still having such debates with “the sector.” They should be more concerned about what they could be doing to support “this mother” she said, indicating Tea.”

What a disgusting, arrogant display. Tolley is implying that teachers don’t care about the success of students, only she (who has no experience at all in education) knows what’s best and she shouldn’t have to explain herself to educational experts. Also, the minister has spent months telling us that national standards would stop kids failing, now she’s saying it won’t do that it will only identify those that are failing… which is something we already know.

Of course, Young fails to mention of the cost of Anne Tolley’s bus tour around the country. When Labour does it, they get attacked by the Herald. When National does it, free pass.

I’m not accusing the Herald of having double standards… wait, that’s exactly what I’m doing.

24 comments on “But how much did the bus cost?”

  1. lprent 1

    Such a dimwit policy from what I’ve seen of it. But then again National picked the appropriate person to present it.

    Quite simply I haven’t heard any good reasons from Tolley in the media presenting the case in either educational or economic terms. The brochure looks like a pile of waffle from a PR consultant that doesn’t understand what in the hell the policy is designed to achieve.

    For that matter I can’t even see an measurable objective in the policy that could be used to evaluate the success or otherwise of the policy. Much like Wilkinson on the 90-day fire-at-will act. There was also no way to measure objectively the success or failure of the policy.

    I really despise this type of faith based policy making. It speaks of having idiots in government.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      The brochure looks like a pile of waffle from a PR consultant that doesn’t understand what in the hell the policy is designed to achieve.

      Well, that puts him in the same place as the rest of us… oh, wait…

      For that matter I can’t even see an measurable objective in the policy that could be used to evaluate the success or otherwise of the policy.

      NACT really do make up their minds from their beliefs and evidence isn’t sought as it often contradicts those beliefs.

    • Bill 1.2

      Why are you attempting to bring rational argument to bear on ‘policy by conviction’?

      Rationality is entirely beside the point. They need no reasons and will display no measure of reasonableness either, in pursuit of their mission, which is quite simply to decimate state provisioning in favour of market alternatives where such alternatives exist, or to decimate state provisioning and leave nothing in place, because all state provisioning is wrong and perverse.

      Don’t try to oppose this by exercising reason and logic…by being reasonable. If you do you will only win arguments that nobody is listening to. They will implement their changes on the back of a popular outrage that they will have generated against state shortcomings and that will very likely extend to outrage towards all aspects of the social democratic liberal left.

      I’ve tried to articulate this further down the thread for what it’s worth.

  2. The sub editors for the headline writing seems to have been outsourced to the National party.
    Doesnt seem to bear any relation to the story like some others recently.
    Perhaps Farrar has dropped his role as IT manager of the National party which it kept hidden these last few years and taken this up instead- ironical when you think he was saying the Standard came out of the beehive

  3. Bill 3

    Am I alone in perceiving the thrust of that piece to be very much in line with Tea Party lines of attack?

    Take an issue (any government service or provision ). Manufacture a high level of grievance through amplification and twisting of ‘common concerns’. Ingratiate yourself as a sympathetic fellow traveller. Claim that you and your party want the best for your fellow travellers and continue to stir up discontent in a measured fashion.

    Soon enough, the welling of discontent will take on a life of its own. At which point it should be remembered to never, ever contradict what the wider burgeoning body of newly found ‘public opinion’ is saying. No matter how preposterous.

    Ride the wave of irrational discontent and while everyone is caught up in their own fervour and your opponents are tied up dealing with it, shaking their heads in disbelief and wringing their hands while their strategy of civilised, rational debate collapses down around their ears, run down and/or gut government provisioning of services.

    By the time the time the dynamic you nurtured has wound down, what you actually wanted has been cemented in place and your now despised opponents will have been well and truly routed into the bargain.

  4. Excuse me,

    Sorry for not being on point but is it just me or does John Key look like he’s been smoking the mother of all joints while Tolley looks like she’s on P?

  5. When do think Anne will win a all expenses trip to the USA to study education/ schools.
    Hey Bennett cant be the only one that would benefit from some ongoing education surely.
    Lets put the hat round and see how much we can contribute, oh,shit no hang on we don’t need to National ministers can just take what they like and be really sorry about it latter.

  6. bobo 6

    Where is Labours bus tour ive not seen anything about it on the news, maybe I missed it? Are they lost in transit?

    • Well you must have missed it. Because it has been very well recieved in Tory Waikato . I meet the bus at the Cambridge Town hall and helped deliver pamphelts. Most of the public agreed with the Labour view.
      However what did surprise me was the number of Cambridge (the most Tory town in NZ) residents who said they had not voted National . Of course they had but were obviously sorry they had! Interesting would you not say,/

      • bobo 6.1.1

        So shouldn’t some short clips from these meetings be on the news? I will watch tonight with interest to see.

  7. toad 7

    One of the teachers in the room challenged Tolley over what evidence she had that there was any link between national standards and improved achievement.

    Her response?

    National standards wasn’t evidence, it was just a tool to identify the problem to see where how it should be addressed.

    Priceless!

    • bobo 7.1

      Even my own brother says he voted Labour and I know he voted national…

    • Tolley has admitted that National Standards will not improve educational standards. The next question should be “why again are we doing this?”

  8. BLiP 8

    How the worm has turned! Wasn’t that long ago Audrey was upset about John Key misrepresenting the facts.

    By-the-by, how many other nurses ended up voting for National Ltdâ„¢ – I wonder if they and their teacher mates are enjoying the change.

    • Bright Red 8.1

      they say half of NZEI’s members voted National.

      Yeah, I don’t think they’ll be falling for that again any time soon,

  9. tc 9

    More blatant IF nat THEN good and IF lab THEN evil based copy from granny herald

  10. coolas 10

    After some digging around (with help from posts here) I think the reason for National Standards in clearly spelled out in this Report. (hope the link works ) http://www.roy.org.nz/Files/STEP_CHANGE.pdf

    It clearly states National Standards are Step 1 of an 8 step program which includes vouchers, learning brokers, & performance pay for teachers. Not policy yet but obviously the reason Nact are pushing the standards.

    • Bill 10.1

      And leading on from that, here’s an article on the state of play in the US. It’s the same shit. Only difference is what is corporately possible given the difference in environment there with regards union rights (lack of). The fact that teachers have teamed up with parents and students is the part I find promising.

      That’s how movements get born.

      “… schools were labeled as “failures” and teachers were targeted as “incompetent.” Obama’s plan knocks down the pins set up by Bush; Race to the Top rewards states for shutting down public schools and opening up charter schools, many of which are private…”

      “Oddly, the national discussion over why students are testing poorly has been ridiculously crude, if not outright dumb. Both politicians and the media have focused the blame exclusively on teachers.”

      “If organized, teachers are an incredibly powerful social force: they are highly respected by the community, have strong connections to parents, and most importantly, if they do not work, neither do many parents.”

      ” March 4th was the first time teacher unions organized with students, parents and public service workers to demand more money for education and social services.”

  11. Tiger Mountain 11

    “Tolley finds ally’ but did she? My first reaction was ‘here we go, a ring in’. But it pays to check when journalists and headline writers try to connect dots for readers. Is Lepeti Tea a national stooge willingly or not? Who knows for sure, but one assumes she is an NZNO member if a nightshift nurse as described, and hence while could not be assumed to be a Labour voter would at least have access to NZNO publications and union views therein. She arrived late at the meeting, stooges tend to be early. Plus she was mentioned in minutes from a 2009 Porirua council meeting ref S0465-as representing the RANUI HEIGHTS RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION along with a Cheryl Brown over various community matters re the LTCCP. So whatever her personal political views she gets involved. It is a stretch for the Herald to try and protray her as a Tolley supporter for having genuine concerns (unless granny knows something not stated in the piece).

  12. jellytussle 12

    Interesting to note today that National has already backtracked on one of it’s claims in the glossy brochure it mailed to 350 000 households. It claimed that reports will have to include…
    “A simple indication of whether your child is below, at, or above the National Standard in the key areas of reading, writing and maths.”
    In fact their recently amended National Administration Guidelines contain no such directive to schools at all! These only require schools to “report to students and their parents on the student’s progress and achievement in relation to National Standards” No mention of telling parents that their children are below, at or above at all!

  13. What a pushover. Asked today to make a further 26 mill in cuts and it’s “Yessir, Mr Key. Only that much?” No wonder they pick on education with a minister that green. YOUR PORTFOLIO isn’t just about cuts! Thanks for standing up for teachers. http://teacherlingo.com/blogs/sct/default.aspx

  14. Hilary 14

    I was at that meeting and knew when that mother spoke that Audrey Young would make her the story. But it illustrated the common confusion between the policy of standards and reporting on one hand, and actually doing the work of lifting achievement. Here was a mother of a 6 year old who wanted to know more about her son’s teaching and learning, and get him to do better. This is a complex issue which is not going to be resolved by a mark on a graph and a couple of sentences on a report which is really all this policy is.

    But as the meeting went on it became more obvious that just what IS being provided is very vague. A principal asked for resourcing to translate the complex assessment criteria into language that parents and teachers at all levels could understand. But that is not part of the plan, neither is any professional development for teachers in special needs. Yes there is $36 million over three years (taken from other programmes like advisors, and gifted and talented programmes) but what for?

    It would be interesting to go back to that parent in a year or so and ask whether the policy has made any difference for her. I actually fear that with the cuts to the Ministry announced today (and only classroom teachers are considered front line staff) things will be worse as special ed, teaching advisors and resources, administration help (including IT/database access), building programmes, professional development and the local help from regional offices etc will all have to be cut back.

    The story for me yesterday was the hope for the future represented by those young Onslow students: polite, informed, critical thinkers.

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