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Game over Tolley

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, November 5th, 2010 - 161 comments
Categories: dpf, education, national - Tags: ,

As a measure of how completely Anne Tolley has lost the debate on national standards, consider these two editorials in The Herald. First this utterly disgraceful effort from December 2009:

Teachers must learn to obey Govt’s orders

Three years ago, when the National Party announced its plan to make all primary schools test pupils’ ability in reading, writing and mathematics, teachers were scornful. … The union, in league with the Principals Federation, says the standards are being rushed … Mrs Tolley is surely right to suggest the unions’ arguments are now purely philosophical. This has underpinned their resistance from the start. It has endured despite the Government concessions and despite the public support for national standards. It is the only reasonable explanation for the dragging of feet and the increasingly radical demeanour.

Compare and contrast with yesterday’s editorial:

Parents heed teachers for good reasons

When 225 school boards of trustees declare they will not adopt the Government’s National Standards it is time to take stock. Boards of trustees are representatives of parents, the very people in whose interests the Government has been pressing teachers to report children’s progress more rigorously and clearly.

The 225 boards comprise just over 10 per cent of the national total. Most of them may be strongly influenced by the school principal and staff representatives, but elected parents are not likely to be swayed by political antagonism or professional jealousy. They have listened to teachers’ concerns and taken them seriously. It may be time we all did.

Well some of us have been saying so since the start. But welcome to the sanity party Granny — better late than never I guess. In other news yesterday:

Researchers back National Standards boycott

Two Massey University education researchers are supporting the actions of more than 225 school boards who are refusing to introduce national standards at their primary schools.

The pair, professor of teacher education John O’Neill and associate professor John Clark from the university’s College of Education, said concerns expressed by school trustees over national standards in primary schools were warranted because of the risk of harm to students inappropriately labelled as “below standard”. …

“It is a great pity however, that the Government is insisting that an untested policy be implemented in spite of independent research evidence of its potential harm to pupils. …

“If there had been a proper trial of the standards, none of these concerns need have arisen,” he said. “Parents wouldn’t allow their children to take an unproven drug or medical therapy. Why should they allow their children to be experimented on with education policy?” …

Why indeed? But wait – there’s more!

More schools may boycott National Standards

More schools are signalling they will boycott the government’s controversial national standards programme. And parents are also joining teaching specialists in a revolt against the education policy. …

And so on and so on. The few remaining hacks still trying to defend the standards fiasco, like National’s pet blogger DPF, are desperately trying to spin opposition to standards as “playing politics”. The very opposite is true. It is those shilling for standards who are doing so for purely political reasons. They have precisely NO evidence to support the efficacy or even safety of the scheme. And they are trying to ram it down our throats in the face of all contrary evidence, expert opinion, and now broad based community action.

Well. The events of the last few days have shown that the political hacks and shills have failed. The tide has clearly turned against standards. Game over Tolley.

Bunji – the number of schools boycotting has already risen to 240.

161 comments on “Game over Tolley”

  1. jcuknz 1

    Newspapers usually have a panel of editorialists so it is simply somebody else’s opinion. The original made sense to me, if teachers don’t like it they should hope for a change of government but in the meantime stop belly aching and put government policy into place.

    • lprent 1.1

      Personally I’m into resistance against stupid ideas that aren’t explained and appear to have not functional basis apart from politicians egos.

      If the politicians screw up then you slow things down until the policy gets looked at. They aren’t our masters, they’re our frigging servants.

      The list of stupid legislation that has been passed to implement boneheaded unworkable policies and quietly dropped later is pretty damn large.

    • handle 1.2

      Teachers, principals and boards also have a legal duty of care for their students. Educational experts without any conflicting interests say there is no evidence that these new standards will improve results. Yet an ideological fool like Tolley is meant to be followed without question?

  2. lprent 2

    Nationals standards were pretty damn poor when they pushed this legislation through without bothering to think through what they were intended to achieve. Two years after the election we still have as little an idea about what the measures are supposed to achieve, how they are meant to work and why they are superior to the existing systems already bring done in the targeted schools.

    So far the only substantive reason for their existence is that it fulfills a ill thought through election pledge. That makes them purely political and of f*kcal use to anyone apart from national party hacks

  3. jackp 3

    Listening to Paul Henry one morning who had 2 principals on discussing this debate. One was in favor of the standards the other, a principal in Christchurch, was against it. The principal in Christchurch made a very poor argument and constantly blurting bureaucratic nonsense. The other principal for the standards sounded bright, energetic, positive and full of energy…. she said that now her teachers have a goal to stick to and was very excited about the standards. Obviously I would want my child to go to the latter’s school. The standards will expose the poor schools and teachers. IT’s really there to help but the teachers and the schools shy away from ” RESULTS”…. a fear that bureaucrats and unions have.

    • r0b 3.1

      I don’t care which principal sounds all preppy. I care which principal has the educational evidence on their side. And the evidence is all against standards. Or hadn’t you heard?

    • Good empirical study there jackp.

      Any other stuff to back up your conclusion like data or analysis?

    • William 3.3

      jackp 3 wrote;

      “The other principal for the standards sounded bright, energetic, positive and full of energy…. she said that now her teachers have a goal to stick to and was very excited about the standards.”

      Sheesh, what do you think the role of the principal of a school is? It is her job to work with staff to develop goals.
      If she’s relying on Tolley’s sorry excuse called standards then her school would be better off if she resigned. That would allow someone competent to be appointed.

    • Shane Gallagher 3.4

      Genius jackp – just genius. Damn empirical evidence, just go with the preppy sounding soundbites!!! Science, reason and rational thought are all SOOOO boring!!!!
      Yay! Lets all be happy and chirpy! Yay! Lets go with the slogan!
      (See how that rhymes, kinda? Huh? Yay!)

    • fermionic_interference 3.5

      Unfortunately for your friendly Principal was quite wrong about how “RESULTS” are obtained in schools.
      The best way a school or individual teacher can improve the results in a class or school is when professional development programs and initiatives are run for the TEACHERS so they can learn new and better methods of providing the information to/for students.
      I hope you know that
      I; Funding was removed from professional development to fund the National standards.
      II; National standards only provide “aspirational standards of achievement”. National standards don’t provide any ways to help students achieve a standard they are aspiring to, or provide teachers with new/better methods to help students achieve the standards.

      Dictionary definition:
      aspiration |ˌaspəˈrā sh ən|
      noun
      1 ( usu. aspirations ) a hope or ambition of achieving something : he had nothing tangible to back up his literary aspirations | the yawning gulf between aspiration and reality.
      • the object of such an ambition; a goal : fabrics and oriental rugs were my aspirations.

      Uses / other meanings of aspiration
      aspiration
      noun
      his greatest aspiration is to win an Olympic gold medal: desire, hope, dream, wish, longing, yearning; aim, ambition, expectation, goal, target.

      Also please note that funding has been at least reduced and in cases removed completely for special needs teachers, which provide support for Down syndrome or Autistic students among others.
      How does having a full spectrum Autistic student in your class of 20 odd students, so in this situation how does a teacher find time for the required constant supervision of the Autistic child whilst still teaching every other student in the class?
      With teacher to student ratios which are meant to be set at
      1:18 at new entrant level
      1:23 at yr 2&3
      although by this time of year the ratios at higher levels approach 1:30
      and new entrants are at 1:20+.
      Can someone explain to me how this constant supervision of children with special needs can be achieved whilst aspirational standards for all other students are being met?

  4. burt 4

    The teachers who don’t like the changes could always resign. please….

    • Bunji 4.1

      Because you’d like it if our schools were empty, and our education system ground to a halt?
      That’d be good for the future of the country.

    • illuminatedtiger 4.2

      Or Tolley could be replaced by a minister who has a clue?

    • Armchair Critic 4.3

      Aha, the nuclear option. How could that go wrong? Let me see:
      Less teachers = bigger class sizes = worse education for students
      Less teachers = more demand for teachers = wages for teachers must rise
      Ex-teachers looking for jobs in other sectors when unemployment is already high = increased unemployment.
      I’d stick with your day job, burt

    • bbfloyd 4.4

      yet another round of reactionary bigotry from,, you guessed it,,,, Burt!!!!! what a surprise! he’s normally so balanced in his approach…

    • Colonial Viper 4.5

      Actually only one needs to resign to resolve the issue satisfactorily, TOLLEY

    • burt 4.6

      I’m sorry I seem to have missed something. I though the govt passed laws and set policy and that part of living in a democracy was that like it or lump it we need to comply (or leave the country). Shit it’s a pity I didn’t know that when I was required to make KiwiSaver contributions for my employees….

      Hell I can just say “NO” – I don’t like the policy so I don’t need to comply… Hell here was me thinking the govt made the policies and all the time I’ve been able to just pick and choose which policies I comply with… Man – I need to convert to being a lefty so I can decide which govt policies I like and which ones I comply with.

      OK, no KiwiSaver deductions for my employees and you union chaps had better get behind me because it’s my right to choose how I comply with govt…..

      • r0b 4.6.1

        I’m sorry I seem to have missed something.

        Many a true word burt.

        I though the govt passed laws and set policy and that part of living in a democracy was that like it or lump it we need to comply (or leave the country).

        Which is why when Labour passed laws that burt didn’t like he didn’t complain at all. Not a squeak, just good old stiff upper lip democratic compliance. Oh – wait…

        • burt 4.6.1.1

          I didn’t say they can’t complain – but they need to comply.

          • r0b 4.6.1.1.1

            So you’ve never supported anyone breaking any law burt? The EFA perhaps? Never supported any campaign of civil disobedience? Not once?

            • burt 4.6.1.1.1.1

              Well yes I have, but I have always done so knowing that the consequences might be that I get charged, lose my job or otherwise pay the penalty for standing up. I was a real rebel during the EFA time actually rOb. I rode to work one day with a “Don’t vote Labour” sign on my backpack and I didn’t have my full name and residential address printed on it.

              • Pascal's bookie

                I though the govt passed laws and set policy and that part of living in a democracy was that like it or lump it we need to comply (or leave the country).

                • burt

                  Right, so not being a Labour party MP I ran the risk of being charged for doing that (because I don’t have ignorance of the law as a defence like the people who pass the laws enjoy) and I accepted that risk when I did it. If the teachers don’t comply and are sacked then they will accept that consequence – right?

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Do you think the boards will just ignore being sacked and just carry on running the schools?

                    You’re ever so dumb sometimes burt.

                    the govt has the power to do all sorts of things. Poeple are testing them to see if they think their policy is worth doing those things. That’s what civil disobedience is all about.

                    • burt

                      Excellent so the unions won’t call a strike when teachers breaking the law start getting fired then. That’s good to hear.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Who knows? They might. Afterall the govt has the power to do all sorts of things. People are testing them to see if they think their policy is worth doing those things. That’s what civil disobedience is all about.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Love to see NAT try and fire 2000 teachers. Its going to be a great election year.

              • r0b

                Well yes I have,

                So you’re only against civil disobedience when other people do it. Ok then.

                but I have always done so knowing that the consequences might be

                Seems like the teachers have decided that the consequences for them are preferable to damaging the children in their care with ill-conceived educational nonsense. Good for them.

          • Shane Gallagher 4.6.1.1.2

            No they don’t – we do not live in a periodically democratic dictatorship. If the government brings in a law which the people, whom the politicians serve, do not like then they can resist that law. That is what a living, reactive, responsive, inclusive and vibrant democracy entails. If you want to live in the system you describe you may find it hard to find people to support your cause – elected dictatorships are not in vogue at the moment.

          • Akldnut 4.6.1.1.3

            Geez Burt – Do you think we live in a coummunist state or something? “You must comply with our laws or face the wrath of the state.”

            I though your crew were trying to get away from that yet thats exactly the mantra you’re expecting us to live by?

      • burt 4.6.2

        The other thing I need to change is union access to my workplace. Here was me thinking that because the employment laws said I needed to provide access that I needed to provide access… Great – I don’t like it when people I don’t know just turn up and start wondering around in my office and talking to my employees so I can stop them from entering right? It’s my right to say I don’t like this govt policy – right ?

        Oh, what was that you said – the unions get to say which policies I must comply with and which ones I don’t… OK.. so when did the people of NZ elect the teachers union to represent them?

      • freedom 4.6.3

        idiot!

        why do you bother saying such fascile comments.

        it is a citizen’s responsibilty to respond to Government Policy. It is a two way street. It is how a democracy develops (in theory anyway) A fitting example is the Anti-Nuclear Policy that got adopted because of citizens standing up to the authority of government.

        They do something, we let them know how it looks on the ground, and we find compromise.

        you may need a dictionary for that last word Burt, A dictionary is a big book with other useful words like freedom, tolerance, education, repsonsibility to your fellow man etc There are numerous actions a person can take to disagree with a policy Burt, immediately leaving the country is a tad hasty, but don’t let us stop you.

    • KJT 4.7

      You want all the good teachers who stand up to keep a quality education system, against idiot politicians, to leave do you?

      • burt 4.7.1

        No not at all, the good teachers should be paid more than the average ones and the useless ones should go on gardening leave.

        • bbfloyd 4.7.1.1

          i now have the proof that burt can’t read. he used this line weeks ago (good teachers should get paid more than useless ones)… had several knowledgeable people waste valuable time trying to get him to understand why that was unrealistic at best, and now we’re treated to an echo..

          i am assuming he has a ghost writer doing the actual typing. one that’s not getting paid enough obviously..

        • burt 4.7.1.2

          Perhaps if I allowed my ghost writers to be measured I could choose which ones are worth keeping on my payrol. But sadly they are all the same under a collective agreement and I can’t possibly tell the good ones from the bad ones…

          But I remember what you are talking about – because you couldn’t think of how it could be done you concluded it was impossible. What a winner.

          • Vicky32 4.7.1.2.1

            Face. Palm. Burt.

          • bbfloyd 4.7.1.2.2

            don’t be silly burt… i’ve never wasted any time explaining anything complicated to you… all you are to me is a slightly amusing target… it’s a rare talent you have…

          • Colonial Viper 4.7.1.2.3

            But sadly they are all the same under a collective agreement and I can’t possibly tell the good ones from the bad ones…

            You signed up to a collective agreement where you aren’t allowed to do performance evaluations on your staff? Where you aren’t allowed to give them feedback on how they are doing?

            That’s idiotic.

    • Jum 4.8

      ‘Burt’

      Your teacher would have taught you that a new sentence starts with a capital letter. You didn’t listen then and you’re not listening now ‘Burt’.

      Be grateful teachers care more about our children than the people who support a globally failed educational policy and are happy or didn’t march in protest about the gutting of the ACE funding for our community of people wanting to better their prospects and education but unable to afford the new fees.

      But, you won’t be grateful, ‘Burt’ because you want educationally impoverished adults and poorly educated students from state schools to be grateful for low-paid jobs in foreign/business roundtable owned factories here. Meanwhile you step up the private school funding to religious and elitist institutions which hate women leaders and want cheap, malleable minds to control.

      Education makes people more aware, and more questioning, which is bad for rightwing agendas. That’s why you want to destroy our teachers’ position as our children’s advocate.

      Back in your box you Key-cloned clown.

  5. Fisiani 5

    The union based desperate political nihilism of the dinosaur head in the sand, hold back the tide teachers is truly disgraceful. Using taxpayer money and teaching time to fund this campaign of misintrepretation and obsession with different methods overseas is outrageous.
    This protest is just a desperate flailing attempt to avoid transparency and deny parents finally knowing the truth about their childrens progress rather than hearing glib but false reassurances.
    Every other job sets standards and monitors progress. Get into the 21st Century teachers.

    • r0b 5.1

      Fisiani you’re the current holder of the prize for most pathetic Key fanboi zealot ejaculating propaganda all over this blog. For the sake of the children – why not put it aside and look at actual evidence?

      On the one hand is a mountain of evidence and expert opinion that standards are damaging to education. What evidence do you have on the other side? Not more ranting Fisiani – evidence. Got any?

      • Fisiani 5.1.1

        There is not a single piece of evidence yet about the effect of the NZ standards system and you bloody well know that. How could there be? The NZ type of standards has never been used before. Stop quoting overseas studies that are irrelevant. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Next year we will have the evidence.

        • freedom 5.1.1.1

          Fisiani why would you want a policy that won’t tell you when your child is failing?

        • r0b 5.1.1.2

          The NZ type of standards has never been used before. Stop quoting overseas studies that are irrelevant.

          You haven’t a clue have you. National standards have been tried in many countries — this is not “irrelevant”? Why is it irrelevant that exactly the same ideas have been tried, and failed, and repudiated, in both the UK and America? Seems to me that that’s precisely as relevant as it gets.

          There is not a single piece of evidence yet about the effect of the NZ standards system and you bloody well know that. How could there be?

          There could be if we trialled them in NZ before rolling them out. A trial – which is what the teachers have always wanted. A trial, because all the overseas evidence is bad. A trial that the nats have always refused – preferring instead to damage children for political ends. You and the other apologists for damaging children disgust me Fisiani.

          • jcuknz 5.1.1.2.1

            The bigger the sample the better the trial … Tolley wants the whole of the potential sample to be seen and used …seems reasonable to me and she is the minister rather than politically biased activist cum teacher afraid that they will be proved wanting. Sorry I am yet to be convinced by the teacher/union arguments above.
            .

            • r0b 5.1.1.2.1.1

              The bigger the sample the better the trial

              No. When you’re trialling something thought to be dangerous you use a small sample first. If that goes OK you then cautiously try a bigger trial. Only an idiot trials something dangerous on the whole population.

              she is the minister rather than politically biased

              No. In fact – how wrong can you get? She’s a politician, by definition she’s politically biased and politically motivated. It is the educational researchers and practitioners (who are NOT politicians) who are the political neutrals. It is the educational researchers and practitioners who have the evidence on their side, Tolley is driven only by ideology.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2.1.2

              The bigger the sample the better the trial …

              Ummmm, I’d prefer the bad tasting high risk new medicine to be trialled on a small group of victims before unleashing death and destruction on everyone thanks.

          • Fisiani 5.1.1.2.2

            Apparently treating pupils and their parents like mushrooms is ok ie. Keeping them in the dark and feeding them bullshit is causing them no harm till they learn that they cannot pass NCEA2.
            Explaining that they are not achieving basic standards of education at an early stage and then pointing out how the parents can work with the school to get improvements will scar the darlings for life. What a patronising arrogant attitude.
            Thank goodness we have a government that is finally standing up to the last bastions of trade union member protection and reforming the NZ education system so that the secret shame of the education world is exposed and addressed.

            • KJT 5.1.1.2.2.1

              Ah. here we get to the real point of NACT standards. Stop those pesky Teachers from being about the last people in NZ who can still collectively ask for first world wages.
              And stop them educating the great unwashed that they have human rights.

              A good well rounded education is a huge obstacle to having the poorly educated, scared and compliant workforce on third world wages that NACT desires.

            • r0b 5.1.1.2.2.2

              Apparently treating pupils and their parents like mushrooms is ok ie.

              No of course not – who is suggesting that?

              Explaining that they are not achieving basic standards of education at an early stage and then pointing out how the parents can work with the school to get improvements will scar the darlings for life. What a patronising arrogant attitude.

              The patronising arrogance is yours Fisiani, if you think you know better than all the educational experts, and the finding of 40 years worth experience in the UK.

              Labelling children as failures is damaging, and national standards can label the wrong children. You really don’t understand why do you, you have no idea at all.

              Helping children who need it is of course a good thing. And that happens already.

              Stop thinking that you know better than the educational experts and practitioners Fisiani, stop advocating the harming of children. Because that’s what you’re doing. And that’s what schools are fighting to prevent.

            • Irascible 5.1.1.2.2.3

              This response from Fisiani is the biggest load of faeces I’ve ever had to unload from a blog site.
              Teachers in NZ, despite being under funded and under resourced have, for decades, provided a quality education for our children that has been recognised internationally.
              The bleatings of the NACT puppets like Tolley and Fisiani are based on little substantive evidence and should be treated as such.

              • Fisiani

                A quality education for just 4 out of 5 students sadly and due to 3 out of 5 teachers . National cares for 5 out of 5 students and wants to reward the best teachers.

                • Colonial Viper

                  National cares for 5 out of 5.

                  So, John Key is going to guarantee that no child is going to leave our school system without knowing how to read and write, and without knowing how to do their sums?

                  Are you making that committment on his behalf, Fis?

                • Irascible

                  Yet another meaningless meme from Fisi. I wonder if he actually can make sense of his own logic even when he talks to himself?

                • KJT

                  The simplest way to improve school performance, and many other social indicators, as we all know, is to decrease inequality so that kids feel they can become part of society if they do well at school.

                  That is way to hard for RWNJ’s though. It may even cost them 1.5% of their income in taxes.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        For the sake of the children – why not put it aside and look at actual evidence?

        That would require him to actually think and, from what I’ve seen of what he says, he can’t.

    • Maynard J 5.2

      ‘Every other job’ doesn’t have a blithering idiot setting standards.

      Actually, some do, and as a result the talented people leave. I guess that’s what you want.

      • burt 5.2.1

        The talented people only leave when there is no mechanism to compensate them for the extra value they bring – they leave for better pay elsewhere. But in a one size fits all monopoly provider model they can’t do that… Tell me again why all teachers should be paid the same and why their performance should not be measured then think hard about the unintended consequences of this model.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1

          Most people value things other than financial compensation at the top of their list of job satisfiers.

          Not having the Minister in charge of your sector talk down to you like you are a frakkin idiot, that would be one of them.

          Tell me again why all teachers should be paid the same and why their performance should not be measured then think hard about the unintended consequences of this model.

          Actually because intraprofessional rivalry within an organisation where team work and trust is a key ingredient is extremely destructive Burt. You just think about that.

        • KJT 5.2.1.2

          Perfectly happy for Teachers performance to be measured. WHEN you can find a measurement system, that can actually do that, without causing a lot of activity detrimental to children’s education. The private sector also struggles with performance measurement for anything more complicated than sales targets.

          • ianmac 5.2.1.2.1

            Very true. There are very few who can agree on what a good teacher is. One common factor is enthusiasm for the teaching but the details contradict enormously. I have heard parents say that a quiet tidy room indicates success. Others say a busy activity buzzing room must be best. Another says that the kids who are out and about measuring and asking and reporting contesting is better. Researchers cannot define it. One teacher’s gift is another ones poison.

    • Sanctuary 5.3

      Would that be dinosaurs that somehow managed to create the education system receantly rated the best in the world? Fisani? You know, in the 21st Century?

      This is your problem on this issue buddy boy. We’ve got on one side one of the consistantly independently rated best education systems in the world, where all it’s teachers, experts, boards of trustees and principals say the policies of an educationally illiterate educaion minister are completely wrong.

      On the other side, we’ve got, ummm, Anne Tolley and a bunch of authoritarian online right wing trolls like yourself whose expertise in the education sector could be written on the back of a postage stamp in crayon.

      Who to believe? Oh, who to believe?

      • Fisiani 5.3.1

        where all it’s teachers, experts, boards of trustees and principals say the policies of an educationally illiterate educaion minister are completely wrong.

        Wrong Wrong Wrong. Lies Lies Lies Lies.
        You are not that thick. Have another try.

    • bbfloyd 5.4

      well hoisted fiiiiiiiiisi… that’s a petard you can feel back there…

    • mcflock 5.5

      Hmmm – I’m just imagining a dinosaur putting its head in the sand in an effort to hold back the tide.

      Damned nihilist unions, always walking a tightrope between a rock and a hard act to follow as the crow gathers no moss..

    • Jum 5.6

      What is outrageous Fisiani is your poor attempt to label teachers as 20thC, not 21stC but your whole rightwing philosophy is 18thC.

      Pre-election 2008 we were teaching all our children to be individual thinkers and global workers but your masters are pro-chimney sweep labour. National’s standards are reversing into a whirlpool of dizzying proportions – a veritable hotch-potch of Sweeney Todds cutting New Zealanders’ Samsonite hair and then cutting their throats to put into the Talley pies. Don’t Talleys make pies? Watch this space if AmeriNAct gets back in.

  6. Brett 6

    Hopefully they replace Tolley with Judith Collins.
    She would tear those teachers a new arsehole.

    • Marty G 6.2

      because that’s what we want in education – a minister that encourages every good teacher to leave the profession.

      • Brett 6.2.1

        F.I.O.F.O
        No business/organization will work if the employees are undermining the person in charge.
        MOE needs to root out the trouble makers and destroy them.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          You have no idea how the best businesses in the world work, Its not the Kenyan army mate

        • Bunji 6.2.1.2

          Yep, you’re right, they really need to get rid of that trouble-maker Tolley.

        • prism 6.2.1.3

          That MOE should be set to work on the convulvulus in my garden. It isn’t an appropriate way to deal with teachers who know a thing or two about education and have stuck at it generally because they care about doing a good job with the kids.

    • pollywog 6.3

      I can see the headline in the Herald already…

      Key tears new arsehole for teachers

      John Key has controversially decided to replace the bumbling Minister for education, Anne Tolley with the equally inept Judith Collins, citing it as part of his ‘tearing new arseholes’ policy.

      He urged the public to relax and likens the cabinet shuffle to a brutal gang rape in prison where ‘the transition between assailaints is much smoother if you just relax’.

  7. Rodel 7

    I would like to know who designed the national standards system.
    Surely no-one who is actually involved with teaching kids.
    Sometimes these ideas are just a copy of something that has been seen in another country. Anyone remember the Picot report?

    • KJT 7.1

      It is a carbon copy of national standards in the UK and USA which they are now abandoning because it did not have the results intended.

  8. What really bugs me about Tolley and her apologists is that she has blundered in and cut perfectly good programs to fund National Standards.

    What about the following passage, contained in the incoming briefing to the Minister, obviously written by the best brains in the Education sector.

    “The Numeracy Development Project was established in 2000. This ministry-led professional development programme has been introduced into 95 percent of primary, intermediate and composite schools (including 85 percent of Maori-medium schools) and 40 percent of secondary schools.

    Between 2002 and 2007:

    * the percentage of Year 6 students achieving at or above the expected level in mathematics increased from 40 percent to 61 percent.
    * the percentage classified as at risk decreased from 30 percent to 13 percent.”

    Funding was cut from this to help fund National Standards.

    And what really irks is that it was proposed that she increases the subsidy for private schools by $17.5m. She doubled this to $35m. This was enough money to continue with night classes.

    The woman is doing appalling damage to our education system.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    Farrar has been hilarious over this. He does authoritarian apoplexy with all the grace and aplomb of a Belgian tram conductor with a hangover.

    First, character assassination of one person from one board at one school – with narry a word on the possible motivations of members of the other 240 (and growing) boards. Or the principals. Or the teachers.

    Today, we get the true measure of his desperation – the dirty old smear tactic of 2005-08 is back, exploiting the mentally ill to “distribute” “leaked” emails in frantic attempt at diversion and smear.

    Apparently, we are to believe it is all a communist plot conducted on office stationary.

    I’ve got news for Mr. Farrar. It ain’t working.

    • ianmac 9.1

      The e-mails were supposed to show that one Principal was running the Protest and that the BOT were only doing what that Principal told them to do.
      Fails. The e-mail sent from the Principal’s home starts with a congratulation that each BOT had decided to join the protest. It was sent AFTER the BOT had decided. It didn’t stop the Burts and Fisianis from attacking teachers, unions, the weather, sore toes, dripping noses and whatever captured their fleeting attentions. Sigh.

  10. tc 10

    Tolley on Education, Bennett on Welfare, Wilkinson on Industrial Relations, Collins on prisons, Wong on womens affairs………anyone see the pattern here with these portfolios and the outstanding individuals who hold them, no prizes.

    • Brett 10.1

      Women shouldn’t be in positions of power?
      Are you saying that their place should be in the kitchen serving their menfolk?
      I am appalled at the sexism in this post- ban this misogynist prick!

      • Sanctuary 10.1.1

        Errrr…. I think you are the only one to make their gender an issue.

        That wasn’t even a good effort. A complete shocker in fact. Perhaps, to paraphrase Churchill, the best argument against the education system is a conversation with the average right wing troll?

        I think you should go away and write 100 lines: “Diversion requires that I must try harder”

      • freedom 10.1.2

        no Brett , I think they are saying megamaniacal brainwashed ego-crazed unenlightened money-hungry mouthpieces of the right (who happen to all be female) shouldn’t be in positions of power

      • marsman 10.1.3

        The Dom-Post tried the same sexist slur in it’s stick waving Nat spin editorial yesterday. How tiresome.

        • Carol 10.1.3.1

          There’s some underlying gender patterns here that are not straightforward. They relate to traditional perceptions of gender roles, and work and political systems that originated in gendered divisions of labour. These still have an impact today, although not in a clear-cut way.

          When I lived in Aussie in the late 1990s, there were many comments about how women MPs were put into the unpopular portfolios in the Howard government, because they were expendible. This seems to be a pattern in Aussie & NZ, and often in the UK, too.

          Also, there’s another gender link, in that women tend to get the “soft” portfolios in health, education and welfare (I’ve read peer reviewed research comparing Aussie, NZ, Canada & the US, that shows this is a widespread tendency). These portfolios traditionally have relatively low status, partly because of their associations with women.

          It’s interesting also, that these women Minsiters are working in areas where welfare cut backs are being pursued by NACT. As a result, there has been a decline in the numbers of women working. It’s kind of like the male NACT hierarchy have put women ministers forward to oversea areas that will be unpopular with, and impact negatively on large numbers of women.

          • freedom 10.1.3.1.1

            it is also an unabashed perversion of the oft stated ‘maternal nature’ being used against the society by deliberately placing women in the seriously sensitive roles of education, police, justice and welfare.

            ‘how can the policy be bad if a woman is fronting it? ‘ type of bs,
            sadly too many people buy into it

          • prism 10.1.3.1.2

            Good to read of some definite research Carol. The portfolio of Minister of Defence isn’t usually female-directed, but Ruth Rich-hardson did get to be in charge of the money though.

            “the “soft” portfolios in health, education and welfare…These portfolios traditionally have relatively low status, partly because of their associations with women.” Yes, they are also not to do with making money, initiating projects which result in accreted wealth, they are directly tied to caring for people and their needs.

            The Randian individual striding into a sunset enhanced by an avenue of brilliantly lit Eiffel towers (representing modernism and master of technology) is generally male and is above such petty considerations. Many aspirational women only gain positions of power and status by following the Randian male hegemony. So we get these eager beavers willing to be foot soldiers in the fight against welfare spending that supports the lives of the general population.

            • Carol 10.1.3.1.2.1

              I’m not sure, if you’re asking for a reference/source, prism. But this is one of the articles I read:

              http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=2183560

              It focuses on how press coverage of women candidates in Aus, Canada & the US, focuses on stereotypical gender stereotypes & tends to relegate women to policy areas that are traditionally associated with women. It says that this coverage was similar across the different kinds of systems of government in the 3 countries. It also said that, the gender stereotypes were weakening, but still remained, especially for the perceptions of women in the most powerful government positions.

      • Vicky32 10.1.4

        I see it the other way… that these jobs are given to women *who haven’t got a clue* so that when they fail, it’s an excuse NACT can use for not give ministerial posts to women!

    • KJT 10.2

      Key on smile and wave.
      Brownlee on “Mining etc”.

      ooop’s they are male! Though Helen had more balls.

    • Jum 10.3

      Captcha: (ad)dresses

      NAct are cunning if nothing else. They put women in cabinet positions because they were seen to be misogynists pre-2008 election. Women were put in the positions which cause the most grief. Women are often the enemy of more vulnerable women. Women were told to deal to all female sections of society that will suffer most – Bennett/solo mothers, Tolley/teachers with more women because the wages are not high enough for men who seek the better paid but value-bereft jobs – moneytrading, e.g., Wilkinson/many more women now unemployed; I posted pre-2008 election that Key hates women leaders of any kind. So does his party and Act. It’s the usual ‘use a woman lawyer for a rapist’ routine. Not even imaginative; but certainly JKeyll behaviour. NAct will replace these women just before 2011 or just after the election if they get back in, depending upon the public mood. Women will think that Bennett, Tolley, Wilkinson hate women even more than the male politicians do so will be just as keen to get rid of them as the male misogynists among us.

      Psychological warfare in politics is bad with this NAct government. It has the backing of the Conservatives in Britain and America – these are vicious players in the world of male control. Its hatred of women was made plain pre-2008 election and for years before then against Clark. New Zealand men and women did not support Clark against the lies and vicious attacks upon her.

    • Daveosaurus 10.4

      “anyone see the pattern here with these portfolios and the outstanding individuals who hold them”

      Yes: they’re all Nats. Get rid of the Nats, and you’ve got rid of that particular bunch of incompetent buffoons.

  11. dave 11

    I think some of the debates on National Standards are politicised, and I have a long post here about it.. But it is strange that one of the schools leading the charge against National Standards has a charter that states it is going to implement National Standards.

    • KJT 11.1

      Damn right its political. Time politicians, especially ignorant right wing ones, got their noses out of education.

      You don’t tell Doctors how to take out a kidney.

      In fact the sooner we get rid of politicians power altogether and have a democracy the better.

      They are supposed to be working for us.

  12. ianmac 12

    National Standards aim to:
    1. Improve reporting to parents. Good call. Always room to improve. Most have.
    2. Help the failing kids. Great. Smaller classes, specialised help, facilities, community/parent help. (Funny that we already know that there is a group of kids who fail before NS?)
    Great aims that every teacher and BOT support.

    But wait! What if the National Standards are flawed? What if they do not come near to achieving the above aims. Worse. What say they not only cause harm to kids but bog down the staff with more bureaucracy ? What if the NS becomes bogged down as political issue. The kids?
    We benefit our kids by finding out if your school agrees with 1 & 2. (Probably Yes.)
    Then find out if the NS have the answers. If not, why not.

  13. tc 13

    Freedom wins and Brett wins the DPF award for missing the point and seeing something that wasn’t there.
    All first timers holding key portfolios with a slash n burn agenda.

  14. randal 14

    how come we come out best on international tables of academic achievement but everybody is always moaning.
    can any body answer that question?

    • ianmac 14.1

      And how come there is already enough data to hand so that we already know about the long tail of underachievers, better than any NS could possibly show?
      I wonder if those who did not enjoy school themselves relish the chance to carry out their spite against the teachers and schools.

      • prism 14.1.1

        The answer to why National Standards is because it’s a new policy that has been done ‘overseas’ which gives it lustre. It has been chosen from a smorgasbord of ‘overseas’ initiatives to be Anne Tolley’s pet program that she will impose to put her stamp on eduction. If it doesn’t work, isn’t needed, soaks up money presently used for targeted, tested and productive programs is not her handbag.

    • burt 14.2

      Look at the over representation of private schools in the international awards. There is your answer.

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    240 schools boycotting now? That’s one in eight.

    Sucks to be Tolley.

  16. Well said r0b, National Standards has been a monumental and expensive fuck up in so many ways.

    The teachers’ opposition has also been an important reminder that this government can be made to cave in the face of united opposition.

  17. Hamish Gray 17

    I love this quote from the Massey researchers…

    ““It is a great pity however, that the Government is insisting that an untested policy be implemented in spite of independent research evidence of its potential harm to pupils. …”

    You mean, students that are failing might actually risk being told they are failing under these standards, and remedial action will be employed. The poor dear might be overwhelmed with the added attention of school teachers and reduced to a state of utter shock as their academic performance improves.

    God help us all!

    And if you don’t believe the government has a mandate to implement this policy (they campaigned on it, they were elected under MMP), then remind me to rebel against any old policy I find goes against my political beliefs the next time one pops up. Sorry but civilised society doesn’t work that way.

    What if an employer refused to implement minimum wages every time they were increased, on the basis that, well, he has research that says it’s not a good idea? Go on, argue the difference.

    • KJT 17.1

      What remedial action? Funding for teacher aids, child mental health, reading recovery and other remedial actions is being cut.

    • Jum 17.2

      Not the old line ‘they campaigned on it’ again. NAct campaigned on JKeyll’s smile and wave; that’s how they got in and they’ve manipulated people ever since. captcha: manipulation.

      Voters never agreed with all policies so this government cannot say that every time they force through legislation that they have a mandate.

      You can keep your god and its paedophilia and misogyny and hidden wealth to yourself.

      Civilised society my ass. Your government has just signed off for Clinton to call up our men and women for death duties.

      As for employers refusing to implement minimum wages – this government steals from the poor to pay the rich extra taxes that the rich didn’t pay anyway because of their lawyers and their accountants writing everything off or hiding it in trusts like National still does. Therefore employers are simply giving their employees money they will soon steal back.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.3

      What if an employer refused to implement minimum wages every time they were increased, on the basis that, well, he has research that says it’s not a good idea?

      I’d be fine with that if they can come up with such research…

      BTW, here’s an interview on the actual research.

    • tea 17.4

      Yes Hamish.

      I think you should get the job of going round and telling six year olds that they are failures.

      Also if the staff say at Xerox Park work for a bunch of boneheads who insist on giving Steve Jobs email, the internet and the pc etc, they at least get it in writing that they were ordered to do it.

      There is no overwhelming critical opposition to minimum wage rises. Say more people in the building industry had been against using untreated timber…

    • Blue 17.5

      Hamish, you might find this hard to believe, but schools actually already had assessments in place for their pupils. That’s kind of what they’re there for. You know those report card things that kids bring home a few times a year? Those parent-teacher meetings? Those PAT tests they do every year?

      Any of this ringing a bell?

      Teachers and schools were already doing fine identifying which kids were falling behind. What they needed was more investment in fixing what is a very complex problem. It’s easy to say ‘your kid is failing’. What’s not easy is helping them catch up.

      All teachers got was a stupid unnecessary layer of bureaucracy, and to fund this complete waste of time other stuff got cut.

      Do you understand?

      Every teacher knows which kids are at the bottom of the class. They don’t need frakin’ National Standards to tell them that.

  18. r0b 18

    You mean, students that are failing might actually risk being told they are failing

    No, national standards mean that children who are doing just fine will be told they are failing.

    remedial action will be employed.

    remedial action is already employed.

    remind me to rebel against any old policy I find goes against my political beliefs

    No. National standards are not being rejected on the basis of “political beliefs”, they are being rejected on the basis of educational evidence. On the basis of probably causing harm to children. The only people pushing their political beliefs in this debate is your team.

    What if an employer refused to implement minimum wages every time they were increased, on the basis that, well, he has research that says it’s not a good idea? Go on, argue the difference.

    The employer could do that, and suffer the consequences. Schools are doing what the evidence says they should, and are prepared to suffer the consequences. Go on, argue the difference.

    And in each case the government can take the action it sees fit, and suffer the consequences.

    • fermionic_interference 18.1

      ” National standards are not being rejected on the basis of “political beliefs”, they are being rejected on the basis of educational evidence. On the basis of probably causing harm to children. The only people pushing their political beliefs in this debate is your team.

      Not even just causing harm to our students but to our education system itself.
      By claiming that extra bureaucracy and paper work for teachers on top of what they already do (a very large amount) that doesn’t offer solutions new ideas or even a idea of how students are progressing.
      Most schools are testing using the ASTLE system or something similar so under National standards they will have to test and report to both criteria, see an earlier article on the standard for links to A. Tolley stating that schools using such systems are to continue and also report on the new standards.
      Q: So what happens when all of a teachers time becomes spent testing?
      A: Our education systems goes out with the Tolleys.

  19. ianmac 19

    Hamish: If you had genuine concern you would try and match your: “You mean, students that are failing might actually risk being told they are failing under these standards, and remedial action will be employed.” with the actual implementation of National Standards. Everyone knows that some students underachieve. Remedial action is taken.
    Reading Recovery for instance has been running successfully since 1987 but is limited to just the few worst kids through lack of money and resources. It identifies those at age 6 who qualify for intensive specialist help. Why not more than just the worst ones? Money. Imagine if the Minister was willing to fund a much wider program. Wow! But do you really want to know that Hamish? Doubt it! Political reasons for your comments?

    • Hamish Gray 19.1

      My post is not politically motivated, unlike this facade of concern for children from the Boards. It is motivated solely as a parent.

      I have three children. One was failing miserably in reading and we noticed it at home. Didn’t gel with the report cards and parent-teacher interviews, which said she was just fine. We trusted the teacher, because, well, she was a teacher. But eventually, we couldn’t stand back and watch her struggle anymore at bedtime reading and watching her confidence sink, so we took her to a private remedial class.

      Sure enough, within weeks we had signs of massive improvement and within a year she was up to scratch. The turnaround was amazing and her confidence was boosted no end. The teacher didn’t have a clue – but how was I as a parent to know this? My partner and I participated in her education as much as we could, knowing something was wrong. The teacher, and the school, failed her and we removed her to another one, fortunately nearby.

      And this is why teachers oppose the standards – they will expose them. As a parent, I have the right to know how my child is doing and speaking with other parents, we discovered similar issues with this seriously defficient teacher.

      It took active intervention by our family to remedy this problem. The system was set-up to rely entirely on the teacher’s opinion, which was seriosuly dubious. Standards ensure there is a second line of defence, so to speak, and most parents support that.

      So as hard as it is for contributors on this website to do, I suggest setting aside this ideologically driven urge to oppose everything the government puts up, just because it happens to be right-wing, and consider the real reason for the opposition – politics and power by the unions. The sexism claim is ridiculous.

      And try and justify civil servants actively disobeying their legal mandate all you like – it’s unprofessional and unbecomming. But because it suits your interests, you’re down with that. Real progressive stuff.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        Hamish QUOTE1

        My post is not politically motivated…It is motivated solely as a parent.

        Hamish QUOTE 2

        just because it happens to be right-wing, and consider the real reason for the opposition – politics and power by the unions.

        As opposed to politics and power by Tolley and the NATs? Force meet force. Its the way things work with a National Government determined to force things through. Simpe physics: every force creates its own equal and opposite reaction.

        So having swept aside your stance of political neutrality, lets get to brass tacks. This Government, and particularly Tolley, are not educational experts and they are not listening to the educational experts.

        Now you may have run across a bad teacher, a negligent teacher, such people are present in every profession. Why did you not ask the question why that teacher was not applying existing systems to assess your child properly? Why, instead of dealing with a highly localised problem using available organisational solutions within the school, do you feel that the answer is to go to a costly global solution of National Standards a system which has no basis in any trials for improving children’s educational outcomes in the slightest.

        so we took her to a private remedial class.

        So, what was wrong with the reading recovery classes that the school ran? Why were there still problems after learning deficiencies discovered? How much of an active role did the school you suggest you should play in the home?

        Don’t you think that once the school was aware of the issues, they actually played a role in the solution – or had an important role in the solution?

        Are you implying that once a problem had been identified the school and its administration played deaf and dumb to adapating to the deficiencies identified?

        I suggest setting aside this ideologically driven urge to oppose everything the government puts up

        ‘Ideological’ is the catch cry of the NAT Government because it takes one to know one, simple as that. Just try asking Tolley for her evidence base backing National Standards and you will see that her evidence base = her belief systems = PURE POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

      • lprent 19.1.2

        I haven’t seen any credible evidence that programs like nationals standards do anything except cause harm and beaucratic make-work. That is what the available evidence from similar programs shows.

        Certainly Tolley hasn’t provided any evidence to counter that viewpoint, and neither have any of the rest of the National party, nor for that matter has any commentator here including yourself. What I have seen is politically driven bullshit by people like you saying piously that teachers and parents sitting in school boards should conform to a arbitrary set of rules.

        Perhaps you missed the devolution in the 1980’s with more control going to the schools? Tolley certainly seems to have done so. Teachers are paid by their schools. Schools are given grants and largely run by school boards. The MOE sets general conditions about what the grants are used for and does some of the dispersals. Schools boards and teachers aren’t ‘civil servants’ and aren’t covered by the rules for that small group of core civil servants regardless what you think. Before dribbling your bullshit, perhaps you should go and learn some basics about our education system?

        I have to conclude that implementing it is a purely political decision driven by an ideological idiot. To be precise, it looks like a stealthy attempt to demolish the basis of tomorrows schools and assert more control over school boards.

        As for your homily about your kid. You did exactly what a parent should do. You noticed a problem and shifted your kid to a much smaller class size where she would learn better. Perhaps you should have then stood for your schools board and pushed for remedial reading program in school?

        But it probably has bugger all to do with the teacher and everything to do with class size. The techniques that work well in a class of one or two are impossible to do in a class of 30. Perhaps you should concentrate on how to actually improve the school system rather than supporting Tolleys pile of politically driver ideological and ineffective crap.

      • D14 19.1.3

        >>>Hamish And this is why teachers oppose the standards – they will expose them. As a parent, I have the right to know how my child is doing and speaking with other parents, we discovered similar issues with this seriously defficient teacher.

        Who makes the judgements about the standards. THE TEACHERS.
        You argue that the teachers judgment in one school was faulty, and improved in another school. HOW will the national standards as implemented improve that situation with out moderation. How can ‘seriously deficient teachers’ have the judgement needed with out moderation

        Also I have seen little or no discussion about the validity and reliability of the assessments for the standards. If the standards are not valid or reliable and there is no moderations how can they have any meaning.

        • ianmac 19.1.3.1

          Hamish: I have a strong suspicion that your story is fabricated. Reminds me of those ads where “independent” comments are featured. “My life was tough but then I saw the light.” Can’t prove it but you have a responsibility to at least be truthful about important matters.

          “private remedial class.” Really? What would that class be?

          “And this is why teachers oppose the standards – they will expose them.” Really? If your story was genuine you would already know that the National Standards are based on the usual tests that the teachers already run. PAT, Running Records, Astle, 6 year Net and so on. If you were honest you would have asked to see the records which would confirm/deny your doubts. But you “took your hypothetical child to another school” where they would use the same battery of tyests as the school you “left.”
          There are great holes in your story and it has no connection on whether NS would make a difference let alone whether the NS have any credibility. I don’t believe you and if you fronted up in real life you would be found to be a fraud!

      • tea 19.1.4

        love how the unpolitically motivated come on political blogs. Didya know boards are made up of parents? or are you the only parent out there amongst the clone wars?

        you are a bit of a patronising chap aren’t you. Do you work for Hanover or SCF- as you are happy to dump on someone unprofessional at the bottom, but perfectly happy to accept it at the top and do what you are told.

  20. Jum 20

    We should be grateful that our teachers ran the gauntlet for us without much support except for The Standard and other objective thinkers. The teachers could have been sacked and may still be, along with Principals and parent boards. But if they are, that will be the next biggest mistake NAct makes. That will achieve a bigger backlash than the mining anger created.

    If this government really cared about the educational progress of every child and uni student, they would have put the oxymoronic ‘standards’ money towards only those children needing educational support. Labour also should have put financial and human resources into more intensive and longer programmes without cut off points which seem to happen regardless of individual progress (e.g. reading recovery). Lack of funding in those cases will never be a reasonable excuse.

    This government however has excelled itself in its shortsighted education policy. Parents who still believe this NAct government is acting in the best interests of Kiwi children are not considering a future society and the problems division in education will create.

    Perhaps they can afford to have lockable gates. Perhaps those parents who don’t think parents who make up school boards bagging the standards are clever enough. Perhaps they should write to those school boards and ask for a meeting. I would love to see the parents who can’t even be bothered to turn up to school evenings, never mind volunteering to go on school boards, telling the school board parents how dumb they are…

    This government certainly excells at dividing people.

    Parents should certainly have queried why science wasn’t seen as just as important as the other basics, unless they know NAct are planning to bring in creationist crap. Everything else NAct have done since becoming government suggests they live in a fantasy world so nothing would surprise me, except perhaps this government thinking before it acted.

    NAct had 9 years to plan some worthwhile goals – too busy stealing money off people with finance company investments I guess.

    • fermionic_interference 20.1

      Great points and well written.
      Just FYI
      Teachers are contracted to the board of trustees of any given public school so only the board can fire them.
      Thus as the board members have the implications of the national standards advised to them, be prepared to see even more boards boycotting the adoption of this national standards regime.

      So now the biggest issue to allow sanity to prevail is for the implications on/for the board members children, to be explained clearly and concisely, allowing for more schools to boycott this atrocity.
      Note: although boards are contracted to the Govt and can be fired by the Govt.
      Principals are also contracted to the Govt I believe.

      • Jum 20.1.1

        fermionic_interference 20.1
        5 November 2010 at 4:33 pm

        “Great points and well written.” It all started with Miss Plaidle in primer 4…

        • ianmac 20.1.2.1

          Interesting article. “Associate Professor John Clark said the standards were limited in their scope, were not adequately measurable and had not been tested enough – pointing to a high risk of failure.”
          and Mr McKeefy a parent at Clyde Bay School said, “For too long we’ve not had honesty in reporting from schools. We haven’t been told how our children are placed within their class and how they rate nationally and that’s all I want.”
          No problem mate. Go and ask to see the school records on your child but the NS won’t be much help.

    • Vicky32 20.2

      “should certainly have queried why science wasn’t seen as just as important as the other basics, unless they know NAct are planning to bring in creationist crap”
      They’re not that crazy, surely to goodness!

    • Fabregas4 20.3

      Yesterday was Pet Day at my school. The Board of Trustees have signed up with the other schools (after much discussion and research). This weeks newsletter informed the school community about this the day before. I was amazed by the number of people talking about the Standards boycott. Every one delighted that the Board had made this decision and vowing that they, and the teachers and me, will be supported to the hilt through this. Good luck coming to Ngapuhi country and trying to bully the local school! The irony for our school community is that next door to our flourishing and successful school is a college that by any standards is struggling, has done so for at least 10 years and 18 months ago was identified as an unsafe place for children and staff. Has the Minister or Ministry done anything about this? – You know the answer. Oh but for spending money and placing resources where they would actually do some good.

      • ianmac 20.3.1

        Fabregas4: Oh but for spending money and placing resources where they would actually do some good.”
        Oh that $30 million being spent on NS was instead spent on dealing to the problem of underachieving poor performing kids and for that matter the very bright kids!

  21. Bright Red 21

    I love this from the Herald ‘your views’, the last line of the cry of conservatives since the beginning of time:

    “Deal to Crims (Rotorua)
    10:17AM Wednesday, 03 Nov 2010
    The entire education was becoming far too PC (I know this term is overused but couldnt think of a more appropriate one)

    This government is trying to get back to basics and re-engineer the education so that students actually come out with some skills that mean something in the modern world.

    I am all for the education sector being turned upside down, along with a few other departments to get rid of unnecessary parifinalia and “get back to the knitting”
    The world has got too complicated – lets get simple again!”

    • Anne 21.1

      “parifinalia”. That says it all. Spell it how it sounds not how it’s spelt.
      How simple does he/she want us to be? I mean if he/she is serious then do we go back to the caves and rub sticks together to light a fire?

  22. popeye 22

    @ Bight Red- that is classic….my stomach is still sore from laughing…”lets get simple again”.

    Tolley will attack….nothing in the past indicates she even remotely understands the issues. This is about cold hard survival. Look at the hatchet job National’s back room is visiting on the schools mentioned. She will pick away at the group, issue glowing reports about the many schools that have contacted her to tell her they are ‘getting on with it’…she many even try to sack a couple of weak Boards. She is facing a hell of a task though. Only so long you can cover over a weeping wound…pus will keep oozing. More Boards will join this group…the staunch ones will push this to the end and in an election year at will be a hell of a punch up! I wonder if anyone has checked how many schools on the list are in blue electorates? This gets any bigger it could be an election game-breaker.

  23. freedom 23

    from Stuff Dom site today, if anyone knows this person can they explain to the individual, slowly, that the Government are public servants and as a member of local Government he should be aware of this.

    • ianmac 23.1

      Not sure what you mean??

      • freedom 23.1.1

        The tone i got from the statement he made was one of full submission to the will of the Government without question or reason. He seemed to offer a belief in full subjugation to authority. One more shadow of a democratically elected person in the long line of people who have forgotten THEY are meant to work FOR us

        “I wouldn’t want to go so far as to call for all 225 [boards to be sacked] but it is a concern when public servants can put themselves above the government of the day.”

        perhaps i am reading out of context, but he is refusing their right to question the Government in Education Policy?

        It’s a Sunny day, i am going to go sort the wood racks and worry about it all tomorrow

        • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.1

          The Elite Born to Rule always wonder why it is that the Peasants are revolting.

          • ianmac 23.1.1.1.1

            CV: All the pheasants that I know are revolting . They shit all over the place!

            Actually many of the negative comments at Kiwiblog seem to be around obedience and conformity. Bloody peasants!

  24. Fabregas4 24

    This really does have the potential to change the landscape politically. A lot of people, it seems to me, have already discovered the clown has no clothes, the tax fraud is biting, finance company bail outs are more important than a decent ACC system, minimum wage increase was 25 cents extra!, etc etc.
    Bulling from Wellington takes a little while to hit – bullying your local community – well people get annoyed straight away. Bullying every local community – means everyone getting annoyed straight away. Get annoyed at this and all the other stuff gets dragged into the equation.

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  • The Few are on the run, again, it still won’t stop reality catching up…
    We are seeing what has been termed “a greater challenge than the crash of 2008” by a growing number of economists and more rational, sane commentators, because whilst that was a shocking exposure of the levels to which hubris had sunk, right down to the blank cheque given those who ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    10 hours ago
  • Speaker: Locked down in Jersey City
    I am a Kiwi living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan. Locals call it New York’s sixth borough. More than 350,000 New Jersey citizens, including myself, commute to New York daily ...
    13 hours ago
  • Expanding houses
    It’s  a beautiful autumn afternoon, we need to get out of the house, and so our bubble sets off on a bike ride around our local neighbourhood, Cambridge Park. The bikes come out of the garage, and, being really certain we have a front door key, close the garage door ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    14 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    17 hours ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    20 hours ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    21 hours ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    2 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    2 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    3 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    3 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    3 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    7 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    7 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
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