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Herald: Tolley must go

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, January 24th, 2011 - 18 comments
Categories: education - Tags: , , ,

Today’s Herald editorial explores Auckland Grammar’s decision to ditch NCEA in favour of the Cambridge exams and the support this elitism, which undermines the NCEA system, has received from Anne Tolley. Never shy to give helpful advice to its favoured PM, the Herald tells Key it’s time to rid himself of the incompetent Tolley.

An incidental and regrettable aspect of the furore has been the predictable invisibility and silence of Minister Anne Tolley. Characteristically, she initially issued an anodyne statement through a spokesman, reiterating her support for NCEA. It took her the entire week to front the press.

Having been stripped of responsibility for tertiary education and having alienated most primary schools over “national standards”, she has surely earned the right to surrender her ministerial warrant. In an election year, such a poor performer in such a key portfolio is a liability John Key can do without.

Tolley’s incompetence and her pig-headed combativeness against every expert group, including the teachers’ unions, is putting our education system at risk.

Her flagship policy, National Standards, undermines genuine education in favour of a box-ticking exercise that will eventually be used as a basis for paying teachers on how well the kids do in the tests – a system that encourages teaching to the test and falsification of results.

Tolley was relieved of tertiary education because she wasn’t up to the job. To be allowed to retain early childhood, primary, and secondary education as if they are somehow less important is a disgrace.

Will Key act or won’t he? Given his past record on incompetent and corrupt ministers, I think we know the answer.

18 comments on “Herald: Tolley must go”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “Her flagship policy, National Standards, undermines genuine education in favour of a box-ticking exercise that will eventually be used as a basis for paying teachers on how well the kids do in the tests – a system that encourages teaching to the test and falsification of results.”

    Her flagship policy? As if she is the one who designed it?

    No, she’s merely the patsy National has put up to run this first unpopular implementation phase. I think she’s hashed it up more than they expected her to, but they’ll ditch her, replace her with someone else and ease back on the scheme a little.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Yep the good ol switch’n’bait. But sort of in the reverse.

      It’ll give the NAT’s the air of “renewing” in an election year, the electorate will be loving it.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        Although having said that, I think I heard that Key has ruled out cabinet changes before the election. Or maybe he’s just rulled out a “reshuffle”, but just changing 1 or 2 people doesn’t count?

        Then again, Key will always do what suits him on the day, regardless of what he said in the past.

  2. Primary schools refuse to implement the national testing regime (National Standards) and there is hell to pay.

    An elitist secondary school refuses to continue with the national testing regime (NCEA) and gets praise and a pat on the back.

    The NZEI advocates not implementing the testing regime and gets threatened.

    The PPTA advocates support for the testing regime and gets threatened.

    Is it just me or is there a contradiction here?

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Anne Tolley is the Sarah Palin of education – a proudly ignorant collection of prejudices who takes the opposition of every expert advisory group as proof she is right.

  4. ianmac 4

    mickey. Remember the Auckland Grammar Old Boys network has clout. Anne would not like to mix with them. Who would be brave enough to challenge the Mafia of Auckland?

  5. Anne 5

    “I think I heard that Key has ruled out cabinet changes before the election”.

    And when did anything stop Key from doing something he has previously ruled out? Indeed, when did anything stop him from NOT doing something he previously said he would… 😉

  6. DS 6

    Be careful what you wish for. Tertiary Education went from Tolley to Steven Joyce, which is simply going from stupid-and-evil to cunning-and-evil.

  7. Heard this phase on morning report this morning.

    “It would be like nailing a poached egg to the ceiling” National Standards is the poached egg.

  8. MrSmith 8

    This is nothing but a distraction people, until the polls start to turn against them they will keep this show going mark my words.

  9. tony 9

    “Primary schools refuse to implement the national testing regime (National Standards) and there is hell to pay.

    An elitist secondary school refuses to continue with the national testing regime (NCEA) and gets praise and a pat on the back.”

    Mickey Savage – congrats, you’re the first person I’ve seen to nail the whole thing. The rich kids at Grammar can bow out of the system with Tolley’s blessing – but public schools choosing to stand up for their principles get the sh!t kicked out of them.

    Prickocrits

  10. RobertM 10

    Anybody who gets up the nose of the teachers union is commendable and expert opinion on education in NZ generally means any communist with a Bachelors of Education who advocates the abolition of any meaningful educational standards or qualifications, particularly those with any rankings that can be interpreted by the public, parents or employers.
    Tolley shows spunk ( a word which my mother was nearly banned as a secondary school reading remedical teacher- for allowing in readers she brought). Beyond that shes probably a Bay private school girls, something like Woodford House girl- which usually commends a certain degree of in your face enterprise,\.
    NCEA stands for the destruction of meaningful educational standards a process that has been underway since the real UE was abolished by Russel Marshall in 1986. When I heard Owen Marshall Jones say that Russell Marshall, the red rev was someome who teachers looked up to, I lost all respect for time for Marshall. Essentially the old UE was a very accurate test of whether someone had an IQ or 110+ and was up to the minimum standard to be a detective, registered nurse or a railways signals man. Just as the old 200 in 4 subjects SC confirmed that people had an IQ of 105 and were fit to be an enrolled nurse or policeman. The abolition of standards destroys our society for everyone because the gatekeepers, controllers and helpers need to be competent and be able to verbally differentiate or there is no justice for anyone.
    In terms of NCEA as the beginings of trade qualifications might well have a place. My own secondary school teachers would have favoured something like NCEA for the less capable half of students because they believed the old UE/SC syllabus was irrelevant and impossible for them.
    But I am not so generous. I was in upper mid stream classes of boys who were all of technically high intelligence in the top quarter and later top 20% but they were not particulary good but I was exposed to the hatred of the hoi polli and many future policeman for my father who was a slack lazy teacher with a bad temper and utter contempt for boys with IQs of less than 116 unless they were potential national level sportsman. Also my father had been slandered as gay in the l950s- he wasn’t really he was more like a Muldoon, Fred Allen or Vodanavich a human roaring Bull. But the desks in his classrooms were ripped apart with graffiti and the generally ugly scene from the white trash and rural Social credit farmers sons destroyed any sympathy in me for ordinary people and common white trash and ignorant males. Why waste time educating them their not even useful as dustman.
    Ordinary woman can be things of beauty and intelligence extends lower down the percentiles in that species. Certainly they should be given an enlightned sex education and the general educational effort has been useful and improved society- if imposed stresses because liberated and beautiful woman are likely to spit in the face of rural and prole males.
    The National standards are useful up to a point but are really extended to far because the standards by intermediate years are probably not obtainable by half the pupils if interpreted at a standardised and accurate level which is politically impossible.
    So good on Tolley for showing a bit of spunk and standing behind Morris. Exams and tests are much more accurate than project work or term work copying. Presentational abilities and PC now count for far too much at all levels of NZ education. What mid level employees want should have nothing to do with what education is about and stephen Joyce desire for Universities to babysit students supervise and ring them up if they stay in bed or go to the pub is beyond belief. Far more is learnt if students adopt their own reading and study programmes and process and break up the material themselves.
    NCEA helps woman students. But how much does it help the darlings.,Half the polished dolls at varsity would much rather be on the beach with their cleavage open being courted by some handsome male or tour guide. The women students do the varsity becasue its a demanded right of passage not because they get anything out of it but a headace and glasses. Really there wasting the prime of their lives learning 3rd rate sociological bull and social histroy drivel. Probably all there thinking about is seducing the withered old male socioligists, just for a laugh. Of course there have always been brilliants and subversive woman academics- Iris Murdoch for eg- but of course they threw her out of Oxford for massive promiscuity and seducing her own pupils. I think they only allowed Sylvia Plath to teach for a year at Smiths.

    • MrSmith 10.1

      RobertM : Either you have been taking to many drugs or you are trying to make a point, if so what is it?

    • Giarne 10.2

      @RobertM – I barely know where to start with your rant that ended in a load of sexist bullshit. Perhaps you’ll just put it down to me being one of your co-called university “darlings” or this other “species” you refer to as woman. Yes, I do feel like spitting at you right now but not because you are prone or rural (which you may be) but because you are a complete pig! Thankfully education has helped me arrive at these conclusions.

      Seeing as you don’t actually make a point, I will.

      Anne Tolley’s hypocrasy knows now bounds. Primary School Boards are being threatened with sacking or less access to PD funding as a result of stating that Tolley’s Standards are educationally flawed, will not suit their learners and reasonably pointed out that they were already utilising a range of national assessment tools that allowed them to relay to parents useful information about how their children were performing.

      For similar comments, Morris is protected by Tolley and Ministry alike – no similar threats of appointing commissioners to the AGS Board, or not allowing teachers at AGS to access professional development. I concur that it is most likely about the status of people on the AGS Board and the “old guard” that protect them. Tolley prefers to pick on those she deems of a lower status as herself.

  11. Anne 11

    Drugs I’d say MrSmith. What is called a meandering mess 😉

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