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Kids Tolley’s election year cannon-fodder

Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, January 23rd, 2011 - 34 comments
Categories: education - Tags: ,

The international evidence that National Standards don’t work is conclusive. Only 20% of schools are ready to implement them and over 300 schools are refusing altogether. What’s our Minister for Education’s response to the objections of people who have dedicated their lives to education? A declaration of war using the kids against the teachers.

Tolley says she will cut funding to schools that don’t cooperate: “They will find that targeted professional development [for teachers and principals] won’t be available [to them].”

Imagine a government punishing doctors by refusing to teach them new medical techniques – it’s the patients that would suffer, no government would do it. But that’s the same as what Tolley is threatening. It’s the kids who will suffer.

And Tolley knows it: “Look, it’s election year, so anything goes.”

What does that mean? It means she’s prepared to use the kids. She wants to turn the parents against the teachers by putting the kids’ education at risk.

Despicable. And, perhaps worse, completely vision-less. This isn’t an education minister who is dedicated to improving educational outcomes for kids and, thereby, New Zealand’s future. This is a minister who sees her job as reducing spending and battling the unions. To her, education is just a battlefield and the kids are cannon fodder.

34 comments on “Kids Tolley’s election year cannon-fodder ”

  1. Fisiani 1

    Ann Tolley wants to raise educational standards so that children correctly write altogether instead of all together as above.

  2. This article was essentially a declaration of war on the teachers’ unions because it is “election year”.

    How do you reconcile her treatment of Auckland Grammar with the treatment of the primary teachers union movement. On the one hand we have the minister supporting a school saying that it is not going to follow the national standard examination system (NCEA) because “[i]f Grammar has found that using Cambridge keeps those students focused and engaged and successful, my attitude is that’s exactly what we want schools to be doing.”

    Yet on the other hand she will punish schools at a primary level if they dare to do the same.

    Why is she incapable of saying the following?

    “If Primary Schools have Grammar has found that using existing examination techniques such as ASTL Cambridge keeps those students focused and engaged and successful, my attitude is that’s exactly what we want schools to be doing.”

    And why does she get stuck into the unions each time even though one (the PPTA) is essentially supporting the equivalent of National Standards at a secondary school level.

    The answer is simple. It is clear that she will politicise education for political gain in election year.

    Shame on her.

    • Tony P 2.1

      I also wonder what her reaction would have been had the school in question not been Auckland Grammar but say for example a middle of the road co-ed high school like Taradale High here in HB. Speaking with some secondary teacher friends it seems that the Cambridge system is fairly old fashioned, centred around exams and not really in touch with 21st learning, a bit like the minister.

      • QoT 2.1.1

        the Cambridge system is fairly old fashioned, centred around exams and not really in touch with 21st learning, a bit like the minister.

        And a bit like Auckland Grammar, so they’re a match made in heaven.

      • Giarne 2.1.2

        I would guess too that the Cambridge system is very euro-centric and hence not at all a good fit for ESOL, maori, pasifika, less literate, learning disabilities (particularly literacy disabilities like dyslexia) learners. But that doesn’t worry Tolley and NACT as they are proponents of a eurocentric, assimilate or get lost NZ. That’s not the NZ I want to live in that’s for sure!

    • Giarne 2.2

      Point made more eloquently than I could muster mickysavage because I am so angry at the hypocracy around Tolley allowing wanky Auckland Grammar to get away with ignoring the national assessment tool yet approx 300 primary schools who have used basically the same argument (already using a efficient assessment tool, standards won’t work for their learners) have faced threats to sack the board, threats of “re-training” the staff and Principal, and now are having their measly funding threatened too! ARGH!

  3. Tony P 3

    “They will find that targeted professional development [for teachers and principals] won’t be available [to them].”

    Well so far the professional development surrounding National Standards has been a mess. The advisors taking it have only been one step ahead of us and each time we’ve had a day on it things have changed. This is not the fault of the advisors as they’re also struggling. It’s really just a reflection of the ill thought out and hastily put together nature of National Standards. So any school being denied PD is actually not going to be disadvantaged really.

    • Marty G 3.1

      is it just PD for national standards? I took it to mean general PD funding.

      • Giarne 3.1.1

        Its almost impossible for schools to get PD on anything that ISN’T national standards or literacy or numeracy anymore. Funding for all the other curriculum areas have been “re-prioritised”

  4. BLiP 4

    Suffer the little children for the rich need a tax cut and King John The Clueless of Charmalot needs a job.

  5. Irascible 5

    I see that even The Herald is calling for her head while attempting to explain away Morris’ arrogant behaviour as a justifiable marketing ploy in a “competitive education market.”
    Takes a bit for The Herald to call for the head of a NACT cabinet minister which must mean that she is REALLY, REALLY bad.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/education/news/article.cfm?c_id=35&objectid=10701397

  6. National Standards lack the insight of when a child is under performing due to ill health or verbal, sexual, emotional/psychological or physical abuse in the home. For the school to add to the child’s false belief of themself which may be (I am bad, I am dumb, I deserve this) when they are under performing due to abuse, this in itself is abuse.

    Minister Tolley there are more pressing issues relating to children in NZ which both the Minister of Social Development and the Minister of Education need to be addressing. Money to be made available for teachers to detect the signs of all forms of abuse and a reporting system which gives results. School truancy is a big issue as well which causes a child to under perform and the absence may be due to the child being abused.

  7. fabregas4 7

    Yes, Nationals Standards will make low decile schools instantly look bad because more of the social problems that affect achievement are housed there. That poor kid who is currently the focus of child abuse stories is a school kid who won’t be anywhere need meeting any education standard – of course the society that let this happen also fails to meet any standard of care. Chicken,egg anyone!

  8. seeker 8

    -Good education leads to post formal thinking, which our ‘going backwards to Christmas1830’ government -of -little -brain certainly needs to acquire. Our Minister of Education CERTAINLY needs to acquire some thinking skills.She has just undermined all state secondary schools (teachers and pupils) with her ‘lack of thought’ statements and backing for Auckland Crammers’ weird ‘school qualification’ decision. Any “weak” English / Maths students will not find it easier doing NCEA, if it is done properly, unless they use some less rigorous papers, like unit standards/old school cert. or because NCEA does not rely solely on a ‘pass or fail exam’, as of yore, ‘and students’ can aim for ‘achieved.’, which is less panic inducing. Cambridge ‘O” levels were certainly the ‘softest’ exam option in my day,I was stuck with London -very rigorous. In fact NCEA is very robust and certainly leads to acquiring really good postformal thinking skills. I have watched my son study and achieve to level 3 and onto University where he is an Aplus student. I was greatly impressed at the content, assessment and rigour of NCEA.- and I went to a top school in the UK- one of THE ‘toppest’ and ‘topper’ than Auckland Crammar. As a point of interest, and quite correctly in my opinion, only NCEA quals were listed as being recognised for entry by Oxford University (UK )from New Zealand, no CIE!

    For imposing ill thought out National Standards on the primary sector, thoughtlessly undermining and potentially dividing our teachers and students in the secondary sector by “seeing no harm ” in AGS actions and comments- Mrs Tolleyscores ‘FAIL-well below average’ and needs to go back to school herself. John Key should join her for giving a woman with no educational qualifications or experience (except as as a BOT member !?!) arguably the most important portfolio-Education. Without a good education we are lost!

  9. ianmac 9

    It seems that the support for National Standards comes from people who argue for the need for teachers to obey, or the “need” to expose teachers and schools who are said to be failing.
    Those speaking against National Standards do so from a concern about the effectiveness and/or the damage that NS could cause.
    Hence the disconnect.
    As for Tolley attacking teachers and teaching but supporting the AG stance against NCEA that is appalling! (I think that NCEA showed that AG was not nearly as elite as they thought and need to separate so that comparisons with poorer but successful schools can be dodged.)

  10. Deadly_NZ 10

    And in the Immortal words of Dr Who.

    “Don’t you think she looks tired “?

  11. seeker 11

    Great scathing attack by the Labour party regarding the inadequacy and dangerous incompetence of Anne Tolley on Scoop (press release)

  12. SHG 12

    Nothing an opposition party with a rating in the twenties does is “scathing”.

  13. gazza 13

    Tolley really only wants a role part in Despicable Me part2.

  14. james 14

    the other point is that the NCEA was extensively trialled, and tweaked and had bipartisan support, even if it was not popular.

    so not comparable there with National Standards in any way.

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