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Nats resort to plants to help Tolley

Written By: - Date published: 11:54 pm, March 11th, 2010 - 57 comments
Categories: education, scoundrels, spin - Tags:

A reader reports on our abysmal Minister of Education’s latest stop on her bus tour to try to sell national standards:

Interesting public meeting in Onehunga Thursday night, with Minister of Ed Anne Tolley seeking to sell her controversial National Standards policy. About 80 people there, seemed to be quite a lot of parents and those involved in education locally. Trevor Mallard and Carol Beaumont present, Robert Rakete MC’d. Largely dubious audience.

Tolley’s presentation took up nearly half the time allotted for the hour-long meeting. The Minister continued to spout the debunked claim that 30% of teachers are incompetent at teaching literacy. One of the questioners asked her about the sample size of the ERO report she was basing this on – apparently 212 schools were looked at. Given that the report actually said only 10% of teachers were “limited”, that’s based on only about 20 schools.

Tolley was unclear about:

  1. Understanding that taking money away from one thing to fund another means there must have been some cuts. She said the $26M for PD around National Standards came from existing “training” money in the education budget, not really getting that meant there must have been cuts in other PD areas to fund it.
  2. How she was going to make sure that the data collected by her Ministry was valid and comparable, really fudging the answer to that question, which came from a low decile school principal.
  3. What happens next, once National Standards have identified the children/schools/teachers needing more support. She laid out three options for what the Ministry might do with the $36M they have apparently already budgeted for this. Two she clearly didn’t favour (and they did seem ineffective) and one seemed sensible. That third idea is to create specialised help to build the capabilities of teachers, and actually we didn’t need all this National Standards stuff to come up with that, given that teachers have been asking for support to address the tail of underachieving kids for years.

No league tables, but she has a working group working on them anyway. Schools will be required to report on the standards to their communities. It doesn’t take a real estate agent to work out that reports to local communities that require detail about how many are at this and how many are at that will quickly be collated by media into league tables.

Contradictory talk about supporting parents to support their kids, but parenting education programmes like HIPPY being the responsibility of MSD. Tolley mentioned zoning for childcare centres, and said she thinks that without NCEA Level 2 someone cannot live “a full life”.

Best question of the night was from a young teacher at the back with dreads, who pointed out a lot of research has identified the common factor of children in the low-achieving tail is in fact poverty. Tolley tried to dismiss question as “political” (wasn’t this a political meeting?) and then provoked lots of gasps and murmurings of “that’s not true!” when she said the range of children failing was the same across all deciles.

What soured the meeting for me though, and prompted me to send this report in, was what happened with the last question of the night. After saying this will be the last question and picking a man who asked a tricky one about the different developmental stages of different children, MC Robert Rakete decided that actually there would be one more last question. He picked someone from the crowd who he knew by name a woman called “Denise”. She spoke at length in favour of National Standards, talking about the poor reporting from her local school.

Afterwards when a local teacher asked her privately which school it was she refused to answer. She also said that her child got good support when it was identified that child was struggling (although how this added up with her stated claim that the only communication she had had about her child was one ten minute parent interview and a written report on the last day of school was unclear. How did she find out her child was struggling again?)

“Denise,” I discovered afterwards, was in fact Denise Krum, a candidate for United Future in Maungakiekie at the last election, who has since left that party to join National. So the last question, which was really a party political broadcast in favour of National Standards, was in fact a plant.

I wonder how many other plants National has had at these meetings around the country? And how many other MCs have actively gone with that game plan?

57 comments on “Nats resort to plants to help Tolley ”

  1. Schools still use the same repertoire of pedagogy that is hundreds of years old. All modern techniques such as mnemonicssemm to have completely eluded them.

    • simon 1.1

      do you mean mnemonics ?

      I’m currently at TeCol and the pedagogy that we are basing a lot of our teaching practices upon actually stem from Vygotsky, who’s sociocultural theories didn’t become well known (and widely adopted) until the mid 1980’s via development into models by Bruner, Bronfenbrunner and in New Zealand Royal Tangaere.

      We do look at Freud, Erikson, Skinner, Piaget and other, but they have been superseded or modified to fit into the sociocultural model.

  2. bobo 2

    Now that is pathetic to resort to using failed candidates as plants, and not too smart either not using complete unkowns, hopefully this blows up in Tolleys face. Tolley is more like spiritual medium con artist than minister of education if this is true.

    Thanks for the report.

  3. The same sort of thing happened at West Auckland’s meeting and Paula Bennett was careful not to allow questions from a couple of well known westie activists.

    The post is a good one and highlights the weakness of National Standards to me. It is essentially not needed and teachers already know who the kids are that need help. They should bypass the fancy reporting and just pour the money into remedial help for the kids.

    Labour should be blowing its trumpet on this. It has a good tale to tell.

    The incoming briefing for Tolley said the following:

    “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.”

    There was also a thing called the Literacy Strategy which the Labour Government also set up in 2000. According to the report:

    “Over the first three years, this ministry-led professional development programme focused on literacy leadership and involved approximately 4,000 principals and literacy teachers from almost 2,000 primary and intermediate schools. From 2004 onwards, the focus has incorporated both literacy leadership and professional development for teachers. Around 44 percent of primary and intermediate schools have participated to date.

    A 2008 evaluation shows that

    * after taking into account expected growth and maturation, students’ gains in reading and writing were twice those that could be expected without the intervention
    * schools accelerated the rate of progress for the majority of the at-risk students by four times the expected rate.”

    Further,

    “Teachers also need ongoing opportunities to update and improve their practice. Research shows that high-quality in-school professional development is a cost-effective way to improve student achievement in areas such as literacy and numeracy. Ongoing professional development that is focused on everyday classroom practice has the most impact on teacher behaviour and learner outcomes. As evidence grows about which programmes or approaches work best to enhance teaching and learning for all learners, the next step is to embed effective professional development across the sector.”

    It seems Tolley has cut some of the funding to these programs for National Standards. This to me highlights her incompetence.

  4. felix 4

    Robert Rakete you big talentless Troy McClure of a man. Shame on you.

  5. They are defiantly using Plants( who ask soft questions) and are stacking the meetings. However we out stacked them in Waitakere and that really upset them.Tories as many know become really nasty and vicious when things don’t go their way. Tolly and Bennett would really struggle in any decent size firms middle management.

    • Mark 5.1

      “they are defiantly (sic) using plants …. however we outstacked them”
      You criticize them for stacking a meeting but seem to think its ok for you to do the same.
      Hypocracy/
      You then state that Tories become nasty and vicious when things dont go there way.
      Craig you obviously havent read a lot of posts on this site or followed the last 9 years of Labour Government.

      It would really be nice if this debate on National Standards was based on the merits for and against , instead of just an anti National thing.

      • lukas 5.1.1

        Stop being nasty Mark.

        • Mark 5.1.1.1

          Lukas if I wanted to be nasty I could do a much better job.
          I have 3 children at school and I want them to get the best shot at leaving school with the tools to get a decent job.

          I get fed up that this debate on standards seems to be dragged down to a poltical brawl.

          I am personally in favour of having to meet standards.
          The higher the better.
          When our children leave school they will find that every job they apply for has standards , running a business has standards.
          Playing in a sports team has standards.
          Its to late to learn this when they have left school.

          Whats wrong if some kids find out early that they need to put in more effort or the school finds that they need to help some pupils ,or teachers for that matter.

          This debate should be about what helps our children succeed in life, not about political allegiances

          • mickysavage 5.1.1.1.1

            Mark

            I am personally in favour of having to meet standards.
            The higher the better.
            When our children leave school they will find that every job they apply for has standards , running a business has standards.

            But that is the problem. This policy is not about meeting standards it is about measuring standards. And to put it in place the Minister has had to cut funding to programmes used to upskill teachers so their ability to teach kids to meet the standards is reduced.

            This is a backward shambolic excuse of a policy that is actually harming education standards.

            All that it is doing is giving the Minister the chance to insult competent teachers for political gain.

            I just read Pete’s comments below and agree entirely with him.

      • Pete 5.1.2

        I’ll agree with you here Mark, it doesn’t help stacking any meeting with one side or the other, let’s just have an open debate about the standards themselves.

        I’ll go first:

        1. Measuring standards of individual students will not, in and of itself, improve the education of these students.

        2. This money could be spent on existing documented gaps in front-line education services (teaching and support) – including where this government has cut cupport to some of the most vulnerable children in our society (disabled children needing help).

        3. National standards WILL mean we have league tables that will cause some movement away from schools deemed to be under-performing – this will reduce incoming fees and will domino to reduce teacher’s resources etc

        4. Teachers will need to ‘teach to the test’ in order to show how well they are or can do – other areas will not be covered – potential may be lost for many students.

        OK, that’s just off the top of my head – your turn

      • Have a read of the post Mark its about the stacking of meetings and Tolly’s poor performance. I never maid a judgment on the practice I just confirmed it was going on. If however I went round the country saying that the policy I was implementing was going to improve children’s learning and then I admit that it wont help learning that would be hypocritical ( like Anne Tolly has just done).
        I’m not sure the point you are trying to make in your second paragraph.
        The point to a debate Mark is the opposition to your point of view has to have a good strong argument when the Ministers concedes its game over. National have no credible points in the debate they have twisted stats for their own purpose which have been shown up time and time again by posters on this site.
        A final suggestion for you Mark, before you use words like (hypocrite) to describe someone understand their meaning and how you would then apply that word to a context/ person.

      • Pete 5.1.4

        Mark? Where are you?

        Let’s get into it – what are the merits for the standards?

  6. Paul3 6

    And I went to a NZSTA Meeting in Whangarei last night, which was a National Standards Patsy.

    The NZSTA (New Zealand School Trustees Association) is supposed to represent schools Boards of Trustees. Through its president Lorraine Kerr it has been a keen supporter of the introduction of National Standards and its publications have strongly supported their implementation.

    There was a mild furore recently in Northland when the local branch attempted to have a ‘consultation meeting’ around the Standards and sent out invitations specifically excluding school principals from attending. This was, embarrassingly for NZSTA, later explained as an administrative error and the meeting, including some principals took place Thursday evening in Whangarei.

    Mrs Kerr was largely silent until towards the end of the meeting after the floor had contributed a rather lengthy list of concerns about the standards.

    She spoke about being positive about the Standards implementation and getting on with the job, suggested that John Hattie supports them (not in their current form he doesn’t),and that they are the solution to the long tail of under achievement all standard and largely unsubstantiated bluster but then she was asked a question “What mandate has NZSTA got to support the standards?’ She advised that they had surveyed schools and that it was clear that most schools were getting on with the implementation. Further questioning uncovered that a total of 22 surveys were returned NATIONWIDE 18 supporting the standards and 4 against.

    This along with the fact that the surveys were sent in December (when according to the New Zealand Herald 66% of people they polled didn’t even understand the standards) makes the approach of NZSTA particularly suspect and in Lorraine Kerr’s case particularly self serving.

    NZSTA has become a puppet of the government and cannot be trusted to support the Boards that they represent and Lorraine Kerr is a wolf in blue clothing.

    There were certainly plants at this meeting too – an elder gentleman from England who wasn’t happy that someone described the Standards system in England as a disaster, and later did the same himself, before giving the advice that ‘nothing gets done unless you get started so that schools should ignore the current concerns and get on doing the governments work’ and a BOT Chairperson of a small Kura Kaupapa who didn’t know her school was currently exempt from the Standards and offered the suggestion that National Standards assessments needed to be externally audited for accuracy!

    One last word on Kerr – she happily told us that she didn’t vote National at the last meeting as though cleansing herself from blame – but I reckon Act are just as guilty on this.

  7. tc 7

    “Tolly and Bennett would really struggle in any decent size firms middle management…” which is exactly what’s happening……johnny clown, nat hiearcy and bus roundtable being what passes for the senior management team.

    They’d fit in a joint like Telecom though where the arrogance and non customer focus is entrenched.

  8. Janice 8

    Poor Tolley one has to feel sorry for her, promoted above her ability. She is just there to set up the stage with her “notional standards’ and once they are demonstrated to be the crock of s**t they are the boys will go “tut tut’ and get rid of her. They will then appoint one of the hollow men to take over the portfolio who of course won’t change a thing about the standards except .vouchers, bulk funding, more cuts and more funding for private schools. “There is no other way’. These women are pathetic, they are very flattered because they think they are being allowed to play with the big boys but Wilkinson, Tolley, Bennett and Collins are all just stooges and when they have done the dirty work that the boys want done they will be discarded refer Ruth Richardson and the “Mother of all Budgets’.

    • Cnr Joe 8.1

      ambitious stooges tho Janice. Bloody ambitious

      • Janice 8.1.1

        Ambitious yes, I agree, I guess when they leave parliment they will be given good “jobs for the boys” as well.

    • pollywog 8.2

      At least they got the balls to say something even if it is contradictory and ill informed.

      Where’s Georgina Te Heu Heu on pacific island affairs ? holidaying at Key’s bach in Hawaii ?

  9. PK 9

    ***Best question of the night was from a young teacher at the back with dreads, who pointed out a lot of research has identified the common factor of children in the low-achieving tail is in fact poverty.***

    The direction of causation is not simply from poverty to low educational attainment. The key causal variable is not poverty as such but parental characteristics, which affect the children by both nature and nurture.

    For instance, in the UK Chinese children entitled to free school meals outperform other children, including most of those not entitled to free school meals.

    gnxp.com/MT2/archives/003790.html

    The children of poor Jewish families in London 100 years ago also did well academically:

    “In 1900 in London Jews took a disproportionate number of academic prizes and scholarships in spite of their poverty (Russell and Lewis, 1900). In the 1920s a survey of IQ scores in three
    London schools (Hughes, 1928) with mixed Jewish and non-Jewish student bodies
    showed that Jewish students had higher IQs than their schoolmates in each of three
    school, one prosperous, one poor, and one very poor. The differences between Jews and
    non-Jews were all slightly less than one standard deviation. The students at the poorest
    Jewish school in London had IQ scores equal to the overall city mean of non-Jewish
    children.”

    J Biosoc Sci. 2006 Sep;38(5):659-93.

    homepage.mac.com/harpend/.Public/AshkenaziIQ.jbiosocsci.pdf –

    • Puddleglum 9.1

      For an accessible ‘popular science’ intro to the social and cultural aspects (and plain luck) underlying ‘success’ you might want to have a read of Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, ‘Outliers’. Amongst other interesting examples, he discusses Jewish lawyers in Manhattan and the success of emigrants from the rice economies of south and eastern Asia in the West.

      For the latter he cites work by Otago’s Jim Flynn concerning the culture that goes with the meticulous process of rice production, which meant that landlords tended to have a ‘hands off’ approach and kept rents independent of production (you can’t motivate people to do what’s required to cultivate rice if they don’t receive the benefits of their labour – compare that with the history of European agriculture which has long involved a gross plough, sew and harvest form of agriculture. With that approach the temptation for the landlord, to which they invariably succumbed, is to take increasingly higher rents for increased production thus removing the incentive.)

      He also notes that, in at least one Chinese language, the very words for numbers make elementary arithmetic far easier for young Chinese children to master than do the English equivalents (e.g., twenty two is ‘two tens and two’, thirty seven is ‘three tens and seven’ – when asked to add twenty two and thirty seven the answer is right there in the words, ‘five tens and nine’. That early advantage is part of the answer to the question of why Asian immigrants in the US outperform white Americans in mathematics, on average. Combine that with a culture that has been based on the material production of rice (with the clear lesson that harder work pays off in greater production – which goes to you) rather than less nurture-sensitive crops, then you go a long way to explaining differences in success (and IQ).

      All very interesting, and all ultimately very social and economic causes of success and the cultural environments that go along with it. The explanation for the success of Jewish lawyers is particularly interesting.

  10. You mean a political party puts people in the audience to ask soft qustions at meetings?

    NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Every party does it, I wonder how many union guys to labour party meeting and get pick to ask questions??

    • lukas 10.1

      Probably. Doesn’t excuse it from either side though.

    • Bright Red 10.2

      It’s not surprising that supporters are in audiences and ask questions. But I’ve never known this kind of patsy set up to happen before.

      • lukas 10.2.1

        You are pretty naive if you do not think both sides do it BR. Do you also think that only National have a letter writing program to the major newspapers?

  11. Pete 11

    This provides a good background to the vox-pops on Morning Report today – where a couple of ‘parents’ were running down “negative teachers”.

  12. randal 12

    oh well it wont be long before “THEY” send her [Tolley]off for a 15 week study tour of the U.S. then.
    WILL IT.

  13. Julie 13

    We were just discussing what happened at the Panmure meeting (after the Onehunga one mentioned here) in the tea room – apparently a Pasifika parent raised concerns about how the standards would affect PI kids, particularly as they were often coming to school from environments where they were operating mainly in their first languages, but the standards are focused on english. The Minister said “but Pasifika children are good at art.” Zoiks!

    When it was pointed out that art ability is not measured in the standards, apparently Sam Lotu-Iiga butted in and pointed out that they were good at performing arts too. Ye gads.

  14. Reader Reporter 14

    Just listened to morning report’s vox pop – our of three parents interviewed, two were in favour of national standards. The second parent was our patsy plant Denise. Seems the journo didn’t know she was a national party member either.

  15. tc 15

    Sam Lotu-Iiga is a lazy MP who took 2 salaries as a city couciller and an MP claiming he’d donate one to charity……which one and proof of that donation Sam….Yeah Right !

    No surprise to find him front and centre as one of those handpicked ‘tick an ethnic box’ MP’s and displaying the kind of focus that will further the polynesian cause under the NACT.

    • lukas 15.1

      lazy MP? he is in the House pretty much every sitting day and is active in his electorate from what I have seen.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 15.1.1

        Sleeping while in the house doesnt really qualify as ‘being there’.
        Active in his electorate?
        He bloody well better be. like its his job ( till the next election)

  16. PK 16

    ***No surprise to find him front and centre as one of those handpicked ‘tick an ethnic box’ MP’s and displaying the kind of focus that will further the polynesian cause under the NACT.***

    Are there MP’s that further the European cause?

  17. Ianmac 17

    I seem to remember that the NZSTA fell out of favour years ago as they seemed to produce points of view very contrary to the opinions of many Boards and Principals. They always seemed to have a right wing political agenda through the 90’s. As a result I believe there are many/most schools who are not represented by NZSTA. Maybe the 20 replies to their questionaire represent their total membership out of 2,000 schools

  18. Daveski 18

    Isn’t it time we stopped playing these games?

    First of all, all sides do this as others have pointed out.

    Second, I don’t recall an outraged guest post about someone posing as a National Party member recording conversations. Mental gymnastics were done by many here to justify such duplicity. Not defending National’s behaviour as such but I can’t but not the rabid hypocrisy evident here.

    As for standards and league tables, the irony is that much worse can be taken from ERO reports. The issue with the league tables is incorrect interpretation of what the tables show – they do not show the value added by a teacher, just the result – “output”.

    Still, the problem remains that the teachers and education system have developed a system that is insular and the reporting/reports is in a language known only to the current practioners. And I’m an ex teacher! (Strangely, I didn’t necessarily feel comfortable in a PPTA meeting!)

    • Pascal's bookie 18.1

      First of all, all sides do this as others have pointed out.

      Knew you’d show up to defend your patented line D 🙂

      Seriously though. How do we know all sides do this?

      By ‘this’, we mean the whole thing, with the MC and the patsy.

      If you are going to charge hypocrisy, (which is your favorite charge I know, and the one you seem to feel most comfortable with) surely at some point you’ll have to come up with some actual evidence for it beyond just the assertion that “everyone does it”.

      If everyone does it, evidence should be easy.

      And no, your secret taper isn’t evidence because it’s a very different thing.

      On the one hand we have poiticians planting questions and being all fakey. On the other hand we have a citizen catching politicians being honest.

      • Daveski 18.1.1

        Some of your best work. Of course it’s a different thing. You are the white hats and we’re (not that I’m one of “them” either) the black hats.

        OK, I take back the accusation of hypocrisy when it’s simply a case of double standards.

        The comparison is invalid. The question that is being asked is was the person who they claimed to be or we thought to be? Still, good to see you haven’t changed your game of defending your crew.

        BTW I also commented about ERO relative to National Standards and educational reporting (in fact the majority of my post was on these points). Not just negating. Just pointing out, PB 🙂

        • Pascal's bookie 18.1.1.1

          Nah, that was just a bit of deflection tacked on the end of your usual hypocrisy charge.

          But no, I’m not arguing that it’s just white hats / black hats. While there are some superficial similarities, there are many substantive differences.

          So I’ll see your ‘double standards and raise you “false equivalence”.

          • Daveski 18.1.1.1.1

            At the end of the set, if we each have six games to we go to tie breaker 🙂

            • Duncan 18.1.1.1.1.1

              As I understand it the National Party cocktail taper never claimed to be anyone other than himself. He walked straight in and introduced himself, if they assumed he was a Young Nat that’s their own fault. He did what our journalists failed to do and provided the public with valuable information about what their elected representatives say behind closed doors. There’s no comparison with the Nats’ patsy question fakery.

              • Daveski

                Nice White Hat Duncan, do you like my Black Hat 🙂

                Now get off the court, we’re playing singles not doubles.

              • Pascal's bookie

                A car yard winding back odometres,

                is just like fair go pretending to be a customer looking for a low mileage motor.

  19. Mac1 19

    Daveski, in the past four elections I have been involved as a candidate and as a campaign manager. In each of those campaigns I witnessed patsy questions from National party plants. I saw one election the type-written slips from which they read their questions.

    At one public election meeting, the National MP’s wife herself asked a question from the floor. As a candidate from the stage I introduced that wife to another (NZF) candidate who did not know her, and asked me who the questioner was. Both had the same surname! Heh, “Mrs XYZ, meet Mrs XYZ!”

    I never allowed that patsy question tactic in the campaigns that I mentioned above, though the temptation became enormous.

    Daveski, that’s what I know. What’s your evidence?

  20. Daveski 20

    I’m no defender of the Nats – it may well be a fair criticism in that case. However, I don’t think it would be unreasonable to assume that Labour and other parties resort to similar activities although clearly that will never be acknowledged here or a red alert.

    OK, let’s be honest as we all know I have no evidence.

    I challenge you to be honest and state that Labour has never used patsy questions in a similar situation (accepting your statements and bully for you sir).

    Anyway, I am interested in league tables but you guys keep on deflecting me then blaming me!!!

    • Pascal's bookie 20.1

      So you have no evidence, but blather on about double standards and hypocrisy anyway.

      I’m sure there’s a word for that, but I’m a simple man, so I’ll have to make do with a phrase (cough hack sorry; flu season).

      Why would it be reasonable to assume that i) Labour do it to, and ii) nobody here would acknowledge any evidence if, in some alternative universe, you had some?

      What that is, is plain old fashioned ‘assuming bad faith’, or as the psychologists spell it ‘projection’.

      It’s like when DPF and co went all on the ‘attack the messenger’ routine about Worth. You were here then I believe, also claiming that people here would also out a sexual harrassment complainent if the penis was in the other pants, as it were. Again, without any evidence.

      It’s a bit of a pattern mate, and I say this only because I care. (liberal bleeding heart painty waists, we can’t ignore the obvious pain of others). You are obviously not without something at least resembling a conscience. It’s playing tricks on you. It’s making you assume that the whole world is as nasty and cynical as those you have attached yourself to, politically speaking.

      Break free young daveski; the water is fine, you have nothing to surrender but your dissonance.

  21. Mac1 21

    Daveski, do you mean “accepting” or “excepting”?

    If you accept my statements, accept them as what I know. If you are excepting my statements from your challenge, how can I pronounce on what I do not know?

  22. randal 22

    well they would have to use patsys because while the upper echelon of the national party are fully aware of the value of education the troops are invariably semi-literate dummies and not really capable of formulating a question with any meaning.
    Tolley aint muchebetter herself when you listen to her.
    e.g. vulnable.
    boorockasee.
    dimockasee.
    its not hard to see why they need some ring ins to appear even functionally capable of understanding any verbal communication except gimmmeeeee.

  23. Jum 23

    At a Pukekohe meeting Phil Twyford was asked by Nat Plants (and yes they are known) what would have happened if Paul Hutchison had crossed the floor which was what he and other MPs from Papakura, etc should have done, but Phil Twyford defended Hutchison by saying it would have ruined Hutchison’s career.

    National and Act are the Crosby and Textor types – and having taken part in the last election campaign I speak from experience – they are nasty.

  24. Billy 24

    I think the 26mill for standrads may be funded fron 25mill of cuts to the MoE.

  25. Paul3 25

    The concern I have regarding the NZSTA is that they are funded by the schools by subscription and charged with representing BOT’s. They are not there to push the particular view of the President who is certainly pro National party (and I understand an active member of the Nat Corp) using the resources of the Association to do so. Much of the problem with this debate and the reason it is so polarised is that there has been little or no consultation and the general public (including BOT members) have not had the issue/facts placed before them and by and large know only what their Principal/Lorraine Kerr(in the case of BOT’s)/Tolley has told them – all of which has an agenda.

  26. Me 26

    Good on the dreaded bloke at the back.

    A few facts (I am in the health sector, but work closely with schools, mainly decile 1 & 2)

    One of the first thing the Nats did was remove all PD with the exception of numeracy and literacy; all PD for teachers on science, health, PE, art, drama, etc was killed off, no questions asked, minimal media coverage – 3 to 400 advisors at a guess, all experienced, all providing a much needed service. Strangely next year area of attention is science – are the numeracy and literacy advisors to be made redundant and we will then re-recruit the science advisors?

    The Fruit in Schools programme, which had a component attached called health promoting schools, has more or less been dismantled too; the valuable component, the effective bit that actually did any good, had its funding removed. This element helped school communities identify what health issues actually existed in schools and assisted them to meet these needs is gone. But the fruit reamins, so Tony Ryall looks like Mr. Nice.

    Then there is the HEHA nutrition fund – again, gone (along with NAG5) – I know of one Kura who now provide Burger King for lunch, because then can!

    The replacement, Kiwisport, funds all schools, so decile 10 get exactly the same money as a rural decile 1. This government has introduced a swath of policies that just increase disadvantage and hence the barriers to learning.

  27. moi 27

    HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
    That is really rather HILARIOUS!!!!!!

    I though I’d come in here and find something interesting to read. Instead it’s a tattertale of ‘OMG there were soft plants in the room’ …..I’m rolling my eyeballs by the way….doesn’t that just sound a whole lot DESPERATE to you?????? Please!! Come on Mallard surely you’ve got something better than that?? This is all beginning to sound worse than a group of year 10 students waiting outside for their maths teacher to arrive : )

    Having taught since 1996 I actually find it incredibly frustrating to work alongside teaching staff that, in my opinion, are edging toward incompetent. I find it appalling to welcome my year nine students into my classroom only to find that I require the teacher aides helping my special needs students to also work alongside another five or six without special needs just so they can keep up with the class programme.

    13 year olds.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm….now there’s a very INTERESTING thought……
    Labour reigned for how long before this National Government??
    It’s always a bitter sweet scenario watching someone cleaning up the mess you have made. Especially when you deny it was there to start with.

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