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Open mike 20/10/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 20th, 2010 - 31 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

31 comments on “Open mike 20/10/2010 ”

  1. ron 1

    Off her Trolley has just been on the wireless sating that schools are funded for a ratio of 17 students to one teacher and that teachers should discuss class sizes with boards of trustees as it’s not a ministry issue. Can anybody clarify?

    • lprent 1.1

      Technically true if you don’t consider that teachers do anything apart from standing in front of a class.

      But of course what she is saying is that she isn’t paying teachers to prepare classwork, create assignments, create tests, mark anything, or do any admin work for the ministry of education (like providing the volumes of work required for national standards or NCEA).

      I’d suggest that the teachers take her at her word and just do in-class teaching with 17 students, and dump the rest of the teaching work into Anne Sillies hands

      It looks like she is acquiring the Bill English trait of lying with selective statistics.

      • ianmac 1.1.1

        Primary Schools are staffed in a similar way at about 18:1. However this means that every teacher including the Principal is part of the ratio. Non-teaching Principals, Senior Teachers and Deputies, part time staff are added together and salary wise divided into the pupil ratio. 18:1.
        In practise this means that class sizes for the classroom teacher works out to be about 30 and in some cases 30-35. Add to that the most junior classes are kept as small as possible maybe less than 20, so more senior classes have perhaps more than 30 to make up for it.

        What can the BOT do about it? Nothing really.
        One idea (ha ha) was for every teacher and Principal to be paid the same salary. Each year the extra duties would be dolled out so that one would be a Principal, one a trainee teacher supervisor, one a curriculum leader and so on. The flattened structure would lead to a strong colleague-uality, and reduce class sizes. It also meant that a fresh young teacher who has special skills could utilise those skills immediately, instead of waiting years to become a Senior teacher. Has been done overseas somewhere.

    • millsy 1.2

      A freudian slip there — The whole concept of Tomorrow’s Schools, as it was implemented (while the BOT system in principle is a good idea, its just that somewhere out there is a baby that was thrown out with the bathwater in ’89), is/was designed so governments would not have to take responsilbility for their part in the running down of large parts of the education system that would inevitably occur following the aforementioned education reforms). Blame would simply be shifted onto the BOT’s.

  2. Carol 2

    There was something similar said on TV3 last night. I think it was here on Campbell Live:
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Both-sides-of-the-teacher-pay-strikes/tabid/817/articleID/182077/Default.aspx

    The Employers rep, Mc Tavish, was saying that class size shouldn’t be part of an industrial negotiation, and that unions shouldn’t be deciding education policy. IMO, that’s a load of BS. I was involved in a teachers’ industrial disputes back in the 80s in the UK. Class size was part of the teachers’ demands then. It has a direct impact on teachers’ working conditions, as well as the fact that teachers were making demands related to the impact on children of the conditions in which they were working: ie some of the things teachers were asking for, were based on the notion that we wanted to provide the best outcome we could for the children we were teaching.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      That’s what I was saying – class size has a direct influence on the teachers working conditions and they are part of the negotiations. Just lies and spin from the Ministry of Truth.

      • KJT 2.1.1

        Of course it is a major part of working conditions. As well as making a big difference in learning.

        Try teaching a workshop class of 35 year 9’s. Most of your time is spent trying to keep them safe. In industry you would not be training more than 3 at once in the same situation. In fact in conformance with OSH you would be limited to less than 6.
        Private trainers limit class sizes because they know you cannot deliver an effective course to that many.

        • Vicky32 2.1.1.1

          Yes! Of the ESOL schools I have worked for in the last 20 months – the private ones have a 1:12 tutor:student ratio, the one public one, is 1:18!
          That being said, I would still rather work for the public one (a polytech). The DOS doesn’t have to obsess about imminent collapse and getting sales staff to go to Saudi or Beijing to recruit more students, but instead he actually cares about quality!
          Deb

  3. The Chairman 3

    “John Key has characterized Labour as having a “road-to-Stalin experience,” over its plan to restrict foreign ownership of assets. It’s another disappointing response from the Prime Minister, in what is becoming a track record of failure to enter debate on the economy.

    “In cynically applying the ultimate in far-left labels to Labour’s shift in policy, Key is doing the country a disservice.

    “This isn’t about ideologies of “left” and “right”, and it’s of greater significance than mere labels can convey.

    “This is about finding policies that will allow our economy and thus our country to get back on track, and about accepting that the past two decades of policy have failed us dismally.
    Both Labour and National were compliant in creating the problem. It is important that both of them now become part of the solution,” says Productive Economy Council spokesman Selwyn Pellett.

    “The reality here is that Labour’s new policy shift has a significant overlap in objectives with policies promoted by the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association, BERL, the Productive Economy Council, and the New Zealand Institute. These are organisations whose memberships run businesses which account for well over $3 billion in high value exports. To label this as a jump to the left thus both trivializes a complex issue, and is fundamentally flawed thinking,” says Pellett.

    Labour – as any party that aspires to govern should – wants an economy that generates better jobs, with higher salaries. Implicit in that statement is stronger businesses, designing higher value products and exporting them with a supportive rather than destructive policy environment. This, presumably, is what National wants too. If they don’t, you’d have to ask what they are doing in government.

    Labour is embracing policies that will support the real economy and reject the excesses of the financial economy that plunged the world into the global financial crisis. John Key is ready to dismiss this as “Stalinism”.

    “The Prime Minister and Business NZ head Phil O’Reilly both want us to believe that it is business as usual. But before they convince themselves of that they would do well to read the reports from the IMF on how countries that implemented the kind of policies Labour is now advocating survived the global economic crisis better than those with policies similar to our own.

    It is time for our politicians to stop throwing the old “left” and “right” labels around with regards to economic policy, and start thinking about “right” and “wrong”. The policies we need are those that will allow us to succeed as a tiny nation in the middle of nowhere, and we need to judge such policies on their merits, and not on the throw-away labels politicians hang on them.

    Full article here: http://www.pec.org.nz/2010/10/it%e2%80%99s-not-about-left-or-right-it%e2%80%99s-about-business-says-pec/#more-359

    • Red Rosa 3.1

      Well said TC, time to stand back and take a fresh look at policies since the 80s.

      Does anyone in NZ believe the Tea Party wingnuts in the US, when the policies they now advocate extending have come close to wrecking the Great Republic? You’d think so, to hear some of the Nats supporters.

      Too far for them to bother coming over, but surely we need George WB, Greenspan, and the rest to line up beside the NZ Right when they are needed.

  4. Red Rosa 4

    Press freedom in NZ – extraordinary story here on the NBR/SCF/Hubbard saga. Some eloquent comments also. Shades of Fiji. Who is the Minister in charge of this?

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/sfo-demands-nbr-documents-refusal-risks-40k-fine-jail-131836

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      The SFO are asking for information so that they can do their job. It happens to be information that the SFO know that NBR have because they published a story about it. A story about fraud that the police are taking seriously. Do you think that the SFO should go and redo all the same investigation that the NBR has already done?

      I understand the NBRs desire to protect their sources and I hope they can be but we still want, and need, to see justice done.

      • ianmac 4.1.1

        By all means sources of information must be protected, (in the same way as visitors to an “Outrageous” brothel.) In due course it will be interesting to know who was involved in this strange story. Alan Hubbard? More likely an opportunist employee?

  5. Pascal's bookie 6

    Poeple following the US mortgage drama might want to bookmark

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/

    He’s following it closely, and gives good link.

    Also:

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks posted their biggest loss in two months on Tuesday on fears banks might be on the hook for billions of dollars in souring mortgage bonds.

    The afternoon selloff hit investors already reeling from an unexpected credit tightening by China and disappointing financial results from Apple (AAPL.O) and IBM (IBM.N).

    The biggest scare came on news that Bank of America (BAC.N) and possibly others may be forced to take back billions of dollars in mortgages that should not have been bundled into bonds

    http://news.yahoo.com/business/stock-markets

  6. Joe Bloggs 7

    … describes initiatives such as Te Puni Kokiri’s 2003 Maori Language Strategy as a policy failure “constructed within the parameters of a bureaucratic comfort zone.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10681810

    Concerns over past Government underperformance have been voiced by the Waitangi Tribunal and highlight an impending disaster for the Maori language.

    The government policies in operation throughout the last decade are clearly shown to have been a shoddy sop to Maori sentiment, poorly thought out and poorly managed, constructed within the parameters of as bureaucratic comfort zone and promulgated by a Labour Government unwilling to contemplate giving even the time of day to the “last taxi cab off the rank”.

    Now we see the cynical use of straw man Shane Jones put up against Pita Sharples in Tamaki Makaurau.

    Labour seems to think that the Maori vote is theirs by right – bought off the back of welfare payouts back into the 1930’s – hence the treatment of the Maori Party like enemies…. looking more like NZ First every day!

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Wow you threw every negative adjective in the book there JB. As well as making up some fictional political fantasies.

      Why don’t you write a novel and leave the political strategising for the time being? Just a suggestion.

      The rate you’re going, we’re going to have John Key for dinner.

    • millsy 7.2

      “bought off the back of welfare payouts back into the 1930′s”

      So you think Maori being able to gain access to the white man’s health system, state housing system and social security scheme was a *bad* thing?

      Or should the Maori being just left to subsist of their own land and be at the mercy of the tribal elite?

  7. vto 8

    Regarding the law around land sales to foreigners…. why on earth does everybody insist on the debate being about foreign investment?? It is not about foreign investment. Foreign investment can still continue ffs. I have not heard a single commentator pick up on this. Not one person. The whole debate is being skewed away from its basic premise..

    It is about the ownership of the land on which we live. It has nothing, other than an indirect consequence, to do with business. In fact the fact that business make money out of appreciating land values is all the more reason for it to be separated out from land ownership.

    A community where the land is owned by the inhabitants is a strong, happy, prosperous community.

    A community where the land is owned by an absent landlord is a tenant community. A tenant community is a weak community.

    The debate is also not about race. Every community on the planet should own the land on which it lives, be it red, yellow, brown, black or white.

    Foreign investors can still foreign invest. In everything but land. Simple. Let them be the tenants not us.

    The debate is not about foreign investment. I will scream next time I hear this from some dipshit commentator.

    • vto 8.1

      I also had to laugh when I heard Key suggest that if kiwis want to own kiwi assets they simply have to save more. To compete against the 300million richer North Americans, and the 500million richer Europeans, and the lordy-knows how many richer Asians and Africans?

      Why should we do that Key? For what purpose? Are you capable of an answer longer than a simple one-liner and a dopey grin?

      Key is just so far off the planet with that sentiment. What a freakin’ beanstalk.

      • KJT 8.1.1

        Need an income to save. Unless you are rich people from the USA where you just add a couple of zero’s to the derivatives account so the Government has to borrow to bail you out.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        Try his sentiments in the news. Especially the comment @ 0:56

    • felix 8.2

      Well said v.

  8. Rodel 9

    Why are Nactional politicians wearing those stupid stripey clown suits?They look like Christ College dick heads, Oh of course… they are!

  9. Sean Brooks 10

    Hello in your Item on Wednesday 20th October, a reporter asked Morgan Freeman if he wanted to say sorry to the people of NewZealand for starring in a movie where the All Blacks get beaten.

    Since Mr Freeman was promoting the Movie Red, I feel this was another case of the New Zealand media bringing up a rugby reference just for the sake it.

    I also found it in poor taste since Mr Freeman chose this role because of his love of Nelson Mandela and the African People.

    Does your reporter regret or feel embarrassment for asking such a pathetic question, as a NewZealander I felt embarrassed by it.

  10. Jim MacDonald 11

    ~ ~ Newsflash ~ ~

    John Key reported as saying:

    “Do the teachers really want us to borrow more [..] and place a noose around the neck of young New Zealanders?”

    Oh right. Of course. We’ve already drained our public coffers to give tax cuts to your wealthy mates.
    And you’ve made us borrow for that.

    We are sorry, Mr John Key. We are sorry but you have got the priorities wrong.
    You have put the few ahead of the many.
    That is not fair. That is wrong.
    You’re running a strategic deficit. You’re slanting the system to advance your ideology.
    You’re turning the many of us into a sorry state.

    You, indeed, YOU are the one placing a noose around the neck of many NZers. And also the neck of future generations.

    Get angry, NZ.
    Get very very angry.

  11. Armchair Critic 12

    Metiria Turei in parliament did a great impersonation of a real Labour MP. I heard this on the radio this afternoon and was very impressed. Kudos to the Greens.

  12. millsy 13

    Mr Key, if you didnt insist of cutting taxes for the wealthy, instead of making them pay their fair share for a decent society with a decent education (it is not about “envy”, it is about having money for social services), if you didnt insist on increasing funding for private schools,instead of wiping it all together, then we would have enough money to pay for teachers payrises, give every school a computer for every student, wipe school fees, and have enough left over to do up every classroom in the country, and throw the doors open at night for ACE.

    At first, I was against the PPTA going on strike, because I thought it would just backfire on them, but seeing as Gordon Gekko and Miss MicroThatcher have nothing but contempt for the teachers, then the teachers should up it a notch. Go out on strike indefinetely.

  13. jpwood 14

    Karen Roach Sturmarztinfuerer for northland proposes her workers have their rights of free association curtailed.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10681833

    Wards of vomit for all!
    http://www.abc.net.au/am/stories/s109596.htm

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