Standards fiasco and more National lies

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, August 27th, 2010 - 12 comments
Categories: education, national - Tags: ,

At what point, I wonder, will National figure out that they’re in a hole over “national standards” and finally stop digging? Stuff reports:

Letters scathing of National Standards

The parents in charge of 48 different school boards have written to the Government at a rate of more than one a week complaining about aspects of the National Standards, newly released documents reveal. …

Of the 50 school boards, 48 expressed varying degrees of concern about the national standards. Only one expressed full support and one simply asked for more information. The letters were received between July last year and mid-May this year.

“You say this is what parents want but I’m wondering what parents you are referring to, [because it is] not anyone I talk to,” one letter from a parent states. …

Tolley has continually batted away criticism of the standards, arguing that it is motivated by the vested, political, interests of teacher unions. The release of new papers from the parents who run 50 of the nation’s primary school boards appear to challenge that notion, however.

Among the correspondence, Dennis Matiu, chairman of Horeke School in Northland wrote to advise that his school would not be implementing the standards. “We, like many others in our region, are concerned that national standards have continued to be introduced despite overwhelming opposition from educators,” Matiu wrote. “We are totally opposed to using these standards in our school and are therefore returning our school’s initial distribution of copies.”

Another, Janice Bromell, who was chairperson of the Tahunanui School in Nelson, complained that one-and-a-half months after sending a letter to Prime Minister John Key outlining concerns about the standards, they had heard nothing in response. “This process was supposed to simplify reporting to parents, not add confusion,” Bromell wrote.

Jonathan Spencer, the chairperson of the Mangorei School board of trustees, in New Plymouth, wrote “to express alarm at the unseemly haste with which National Standards are being introduced”.

The board of Poroti School in Whangarei wrote in a joint letter of “deep concern and opposition to the National Standards regime”.

And the chairman of Weston School in North Otago, Russell Bryant, wrote of concerns about a lack of resources to get the standards to work. ….

At what point, I wonder, will National stop lying to us that the parents of insert region here are supportive of national standards? As No Right Turn comments:

Extremely Supportive

That’s how Education Minister Anne Tolley described school trustees attitude to her national standards last month:

“The trustees, who govern schools on behalf of communities and parents, were extremely supportive,” says Mrs Tolley.

“They have a positive approach to the Standards, and are clear that parents should be given plain language information about how their child is progressing in reading, writing and maths.

Meanwhile, Ministerial correspondence uncovered with the OIA shows a different picture, with 96% of school boards who wrote to Tolley opposing the standards, and only one supporting them. So if 2% is “extremely” supportive, what’s 96%? Universally opposed? And if the government’s standard for action is 75% (as expressed by Steven Joyce) does this mean they’ll dump this stupid policy? …

Trevor Mallard also weighs in, with video of Tolley from question time.

Hey Mr Key. You like to tell us that you’re pragmatic. Interested in what works. Let’s actually see a bit of that pragmatism. Because ignoring all the expert advice, ramming standards through against all opposition, unleashing your teacher bashing morons, and claiming the support of legions of imaginary friends doesn’t look very pragmatic. It looks like an ideological crusade.

[Update: Tolley is being asked to explain her claims. Good.]

12 comments on “Standards fiasco and more National lies”

  1. joe90 1

    Telling porkies too.

    But Mrs Kerr said yesterday that she had “never said” boards were supportive of the policy. Mrs Tolley’s claims about the standing ovation were “an awkward one to answer”.

  2. Irascible 2

    I presume that like the 90 day trial and sack law Tolley was acting on the advice of Hide and the ideologs who appear to be pulling Key’s strings? The dictatorship of 3.5%.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    John Key has personally associated himself with this policy, so they won’t backdown soon or easily.

    Because he is so tightly “packaged” people don’t realise just how informed by the attitudes and prejudices of the ultra-conservative US ruling class John Key actually is. On almost any issue – take Afghanistan – when he does express an opinion it tends to parrot the views of this class. Thus, he clearly believes we are “fighting terrorism” in Afghanistan, and it is clear his educational views are also largely driven by the thinking of the American elite, and he is clearly of the view that an education system driven by something similar to SAT’s (with all the white, middle class bias that comes with that) is the norm, and our education system is the one at variance and in need of bringing into line with “best” (read “American”) practice.

  4. Anne Tolley has no idea about education. These kinds of comments, ill informed, confrontational and down right stupid, have become the norm for her.

  5. The trustees, who govern schools on behalf of communities and parents, were extremely supportive

    She is talking about the trustees of the pixie schools a number of which exist at the end of her garden …

  6. David Lloyd 6

    What is Tolley going to do about the pay demands of secondary school teachers? An informer tells me strike action is imminent.

    • Crumble 6.1

      We won’t know till 8:30am on Monday when all the numbers have been confirmed from the votes taken this week.

      It is up to the membership to decide these things.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      I really hope that the teachers do strike. They deserve to be paid far more.

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    Nice work Mr Mallard, This NACT Government Ministers seem to love fiction, John Key has imaginary friends, he even names them (John and Mary), English has imaginary figures ( the wage gap really is closing with Australia), Tolley has support from school boards for National standards ( even a standing ovation). Brownley he’s going to create a step change through mining, Collins is going to crush car’s, Rodney’s Super City is going to save Auckland rate payers money, Bennett’s going to get Sickness beneficiaries into imaginary jobs. Aspirational for NZ? Dreaming more like it!

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