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The Tolley Challenge

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, September 18th, 2010 - 52 comments
Categories: education, national - Tags: , ,

On Tuesday Anne Tolley, Minister for wrecking primary education, dropped this little pearl:

Panel to advise on national standards

Education Minister Anne Tolley has announced she will establish a national standards sector advisory group. … Mrs Tolley told the Otago Daily Times yesterday that the move was in response to growing unrest among principals and teachers over implementing the standards.

“It’s in response to the conversations I’ve had with principals and teachers. They are getting on with implementing national standards, but there’s been this disquiet around it.

“It just seemed to me that there was a real desire from these people to be involved.”

Got that campers? After all these months of warnings and pleadings and threats of action Anne has worked it out! The penny has dropped! It just seems to Anne that principals and teachers (“these people”) want to “be involved” in the process of determining what happens in their schools.

Words fucking fail me. No – they really do. The only words I have to describe my reaction to this should not be printed in a respectable family blog like this one.

I propose The Tolley Challenge. Can anyone find a comment made by any other minister, ever, in the history of New Zealand, that is as stupid, as arrogant, as offensive, as out of touch, as brain-fartingly idiotic a statement of the bleeding obvious as this clanger from Tolley? Anything even close? If so, share with the group. But for myself, I reckon Tolley is in a class of her own…

52 comments on “The Tolley Challenge”

  1. Blue Boy 1

    At least one teacher likes National Standards.!!!
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/09/the_bullying_principals.html

  2. ASA 2

    So the question has to be raised why such an incompetent remains in charge of a central government election policy? One answer is that she is a ‘stalking horse” to attract attention while other, much more concerning educational initiatives are being developed. Something isn’t right here. She is being hung out to dry by the cabinet heavyweights. What is coming? Vouchers for school funding? Selling school properties off to the private sector? Or something even worse?

    • ZeeBop 2.1

      National sat on its hands, waiting idle, always going negative on Labour. They might had had
      a few policies work through but essential the global economic game changer kicked most of
      their banal assumptions right out of the game. We have an inefficient, weak parliament, that
      requires oppositions to fear their own seats, as well as governments to fea their back benches.
      We need to double the size of the parliament. I was ddeply concerned when Labour started
      harping on about bi-elections being too expensive, I just hope they were just spinning to
      force key to jump early, or maybe even hold off, the next election. But really if you want
      better politicians, like better students, you need to pull from a large pool, like the
      private schools do. If however you are limited to a locality, a smaller pool of students,
      or politicians, you need to hold them to higher standards, expose them more to high
      standards. Principles should start a score card for politicians who use correct logic,
      reasoning, grammar, etc. Start rewarding the winners, the politicians who have the
      basics down. Poorly score politicians that hold onto their false passports for decades,
      and only when the Police come knocking start telling lie after lie, to get a lesser charge
      – alledgely.

      Have a standoff between principles of schools and teachers, two seperate lists of
      politicians who cut it and those that don’t. How hard then would it be for the PM
      to reshuffle and put a Tolley in the educational ministry? Very hard, if she was
      already down the list of poor acheivement – Nationally.

  3. ASA 3

    Following a tip I’ve received, I suspect the answer, as with a lot of things to do with our ‘independent’ (ha ha) government, is found overseas. My pick is that we will have a version of the ‘Swedish Free School” system imposed on us. I see the Tories in UK are also very interested in this model (“academies”), even though a quick google didn’t take long to turn up sites questioning the effectiveness of this model. However the right doesn’t follow logic when there’s a chance for their business mates to siphon more money from the tax payer. Is this a case of ‘watch this space?’

  4. ianmac 4

    It may be that Anne Tolley has a job to do in setting Education up for a major change. After all the schools are so resistent to changes (National Standards) that it needs something like Voucher per pupil, Bulk Funding, or indeed “Swedish Free School,” to give our poor little kids a fair go at being good economic investments.
    Why else would she be so obtuse over concerns which must be with the approval of Cabinet?
    Incidentally she does already have an Advisory panel but she largeky ignores their advice.

  5. Jum 5

    captcha: responsibility

    Who will be on panel b and will it resemble Paula’s panel of extreme right people haters.

  6. comedy 6

    “….should not be printed in a respectable family blog like this one.”

    Comedy gold

  7. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 7

    Can anyone find a comment made by any other minister, ever, in the history of New Zealand, that is as stupid, as arrogant, as offensive, as out of touch, as brain-fartingly idiotic a statement of the bleeding obvious as this clanger from Tolley?

    “We live in a strategically benign environment”.

    “We won, you lost. Eat that.”

    “the only thing of which Taito Philip Field is guilty is being helpful.”

    Or, for sheer unintelligibility, this from Dr. Cullen: “We know, and National members know from reading the front page of the newspaper, that I have not merely stolen their fox but eviscerated it, strangled it, and thrown it back into their back garden, and they do not know what to do about it at that particular point.”

  8. toad 8

    I agree you’ve got to go back a long way (so far I can’t find an internet link) r0b, but how about this one:

    Colin McLachlan, Muldoon’s Transport Minister and drinking buddy (who preceded Muldoon’s other Transport Minister and drinking buddy Keith Allen of “my attackers names were Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and Johnnie Walker” notoriety when Allen was discovered my a film crew pissed and passed out in the grounds of Parliament) acquired the nickname “Oars”.

    This resulted from an incident in which a rescue craft attempting to reach a plane crash in Manukau Harbour off Auckland airport was unable to be deployed due to an engine failure. McLachlan’s infamous reply when questioned about this: “But they had oars, didn’t they?

  9. Richard 9

    Warren Cooper, speaking as mayor of Queenstown (but while still a cabinet minister), in response to the issue of how much development is too much development in Queenstown:
    “We will leave it to the market will tell us when Queenstown has become spoilt” (WTF? Isn’t that your job as a council to plan so that Q’town didn’t become spoilt? What do you expect of a guy who pronounced the French president’s name as Jack Shrac.

  10. marsman 10

    John Key’s “teachers are out of touch with reality”.

  11. grumpy 11

    And thereby hangs the issue:

    “”….in the process of determining what happens in their schools.”

    The schools do NOT belong to the teachers and principals, they belong to the taxpayer AKA the voter, who have given National the mandate to introduce National Standards.

    • Zorr 11.1

      No they don’t grumpy.

      As a matter of fact the schools are not answerable to the government. They are answerable to their local communities. The central government funds them. There is a difference.

      • Swampy 11.1.1

        Schools are answerable to the government as they have to comply with many Ministry directives and policies, this is the condition of being State funded.

    • r0b 11.2

      the voter, who have given National the mandate to introduce National Standards.

      Arse they have. They gave National a mandate not to be Labour, to deliver tax cuts North of $50 pw, and to close the wage gap with Australia. One out of three ain’t good…

      • hamish gray 11.2.1

        Oh I didn’t realise you had your finger so thoroughly pressed on the pulse of the nation… you know, given they voted in a centre-right government and you’re so understanding of centre-right voters.

        National campaigned on this issue, among many others, and they won. In what universe is that not considered a mandate?

        And while schools are responsible to their local communities, that in no way dispels their responsibility to adhere to the government of the day, who democratically represents those communities. Arguing otherwise is just a means of justifying unelected teachers’ unions having sway over education policy.

        Australia has National standards – the public love it. They have easily accessible measures of their children’s progress (or otherwise) – the public love it. All intro’d under a Labor Government. But if the NZ Left think supporting teachers unions on this issue is going to win them the support of parents, well, good luck at the next election.

    • bbfloyd 11.3

      grumpy…im glad to hear that the term of apprenticeship for “half arsed pseudo intellectual” is relatively short and stress free. i was worried you were showing a stress reaction.

      you should use that name better. your namesake is a musical genius who produced all my work.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.4

      You’re an idiot. We fund the schools to do the best they can for our children and our country – not to do what an ignorant cretin like Tolley (Or the rst of NACT+MP) tells them to do.

  12. popeye 12

    Yes, grumpy…just like doctors in public health..taxpayer funded…guess you would have no issue if the Minister of Health mandated cheap and blunt scalpels…hospitals belong to the voter after all and bugger what the professionals think. Can you imagine where this country would be like if only had a democracy for one day every three years? Get real!

  13. Fabregas4 13

    On a more serious not – this new group is nothing more than a fob. What has happened is two things. Firstly the Principals Federation has asked Principals to contribute to a Nationals Standards fighting fund (to be used to educate the public about the Standards) and Tolley has finally worked out that Boards of Trustees in the great majority support their principals and oppose the Standards. She, if I may be so bold, is plainly nuts, delusional, and add any adjective that is a simile of the first two if she believes that she can bulldoze schools who communities know do there best with, from a world perspective, very average resources

    • r0b 13.1

      this new group is nothing more than a fob

      Had that smell about it. Last thing Tolley wants to hear is the actual truth or anything.

      Thanks for your input on these threads, and guest posts always welcome!

  14. Dan 14

    The NACT party education policy is very easy to understand: demonise the teacher associations. That fulfills two aspects of right wing ideology:
    1 get rid of unions because they get in the way of government savings, and because the associations work together to stop the crackpot right wing agendas from the US
    2 sets up conditions for a radical revamp of education: bulkfunding, vouchers, public/private partnerships, etc,etc

    All the press releases from the Minister emphasise the greedy teachers wanting 4%. She misses out all the clawbacks of conditions that the government wants. She misses the fact that police have scored about 7% over the same time period. She has misrepresented the fight against national standards once again to bag teachers for not knowing their place.

    I think Key and his mates know Tolley is totally out of her depth. It helps their cause to have teachers moaning because they would grab any opportunity to deregister or kneecap teacher influence in education. The tragedy is her incompetence will have such a negative effect long term on education in New Zealand.

  15. jcuknz 15

    Teachers do such a good job I cannot see why they get so het up about ‘national standards’ and voucher systems. Both seem excellent ideas. But then fortunately I am not controlled by a union and can think for myself.

    • ianmac 15.1

      The NZEI is not a Union.
      If you must have National Standards do it properly. Such a major shift in Education needs research and planning. NCEA took 5 years of planning in the 90s under Bill Englishes watch and even now 15 years later it still is being refined. National Standards were introduced this year with no planning and no research. A political stunt which must have an ulterior motive as Dan says. Agreed.

      • jcuknz 15.1.1

        I remember when I was vice chair of my ‘Union” branch and the chairman several times told me we were not a ‘union’. “A rose by any other name smells as sweet”

      • jcuknz 15.1.2

        Stop this stupid bickering and accept that the political masters have the authority and work with them to achieve the best result. I don’t believe your ‘no planning and no research’ comment .. that sounds like typical grumpy teacher mis-information. Sometimes ideas need to be forced over accepted dogma of self satisfied experts.

        • Maynard J 15.1.2.1

          I’m glad you have your political masters to think for you, as you cannot do so.

          I think it’s a pity the masters that think for you cannot very well think for themselves.

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.2.2

          Wow. It’s not the teachers that are spreading mis-information but NACT. They do this because they happen to be psychopathic liars and authoritarians who happen to think that they’re right even when all the evidence (multiple international sources of it) proves that they’re wrong.

      • Swampy 15.1.3

        Totally wrong, the NZEI is a union. Quote from website
        “Employees must join the union if they want to be covered by the collective agreement on their site. NZEI Te Riu Roa also negotiates regional or local collective agreements for advisers/reading recovery tutors in universities, early childhood education teachers and support staff working in both not-for profit and commercial centres.”

        By law the only parties that can negotiate collective agreements are unions and employers.

    • Fabregas4 15.2

      Teachers, thankfully, think for more than themselves. Instead they think about the children, the parents, their schools, their community, and then they get on to themselves. This is one of the reasons that the teacher unions need to be so strong because quite frankly anyone negotiating pay and conditions with teachers starts off knowing that teachers, in the vast majority, look at things in this order.

      Another thing teachers think about is education and they are clever enough to go to the trouble of seeing what systems like vouchers and national standards have done to education in other places around the world. Have a go at this yourself and then post again.

      • jcuknz 15.2.1

        Have you read David’s [kiwiblog] debunk of the teachers claims which shows relative to GDP NZ teachers are the best paid in the world? If you are driven by lolly then go overseas and experience the drawbacks to not being in NZ. The grass is not greener over the fence … it just seems that way until you jump over the fence.

        • Dave 15.2.1.1

          You’re quoting DPF’s figures on this blog? I mean your up at 3:30am, you seem dedicated enough to get the real data and run the crunching yourself. How about doing that rather than giving us someone else’s mathematical gymnastics?

          Health & Education are two departments where we should be investing all we can to ensure the professionals are of the highest calibre and supported as best we can, this includes the minister acknowledging that there is no mandate to upset the entire establishment to score some brownie points from King John Key.

          • jcuknz 15.2.1.1.1

            I happen to be in a different time zone to you at the moment 🙂 6hrs.
            The medical professionals are of the highest quality I assure you. It is the quality of life that keeps and attracts them to NZ .. sad that some have to go overseas to pay off their student loans.

    • Dan 15.3

      jcuknz,
      If you saw the teacher associations as a political party for teachers, then you might relax a little more. The rules are little different to the National Party: voluntary membership, toe the party line even if you disagree. Membership has grown steadily over the years. There are tons of opportunity to debate or disagree. In no way are teachers told what to think; Head office is very responsive to disagreement within the ranks but individual members are very dependent on head office reading the political winds correctly.
      You need to do some research on the efficacy of voucher systems: they tend to favour the affluent. As far as national standards go, it is not that teachers don’t want national standards as they already have quite a few. It has always been the process of instituting NACT”S new standards that has been the cause of unhappiness.

  16. Jum 16

    Grumpy,
    said: “The schools … belong to the taxpayer AKA the voter, who have given National the mandate to introduce National Standards.”

    I’m sick of righties saying NActMU had a mandate to do anything other than have Key smile and wave. Voters decided to have a change of face, not even a change of philosophy; they did not know Key et al were frickin liars. There was no mandate for the policy changes in education, law and order, selling assets, destroying democratic councils and using the earthquake (god is on our side crap) as a mandate for taking over New Zealand that various rightwing mps have tried to hang on New Zealand voters. The fault when all these policy changes turn to custard will be squarely on the hump backs of those mps and the cringing, benedict arnolds of media, half of them now paid by Key, but pretending to be objective before the election.

    The only fault I can hang on voters is they were too trusting with NActMU and didn’t do their homework.

    • jcuknz 16.1

      Nine years and it was time for a change as those in power get too entrenched with their circles of influence … a sad but true fact of life in a small incestual country like NZ.

      • mcflock 16.1.1

        And two years have taught an awful lot of people that change for change’s sake can be a pretty bad idea if you don’t know what you’re changing to.

    • hamish gray 16.2

      Of course they have a mandate – they campaigned on the issue, they were elected to be government and they’re now trying to implement the very policies they said they would implement. How is that a.not a mandate and b. lying?

  17. Fabregas4 17

    The worrying thing is that people who criticise unions don’t realise that most of the rights afforded them in their workplace came about because of the collective strength that unions bring to workers. Breaks/sick leave/holidays/anti discrimination and equal opportunity and pay wouldn’t be here (at least to the level they are) without unions. Since the mental nineties and the Employment Contracts Act some of these provisions have been stripped away or reduced – not at all leading to a better standard of living, or a better country -except for the rich.

    • jcuknz 17.1

      I agree F4 that unions are an essential part of the economy but that doesn’t mean one should not criticise the crass and un-helpful comments and actions of elected officials and those who elect idiots to positions they are not willing to fill themselves. We seem free here to throw mud at politicians I don’t see that union officers shouldn’t also be targets, at least by those who have put the time in.

      • mcflock 17.1.1

        15.1.2

        Stop this stupid bickering and accept that the political masters have the authority and work with them to achieve the best result.

        dissonant much?

  18. Jum 18

    No Hamish Gray, they don’t have a mandate. No NZ voter voted for all of National’s policies, especially the ones they forgot to tell us about, like sacking a legally, democratically elected ECAN, removing democracy from New Zealand and placing it under the bulk of the despot Brownlee, signed off by Key and English, so that NActMU can sell off assets and we can do nothing to stop it.

    Already at least 5 NAct ministers have tried to tell us that their particular loony policy has a countrywide mandate. That is patently a lie.

    1. They don’t have a mandate for any of their loony policy.
    2. They lied to get into this position of total unmandated power and undemocratic action.

  19. Fabregas4 19

    jcuknz

    I am usually really polite here (and everywhere else) but your comments above are just so dumb that I can only conclude you are dick!

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