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Tolley keeps empty schools open

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, February 4th, 2010 - 17 comments
Categories: education - Tags: ,

Well, there can’t be any doubt now, Anne Tolley is this government’s worst minister. A failure that stands out among failures.

She had an Auckland university pay to take her on a chopper ride because she didn’t understand what was meant by getting a “helicopter view of the sector”. She complained to her advisors about being forced to met Vice-Chancellors; ‘I’m the minister, I should be meeting Chancellors, not their deputies’. She nearly fired 700 teachers by accident, not understanding the jobs were filled. She slashed night classes while boosting funding for private schools. She has pushed through national standards against the advice and desire of everyone – teachers, principals, education experts, parents – and made a total hash of the politics of it.

Now, we learn that two schools in Dunedin are open, with paid staff, but no students because Tolley didn’t get around to doing the paperwork to close them. The schools want to close, the community wants them to close, the kids have gone elsewhere. But becuase Tolley didn’t get around to starting the formal process that goes with closing a school in time, these schools will remain open and staffed for months.

Is Tolley really the best National can do? I know they want to keep her on because otherwise there’ll only be one woman on their frontbench but, seriously, our kids’ education is too important to be left at the mercy of this useless minister.

17 comments on “Tolley keeps empty schools open ”

  1. Mr Magoo 1

    Oh please for the love of god. Can the righties come in and defend this??

    Pretty please with a washed out old politician on top??
    Come on, you know you want to! This here wagon still has a wheel or too left pa!

    Damn I could use the giggle today.

    In other news, john “that nice young man” key has stood fast next to his failing liability of a politician. I admire the solidarity and will just love the fall out.

  2. toad 2

    No doubt she’ll try to blame it on a bureaucrat “failing to correctly advise her”.

    Interesting too that she’s refusing to front the media on the issue – maybe the nice Mr Key will have to front up for her on this one too.

    How can he continue to have confidence in such a train wreck of a Minister. I’m old enough to remember Merv Wellington, but I’ve becoing increasingly convinced that Tolley is an even worse Education Minister than he was.

  3. Scribe 3

    Wouldn’t people in the Education Ministry be the ones charged with handling the paperwork for the closure of a school?

    Oh, and I think it’s a bit rich to say that parents didn’t want national standards. This was part of National’s election platform and barring a few teenage pregnancies, it was parents who overwhelming chose that party over any other.

    • r0b 3.1

      barring a few teenage pregnancies, it was parents who overwhelming chose that party over any other

      Classy. And wrong too, unless you have your own personal definition of “overwhelming”.

      • felix 3.1.1

        Scribe saw a map of the election results and thought that everyone in the blue electorates had voted National.

        He was overwhelmed.

  4. toad 4

    The Minister has to sign off the consultation process to close a school.

    • Scribe 4.1

      Sorry, haven’t read all the info. Was all the relevant documentation given to her and she forgot to sign it?

      • lprent 4.1.1

        I gather so. However I guess we now know why she needed get more time to work in her portfolios, so one was removed.

        • Jewish Kiwi

          …or she was engrossed in Facebook’s Farmville while her intray piled up.

          (Happens to me, I am afraid to say)

        • spot

          “I gather so” – in which case the relevant Private Secretary and Ministry officials are grossly incompetent.

          Which I seriously, seriously doubt.

          It sounds like classic “the means being more important than the ends” piece of process-following, which is understandable, for the most part these consultative measures are in place for good reason.

          However, you’d think the Minister, given reasonable grounds (and on advice from officials), could circumvent it out of common sense.

          ….ahh, common sense, I see.

          • snoozer

            or, she could jsut have started the process in time.

            ministers don’t get to circumvent the rules whenever they believe it is ‘common sense’ to do so. We have rule of law, not rule of subjective ‘common sense’, precisely because ministers will tend to define ‘common sense’ through the prism of their political views and needs.

            • spot

              Snoozer – don’t let my qualifiers get in the way of you making a point, you’ll find me agreeing with you.

              So, no grounds for discretion then?

              In which case this process is seen through to its conclusion. Fair enough, like I said, these measures are in place for good reason.

              On responsibility for triggering the process – clearly Ministry and Operational in detail, so she’s either vicariously responsible or, worse, directly.

              But we lack the background and detail to be certain.

  5. I thought the principal of Tomahawk School, Richard Aitken, was quite witty about it all on Campbell Live last night. Kind of ironic they are asking for the axe and not getting it!

  6. Jewish Kiwi 6

    Did she really say that about Vice Chancellors? That is priceless.

  7. Lew 7

    I haven’t been able to track down the whole thing, but Kevin Fogarty (of Ukuleles in Schools) has a song about “Chopper”, a snippet of which was played on NatRad the other day.

    Chop chop dolly, that Anne Tolley, policy’s not great
    She’s dumbing down the children we’re supposed to educate
    No more money for music, art, science or PE
    Hey Anne Tolley, three R’s ain’t the key.


  8. tc 8

    No surprises here however unlike the past gov’t who would have had the granny herald and other MSM oulets howling for heads to roll and banging the drum….contrast that to what we see now and you’d think everything is all rosy and fine.

    Tolley is a pin-up model for the low brow, low intellect, shut up and do as I say attitude that yields anger, frustration and poor outcomes……and she’s not alone.

    The bigger issue is a gutless do nothing PM who lacks the bollocks and talent to make the required changes……you have to have some sympathy for Johnny Clown, his hand is a very weak one with the ministers at his disposal.

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