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Tolley lives behind The Wall

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 pm, July 9th, 2010 - 26 comments
Categories: education - Tags: ,

Anne Tolley is on record. She told the Principals gathered at their annual conference that rather than run to the media that they need to talk to her directly.

Lets see some of those who have voiced their opposition to Nationals Standards so far:

  • 38,000 people signed a petition asking for a trial of the Standards.
  • NZEI
  • PPTA
  • Principals federations in Northland, Auckland, Canterbury and Southland.
  • 2,000 Maori Educators at their conference.
  • Peter Sharples (sometimes)
  • Leading Educator Kelvin Smythe
  • Lester Flockton (Emeritus Director Educational Assessment Research Unit)
  • Quality Public Education Coalition
  • Parliamentary Library (independant Report).
  • Prof. Martin Thrupp, University of Waikato
  • Prof. John Hattie, University of Auckland (sometimes).
  • Prof. Terry Crooks, University of Otago
  • Ivan Snook (Emeritus Professor of Education, Massey University).
  • Kura Kaupapa Maori Leaders.

Seems like a lot of people have been talking. The challenge of course has always been how much, if any, the Minister is listening.

26 comments on “Tolley lives behind The Wall ”

  1. ianmac 1

    I have a vision of those columns of critics with a gap down the middle through which the Minister has to run and escape, duck, survive, the slings and arrows of those who know. They include those in the list in Guest Post. Running the gauntlet?

    So far Anne Tolley has managed well to duck and be stoic against huge odds, and with John Key’s support, since it was his idea, she deserves praise for her courage (?) under fire. Really?

    Note: Prof Terry Crooks has been running very precise Assessments of Primary School Children for at least 15 years. He is a World expert on Assessment.

  2. Julie 2

    Wee correction – 200 Maori educators, not 2000!

    Thank you for this helpful list.

  3. Fisiani 4

    8. Hon TREVOR MALLARD (Labour—Hutt South) to the Minister of Education: When she said yesterday that “This is a bedding-in year for the Standards and feedback from parents is vital’, did she include the feedback from the more than 37,000 New Zealanders who have signed a petition expressing deep concern with the Government’s national standards policy?

    Hon ANNE TOLLEY (Minister of Education) : Yes. I am always happy to receive feedback from parents about national standards. I note, however, that the union that organised that petition has a long history of opposition to the standards and of spreading misinformation. But I say to the member that I will take those 37,000 unionists and I will raise him the 1,050,000 New Zealanders who voted for a National Government to introduce national standards in reading, writing, and maths.

  4. Rex Widerstrom 5

    •Lester Flockton (Emeritus Director Educational Assessment Research Unit)…
    •Ivan Snook (Emeritus Professor of Education, Massey University).

    What’s this? Citing “old specialists who are no longer doing much real work in their field, and will frequently comment on areas outside of their areas of expertise. Often entertaining, but frequently fossilized in their thinking”?

    Hey, it’s Friday. If I can’t make mischief then, when can I? 😛

    • Richard 5.1

      Education is the area of expertise of these emeritus professors.

    • ianmac 5.2

      Rex. Joking are you? As you point out Lester is also a World Expert on Assesment. Each assessment that they do is a one on one highly developed interview of Primary children as samples of precisely how well kids are learning and indicates trends. Unfortunately neither John nor Anne want to know about unpleasant factual information.

      • Rex Widerstrom 5.2.1

        Kinda, ianmac. I’m not in any way calling into question the bona fides of either of the two gentlemen I’ve named, just gently chiding lprent on the dangers of sweeping statements like:

        I’m tired of reading eulogies by people commenting with hushed tones of awe about the statements of some awesome Emeritus Professors it is merely a title indicating their largely retired role in the academic community… They never seem to consider exactly what titles mean which is sweet bugger all.

        In the case of any person of science, your current reputation and the authority of your opinions depends on your recent contributions to science…

        when your fellow bloggers may need to rely upon those very same retirees to support a future argument 😀

        (Not that I’ve ever made any sweeping generalisations, no siree… 😛 )

        • lprent

          Ah…. I was of course making a generalization (which I qualified in that post). But most of the generalization was about idiots waving the title of EP around like a self evident guide to the veracity of the EP’s opinions – which of course it isn’t. What you have to do is to look at their work, their opinion, and what they use evidence or argument to back up that opinion.

          I picked two examples in that post of EP’s who were offering opinions that had little substance. I then commented on the drooling idiots that seemed to think that their opinion because of their EP title should be regarded as law. The latter was the point of my post.

          Furthermore it was of course my opinion. I don’t expect other people to be bound by it – not even you…. You can agree, disagree or any range between.

          • Fabregas4

            Anyway the point is these people are world renowned education assessment experts. Their opinion does indeed count. As does those of everyone else listed above. And crucially, the number of those opposed to Nationals Standards is very large and very informed. The point of the post is that Tolley isn’t engaging with them despite her protestations that they need to talk to her and that they are all left loonies, whose sole focus is self interest.

            • Rex Widerstrom

              Bah, mischief making is no fun round here… you get taken too seriously 😛

              I actually know and admire one EP personally and he’s become sort of a general purpose sage whose opinions I’d heed on most things… probably draw the line at surgery (since he’s not a Prof of Medicine) or quantum mechanics or somesuch (since he’s not a science Prof), thus making me a drooling idiot 😀

              My round-about-and-backwards point was actually that if someone’s been using their brain at a level high enough, and long enough, to become an EP their opinions are probably worthy of a little more respect than being characterised as “fossilized” (even when they’re speaking outside their immediate expertise)… and that includes, of course, Messrs Flockton and Snook (who aren’t, of course, outside their area in this instance).

              Oh well, I just have to go back to KB and say I don’t believe in God if I want some fun then *takes toys and goes home* 😉

    • Zorr 5.3

      haha Rex, nice one. However that post was about Emeritus professors using the title their position gives them to underwrite statements made on subjects outside their specialty. Last time I checked though, “Emeritus Director Educational Assessment Research Unit” and “Emeritus Professor of Education, Massey University” seem to be related to education and this post is about… ummmmmm… jellyfish? ^_~

    • Trevor Mallard 5.4

      Heard both those guys talk this year Rex. They are still sharper than either of us have ever been or will ever be.

    • George.com 5.5

      Rex. Lester Flockton has been at the heart of the NEMP – National Education Monitoring Project for a number of years. NEMP looks at achievement levels across NZ children on an annual basis and compares it to world trends. I doubt you will find few better in NZ than this chap on education matters. If Lester Flockton makes a statement about education, you can take it for granted he has a wealth of lived experience and research knowledge to draw from.

  5. ianmac 6

    Hard luck Fisiani.
    Dear Minister: I have to report that there 15,000 Primary teachers. Not all belong to the Institute. So it follows that 37,000 must include at least 30,000 non institute members. (There is no Primary Teachers Union.)

    Dear Minister: Since in 2008 you did not know what National Standards were and the voters did not know and until 2010 the teachers did not know, it would be hard to find over a million who voted for such Scotch Mist. And it has been said that even now, 80% of parents surveyed still don’t know.

  6. Dan 7

    Fisiani, everyone of those 1,050,000 thought they were voting for National Standards.

    Wrong. Private schools don’t have to waste their time doing something all teachers are already doing: identifying kids who have problems. Why, Fisiani, are private schools excluded if they are National Standards.

    Everyone of those 1,050,000 thought they were voting for a test that each child would sit at each level so that they would end up with a Plunket Book graph showing where their dearest rated. They all thought they would sit the same test, just like you do for the Plunket Book: sit on the educational scales and be weighed, and be able to compare brothers and sisters, and the neighbours kids.

    Each school will develop their tests, which means there is the same potential for differences that NCEA has been slammed for. More moderation, more work for teachers.
    Just read the following:

    I don’t think Plunket nurses would have put up with this cycle of repetition for no apparent gain

    And still end up with doubtful information.

    Fisiani, this National Standards thing has nothing to do with improvements for kids. The pupeteers behind Tolley want to have an issue to make an attack on the teacher associations.

  7. Luxated 9

    I’m stunned that this hasn’t been said.

    “We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control.”

    Not saying Tolley is keen on the later, the less said about the former the better.

    • burt 9.1

      Every time I see or hear eduction in the context of a wall I also can’t help but think about the movie ‘The Wall’. Then I think about the headmaster spanking his kids and his wife spanking him, then my mind jumps directly to Benson-Pope, sigh.

  8. Jum 10

    “Hon ANNE TOLLEY (Minister of Education) : Yes. I am always happy to receive feedback from parents about national standards. I note, however, that the union that organised that petition has a long history of opposition to the standards and of spreading misinformation. But I say to the member that I will take those 37,000 unionists and I will raise him the 1,050,000 New Zealanders who voted for a National Government to introduce national standards in reading, writing, and maths.”

    Yet another minister of this government trying to tell us that people voted for her intention to force national standards. NZers ‘heaven’ help them voted for a bit of a change with that nice youngish rich white male who has plenty of money and is going to give us some. That vote was not a mandate for every minister to say their particular ideological, cretinous idea was the one people voted for.

    This government hates unions and will destroy them. That’s what national standards is really about – turning unthinking NZers against teachers. Teachers don’t become teachers for the money. They become teachers for the children. Most NZers realise this, but this woman is clever. Do not underestimate her. Every weasel word comment she makes is geared to making people start to distrust teachers.

    Be warned now people. Whatever this government tells you about not selling assets if you don’t want them to, a vote for them in 2011 is a mandate to sell. A vote for Banks in 2010 is a mandate to sell. A vote for your N(Act) candidate is a mandate to sell.

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