web analytics

Tolley twisting on education

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, October 29th, 2010 - 26 comments
Categories: education, national - Tags: ,

Pity Anne Tolley. She is required to hold two completely contradictory views in her head.

The first is that our education system is terrible, in disarray, in need of reform. In particular our primary school education is so broken that “one in five children” is failing (repeat ad nauseam), and the only solution is to ignore all professional advice and force through untested, probably damaging, national standards, which will magically allow every single child to achieve.

The second, rather more fact based view, is that NZ has an excellent education system, including excellent primary education. It’s the view expressed in, for example, this government website:

New Zealand’s education system is world-class, modern and responsive. It combines proven, traditional principles of education with innovation, creativity and fresh thinking to produce leaders and citizens equipped for the 21st century.

From a child’s first day at school, our government-funded schooling system provides a comprehensive curriculum of academic, sporting and skills-based learning options in a positive environment.

I’ve been wondering if some reporter will ever get around to questioning Tolley on why it is that national standards are needed if our education system is excellent, “world-class, modern and responsive”. And it looks like Michael Dickison at The Herald might have had a go, in the context of this piece on NZ’s high score on some world prosperity index. Here’s Tolley:

Education Minister Anne Tolley said a recognition that New Zealand’s education was the best in the world did not rule out reform. “I’ve always said that New Zealand has an education system to be proud of,” she said.

“[But] up to one in five children are not getting the basic reading, writing and maths skills they need, and we are addressing that with National Standards and raising the bar for all students to ensure their success in the modern world.”

Can you hear the grinding gears of cognitive dissonance?

We have an excellent education system. But one in five children fail so somehow it is also a disaster for which Labour is to blame. (Here’s a hint Anne, one in five children fail in all education systems).

We have an excellent education system. But strangely it also a disaster that must be reformed by forcing an untested and probably unworkable new standards system, against all advice and massive professional resistance, right down the throats of our primary schools.

We have an excellent education system. But Anne Tolley is determined to break it.

26 comments on “Tolley twisting on education ”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    Classic case of National knowing that something is in fact white but claiming it is black because it suits their purpose and PR. They have done this with education from day one with the whole one in five fail dog whistle. If education is one of the major building blocks to moving our economy forward and insuring our kids can foot it in this world surely their pay should reflect that.

    Stop misrepresenting the truth Anne Tolley.

  2. Fabregas4 2

    In fact 1 in 5 do not fail in all education systems. New Zealand’s so called ‘tail of under achievement’ is less than 16% and amongst the lowest in the world. A clue for Tolley and all politicians – to lift achievement first take a look at social indicators – poverty, housing, crime, employment, health and in particular how they relate to Maori and Pasifika children and see if there is any correlation with how well these groups do at school.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      One other thing – parents have to care about their childrens’ education. I believe that this is an important independent variable in childrens educational outcomes which is not well captured in current measures.

    • Someone should tell her that one in two New Zealand students are below average. That will really get her going.

      Seriously though given the very positive comments about our education why would you want to f**k with it?

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Hmmmmm below the median maybe 😛

        Seriously though given the very positive comments about our education why would you want to f**k with it?

        She’s a National Minister who needs to flex her stupid muscles.

        • mickysavage 2.2.1.1

          With sufficiently small steps average nearly, median definately!

          • ianmac 2.2.1.1.1

            The moment you define an average point, it follows that 50% must be above and 50% must be below. Only way out is to not have an average point.

            • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1.1.1

              No, it means 50% of the values must be above and 50% below.

              Take 10 numbers: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 10. Average of that is 19/10 = 1.9, but 9 of the numbers are below 1.9 and only 1 is above 1.9, or 90% below the average and 10% above.

              For a true normal distribution (and I mean the statistical definition of ‘normal distribution’ here), the average will be the same as the median, and 50% will be above and 50% below. Student achievement is probably a normal distribution (it may be shifted upwards so that average on an exam score is not 50/100, though) so would probably hold in this case. But it is important to understand that the average does not mean “50% above, 50% below” – that only holds true for normally distributed data. Median, on the other hand, always means 50% above and 50% below, because it is the ‘middle number’.

              • wtl

                Of course, ‘average’ does not have to be defined as the arithmetic mean, defining it as the median would be just as correct.

                • Lanthanide

                  Yes, that’s true, but it’s always annoyed me. It’s silly to have a term that can apply to one of 3 different mathematical values (median, mean, mode) which are often difficult to separate based solely on context.

                  Also I meant “50% of the sum of the values must be above and 50% below”, not the values themselves.

                • Colonial Viper

                  None of this rally matters as I am reasonably sure that Tolley would not be able to differentiate and define the terms ‘average’, ‘mean’, ‘mode’ and ‘median’.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Of course, but neither can the media. It is important to understand these concepts as it lets you take a more informed stance on a particular story and whether it’s bullshit or not.

                    • I have done this before. Next time I will say “median”.

                      Mind you if I said “average” or “median” I think that Tolley’s response would be the same …

  3. Bunji 3

    And spending all your time measuring them still won’t improve those 1 in 5’s standards. The teachers already know who the kids failing in their class are. Best leave them more time to fix it, rather than penalising all the children by wasting quality education time on preparing them for tests, then testing them to find out what they already know.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      National Standards is a way of measuring teachers performance, so they can then institute different payscales for well performing teachers. The fact that she has to pretend it is somehow about children is what is driving this endless stream of nonsense, because she can’t just come out and say it’s really about teachers.

      • ianmac 3.1.1

        I bet that you Lanthanide, like everyone else cannot define a good teacher. The work done by teachers in decile 1 schools is incredibly competent. But the “standards” reached can be much lower for socio-economic reasons.
        The teachers in a decile 10 schools can have high “standards” but not work nearly as hard since the intake have advantaged beginnings. (Actually a teacher I know is looking for jobs away from his decile 10 school, because the kids are smug, complacent and very hard to motivate. Yet their “standards” of 3 Rs are high?) Perhaps the Decile 10 teachers should get performance pay/bonuses?

  4. ianmac 4

    Rob: Well said. With such contradictions, one would look seriously for motivations of Tolley/Key beyond National Standards.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    We have an excellent education system. But Anne Tolley is determined to break it.

    We already knew that. An educated populace is dangerous to the dictatorship that NACT want to bring back.

  6. Crumble 6

    This is the education system, for me a teacher. I was called a cunt the other day by a student for telling them to put their cell phone away in class. They were in a grump because they were hung-over from the night before. On the other end of the scale one of my students got all excellences for their internal work for Level 2 History.

    They education system is not “broken”, it does not need “fixed” what teachers need is time and the training to deal with the increasingly violent and aggressive behaviour from students.

    • Vicky32 6.1

      “I was called a cunt the other day by a student for telling them to put their cell phone away in class. ”
      Hells teeth! My sympathies indeed… (I am glad I am an ESOL teacher – Chinese students have an ingrained cultural respect for teachers that means that when I say “put your mobile away” they jump to obey! The same with the other students, apart from the Vietnamese who don’t have intrinsic motivation – just the ‘rents sending them here… 🙁 )
      Deb

  7. marsman 7

    National say it’s broken when in fact it’s not broken but they are in the process of breaking it.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago