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

  • APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum prioritises women’s economic empowerment
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    43 mins ago
  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago