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Tolley’s delusions of relevance

Written By: - Date published: 1:55 pm, August 17th, 2011 - 53 comments
Categories: education, schools - Tags: ,

More and more schools are standing up and doing what is best for their children’s education:

Quarter of schools fail to comply on standards

Nearly a quarter of all primary schools have refused to comply with National Standards requirements – but none appear to have faced any serious consequence for breaking the law.

Schools had until the start of last month to send the Ministry of Education their 2011 charters, which had to include information about what National Standard targets they hoped to achieve by the end of this year. According to statistics released to the Herald yesterday, 30 schools have failed to submit charters and a further 416 have submitted charters that don’t include the required National Standards information. …

The figure is in stark contrast to the “small group of around 200 or less who are refusing to obey the law” that Education Minister Anne Tolley spoke about during the National Party Conference on Saturday.

Schools had been threatened with statutory intervention if they did not comply with the law, but some are now seen to be getting away with their protest against the controversial standards with little consequence. New Zealand Principals’ Federation spokesman, Ernie Buutveld, said it was “a serious situation when a quarter of all schools are taking such a bold stance”.

Tolley is wilfully blind to the educational evidence and theory showing national standards to be a bad idea.  So naturally she thinks it’s all about her. It’s all about those mean “Labour Party activists” trying to thwart her!

Mrs Tolley says those schools opposed to the standards have put politics ahead of the interests of their children.

“There’s no doubt there are some Labour activists that are very, very determined to, first of all bring me down because I was the minister that introduced them, but also to I think sacrifice their students and their school for a political point.”

Wow. That’s quite some ego you’ve got there Anne. Here’s a newsflash. It’s not about you. You’re a lame duck minister, out of your depth, desperately clinging to the remains of your portfolio. You’re not being personally targeted by “Labour Party activists”. You’re not relevant. What is relevant is educational outcomes for the children in NZ’s schools. That’s what schools are standing up for.

53 comments on “Tolley’s delusions of relevance ”

  1. chris73 1

    No shes right, she has been personaly targeted because the unions don’t want her around and they don’t mind using kids to achieve their aims

    • haydenarrrrgh 1.1

      Right, so Anne Tolley’s policies are perfect and any criticism of them is because “unions don’t want her around.”

    • lprent 1.2

      She is targeted all right. As far as I can tell she is a political moron and I don’t think that she is particularly bright either.

      Parents are always finicky about what happens in schools. You have to sell them on changes, and you cannot do it with a line of simplistic bullshit. You can see that in the years of work and ever increasing levels of detail that went into the introduction of NCEA – and that still causes people palpitations. When I was younger it was with the introduction of “new maths” in the 60’s (which you can still find people ranting about occasionally).

      As far as I can see, Tolley lazily attempted to bypass all of that work and just shove it in as a fait accompli. Consequently parents in school boards have been steadily inserting a wooden probe anally to her ever whilst since trying to find out some basics – like what is this change meant to achieve. That is the school boards role. They are parents protecting their kids. Tolley appears to be far too stupid to understand what that means. I’d anticipate that she will burst into flames before managing to learn the important lesson about politics – that real consultation is required if you don’t want people to get pissed off with you.

    • Ianupnorth 1.3

      You really are an idiot! You continue to fail to understand that introducing a flawed strategy, proven to be a failure in terms of what it sets out to do (National standards or similar testing do not raise the educational achievement of students); nor do they actually identify what is already known, e.g. the kids that are non achieving.
      It is an ideologically driven platitude to appease lemons like you that voted this mob in!

    • bbfloyd 1.4

      chris.. that statement makes you as irrelevant and shallow as tolley has been shown to be… a step up for you though.

    • mik e 1.5

      National complained year after year in opposition the problem with teachers that they were overloaded with bureaucracy and paper work Tollyuene has added a couple of mountain loads more of paper work now all the teachers i’ve spoken to .Have had enough they have no time for extra curricular activities or family. All the teachers I’ve spoken to [I have several children at school] are doing between 50to60 hrs a week hods and principles are doing up to 70hrs per week most on govt paper work they would rather be spending more time on individual students .So ayotolleys policies are having the opposite effect of teachers not having time to help under achieving children!

    • richard 1.6

      I would not call the BOT that I am a member of “pro-union” or left wing. We are diverse, yet rather united in recognising that Nat Standards are not in the best interests of our kids education.
      We have not chosen to boycott, but rather do the bare minimum necessary to comply, whilst backing our principal and teachers to carry out real education, free of this stupid ideological nonsense being forced upon us.
      So my real point is – the 25% is only the tip of the iceberg, and I salute the boards brave enough to take this stand.

      • fabregas4 1.6.1

        Fell free to join the BTAC Richard – you know that you want to, and that you should. We all know what happens when good people stand quietly by.

        • richard 1.6.1.1

          When I said we are diverse, well I’m probably the only one who reads the Standard 😉

          • fabregas4 1.6.1.1.1

            C’mon Richard! If your board is opposed show it. Those Boards you admire need your support.

  2. haydenarrrrgh 2

    This sounds like a couple of weeks ago, when she was blaming “Labour scaremongering” for the uproar generated by the ECE taskforce report which recommended cutting funding to parent-led ECE centres by 60-odd percent. Actually Anne, it was concerned parents, who are quite capable of reading reports and who have their own well-established communication network (and Facebook).

    • bbfloyd 2.1

      of course it’s parents who are concerned.. that is reality as we know it.. but ranting about labour always gets reported by the msp(main stream poodles) verbatum..

  3. Jim Nald 3

    FFS, it is coming to three years and she should be able to do better than waddle around and quack the same old kind of line, blaming Labour – the previous government, activists, la la la and anything that spells with ‘L’.

    Given her self-perceived overblown competence and effectiveness, she should pack her accountability and responsibility firmly into her own trolley, swallow them and shape up or shop out of Cabinet.

    This latest manufactured cross, for which she is making a big drama of stepping up to and self-martyring, is as transparent and thick as any of two short policy planks that she can come up with in her Education Portfolio.

    • bbfloyd 3.1

      the process of scapegoating the labour party is well entrenched in the fourth column. it has been drummed into our minds for so long through the poodle network that all that is required is a little point of the finger, and the suppression of reality marches on.

      why change tactics when the ref is a hometown boy?

  4. Kiwi in China 4

    I once got bored and had a look at Tolley’s educational background on the National website. Working in schools, but does not show anything which leads anyone to believe that she actually has any idea of how paedagogical philosophy actually works. If you remove the creativity and chances of learning, you will end up with the situation here in China where people are so focussed on doing well in such National Standards tests, that the actual thinking doesn’t exist, as the only thing they strive for is good test results, not good understanding of the topic at hand. Ignoring the evidence and sidestepping what is important should not be allowed by the people in charge of the country, neither the behaviour shown in cabinet by John Key and his cronies which stops the opposition from voicing their opinion by rubbishing any voice which slightly contradicts their own. It is appauling to sit back and watch from half way around the world. And yes, the only reason I am in China is because I couldn’t face sitting around searching for work or doing a demeaning job in New Zealand, when within two weeks I could get work experience starting here!

    • Shona 4.1

      Tolley has no tertiary education. No teaching experience of any kind. She owned a B ed and Breakfast somewhere in Hawkes Bay and is a Nat stalwart.

      • Tony P 4.1.1

        Her father was a principal at a local intermediate here in HB too so that qualifies her!!! He was regularly writing to the local paper in support of NS till someone questioned his relationship to the minister. Haven’t heard from him lately.

        • fabregas4 4.1.1.1

          And I bet all of the kids at his school were above standard, whereas “those useless teachers and principals in those other schools…”

  5. jackal 5

    I think Anne Tolley is perhaps the dumbest MP ever to disgrace the halls of power. When you threaten schools with a butchers knife and force them to implement something they clearly think is completely idiotic, they are not asking for their students to be sacrificed.

    That”s like saying a murder victim chooses his/her fate, or impoverished people choose to be poor or we don’t like the new standards because of the way Tolley dresses. She’s got a long way to go before she beats Paula Bennett and Hekia Parata as the worst dressed in the fashion disaster show.

    • Craig Glen Eden 5.1

      “I think Anne Tolley is perhaps the dumbest MP ever to disgrace the halls of power”

      Thats a big call jackal given Paula Benefits is there buuut but after some consideration I have to agree even she is not as thick as Tolley.

    • mik e 5.2

      They have always had atrocious education ministers Blockwood Smith.Any thing that is free for the peasants or so coldly free is to be degenerated, under mined , and dispensed with even if it works better than the privatized equivalent!

    • toad 5.3

      The late Hon. Mervyn Langlois Wellington, Minister of Education between 1978 and 1984, was just as thick and doctrinaire as Tolley. But it says a lot when you have to go back that far.

  6. D13 6

    NO the schools have put the interests of the children ahead of politics.

    • Craig Glen Eden 6.1

      No National have put politics ahead of our children’s learning.If you know anything about the NZ curriculum and how children learn you would know how well NZ children are doing, this policy is doomed to fail because its about testing not learning. If you new anything about the teaching profession you would know that no school would play politics with a child’s learning. Tolley is as thick as they come, National are a disgrace.

      • Ianupnorth 6.1.1

        D13 – that is exactly what they are doing! Those actually qualified in education are able to spot the flaws in this process and the reasons behind this.
        A question for you – would you be able to identify a ‘good’ school without the league tables that will result from national Standards? I reckon you would; you can go to ERO reports, you can go to the schools website, but most importantly you can ask.
        You train animals to jump through hoops – children are different, they need to develop the capacity to think, problem solve, have empathy, communication, etc. These standards focus upon hoops, not humanism.

        • D13 6.1.1.1

          Yep that is what I meant.
          I think the nat stds are a crock, based on faulty iidiology and poorly implemented.
          There is even no moderation to ensure what is being measured is consistent.
          And we already know who the tail is!,
          Sorryr that my statement was un clear!

        • mik e 6.1.1.2

          One area left in the NZ experiment where we excel is education 4th best in the world under labour stewardship 16th or 18th under last National govt it was continually sliding down the scale .Now they are back up to the same old tricks trying to break the union rather than working with them.Most teachers I know are trying to to move to relief teaching or overseas to get out of all the BS paperwork

  7. popeye 7

    In the words of an esteemed 20th century philosopher….”You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em!” Tolley needs to suck it up, show a bit of leadership and broker a solution. However she can’t! Tolley is a puppet with English pulling the education strings. Hardly a recipe for 21st century learning. It is hard to believe that English and Key think they can’t drive the primary sector into forced compliance and that everything will just be hunky dory. Steam roll the voices of teachers and principals and you might end up with compliance but scratch the surface and underneath you will find chaos. One thing is clear though. If a quarter of schools are breaking the law imagine the number that want to but haven’t had the courage to do it. This policy and this Minister are in serious trouble.

  8. tc 8

    ‘This policy and this Minister are in serious trouble.’ no the kids are as they’ll carry on regardless and the MSM will parrot their assertions without challenging them.
    If it sooo great aren’t private schools that get public funds exempt? hardly a national standard.
    ‘Tolley is a puppet with English pulling the education strings’, that’s a worry as a career public servant driving a minister who I’m told didn’t actually complete high school but then given Key was handpicked and groomed by the backroom dark lords after the 02 shambles that’s a typical MO. They’ve all got someone’s hand up their backs….mostly holding a knife.

  9. Georgy 9

    Lame Duck Minister – Ha! I love that. No better description other than perhaps Ayatolley. As a Minister she has shown ineptitude all the way, a gross disregard for the teaching profession, a complete disregard of evidence, and a dismissing attitude regarding the new NZ Curriculum. She represents the greatest attack on public education ever seen. Ever. At no time has it been so important that this Minister and her govt are toppled. Talk to 10 people and discuss with them why this govt needs to go.

  10. fabregas4 10

    And the latest threat – turn Principals into Public Servants – why? – so they can’t speak out for their schools, their kids and their community without losing their jobs – be afraid, be very afraid, this is the slippery slope to fascism.

  11. Tony P 11

    And of course once again the Dom Post goes into bat for Tolley and NS with it’s editorial today.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/editorials/5456885/Editorial-Parents-have-a-right-to-know-about-kids
    It’s those pesky NZEI union people and a “minority” of teachers you know!

    • Ianupnorth 11.1

      My daughters school principal (decile 9, country school, lots of farmers, very traditional) is anti the standards, and I would have him down as a dead cert Nat voter.

    • popeye 11.2

      It is an irony but Joe Public and the editor of the Dompost have been sold lies….if parents want high quality information about student learning then don’t touch these standards…because they are not standards and they are certainly not national standards. This message has been out in the public arena for ages now. Joe Public is catching on as they encounter the rubbish in their kids reports but there is no excuse for the editor of the DomPost to continue to parrot the spin. Methinks he/she has a tidy little press secretary position lined up post election?

  12. randal 12

    there is always room for improvement in literacy and numeracy but the National way of doing it?
    nada.

  13. millsy 13

    I actually belive that National Standards are an excuse for something bigger.

    In ’84/’85 the British government realised that if it could break the coal miners union, it could do whatever in wanted in terms of kooky right wing policies.

    Same with Reagan and the air traffic controllers in ’81.

    National knows that if it can break the PPTA and the NZEI, then it has free reign to do what it pleases.

  14. Georgy 14

    Of course the National Standards are the pre cursor to something bigger. Tolley, as the puppet of John and Bill, herself would not understand this a little bit.

    It goes like this:
    -National Standards – data to Wellington, collated, analysed, – available to media – league tables – failing and successful schools – school closures and mergers – performance pay for teachers – public/private/partnerships – privatise schools – curriculum ‘free’ and fully focussed on passing tests -COMPLETE LOSS OF NZ PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM

    • millsy 14.1

      Yes. I agree that will come. But first the unions must be broken. Lange tried to do it when he rammed through Tommorrow’s Schools, and National almost did it when it picked up Picot’s recommendation of bulk funding and abolished zoning (these two had been ruled out by the Lange government.

  15. Sunny 15

    And after the public school system gets broken…in the wings stands Murdoch with his ‘interest’ in education. NZ as a test tube again

  16. Jan 16

    What matter evidence, overseas experience, history, the advice of professionals in the sector,consensus-sbuilding, helicopter perspective and educational outcomes.
    National knows best! Ergo Minister knows best – even in the confusion of the messenger with the message. Simple really. National knows best.

  17. Ed 17

    I am not clear on the number of primary schools that have rejected National Standards. Is this a quarter of all primary schools or just a quarter of State primary schools. Private schools are of course free to take up National Standards if they believe that is in the best interests of the children they teach. What proportion of private schools have adopted the scheme?

    • Georgy 17.1

      It is unlikely that any private schools have implemented unNational Standards. Professionals in the field could not possibly adopt such a flawed system of assessment using NZC, standardised tools and NSx that do not properly align. A few toadies of MinisterTolley of course have embraced them. At what cost to sound pedagogy is anybody’s guess. I cant imagine what ‘doing’ NSx actually looks like.

  18. Robbie 18

    I have been having conversations with people who don’t even talk about education but were very concerned about Anne Tolley in particular after hearing her speak on the radio. They described her as very self centred, arrogant and hell bent on implementing her way or the highway. Its sad that in this day and age the one thing you learn about managing people is that they work best when they have an input. Keep going Tolley things are falling around you.

    • Jum 18.1

      Robbie,

      What I want to know is what Key has promised Tolley if she just keeps taking the flak for his and Douglas’ failed ideology?

  19. millsy 19

    Don Brash is apparently going to give a speech about education on Monday.

    From what was implied in the blurb on scoop, it will be a return to bulk funding and a voucher system (though it might be one of this in all but name things).

    Remember, you break the New Zealand teachers unions, the country is yours. FACT.

  20. Jum 20

    Let’s keep our eyes on the ball here people – this government is out to destroy the teachers trying to protect their charges’ free and democratic education. Actual education has little to do with Tolley/Keys’ war on teachers and workers in general.

    Watch ‘A Civilised Society’; I watched it a few years ago and if I remember correctly Douglas and Richardson were behind the attempted corporatisation of our children’s schooling back in the 80s and the 90s. Douglas is retiring this year and Richardson is busy somewhere sucking out the life from everything that is good about community. Douglas is not quite finished yet. He wants to report back to his masters in the States and Key to his international democratic union that the schools are under corporate control and the training of our children for their conservative roles is set to begin.

    This NAct government intends to turn schools into freemarket competitive business silos, with everything on sale to people that like to extract profit to the detriment of our children.

    I have never minded healthy competition and see the need for a winning soccer team to be recognised as such and that when people lose they have learned valuable lessons to help them succeed. I also like that knighted businessmen/women have actually produced something, like Sir Ed who won personal fame on Mt Everest but won so much more (it’s called respect you NActMU bozos) when he started building schools overseas.

    No, this ‘competition’ that Key and co have in mind has very little to do with children’s educational, mental or physical or nutritional health or general well-being.

    His idea of competition is where a Fay/Richwhite clone acquires (finance talk for steals) a public transport asset, let’s say a train set; pulls it apart, gives some to his mates for some dosh which he hides overseas and then throws the broken train set back in the toy box, worthless and needing repairs from Mum and Dad – that’s the real Mums and Dads not Key and English’s ‘mums and dads’ who come from rats nests both here and abroad.

    If NActMU are back in after Nov 26 it will get much worse. This Douglas/Key government hates teachers because teachers are far more intelligent in their reasoning and caring for their pupils.

    When employers are deciding what our children should be learning and enforcing legislation through, such as the voluntary student union (fixing what wasn’t broke) and the selling of uni students’ university places for the big money from the international students, then our country’s children are valued less than money. There is nothing remotely civilised or truly educational about the Nats’ Standards on so many levels.

    I agree with Millsy; you break the teachers’ unions; you break the democracy of future New Zealanders. We owe it to the teachers to back them and our children’s futures and the courageous boards that look beyond the crap of Tolley.

  21. Billy-John 21

    Anne Tolley LOVES power and the trappings of Ministerialism (weekly hair do’s, new garish frocks, thick make-up, etc.). She is the antithesis of intelligent thought and argument. But take pity on the foot stamping, hapless woman. She’s only doing what’s she’s told to do by Bill and John, and they in turn are rewarding her by bestowing the flowers of Ministerial Office (control, power, hair dos, privileges, etc. etc.). She knows little about education and she shows well below standards of personal education. She simple mindlessly parrots the cliches her Ministry of Education pumps into her. What else do you expect from a highly ambitious politician with incapability and disregard for intelligent analysis, argument and in-your-face evidence.

    The major reason why so many kids in this country are failing to achieve has absolutely NOTHING to do with schools and national standards. It’s a deceitful public con. The truth is now out. The kids who struggle in school are the kids who are living in impoverished disadvantage – to a level that embarrassingly matches the worst in the western world. They are not in a fit state for learning at school It is pathetically silly and simple minded to think that National Standards will fix them. To believe this, you too would have to be very very thick or desperately politically ambitious.

    PS Have you noticed that Tolley is incapable of intelligent debate, and that she is “not available” when asked to debate the issues publicly in the media. for her to keep harking on that opposition is political is an obscenity of – which is her highest level of capability. If you, too, are silly enough to think that opposition to the National Standards system imposed by the Government is ‘unionism’ or ‘Labour “Party” politics, then you too are as simple or an manipulative as Tolley and her lot.

    New Zealand deserves intelligent, honest, informed leadership. You’ll never get that from Tolley. But for God’s sake – she’s Minister of Education. Can you believe that! It’s a an insult.

  22. Jum 22

    I believe Anne Tolley has sibling teachers and a relative by marriage that is the principal of a private school – private schools stand to gain from this government. What are they feeding her?

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  • Speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake
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