Tolley’s road tour

Written By: - Date published: 12:54 pm, March 2nd, 2010 - 22 comments
Categories: education - Tags: ,

Two guest contributions on Anne Tolley’s last ditch bid to sell national standards:

I’ve just been to a meeting with Anne Tolley on National Standards.

She said they consulted widely. ‘11,000 submissions’ she said.

A Principal replied he’d been invited to one meeting in which they were told what the standards were and when they would start. Teachers were ‘consulted’ by being invited to make submissions in writing or on the web. No feedback, no discussion.

She again said they had no intention of publishing ‘league tables’ but to a question replied, ‘no we can’t stop others, like the media, producing the tables’.

Up to now I thought the ‘Democracy under Threat’ was just a slogan. No more.


If you want your chance to quiz Tolley and you live in West Auckland your chance is on Thursday but it sounds like the Nats would rather you didn’t come:

Anne Tolley and Paula Bennett are are holding a public meeting in West Auckland on Thursday March 4, 2010 at 6:30 pm at 429 Great North Road, Henderson which is Bennett’s office.

They cannot be expecting many people. Not booking a hall is amazing as my impression of her office is that it is really small.

I have not seen any billboards about the meeting and only the one advertisement in the Western Leader.

Key did say on February 3, 2010 (Beehive notes) that ‘over the next few weeks, National Party MPs will be holding public meetings up and down the country to talk directly to parents about this important policy. I also encourage you to attend one of these meetings in your local electorate.’

They don’t seem to be very keen to meet parents.


22 comments on “Tolley’s road tour”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    A nationwide tour of their own MPs offices.


  2. Pat 2

    Bennett’s office has a boardroom, so I guess that is where the meeting will be held. It used to be a Harcourts office, so it was adapted for large(ish) meetings.

  3. Julie 3

    The Maungakiekie ones are as follows:

    Thursday 11th March 5pm – 6pm at Onehunga Community Centre, 83 Church St
    Thursday 11th March 7pm – 8pm at Panmure Community Hall, 7-13 Pilkington Rd

    Haven’t seen any advertised at all for Mt Roskill (which is my ‘hood) so I’ll be going to one of these instead.

  4. MikeG 4

    “Comments will be closed on 1 April 2010.” (at bottom of this post)

    That seems very appropriate!

  5. speed meetings 5

    wow a whole hour, minus settling time, protracted introductions, interjections and the patsy questions means maybe a whole 9 minutes for Tolley to bluff her way through

  6. Paul 6

    If Tolley comes to Northland she will be fortunate to escape alive. The Principals group here are up in arms about National Standards and rightly so. Schools are largely Maori, there is a large proportion of decile 1 schools, the country stops at Albany – bugger all special education funding, a stuffed MOE office in Whangarei. Add this all together and you get a relegation battle in league tables!

    • Tiger Mountain 6.1

      Agree Paul. She will probably have Hone Carter attempting to hold her hand though or at least as flak catcher, though Mr Carter is mostly used to just loyalists turning up at his meetings. There is one idiot at Taipa area school but most principals are on side with the principals group and NZEI.

      • Paul 6.1.1

        Something a bit worrying is just how many schools are opposed enough to say no. The NZEI and PPTA need to really clarify this so that Principals/Boards have the comfort of not being alone.

  7. I blogged about this at

    The contrast between the advertising that was done in 2008 and now is astounding. Back then there was wall to wall billboards, now there is no sign of them.

    In the latest Western Leader there is a second advertisement in a much more prominant position, on page two. This paper is being printed today and should be delivered to most of the city by …. Thursday night.

  8. tc 8

    Sounds alot like Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy where the impending destruction of earth was notified and filed at Alpha Centari a few hunderd years prior…….not the Vogon’s fault that you can’t get there or didn’t know it was notified.

    What a cowering bunch of gutless ministers we have……if it’s such a great policy then promote it and explain what $23m does when there’s NO extra actual testing ……so that’s alot of dosh to collate /tabulate what’s already there……geez Excel’s expensive these days.

    • Bright Red 8.1

      “Sounds alot like Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy where the impending destruction of earth was notified and filed at Alpha Centari a few hunderd years prior .not the Vogon’s fault that you can’t get there or didn’t know it was notified.”

      What does the Vogon say when the humans say they’ve never even been to Alpha Centauri? Something like ‘well, if you can’t be bothered keeping up with local issues, I’ve no sympathy’.


      • mickysavage 8.1.1

        Yeah Hitchikers and Monty Python contain many gems that can be applied to current political discourse and show the actions of the right wing for the crap that it really is.

  9. Paul 9

    From the Western Leader

    Ms Tolley says there will be no rethink on the scheme and disputes any suggestion it might have damaging effects on low performers.

    “There is no time for a trial,” she says. “We cannot continue to let one in five of our children leave school without the basic reading, writing and maths skills they need to succeed.

    “No good teacher would label a child as a failure, and this government believes every pupil has potential.”

    But me I’m happy to label 20% of all children and 30% of all teachers as failures added Mrs Tolley.

    • Dan 9.1

      The fundamental contradiction is that the national standards are meant to identify the poor achievers so they can be helped to a higher level. However the means by which they are helped is that the students are labelled failures, there is miniscule money to help them, and their teachers are labelled as incompetent. Go figure!

  10. greenfly 10

    Throw as much mud as you like at Anne Tolley, but remember, the real target is John Key and the National Party. Making Tolley cry would be a hollow victory if it brought no change.
    Aim at Key. Having Tolley fold gives us nothing. There will always be another of her ilk in the wings to be shoved out into the limelight to take the flack.
    To argue the details is, I believe, pointless. Tossing around claims about ‘30% of teachers’ is National’s way of obscuring and deflecting action from us. Tell Tolley and Key, “NO”.
    Tell them, “We see through your nonsense and THIS is what we are going to do”.

  11. coolas 11

    At the Napier meeting last night Tolley talked about the 30% of teachers who were ‘below standard’ as coming from an ERO report from December 2009.

    I looked it up today and the title is ‘Reading and Writing in Years 1 and 2’.
    Here it is: (hop that works as a link)

    So disingenuous to say ‘30% of teachers are not performing’ when this is what it says in the report, ‘the remaining 30 percent of teachers had little or no sense of how critical it was for children to develop confidence and independence in early reading and writing. These teachers had minimal understanding of effective reading and writing teaching, set inappropriately low expectations and did not seek opportunities to extend their own confidence in using a wider range of teaching practices. In these classrooms learning opportunities to motivate, engage or extend children were limited.’

    Surely the resources should go into professional development for those teachers, and pay outs for those who are beyond change.

    • Coolas

      You should read the body of the report and then compare this with the executive summary and then wonder where the ERO got its information from and then worry about Tolley’s spin on it.

      The comments section from a post from about a month ago gives it a good fisk.

      The body of the report says that 90% of schools are doing an adequate to excellent job. I cannot reconcile this and I am sure that Tolley cannot.

      Perhaps the funding should go into professional development for the Minister, IMHO she really needs it.

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