Published in THE ISSUES by frog on Sun, August 21st, 2011
Tags: general debate
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What could be nicer than a cold, clear, crisp winters day!
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“…If you think addiction is all about booze, drugs, sex, gambling, food and other irresistible vices, think again.
And if you believe that a person has a choice whether or not to indulge in an addictive behavior, get over it.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) blew the whistle on these deeply held notions -
- with its official release of a new document defining addiction as a chronic neurological disorder involving many brain functions -
- most notably a devastating imbalance in the so-called reward circuitry.
This fundamental impairment in the experience of pleasure literally compels the addict to chase the chemical highs produced by substances like drugs and alcohol -
- and obsessive behaviors like sex, food and gambling.
The definition, a result of a four-year process involving more than 80 leading experts in addiction and neurology -
- emphasizes that addiction is a primary illness—
- in other words, it’s not caused by mental health issues such as mood or personality disorders -
- putting to rest the popular notion that addictive behaviors are a form of “self-medication” to, say, ease the pain of depression or anxiety.
Indeed, the new neurologically focused definition debunks, in whole or in part, a host of common conceptions about addiction…”
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A warm clear summers day!
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What could be nicer than a cold, clear, crisp winters day!
Two cold, clear, crisp winter’s days?
I know yours wasn’t a question samiam, but a declaration and an encouragement and I will thanks!
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i almost hesitate to report that ak is basking….
..dogs are happily toasting themselves…
..it just goes on and on…
..i’m wondering if i shd pretend to be a climate-refugee from the sth island…
..and throw on a pair of shorts/jandals…
they are wont to do that at a hint of sunshine..poor devils..!
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and i mean fly..
..you do insist on living where you can see antarctica from yr front porch..
Beautiful day here on the Coast Phil, sunshine, doors all open, kids in T shirts.
And now we are heading to play in the snow, about an hours drive away, body boards loaded up, gloves and a hot brew.
There is no greater nation on earth for enjoying the outdoors than this fine land of ours. Where else can you go surfing and skiing in the same day?
Asshole of the Week Award – Gordon Brown
I had the displeasure of reading an article in the Taranaki Daily News today written by Gordon Brown. He’s rubbishing a report (PDF) prepared by Infometrics Ltd for Every Child Counts, a coalition of organisations led by Barnardos, Plunket, Unicef, Save the Children and Te Kahui Mana Ririki. Brown pretty much cover’s all the bases of ill informed opinion that we so often see from far right commentators…
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- words like “fallen” or “ultimate sacrifice.”
On one level, the avoidance of blunt language may be seen as a sign of respect -
- but on another, it is just one more evasion of responsibility.
There has been unusually wide (and for the most part supportive) reaction to my article of Aug, 7 on Afghanistan, “More U.S. Soldiers Die in Vain,” which was picked up by other websites as well.
One comment described a cartoon and struck me as particularly — if sadly — apt:..
… “Two lemmings were chatting while standing in the line to the cliff.
One says to the other, ‘Of course we have to go over the edge.
Anything else would dishonor all the lemmings that have gone before us.’”…”
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Too right Phil that’s what comes with people believing in an after life it’s all bu!!shit and for thousands of years the power elites have been playing on this delusion.
Most of these wars are promoted by false flag attacks like the 9/11 attack. There just a few anomalies here a couple of weeks before the Woeld Trade Towere belongd to the New York Port Authority the man who bought the lease only paid 14 million, after the attack his syndicate cashed in over 4 billion in insurance. Ref; http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/theydarenotspeakitsname
Who wouldn’t want to live with a view of the frozen continent Phil.
When I look up I can see Eternity!
‘eternity’ said frankie lee…with a voice as cold as ice..
‘that’s right ‘ said judas..’eternity..
..’tho you might call it paradise..’
on a more prosaic level..
..the same view from a slightly different/warmer angle…?
and…of course…the mammon-totem-pole that is the skytower…
..i’ll match that up against yr icebergs..
..and we get glimpses of the infinite from long times spent roasting in the sun..
..remember ‘the sun’..?
..you glimpse it for a couple of weeks most februarys…eh..?
..do you take pictures..?..
..to look at..?
..to see u thru the other 11 months of the year..?
david icke..?..david icke..?
“..At the heart of his theories lies the idea that the world is becoming a global fascist state -
- that a secret group of reptilian humanoids called the Babylonian Brotherhood controls humanity -
- and that many prominent figures are reptilian, including George W. Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Kris Kristofferson, and Boxcar Willie.…”
National Rail Safety Week has begun:
The emphasis is on the behaviour of people – particularly motorists – around railway lines, and quite rightly so. However I wonder whether Kiwi Rail have even considered whether it is possible to make the front end of their locomotives a bit more forgiving should an accident occur? I suspect not, although I believe that they are required to look at all practical mitigations, and should at least consider possible options in order to determine whether or not they are practical.
(more information for keith locke…and have you emailed him yet..valis..?..)
“…In March of this year, the US, France, Britain and their North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) allies launched military operations in Libya under the guise of a “humanitarian intervention”.
US diplomats and world leaders carelessly voiced unsubstantiated claims of an impending massacre in Benghazi.
You hear no such appeals to humanity while Nato, in the name of the rebels (whoever they are) -
- prepares to lay siege to Tripoli, a city of nearly 2 million people.
Libyan rebels are now advancing on the capital city of Tripoli with the aid of Nato strikes;…
… this is sure to result in a real bloodbath -
- as opposed to the one that was conjured in Benghazi this past winter.
Nato is assisting rebels who are blocking food, water and medical supplies from coming into the capital city -
- and is stopping those who need advanced medical care from travelling to Tunisia to access it.
Nato is bombing power stations, creating blackouts, and using Apache helicopters to attack Libyan police checkpoints to clear roads for rebels to advance.
Regardless of whether Muammar Gaddafi is ousted in coming days – the war against Libya has seen countless violations of United Nations security council resolutions (UNSCRs) by Nato and UN member states.
The funnelling of weapons (now being air-dropped) to Libyan rebels was – from the beginning of the conflict -
- in clear violation of UNSCR 1970.
The use of military force on behalf of the rebels – in an attempt to impose regime change – has undermined international law and damaged the credibility of the United Nations.
Countless innocent civilians have been killed – and Nato air strikes continue to place many at great risk.
So much for the humanitarian-inspired UNSCR 1973 as a means to protect civilians.
The people of Libya cannot take another month of such humanitarian intervention.
The leading donor nations of Nato – the US, France and Great Britain – have been free to prosecute war under the cloak of this faceless, bureaucratic, alphabet security agency – now multinational war machine -
- which can violate UN resolutions and kill innocent civilians with impunity.
War crimes trials are only for losers.
The prospective conquerors – the western powers and their rebel proxies
- will then expect to be able to assert control over Libya’s vast oil and natural gas reserves…”
(and all being done in the name of the green party..eh..?..with green party ‘support’..?
..any qualms yet..?..anyone..?..)
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norman has just done an excellent appearance on breakfast telly…
(should be worth a point or two..)
and far from me telling you how to do yr job..frog..
..you should really post it up here…
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phil, I’m not doing your job for you, but do keep reminding us how easy it would be to actually get a response from Keith if you only wanted to.
valis..you are making yrslf into a pettifogging-joke…
..why not focus on the actual issue…?
..imagine if you had engaged half the brainpower used in yr nagging..?
..(and you have been called a ‘nag’ before..eh..?..
..yr nagging and the pig-headedness of locke..
..seem made for each other..)
Are we really so naive as to think we’re immune to this ??
“NYU’s Nouriel ‘Dr. Doom’ Roubini: Social Unrest Will Spread”
It’s called general debate and I was trying to spark a raging disagreement.
When soldiers are killed – the politicians who sent them to their deaths typically use euphemisms…
Its not just politicians; the media use a carefully selected set of words to describe killing, depending almost entirely on who committed the act.
al jazeera stand particularly indicted as orcheastraters of this conflict…
..much of that media-manipulation/black-propaganda can be traced back to them…
what i am finding quite amazing..
..is that people who lived thru being led by the nose over iraq…
..and in some cases recognised/called that manipulation for what it was..
..are now believing the same bullshit from the same liars…
..and going one giant step further..
..endorsing/parroting/supporting those war-mongering lies..
..is this a combination of amnesia and loss of critical-faculties..?..
Like or Dislike: 2 2 (0)
Honestly, phil. Totally agree this is a waste of time. Thought the simple info I offered days ago was really uncontroversial and would just be accepted as such. You’re the one that turned this into it’s own thread. Since you don’t like my advice, why not just move on?
Destroyed by Forced Obsolescence
I watched a program about planned/forced obsolescence called The Light Bulb Conspiracy on the weekend. It documented the terrible consequences of our modern consumerist societies, the waste produced and how that waste is currently causing environmental problems that cannot continue to be ignored…
i understand that valis in urdu means blowfly…
..one who makes a lot of noise..
..but never says anything..
Like or Dislike: 1 5 (-4)
and of course libya is/was a colonial-construct…
..but the fact is that there are over 1200 tribes in libya…
..gaddafi held that together for forty years…
..and modernised the country to have the highest standard of living in the region…
..and that flag the rebels are waving…is the flag of the regime gadaffi took over in a bloodless coup..all those years ago…
..somehow i don’t think the next chapter of libya will be so settled/prosperous..
..(and has anyone else noted that the european powers are already squabbling over the oil war-spoils..?
..with italy..based on its’ colonial-ownership..
..claiming the oil is theirs..)
..and of course the european banksters will be happy…
..’cos this sees the death of the new tran-african bank gaddafi set up/financed..
..one that was to break the european banks’ stranglehold on the continent..
..by offering the poor countries in africa zero-interest development loans..
..but now the banksters can just tighten their grip..
..that challenge to their exploitation blown away…
..game ..set..and match..eh..?
..and keith locke will be pleased…
..seeing as he was so vociforous in his support of this cia-run coup..
..(it is an upside down world..isn’t it alice..?..)
Jane Clifton loses even more credibility as an impartial commentator with some total acceptance of Govt spin in he latest Listener column.
Like or Dislike: 2 1 (+1)
The Green Chain
I watched a great doco last weekend called The Green Chain, which was all about Sawmill Workers Against Poisons (SWAP), an organization comprised of and for people affected by chemical exposure in Sawmills and Pulp and Papermills…
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That’s what a relationship with Murray McCully does to you I suppose.
One for Sprout:
On your linked article you Quote Clifton as saying “Whatever one’s view of the national standards system in primary schools, it is the Government’s policy. Teachers are the Government’s employees, so they must implement it.”
Which is absolutely correct, as far as I can see.
Now it may be that the national standards are indeed all the things you say in your reply, in particular, “The introduction of National’s National Standards is an appalling waste of money and teacher’s time that will deliver nothing positive and are already having a negative impact on our schools and children”, but that being true does nothing to alter the statement that Clifton made.
The basic principle is that you cant win two battles at once. If you use disagreement with a policy to not implement that policy, then you get hammered on the failure to implement policy. Any detail about the rights and wrongs of the policy are lost.
So all the citizenary are seeing is that the schools are doing a bad job by failing to implement national standards that parents have been promised. No-one cares if the standards are good or bad.
Its the same as the Infringing File-sharing law. You can argue that it is wrong, but you cant make that argument whilst you’re breaking the law. You’ve already lost the battle.
Shooting oneself in the foot is always a bad gambit.
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dbuckley, you ignore the role of school boards in the decision making on roll out of national standards.
In fact the attempt to impose on all schools a system of this sort (when this is not done in senior secondary school – their NCEA exams are not compulsory) is inconsistent with other moves towards school vouchers and greater independence for schools (parents via boards) and parents on school choice.
Most people don’t have trouble with civil disobediance. Which is why they don’t dob in cannabis smokers or movie downloaders. Most people see such things as a matter of individual conscience, or even as a collective norm. People with a problem with parking tickets don’t think they have to demand that parking officers be more efficient in implementing fines to be credible. The only people who place any weight on the “oh, but you must be legal if you are going to have you objections taken seriously” are a tiny (albeit vocal) minority of comfy liberals who are enamoured with the supposed equality and morality of state power.
According to your argument, the US south would never have been desegregated (because MLK and his supporters ignored segregation laws), the US would never have pulled out of Viet Nam (because US citizens against the war would still have joined up and fought as effectively as the could), the French resistance would still be called terrorists and Nelson Mandela would be considered a common criminal.
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dbuckley – while it’s true that teachers are the Government’s employees, so they should implement programmes as instructed, teachers can refuse, as they have, and take the battle from that point. If they are willing (and it seems they are) to inflame the argument rather than comply, then a new situation develops. The Government is forced to ‘heavy-hand’ teachers and while you might say the ‘citizens’ will rally behind the Government, I don’t think that will be the case. The teachers, I’m assuming, are willing to try their luck with the people of New Zealand and gain a lot, I believe, by standing up to blunt ideology, as expressed through Anne Tolley, and relying on professional advice to counter her (and Key’s ‘bullish’ behaviour.)
It is certainly not true, or at least is debatable, that “all the citizenary are seeing is that the schools are doing a bad job by failing to implement national standards that parents have been promised. No-one cares if the standards are good or bad.”
The battle here is with what the ‘citizenry’ see and empathise with and if the teachers can show that in fact the standards are not of value, they casn win the battle for support from the public. That the dispute has lasted this long is sign that it’s not one that can be suppressed by National’s zero-tolerance’ approach. Myself, I trust sprouts experience and research over Tolley’s dumbed-down approach every time. I’d love to see the two debating the issue.
‘Moderation’ Froggy my dear old friend?
‘Your comment is awaiting moderation’
Was it something I said?
Whereas I agree with much of what Joe and SPC say, the situations are different.
Joe, you, as an individual, have a choice as to whether you drink or not. An employee is (broadly) required to do what he is directed to do.
In the case of the national standards thing, the people who own education on our behalf – the government – have issued a directive, and thus it should be implemented. The government are our representatives. They have said – on our behalf – we’re having national standards.
School boards don’t get to override government directives.
Now if we don’t agree with what our government is doing on our behalf, we have routes available for us, from writing to the MP, to not voting for them at the next election. These are our democratic choices.
By way of another example, the government has decreed that the driving age is raised and the youngster alcohol tolerance has been reduced. If you don’t agree with these things, and you happen to be a yewf, driving under aged without a licence whilst intoxicated would not be regarded by most people as justified as a reaction to government policy. It is an individual response, but one most would consider inappropriate. In the case of personal responses, the line is sometimes fine.
MLK, Madela et al are different because the action was taken by citizens, not government employees. Employees don’t get to be civil disobenients, they are simply bad (probably not the right word, disloyal maybe?) employees in need of disciplinary proceedings.
dbuckley- The reason why many tyrants rule successfully for long periods of time is because good people feel compelled to be obedient to authority despite the stupidity of anything they do. Throughout history it has been those who refuse to comply with stupid laws that eventually sparks change. The actions of our school communities should be regarded as no different to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat. The implementation of National Standards involves the imposition of a “one size fits all” assessment on young developing children based on arbitrary standards that don’t recognize normal stages of child development. They will stigmatise children as failures before they can even establish themselves as independent learners and their narrow focus ignores the breadth of our national curriculum and the wide ranging talents children children have. They have taken money away from programmes that genuinely make a difference to struggling learners and have knocked the guts out of our amazing curriculum, just as it was being successfully introduced into schools. If doctors were told to follow a course of treatment that they know will have a negative effect on their patients the ethical nature of their profession would compel them to refuse, it is no different for teachers.
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My experience is that most people do not see the state, or an elected government, as paramount, and do not see teachers as primarily accountable to the government. They see teachers as accountable to the parents or the community – the government just happens to pay the teachers’ wages, on our behalf with our tax dollars.
I don’t know where you get the idea that people see employees differently (again, I suspect this is limited to the comfy liberals I referred to above). Most people are themselves employees and do not see this status as diminishing ethical behaviour. If employees act from ethical convictions that people agree with, most people (again excepting the comfy liberals and a few weird people who think employers own employees) see that as a good thing. Hence whistle-blowers, or people refusing to comply with unethical policies, get support.
What I am unclear about is whether you are saying that YOU think employees should always do as directed (as you seem to be saying in your last comment)- and ethics and democracy should be kept out of the workplace – or whether the “citizenary” think this (your earlier comment). My experience is that most people (to use a cliche: someone I met at the pub) don’t think employees are exempt from ethical decisions in their workplaces. Most people see things much more simply – if you’ve got such a problem with it just don’t do it, as much in the workplace or anywhere else. Complaining about something but going along with it because it is your employer’s policy is seen as wimping out.
One of the issues with turning this into an ethics issue is that you are implying that implementing a system that produces failures is unethical. Yet we know a significant chunk of kids come out of school illiterate and innumerate, which by any person’s measure would be a failure of teh education system. So where are these ethics you refer to that compel you to refuse to implement NS, when year in and out you are quite happy to work in a system that produces these failures? It seems a slightly selective dose of ethics.
And to compare resistance to national standards with segregation is ridiculous.
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sprout says “Insider-Stigmatising or labeling children as young as five as failures by some arbitrary measure is a form of discrimination or segregation to me”
If you’re doing that you should be sacked.
Because the guidelines for National Standards give strong direction to NEVER give assesments in those terms.
If you don’t know that ONE AND A HALF YEARS after the standards have been introduced, you should be replaced.
Like or Dislike: 2 5 (-3)
maori television is showing ‘the hollow men’ on sunday nite…
National’s Social Media Failure
Yesterday Bomber Bradbury over at Tumeke had a great post about the way political parties use Facebook to communicate with the people they’re representing. There were some clear winners, which was great to see. Not only has the left wing embraced social media effectively, they actively communicate with people to gauge what the public thinks…
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They are however, expensive of teacher’s time and not without other costs, which the State takes out of resources available to the schools… and the application of those standards will cause labeling and self-labeling with or without the participation of the teacher.
A lot of effort chasing a phantom. The problem isn’t that teachers are horrible (though there are always a few). The problem is that there is a large difference between the resources available to the students in a decile 10 vs a decile 1 school.
We can do better… but the best thing we might try to do would be to work on the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots… which is EXACTLY and diametrically opposed to the philosophies underpinning this National led government.
National supporters aren’t (most of them) aware of their errors or their biases. “No man is evil in his own mind”… but despite their good-intentions they are building a road to hell.
What, ANOTHER road?
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bj – so you want to improve the education of our children, but not actually measure if what we’ve done has made things better or worse….
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What I don’t get sprout, is that you said that this is an ethical issue because NS labels people as failures (even though the guidance notes are quite clear othat you shouldn’t do this) yet you see no ethical conflict in working in a system actually producing children who fail to read and write. So is it right to infer that teacher-led failure is ethically acceptable to you, whereas tolley-led labeling is not?
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Which is why, Photonz1 & Insider, that many schools are refusing to do it. According to a Ministry reporting template we have to state that children from the age of five are either; above the standard, at the standard, below the standard or well below the standard. So if children who are above the standard are succeeding then children who are below the standard are f……? I myself would never use the F word when describing a child but to having to even indicate that they are makes my blood curdle, so I won’t! There is a big difference between telling parents their child is working “at the lower end of their age band” compared with “below the standard”, especially when that standard has no basis in research or makes any allowances for developmental variabilities.
Here is a press release where the Minister talks about failing children: http://www.avisglaze.ca/images/Advisory-group.pdf
It is her language not mine.
Why are you getting antsy about the words you are interpolating? The only person mentioning success or failure is you, not the ministry nor tolley, even though the instructions are quite clear. And Im not sure how they are materially different catagorisations than ‘Not achieved’, ‘merit’, etc. Do you have the same problem with kid doing music exams, or speech exams or dance exams? I’m struggling to see the ethical issue you are grappling with around NS. Is it just that you simply don’t like them?
sprout – The standards specifically say to never report in terms like failure.
No different to what’s been happening for years with previous and other current assessment systems.
So why will teachers suddenly be labelling kids failures under national standards, but not under previous assessment systems?
Any teacher that does that should be sacked.
Insider and Photonz1 I admire your blind faith in your Minister whose understanding and background in education is limited. Lester Flockton on the other hand is a respected educationalist who has spent most of his life teaching and studying how children learn.
sprout – as a parent, who pays tax for my childrens education (and your wages) I beleive I have a right to know how well my child is doing against a nationally assessed standard. That way I can help my children in any areas where they need extra help.
You believe I have no right to know this information about my own child.
And you say this is best for my child.
It is obvious that you don’t have my child’s best intersts at heart.
You have your own political ambitions at heart.
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sprout says “I admire your blind faith in your Minister….”
No – not blind faith. We’ve actually USED the standards for the last year and a half.
Standards have provided additional motovation for our children to improve. They’re keen to achieve the standards by years-end and now they read much more and do more things like computer maths games, etc.
And the additional reporting to parents that’s required under national standards have given us new ideas and learning activities, which have helped our kids even more.
In the real world I’ve seen my kids progress faster because of National Standards, and then I compare that to your doom and gloom theory about the sky falling in.
It is obvious that photo doesn’t have his child’s best interests at heart as he is obsessed with them being beTTer than otHers over a narrow range of subject areas rather than allowing them to find thEir potential through a broad curriculum framework.
so you want to improve the education of our children, but not actually measure if what we’ve done has made things better or worse….
I didn’t say THAT, did I…
Photonz, the schools were testing the kids already. The NZ education system was producing graduates whose skills made them employable around the world… and their regular departure for other parts of the world has unsettled us for decades.
OK to measure the results too, but THAT doesn’t require the imposition of THIS system. Not much WOULD require it that I can think of…. except a bloody-minded desire to impose discipline and produce a uniform product best suited for uniforms.
I’m not impressed by the process by which it was imposed, and the suspicion that someone is more interested in punishing the teachers rather than paying attention to the actual needs of the kids, is strong. Most of the teachers were in favor of some standards and were willing to work through the process of developing something useful, testing it and getting it in place. That wasn’t what happened.
In the real world I’ve seen my kids progress faster because of National Standards
How on on earth would you measure THAT Photonz? You have no control, there’s been no trial and the development of kids changes from year to year. You haven’t done an experiment, simply assumed a result. What would they have done without the imposition of these costs on the schools?
See, you go to bed and the thread moves on.
The only stone I wish to overturn is that the issue of standards or not standards is not a moral nor ethical issue. It is a disagreement between some in the teaching profession and their management.
All organisations of any size from a two person partnership to biggies like McD or Microsoft have processes for managing disagreements, which usually results in decisions heading “up the line”. And when the decision is taken, it is a decision for the organisation which all staff are expected to honour. Thats the way organisations work.
If it were a moral or ethical issue I would have a different viewpoint. But the issue of national standards is just that, an issue, a disagreement.
Going to places many wont want to go, as I’ve said before, and some even agree with me, we have too many people for the number of jobs we have, and that situation isn’t going to get significantly better, its a trend downwards. Thus at some point, we are going to have to focus our resources towards excellence, rather than mediocraty. Maybe national standards are a step in that direction.
solka says “than allowing them to find thEir potential through a broad curriculum framework.”
You show you don’t know what you are talking about – our curriculum hasn’t changed at all.
BJ says “Photonz, the schools were testing the kids already.”
They were using several different standards – some weren’t using any, and some weren’t testing at all. Some were doing little or no reporting to parents, with years between reports to boards of trustees.
BJ asks “How on on earth would you measure THAT Photonz?”
It’s blatantly obvious that the extra reading and maths that our children are doing at home because they’re motovated to achieve the standards has lead to huge progress.
And they’ve gone from “working towards the standards”, last year to exceeding the standards this year.
I know you are desperate for children to fail under national standards, but the opposite is happening.
Could not agree more. It truly is depressingly staggering.
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