Catherine Delahunty
Vandals at the Gate – A Global Education Update

Last week I attended a lecture by David Robinson from the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) about the state of global education. The main focus was on the tertiary sector but it was also relevant to all levels of education and the news was not good. David pointed out that despite internationally consistent rhetoric about the value of education teachers are not being treated as valuable. There is a huge rising demand for tertiary education which has seen a 53% increase in student demand around the world since 2000. However the marketisation and casualisation of the education sector is not working well for quality and equality in education.

The “tenure to taxicab” phenomena in the US means that 75% of US academic staff are now non-permanent and they rush from job to job trying to supplement part time work with contracts from several institutions. There is downward pressure on salaries especially in the public sector and attacks on academic freedom and collective bargaining. Education sector people have seen pay cuts across Europe including of 15% in Ireland. Meanwhile “cross border” franchising of courses and e learning coincide with large classes and a lack of qualified teachers. There is now a virtual marking service for teachers as education becomes just another product on a global chain of consumerism.

The graphs David Robinson showed us these trends are very marked and are combined with an increase in control over teaching and research, managerialism and “academic productivity”. The endless assessment culture is being challenged by educators like Dian Ravitch who once championed. Charter Schools for George Bush but now calls for a recognition of educational integrity and what cannot be counted!

We are struggling with the league table dimension of National Standards but the horse has long bolted in USA where country and world rankings of schools become a proxy for quality.

One of the fascinating comparisons David made was with the subprime mortgage meltdown as universities in the US are now enrolling homeless people who never attend school to bring in more cash. However the United Kingdom is way ahead with student vouchers replacing teaching grants.

The United Kingdom model is based on ideology not results and the ideology is that direct Government funding of education is wrong! The public benefits of a fair public education system have been replaced by political incorrect gone mad!

However on a note of hope David Robinson spoke of the need to listen to voices such as that of Drew Faust of Harvard University who said recently that education was extremely valuable “for its own sake”!

107 thoughts on “Vandals at the Gate – A Global Education Update

  1. …despite internationally consistent rhetoric about the value of education…

    We’re in a somewhat different and worrysome position in New Zealand. We know from the OECD report that unlike most other places in the world, in New Zealand there is no financial benefit to getting tertiary education, and therefore one can assume that there is no value placed on education.

    This leaves more questions than answers.

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  2. Catherine says “We are struggling with the league table dimension of National Standards…”

    This is nothing more than fearmongeriong, but I’m sure you know that.

    We’ve had four local schools lose so many pupils in the last year or so that they’ve had to close, and another has lost 80% of it’s pupils and may also close.

    Parents who care about their kids education are always going to send them to the best school they can. This happens now. And always has.

    But Catherine would like to mislead people into thinking that in the future, if children are pulled out of a school, all the blame can be put on National Standard “league tables”.

    When you try keep our children in schools that are poorly managed and have poor results, by hiding those facts – you do not have our childrens best interests at heart – in fact just the opposite.

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  3. There is no doubt the education level of standard decreases the worldwide and India is the most ineffectual country among them. According to recent survey Indian students are poor in study standard and they ranked the second last from the bottom. This all is due to lack facilities for teachers and assuming the Job of teaching as 3rd grade. Very nich article Catherine, you pointed out a significant topic…….

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  4. So do you have a problem with charter schools that do not have to follow set curriculum, let alone national standards etc?

    dbuckley, “we” get rewarded when “we” do OE – so we can afford the house when “we” return home. Besides it’s not as if there is a high minimum wage, or guarantee of a job with a living wage without having some qualification.

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  5. SPC: Thats the point. A tertiary qualification in New Zealand is getting to be mandatory, so there is no salary premium associated with it.

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  6. Thanks for your continued advocacy for the protection of our struggling education system, Catherine. The struggle is nothing to do with inherent flaws but from ideological attacks from those who do not value the professional voice. We are heading to a situation where education policy and practice will be dictated by nonprofessional administrators, driven by unsupported data rather than qualitative evidence.
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/high-stakes-assessments-fail.html

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  7. Photonz1-I challenge you again to find three people with any professional credibility who support the current National Standards, I await your response (or lack of) with great interest. ;-)

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  8. Tolley?
    Key?
    Parata?
    Joyce?
    English?
    Brownlee?
    Collins?
    Banks?

    Too hard, bsprout. They’ve got nothin’.

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  9. (Sorry. She’s gardening, not education. My bad. That leaves…photonz1?
    What have you got?
    )

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  10. Um…they did have John Hattie but he is very unreliable. His claim that teachers, not class size, makes the biggest difference to learning has been enthusiastically embraced, however, the fickle fellow went and joined Lester Flockton and others with their open letter against the standards. John Hattie was their “key” education advisor.

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  11. sprout says “:Photonz1-I challenge you again to find three people with any professional credibility who support the current National Standards, I await your response (or lack of) with great interest.”

    I know you like to think there is vast opposition to National Standards, but even the ERO report as far back as May last year stated that the picture painted by a vooal minority against NS, was completely different to the reality on the ground where there was a positive picture of NS being implemented in 90% of schools.
    http://nssag.minedu.govt.nz/media-release-ero-report-4-may-2011/

    The advisory group is stacked with many education experts who support the standards, as well as others like the head of NZ school trustees association. http://nssag.minedu.govt.nz/who-we-are/

    And Sir Paul Grant, famous for turning around a failing London school
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/3481911/Sir-backs-national-standards-in-schools

    And literary specialist and Professor of Education, Tom Nicholson.
    http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=91B8B8CA-96BF-57FE-A10B-48E307E5D446

    We are now in the third year of National Standards at our school, and all your fearmongersing that there will be great disaster and catastrophe because of NS is laughable.

    The sky has not fallen in. Our children, parents and teachers are more motivated than ever to for the pupils to achieve the standards.

    Previous to National Standards, ERO found that 49% of primary schools were “generally ineffective at reporting achievement information to parents”

    If children were having problems, their parents were either not told, or mislead, as previous to NS 98% of pupils were being given positive reports for achievement.

    As has been noted previously, those staunchly against NS have a top priority of scoring political points – our children’s education is just collateral damage to them.

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  12. So Photonz1 you have advanced the following as credible professional voices:

    The National Standards Sector Advisory Group was initially supported by NZEI as we thought it may be a genuine forum to address the flaws in the Standards and that there would be real collaboration with the teaching sector. Sadly this was not the case, the sole focus is the implementation alone not addressing the many anomalies or flaws with the system itself. NZEI left in frustration. Who is left in the group who has any professional status? The claim that “90 per cent of schools were either well prepared or had preparation under way to work with the National Standards” is a joke as we all know a huge number of schools have been forced into implementing the standards under the threat of having their boards sacked.

    Sir Paul Grant did come to New Zealand to speak in favor of National Standards systems but he is speaking from an English perspective where their education system is well behind ours: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/dec/07/uk-schools-slip-world-rankings
    The UK is ranked at 25th and dropping, while New Zealand is in the top five. Also Sir Paul is very critical of our Government’s intention of allowing league tables to be published and he states: “Everybody knows that the state of the school is largely determined by your intake,” he said. Even when league tables took account of the educational “added value” pupils received at a school, they did not reflect pupils’ sporting ethos, participation in community projects, ability to work in teams, and other desirable qualities.” Which is also a key concern of NZEI but has been ignored.

    OK, Photonz1, in Tom Nicholson you do indeed have a New Zealand academic who is a supporter of National Standards. But as to his professional standing in the educational community, I had never really heard of him before you provided a link. The Government must be really pleased to have found him after their original advisor, John Hattie walked away from them and joined our most respected academics in their condemnation.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10611565

    And now we even have Margaret Wu, one of the world’s most respected authority on assessment expressing concerns: http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/high-stakes-assessments-fail.html

    I concede that you have achieved partial success in my challenge photonz1, I asked for three people with high professional standing who support the Standards and you found one real New Zealand academic with some status, a successful principal from a country 20 places behind us who gives partial support and an advisory group set up by the past Minister that includes the academic previously mentioned and the School Trustees Association that doesn’t have the confidence of many boards (Canterbury boards withdrew their membership and many others are considering the same). A good effort but it took you some time to scrape them up.

    I could now list the many academics who would disagree with Tom, the 750 principals who voted no confidence, the Parliamentary Library report that Minister Tolley buried, the 250 boards of Trustees that made a stand until they were bullied into submission, Practically all the principals in Invercargill who sent an open letter to Anne Tolley, the petition with almost 40,000 signatures that demanded a trial, the New Zealand Council for Educational Research report that expressed concerns and the damning review from the Prime Minister’s own office of the inadequacies of the Ministry of Education implementation of the Standards…but I think it it would be pointless.

    By the way, if Tom Nicholson has so much standing in the education community why isn’t he fronting the implementation? He should have been sent down here in Invercargill to help our principals see the light.

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  13. sprout says “A good effort but it took you some time to scrape them up.”

    No – 30 secs on google gave pages of results.

    sprout tries to belittle Professor Nicholson by saying “But as to his professional standing in the educational community, I had never really heard of him before you provided a link.”

    That probably says more about your knowledge on the subject than his – Professor Nicholson

    - has an impressive list of close to 200 publications, many of which have appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals.

    - has published more than 20 books, some of which have become set texts for undergraduate and postgraduate university classes in many countries.

    - teaches in the Master of Literacy Education programme and in the Graduate Diploma in Teaching programme at Albany and contributes to various other programmes

    - runs three reading clinics in the Auckland region aimed at helping children who have reading and spelling difficulties.

    - has been elected to the Reading Hall of Fame based in the United States, whose membership is strictly limited to experts with an international reputation in the profession and who have made major contributions in the area of publications and research.

    Because of all the fuss kicked up, our board of trustees was quite skeptical of NS. However they’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response from parents and now realise all the fuss was nothing more than fearmongering.

    1/ Kids will be labeled failures was nonsense. It’s no different to any other previous assessment.

    2/ League tables will mean poorly performing schools will struggle for numbers. Already happens. Several local schools have closed in the last year because they have performed poorly and lost numbers. Even the Mongrel Mob pulled their kids out of one school.

    Under National Standards schools are required to report properly to parents, unlike previously when 49% of schools, according to ERO, had
    “generally ineffective at reporting achievement information to parents”

    And schools failed to notify parents of any problems their children were having as pretty much all children – 98% – were given positive reports for achievement.

    If you are honest what your union is really interested in is protecting bad teachers – not childrens achievement.

    Hell – it’s so bad we even have known child sex offenders working as teachers, and everyone knows and protects them except the parents and the children.

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  14. Yes, Photonz1, but Prof. Nicholson is still only one academic and your two other examples were rather shaky. One just includes a hand picked group that includes the same man and another is just as critical of the worrying potential use of NS as NZEI is.

    And again if Prof Nicholson is such a respected academic, and the only one really supporting the Standards, why isn’t he out selling them to schools?

    I find your claims that teachers and NZEI protect child sex offenders who may work in schools highly offensive and inaccurate. How about reading some facts before you slander my profession in such a malicious way:http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/media-fuels-anti-teacher-hysteria.html

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  15. Greenfly-Wallowing in the muck can be cathartic, I am told, and it has been some time since I have done so with Photonz1. It is interesting how reason and logic still can’t remove the muck from his eyes, it’s poor quality but it sticks fast. ;-)

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  16. When photonz1 says:

    When you try keep our children in schools that are poorly managed and have poor results, by hiding those facts – you do not have our childrens best interests at heart – in fact just the opposite.

    How the hell can you, Sprout, say:

    It is interesting how reason and logic still can’t remove the muck from his eyes

    Just what exactly is so unreasonable about photonz1′s statement?

    I am convinced it is you, Sprout, that is blinded by ideology and quite happy to allow my kids to be disadvantaged as part of your commitment to it.

    Things have been exposed in our local primary school that have been sitting unresolved for years, the local (only) high school is finally being forced to sort their appalling record out.

    How is this a bad thing?

    The Education system has been a hiding place for incompetence for too long, and I welcome the de-politicising of our schools and the reduction of experimental unproven left wing crap that has oh so permeated the system.

    It’s over folks and not before time.

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  17. Shunda, i have no idea what you are talking about regarding your school and I am concerned that ERO wasn’t aware of an underlying situation for many years. How an assessment system (NS) that relies on the unmoderated judgments of the teachers in the school will solve “unresolved” problems beats me.

    Your suggestion that that our primary schools are politicized and full of “experimental, unproven, leftwing crap” was very interesting as this seems to have supported our system into the top five in the OECD, twenty places ahead of the UK and over 30 above the US.

    If the education system is a hiding place for incompetence then how do we regard the police or journalists who have many times more complaints per member than teachers?

    Perhaps you should go out and start your own Charter School, Shunda, and then you can dictate the sort of education system you want and make sure you have no political, left-wingers on the staff. You could even pay them a pittance and ensure that the current evidence and research that guides most teachers has no influence with them. Perhaps then you will be happy.

    I still take exception to Photonz1′s accusation that the system and other teachers protects child molesters in schools and I am disappointed that you would support him in this.

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  18. It is true, there are crap teachers. I suffered some at school, and my kids (in a school a lifetime away in time and space) got a few crap teachers too.

    Someone needs to figure out how to solve this problem.

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  19. As a teacher for over 30 years I have found the professionalism of teachers and the expectations put on them has grown considerably over that time. We recently had a very enthusiastic young Hong Kong teacher staying with us and after spending time in some of our schools she was blown away with the quality of teaching practice and the independence of our children.

    In Hong Kong the children focus heavily on literacy and numeracy and have regular tests to see if they are meeting the standards. She said in Hong Kong children are pressure cooked by parents to do well and many have extra coaching, but the children are not creative or independent learners and she said children here seem to actually understand things a lot more.

    I would never say that all our teachers are great or that our system is perfect but we generally do better than most. When I was in the UK, I just had to say a was from NZ and jobs appeared, such is our standing over there. This is also confirmed by Cactus Kate http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.co.nz/2011/10/tolley-spits-on-teachers.html

    Sometimes all under performing teacher also aren’t as they seem, in my career I have had special ceremonies organized by parents to thank me for what they viewed as exceptional teaching. I also remember when our children were babies, my wife was struggling and i was trying to manage a senior position in a school on five hours or less sleep a night my teaching suffered. Many parents probably viewed me as a useless teacher. I have also had to support teachers who supposedly had competency issues only to find they were just starting their careers yet had a class of difficult children an experienced teacher would struggle with.

    There are no easy, quick fix solutions to solve the problems of under performing teachers, but I would say that sacking most of our school advisors, cutting the ministry’s budget by $25 million and throwing National Standards into the mix (just as we were attempting to implement our wonderful National Curriculum) hasn’t helped.

    I have noticed that within my son’s age group (he’s just started university) few looked at teaching because the hours are long, the job is very demanding and the pay is a fraction of what a policeman or woman can earn with only 6 months training. Teaching can be very rewarding job but the pressures on teachers are increasing by the day.

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  20. As a teacher for over 30 years I have found the professionalism of teachers and the expectations put on them has grown considerably over that time.

    I hardly expect you to say anything different, the left do not criticise their own, even to their own hurt.

    The thing that annoys me about your statement is that you seem to think that being an ‘insider’ somehow equates to greater authority on the subject. You forget that anyone that has been through the education system has spent the best part of 13 years of their life ‘dealing’ with teachers, and then (like me) has kids currently in the system.
    Interestingly enough, for me it wasn’t until relatively recently that I understood why certain teachers were/are so bad, there is a perspective that one can only get in adult years.

    I am now convinced that my education was derailed by poor secondary school teachers, I am not bitter about it as I have managed to have a level of success in life, however I am under no illusions as to how destructive bad teachers can be to a young person at a critical age.

    Any government policy that identifies teachers that are under performing can’t be a bad thing in my opinion.

    If you are a good teacher you have nothing to worry about.

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  21. “If you are a good teacher you have nothing to worry about.”

    Most lame (and most dangerous) claim, Shunda.

    “If you are a good citizen you have nothing to worry about.”

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  22. Always with the extremes.

    I guess you just invalidated my experience with one powerful keystroke! :)

    Gee whiz folks, I really am a stoopid moron! :(

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  23. ‘Stoopid’ only has one ‘o’, Shunda (I blame your teachers.)

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  24. All schoolteachers are rabid communists.

    Think about it. They imprison other people’s children into a classroom each day, dictating their behaviour (even mental behaviour!), and they do as such, comfortably, in the name of the authority of the STATE.
    Yep. That’s a communist.

    So is there really such thing as a “good” schoolteacher in the compulsory sector?

    ———————–

    Shunda barunda: Quote: “I hardly expect you to say anything different, the left do not criticise their own, even to their own hurt.”

    Curious acknowledgement, because I’ve pondered the same thing. I think the political right are much harder and more sceptical of “their own”, which is good practice. All politicians need to be critically held to account.

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  25. So Fly, you are wid da sprout and think “it’s all good, nuthin to see here”

    Really? our education system is just ticking along fine?

    Did you see how I duzzint spell good?

    I wonder if Sprout shares your view that the government is planing to shoot underperforming teachers?

    If you’re worried about the kids witnessing “teacher training”, I am sure they won’t shoot them on the spot, they will be taken out back first :).

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  26. dbuckley:

    Before you can solve a problem you first have to understand it.

    Here’s an extract from my “Education Notes” from my blog:

    “Helen Clark or whoever’s really in charge draws a picture of what they want your child to look like (basically to achieve some confused ultimate political objective). From there they hand that picture over to the indoctrinated behavioural psychologists in the MoE, and say “Make that!”. The MoE team then gets to work developing conditioning-systems to meet the politicians specifications, because they want to keep their jobs. Once the systems are ready for implementation, the MoE must then market the politicians picture as “mental health” or “advanced” or “well adjusted” etc, even though what constitutes these definitions is essentially subjective.”

    …and political interests are driven by financial interests. Schools = Human resource factories. Always have done.

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  27. I’m not advocating a position, Andrew, nor claim any particular expertise, just relating an experience.

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  28. sprout says “I still take exception to Photonz1′s accusation that the system and other teachers protects child molesters in schools”

    School hires known sex offender – see
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10790578

    That was the second one of three in the last two weeks, and the teachers union came out and defended checks on teachers as being “robust”.

    It irrelevant how “robust” checks are, if they think it’s ok to let them work anyway.

    Just like how our education system compares to the UK or US is irrelevant to the more than quarter of kids who drop out of high school – one of the highest drop out rates in the world.

    It makes education stats look much better when the bottom 26% dissappear from the results (compared to drop out rates like 3% for Germany, 4% Ireland, 5% Japan etc).

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  29. Shunda as you know there is nothing perfect in this world and I too went through the education system as a student and so have my children. All of us have experienced a range of teachers from excellent to not so good. Both of my children have generally done well. Our education system isn’t in desperate need of systemic change and if we want to improve the quality of our teachers further the best things would be to provide better professional development (this government has cut the funding to much of it) and attract the best people into the job.

    National is hell bent on introducing systems that failed in the US and teacher assessments that resulted in good teachers committing suicide. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/teachers/about-the-suicice-of-an-la-tea.html National may not intend to shoot under performing teachers but if they use National Standards to assess performance, they may as well do.

    My children did well at school because as well as having a sound education they also had parents who provided them with useful support and encouragement. Children who come from more challenging environments will always struggle to succeed. Of all the contributing factors to a child’s success in school, the influence of a teacher makes up only 10%. Address child poverty and you will also address our tail of under achievement. http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/high-stakes-assessments-fail.html

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  30. Photonz1, Oh, I see where you are coming from now. That article you linked to provided you with the conclusion “‘ Hell – it’s so bad we even have known child sex offenders working as teachers, and everyone knows and protects them except the parents and the children.”
    You obviously see this is something very pervasive throughout all schools and sex offenders lurk in many classrooms undetected and protected by other teachers and the union.

    I’ll stick with my version of reality, that 99.5% of teachers are doing OK to great and we don’t need to use heavy stick to beat them into submission because of shock journalism.

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  31. sprout says “National may not intend to shoot under performing teachers but if they use National Standards to assess performance, they may as well do.”

    Do you realise how nutty and extreme you sound?

    If that’s not a depserate attempt to protect useless teachers (by saying if they are found out they’ll commit suicide), then I don’t know what is.

    In the real world, peoples work performances are measured all the time.

    And equally desperate is trying to tell us that a different standards system, in a different country, with a different culture, and a different education system – is the same as the one being introduced here.

    It’s now year three of National Standards at our school, and we’re still waiting patiently for all the disasters and catastrophes you predicted – but all we get is positive feedback.

    I think Shunda is right – you’ve lost all perpective on this. You seem to be mired in a sea of negativity and anger, and are starting to say irrational things.

    The way our kids are taught hasn’t changed, and the curriculum hasn’t changed. All that’s changed is there is one additional way to measure their progress, and improved reporting to parents across all schools.

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  32. Can I make a point on standards?

    Take an IQ test. You test out well so are measured as “intelligent”.
    Ok. But how do we know that the test results themselves correlate to intelligence? We don’t know, not in real scientific way at all – in fact there’s no way we can really know. It’s pure assumption.
    The only thing that we know that an IQ test really measures is an individuals ability to perform on it.

    My point is that, to a large degree, the same can be said for school tests on anything. So do we really want to reduce a childs development to only that which can be measured, which in my view is ultimately sweet bugger all? It’s too easy for a chold (and adult) to test out well yet still have a completely “mindless” relationship to what they’ve learned. And I would argue that an excessive testing culture can even create mindlessness.

    To what degree should schooling be about measurement? For primary school kids, especially, I think it would be wise to lay off.

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  33. For a very long time it was known that African-americans had a lower IQ than white Americans. Eventually it was figured out that there was bias in the testing that lead to different results.

    Does that invalidate the idea of an IQ test? Not at all, it just means one has to be careful about the test and how it is assessed.

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  34. Andrew Atkin said:

    “All schoolteachers are rabid communists.Think about it.”

    I did, Andrew. Briefly. Then I realised you were daft, so I was relieved of the task of addressing your ‘argument’. Busied myself then, with worthwhile things, cleaning out my belly-button lint, polishing the insides of some thimbles I had lying about.

    Shunda, yes, I’m with bsprout. He and I have both spent many years inside of the classroom and the staffroom at numerous schools, state and otherwise. Your and Andrew’s warblings raise only a wry smile, little else. Irrevocably harmed by the nasty edjakashin sistim were you lads?
    Harden up and stop whining about your own shortcomings. If there was no downward pressure (gravity) on you, you’d be a jellyfish (that is, spineless).

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  35. photonz1 – sorry, forgot to group you with Shunda and Andrew.
    “In the real world, peoples work performances are measured all the time.”
    Oh, the merriment inherent in your mutterings!
    Teachers have students, students have parents, parents measure the performance of teachers constantly.
    “In the real world, peoples work performances are measured all the time.”
    Welcome to the real world, photo.

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  36. “I hardly expect you to say anything different, the left do not criticise their own, even to their own hurt.”

    You must know a different left – the left I’ve known rips the shit out of each other on a regular basis.

    “All schoolteachers are rabid communists.”

    Agreed. Schools, other than a few leftist experimental ones that made classes optional (with considerable success) are saturated with mind-numbing dullness, bureaucracy and control freaks. especially the ones that promote ‘conservative’ values. My high school made everyone wear grey uniforms and line up a lot, like some sort of Stalinist fantasyland. Definitely communist. We should ban schools now.

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  37. greenfly:

    Don’t forget that the “real world” can be of our own creation. We don’t have to take it up the backside if we don’t want to.

    And isn’t that what an interest in politics is supposed to be about?

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  38. greenfly:

    As for your first comment – you didn’t say anything to counter my assertion other than I’m daft. Yawn.

    I am utterly aware that my views on education can look daft to a ‘common’ persons perspective. Believe me I know exactly how people think. But I am still right in what I assert – sorry.

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  39. Andrew – you are funny!
    You say, “Believe me I know exactly how people think.”
    You do? You’ve quite a talent – exactly how people think! That’s extraordinary! Don’t be sorry or ashamed of your talent – celebrate your brilliance!
    Btw – I apologise for boring you – or are you just someone who tires easily – your yawn indicates a thyroid problem perhaps? You mention ‘taking it up the backside’ and I wonder if this points to another of your problems. I wish I had your skill in knowing “exactly what people think” – I’d know what it was that was troubling you and could perhaps help. As for your claim that your views on education seem daft to a common persons perspective, I concur.

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  40. greenfly:

    Well greenfly, I knew that someone might respond to that comment like you just did. Taking it in the most literal sense like an idiot. So there’s an example of my “brilliance”.

    My real point was that I understand how most people see modern education. I know the impressions (assumptions) that people have in their minds. It’s not brilliant – just learning from living with people on planet earth.

    Quote: “You mention ‘taking it up the backside’ and I wonder if this points to another of your problems.”

    Infantile. Maybe one day I will create a blog that has the condition that only people prepared to include an identifiable name can contribute. The improved quality of the discussions could be revolutionary.

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  41. Andrew:
    I loathe pointless quibbling, but here we go:
    “I knew that someone might respond to that comment like you just did”
    Surely you’d have phrased your statement differently, knowing what could result. Just sayin’
    As for your ‘infantile’ charge, the use of your ‘backside’ expression is indelicate, to put it mildly and I suggest that you moderate your language when talking on Frogblog, as there are people such as myself who feel decidedly uncomfortable with homophobic expressions like that. “Infantile” we may be, but there’s doubtless a label for you too, though I’m to much of a gentleman to use it.
    Peace and love.
    greenfly

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  42. Greenfly:

    The term “taking it up the backside” is used all the time, without any specific meaning to be associated with homosexuality.

    ‘Infantile’ was referring to the nature of your responses to me. It was not intended as a direct expression of your character.

    Gentleman? I recall you referring to me as daft. And that did indeed relate to my character, not just my comments. You also said you loathe pointless quibbling, even though that is exactly what you started.

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  43. If it fails overseas. Why do we have to repeat it here.

    Why copy fuckups that have made the US and British systems so down the scale compared to us.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120306131150.htm

    If our education system is to be improved we should look at those that do better than us. Not worse!

    The best way would be to fund and develop further already successful initiatives we have in NZ.

    In the real world? I presume you mean the business world, Attempts at accurately measuring performance have had rather mixed reviews, to say the least. Many of them, over time, have proven to be counterproductive.

    Performance reviews and rewards have led to many corporate failures.

    If you can find me a performance review system for Teachers that accurately sorts out incompetent Teachers from those that are just, different or don’t fit into pigeonholes(often the most effective Teachers) then I would be all for it.

    To my knowledge their is no effective performance assessment system that can distinguish between competence, luck, being in the right place at the right time or other outside influences.

    If there was I suspect people like Key, or Gibson, would never get into the positions they do!

    Lastly. Our Government thinks they can motivate and keep good Teachers by making their working conditions almost impossible, expecting constant summative assessment and testing, tons of useless paperwork, increasing class sizes and cutting their pay.

    Teachers are great people. They stay in the job despite all this, while executives need 100′s of thousands to get them to do their jobs.

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  44. You must know a different left – the left I’ve known rips the shit out of each other on a regular basis.

    Bullshit.

    especially the ones that promote ‘conservative’ values.

    Only in your ignorant opinion. While I am no fan of the Catholics, their school gives kids a far better chance of a balanced education than the appalling state high school down the road, which is also the case in a lot of towns in NZ. Don’t let the facts upset your blatant bigotry though.

    My high school made everyone wear grey uniforms and line up a lot, like some sort of Stalinist fantasyland. Definitely communist. We should ban schools now.

    Oh dear, it sounds so terrible.

    Let me guess, you were the spoilt brat child of a liberal family that found it difficult to adjust to reality.

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  45. Harden up and stop whining about your own shortcomings. If there was no downward pressure (gravity) on you, you’d be a jellyfish (that is, spineless).

    I was 12-13 at the time.

    You sound very authoritarian there greenfly. I would suggest that the teachers were the ones that should have addressed their appalling shortcomings and pathetic internal squabbling.

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  46. Teachers are great people. They stay in the job despite all this, while executives need 100′s of thousands to get them to do their jobs.

    Oh poor wee babies.

    Kerry, teachers are not inherently “great people” just because they are teachers, they are great people if the achieve “greatness” through their achievements.

    You have unwittingly revealed your own bias and perhaps a common tendency to see teachers as untouchable royalty.

    Screw that load of old bollocks, that is exactly the blind adherence to ideology that is stuffing the education system for my kids.

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  47. Do you have a response to my comment worth reading or is it time to retreat and “throw stones”.

    This thread follows a remarkably ‘standard’ tactic from left wing activists.
    People make an argument that you struggle to answer and then you quickly retreat to insults, bigotry, and cheap shots.

    The royalty of the left must not be spoken against “you must not speak against the Lords anointed”.

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  48. Andrew Aitkin says “To what degree should schooling be about measurement? For primary school kids, especially, I think it would be wise to lay off.”

    Right now we have a large number of children entering secondary school with such low reading, writing and maths abilities that they are unable to properly participate in their secondary education.

    Then 26% drop out with no qualifications, and the vast majority of them are then pretty much ruled out of ever getting a qualified job.

    Regularly assessing kids, with good reporting to parents, and addressing those falling behind, is shown to lift the learning progress of children.

    It is often because of assessment that issues like hearing problems can be picked up.

    Assessments don’t mean the curriculum or how they learn has to change. And assessments just twice a year on only three subjects is hardly excessive.

    So I disagree that it would “be wise to lay off” something that is shown to have very positive results.

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  49. National Standards will be more effective at detecting hearing problems in primary school children than the hearing tests currently used. Quack.

    National Standards have been shown to have very positive results. Quack.

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  50. photonz1:

    Quote: “Regularly assessing kids, with good reporting to parents, and addressing those falling behind, is shown to lift the learning progress of children.”

    John Taylor Gatto, an education critic (and experienced schoolteacher) who has studied the field exhaustively, claimed that there is vast research indicating that the repeated testing of childrens education has been shown only to compromise learning.

    I personally agree with some level assessment, but I certainly don’t believe it should be ‘all about the tests’.

    The real answer is the de-institutionalise childrens education, and that requires mostly demolishing state involvement altogether.

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  51. Why is it that we always remember so vividly the genuinely good and decent teachers we had at school?

    Because they were RARE!

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  52. @Shunda. When you give me valid arguments to reply to I will respond.

    We give you RWNJ’s pages and pages of research, facts, and opinions from experts. Which you obviously cannot or will not read.

    Proof that things like NACT standards have failed elsewhere. Factual proof that constant summative measurement makes for worse outcomes for students, Professional opinion and research that shows RWNJ methods of schooling do not work. And you still insist on dismantling our excellent education system and emulating overseas initiatives, that have failed so badly even former supporters are repudiating them.

    RWNJ’s continue to reply with unsubstantiated personal opinion, constantly repeated slogans and discredited memes (something does not become true just because it is said a lot) and often ad hominums.

    Self projection. Much!

    It says much for our patience that we do not call you out for the fools you are, more often.

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  53. It says much for our patience that we do not call you out for the fools you are, more often.

    Fools?

    My kids are not performing at school because their primary school is a shambles, the local and only high school currently has a commissioner in charge due to the appalling and sustained mismanagement.

    The only “fool” around here is the one that is screaming everything is just a-o k.

    Get a clue Kerry, and stop reading drivel written by blind ideologues and get your arse to the coal face and have a good friggin look.

    Fools indeed.

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  54. @ AA

    Why is it that we always remember so vividly the genuinely good and decent teachers we had at school?

    Because they were RARE!

    Insert any profession with corresponding environment and the answer is the same. Teachers are not unique in this respect.

    The difference is I guess is that teachers are dealing with young, impressionable minds – minds prone to seeing injustice and inadequacy in all their role models, justified or otherwise – and thus make a larger impression on our adult selves.

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  55. Yeah I suppose I should stop reading your drivel.

    Generally I ignore it. I answer Photo because he has occasional moments of common sense. You prove that common sense is rare.

    One of my hats, of many, is a Tech Teacher. Also had three kids through the school system. How much closer to the coal face can you get.

    Our education system is being destroyed by RWNJ ideological experiments, starting with tomorrows schools, culminating with NACT standards and the totally failed ideological madness of charter schools.

    All of which have been proven failures wherever they have been tried.

    You should look closer. If your local school is a shambles it has more to do with “tomorrows schools”, (pretending they can be run like a business) and the right wings starving it of funding, than Teachers.

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  56. @ Shunda

    My kids are not performing at school because their primary school is a shambles

    So no other external factor could possibly be responsible?

    Without knowing your specific situation, how much teaching (reading, conversation, game playing etc.) do you and your larger family engage in with your kids?

    This is a serious question given that only a very small proportion of ‘learning’ takes place in school.

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  57. “Why is it that we always remember so vividly the genuinely good and decent teachers we had at school?

    Because they were RARE!”

    Bullsh*t – for one who professes to know so much, you and your hanger-on are truly daft.
    YOU may only remember a select few ‘good’ teachers from your school but true to your blinkered and arrogant world-view, you fail to understand that there are others who remember different teachers as being genuinely good and decent. Different strokes, Andrew. You are a fool indeed.

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  58. As for your and Shunda’s assertion that good teachers are rare, I support Kerry, who says he is a teacher. I taught for 15+ years and though I’m not, I believe, a ‘run of the mill’ teacher, I fully respect those who taught around and beside me and regard them, with very, very few exceptions, as good at their job, if not better than good. Most I admire very much for the qualities they bring to their careers. Your smearing and demeaning of teachers, Andrew and Shunda, is disgraceful, to my mind and I’d like to finish this little response by awarding you both with a further generous helping of ‘bullsh*t’.
    You’re welcome.

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  59. Andrew Aitki says “….there is vast research indicating that the repeated testing of childrens education has been shown only to compromise learning.”

    National Standards is a twice annual assessment.

    That’s completely different to the “repeated testing” you talk about or the “constant summative measurement” that Kerry talks about.

    And what we had prior to National Standards was a real mishmash of different tests for different subjects for different ages.

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  60. greenfly:

    I grew up in a standard state school. I know what I’m talking about too.

    Don’t give a teacher what they want–don’t be their little pet–and you will see the face that a teachers colleagues never see. But yes – some of them are decent. Not nearly enough.

    If you want to discover how “nice” someone really is, then see if you can catch how they behave when they don’t have to be nice, or when it’s not profitable on some level for them to be nice.
    Children see the truth. The adult world, by comparison, is a joke.

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  61. greenfly:

    Sorry about ‘smearing’ the teachers, but as far as I’m concerned I am sticking up for the kids.

    These people we call teachers are still imposing themselves on other people’s children, by force, which they have no right to do. Regardless of their supposed good intentions.

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  62. Kerry says “All of which have been proven failures wherever they have been tried.”

    You complain about things being ideologically driven, then do the same yourself with a sweeping statemen that’s obviously not true.

    In the states many charter schools are significantly better than their local state counterparts.

    It’s pretty obvious that factors like how they are run, the quality of the teachers they have, and their curricula, are far more important to their success than if they are charter schools or state schools.

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  63. Photo. You know as well as I do, that Charter schools in the States have had the same or worse results, on average , than State schools.
    That is compared with a rather low standard, compared with ours, for State schools in the USA.

    Ones that do better, surprise surprise, are funded at higher levels or can pick and choose their pupils. Unlike the adjacent State schools.

    There are hundreds of references on this. I am sure you can google them as well as I can.

    There is absolutely no reason to go there.
    Unless you are an ideological advocate of making commercial profits out of schools. Businesspeople who cannot start a new business see a way of earning guaranteed dollars off taxpayers.

    You can see what business type competition and bums on seats is doing to tertiary education. Not much for the quality of graduates, learning or courses.

    We used to joke about US “universities” that would have a degree in flower arranging. If they could make a dollar from students for it.

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  64. Yeah I suppose I should stop reading your drivel.

    Please do, I stopped reading the drivel on your blog long ago.

    Generally I ignore it. I answer Photo because he has occasional moments of common sense. You prove that common sense is rare.

    No common sense necessary, I gave you a direct and factual testimony, you screamed like a petulant child.
    Grow up.

    One of my hats, of many, is a Tech Teacher. Also had three kids through the school system. How much closer to the coal face can you get.

    So friggin what? all your experience does not invalidate mine.

    Our education system is being destroyed by RWNJ ideological experiments, starting with tomorrows schools, culminating with NACT standards and the totally failed ideological madness of charter schools

    It is being destroyed by ideologues both within and without, of the left and of the right, people like you that are so damned blinkered you are incapable of a balanced view point.

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  65. Bullsh*t – for one who professes to know so much, you and your hanger-on are truly daft.
    YOU may only remember a select few ‘good’ teachers from your school but true to your blinkered and arrogant world-view, you fail to understand that there are others who remember different teachers as being genuinely good and decent. Different strokes, Andrew. You are a fool indeed.

    Only a fool would say that all teachers are inherently “good” oh no, sorry “great people”.

    Get over your self, you sound like a religious fanatic on this one greenfly, committed to defending the brethren to the bitter end.

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  66. Btw: Every control freak (many primary schoolteachers) is in love with the subordinates who accept poodle status in relation to themselves. They just love to nurture the “victims” especially. It brings meaning to their lives.

    The problem is when the ‘poodle’ refuses to be treated and looked upon as such, all that love turns into something weird and ugly.
    Ever see the movie, Misery? It’s an extreme example.

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  67. Your smearing and demeaning of teachers, Andrew and Shunda, is disgraceful, to my mind and I’d like to finish this little response by awarding you both with a further generous helping of ‘bullsh*t’.

    Well I guess the first thing that comes to mind to that little tirade is “F@ck you”.

    I have told you of a factual and sustained issue with a primary school and our only high school.
    These issues are having and will have a serious affect on the lives of my children, we are already having to take their education into our own hands.
    Other people I know are considering leaving the region due to the appalling state of our local and only state high school.

    Just today at a parent interview for my oldest son, one if the good teachers my son (finally) has said his education was effectively on hold for two years due to the poor performance of certain colleagues.
    We were told today that the school has “an absolutely shocking record” (direct quote) for reading/comprehension.

    And you have the damned cheek to call “bullshit” on my concerns for the education of my kids.

    I am not saying left leaning teachers are bad, some of my favourite teachers held and hold strong political views, I am not even suggesting that being a lefty has any bearing on your ability to teach kids.
    What I am saying is that a culture of defending teachers regardless of evidence is an appalling and dangerous attitude.
    Teachers are not royalty, are not necessarily community leaders, and certainly are not exempt from the right I and others have to criticise their conduct.

    You chaps have revealed nothing other than your own prejudice and bigotry, you chaps set the tone of this thread and now you are crying like babies because it was returned in kind.

    Grow the hell up and get over yourselves.

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  68. Here you go ignoramuses, this is from the latest ERO report for Grey High:

    How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

    The school is not well placed to improve and sustain student engagement, achievement and well-being. Professional relationships within the school have seriously broken down.

    The board, staff and students have identified, and ERO agrees, that significant changes are needed to improve outcomes for students.

    Efforts by the board and senior managers to bring about change have not been effectively planned or successfully managed. There has been resistance to change from some staff.

    Existing systems to manage the operation and curriculum of the school are not clearly understood by all staff and students. Processes for planning and implementing initiatives are not effective. There is a need for senior managers, heads of departments and staff committees to have more clearly defined roles, responsibilities and lines of accountability. Interpersonal communication, consultation and decision-making processes need to improve.

    The school’s processes to review, sustain and improve its performance are insufficiently developed. There is no overall plan that identifies priorities for self review at board, whole school, department or classroom level. Information that is collected is not well used to bring about improvement.

    http://www.ero.govt.nz/Early-Childhood-School-Reports/School-Reports/Greymouth-High-School-27-07-2011/4-Sustainable-Performance

    Don’t bloody well tell me I am full of “shit” and not informed.
    I am concerned for my kids and their future.

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  69. @Shunda.
    I suggested you look a bit more closely at your school.

    Shambolic schools I have seen have been a direct result of applying the business model to schools.

    Instead of bringing all schools up to standard, “Tomorrows schools” want them to compete like small business. Allowing, so called “poor schools” to fail. Not nice if it is your local one.

    I suggest you look at your schools Governance structures and board.

    While I would be the first to admit there are some poor Teachers, many good ones who have burnt out and are just marking time and some poorly run schools, I was pleasantly surprised when I went Teaching after years in the private sector, how high the general standard of teaching is.

    In many private companies the rule is 80% of the work is done by 20% of the staff.
    A lot of management staff were barely competent.
    In contrast most Teachers are dedicated and hardworking. In fact, the job has been made so difficult, by unrealistic Government policies, you pretty much have to be highly motivated to stay.

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  70. “And you have the damned cheek to call “bullshit” on my concerns for the education of my kids.”
    Well, Shunda, I didn’t. I call you on your ‘smearing and demeaning of teachers’ – see how I use direct quotes to illustrate and prove my points? You can do this too.

    “Only a fool would say that all teachers are inherently “good” oh no, sorry “great people”.”
    Can you show me, Shunda, where I said all? (Use the copy/paste function to achieve that ‘fact-supported’ status.)

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  71. If schoolteachers are such wonderful feeling people then why, when I was growing up, were all the kids so fearful of them?

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  72. Good grief! I despair – “how do they control their classes?”
    Andrew. The teaching by fear model is long gone from New Zealand schools. The teachers who manage today’s classrooms are trained to do so with a raft of other, superior methods. Those very teachers you demean are doing this task that you seem to think requires the application of fear, in the face of children shaped by a different, more liberal society, television etc. etc. and doing it very, very well in almost every instance.
    Please don’t tell us you’re yearning for the return of the cane. It’d not surprise me, but it would appall.

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  73. Kerry – if charter schools have the same average results as state schools, that would provide an equal arguement to keep charter schools and ban state schools.

    The guy I know had kids who were flunking the local state school, with a general curriculum that bored them. They thrived at the charter school (once they got in) as it specialised and science and technical subjects that interested them.

    And to bust some myths that charter schools are run for profit, pick and choose their pupils etc.
    - most charter schools are not allowed to choose their students.
    - the half million waiting lsit to get into US charter schools are chosen by ballot
    - each school is run on a not for profit basis.
    - there is no cost to pupils

    And they are all voluntary.

    We’ve effectively already got charter schools in NZ and have done for years – schools that do not adhere to the standard curriculum, often with the aim of teaching kids who are failing in the mainstream.

    With an astonishingly high 26% of kids dropping out of school before they finish, I think more inovative options like charter schools are a great idea, specially when
    - they don’t cost pupils anything.
    - they are completely voluntary.

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  74. “You always have to scare children, on some level, to conform to something so unnatural.”

    Idiot.

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  75. What myth, in New Zealand they include schools run for profit, that do not have to follow the curriculum or run national standards?

    And the schools like charter schools that we have now are – not fee paying private schools clearly – are they former fee paying schools that were integrated?

    Some guy (photonz) “used to know” …

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  76. I’m the guy photonz1 used to know. I remember him as the guy who made stuff up.

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  77. Well, Shunda, I didn’t. I call you on your ‘smearing and demeaning of teachers’ – see how I use direct quotes to illustrate and prove my points? You can do this too.

    You said:

    I taught for 15+ years and though I’m not, I believe, a ‘run of the mill’ teacher, I fully respect those who taught around and beside me and regard them, with very, very few exceptions, as good at their job, if not better than good. Most I admire very much for the qualities they bring to their careers.

    And you made this comment with the implication that I must be wrong about teachers.

    Well your statement: “very, very few exceptions” just doesn’t ring true to me and indeed, there would be very few workplaces anywhere where this could be said about such a large number of staff.

    Maybe your school was the exception, but it sure sounds overstated to me and it’s certainly not even close to the realities of the teachers around here.

    And for the record, I am not smearing and demeaning teaching, I just refuse to submit to this ‘holier than thou’ bullshit that teachers are usually better than the rest of us lowbrow folks.

    Read the ERO report and tell me why and how all those issues have nothing to do with a systemic failure of teaching staff.

    It came as no surprise to other people of my generation when this all went down at the local high school, it’s a real shame they absolutely stuffed up so many kids education.

    Read the report before attacking me as some sort of a liar bigot.

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  78. greenfly:

    The institutionalisation of child develop is unnatural. Or do you believe we evolved, as a species, to conform to programme-based learning like we see in institutional schooling?

    Your indoctrination into the belief in school as we know it runs so deep that it’s impossible for you to see things as they really are.

    I write to you, but not for you. Name call all you want. Clearly it’s about as far as your abilities go.

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  79. In the states many charter schools are significantly better than their local state counterparts.

    In New York they have to be better; if a charter scool is not better than the local schools with which it competes for pupils then its licence to operate is withdrawn, and the school closes.

    And before someone shouts “selection”, all the charter schools are oversubscribed, and thus a lottery is used to determine who gets in, so charter schools have the same mix of pupils as the state schools.

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  80. I gave a simple example of two kids out of two million who have done well at charter schools in the states.

    Yet there are people here so blinkered in their cultish ideals, that they can’t possibly beleive anything that goes against those beliefs.

    Within minutes we have soltka, SPC and greenfly showing us just how cult-like their beliefs are.

    They are incredibly quick to jump on their bandwagon and without the slightest questions, to follow the doctrine they think they are supposed to follow, and slam charter schools as evil.

    Even though we’ve had them here for years, they’ve never know to complain about NZ’s charter schools before – but now they are told they must campaign against them as being evil – so without a thought, that’s what they do.

    It’s the sort of blind unquestioning following of an ideaology, and instant dismisal of contrary facts, that makes in easier to understand how people like Jim Jones could form his Peoples Temple cult in Guyana.

    First they are told what they should be against – yesterday National Standards, today Charter Schools – then they parrot some myths about why these things are so evil they will cause a catastrophe.

    Yet according to the head of the Principals Association, NZ public schools ARE charter schools now, and have been since the 1980s.

    Each school manages itself, has to be free to attend, gets the same govt funding per child per decile, has a local board overseaing it who it is responsible to, and can set it’s own curriculum to a large extent.

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  81. Photonz – sometimes your spin gets ahead of logic. Anything is a charter school if you change the definition of the term sufficiently.

    The charter schools proposed by the government are not required to follow any curriculum or have national standards and are able to make profits – none of which apply to any existing school.

    The track records of charter schools and national standards is not impressive. Arguing for evidence based policy is non ideological.

    Enough with the big lie strategy.

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  82. SPC says “sometimes your spin gets ahead of logic. Anything is a charter school if you change the definition of the term sufficiently.”

    It’s not my spin. It’s the head of the principals association – quote

    “New Zealand was the first country in the world to introduce charter schools. Every school in New Zealand is a charter school. They’re great! ”

    However for other 26% of our kids who drop out, the current system is a total failure. If we can get schools that work for these kids, cost them nothing, and cost the taxpayer no more – then that’s a good thing.

    Of course if it saves a lot of kids from the scrapheap is probably irrelevant to you if you are told it doesn’t fit in with your strict ideology.

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  83. Oh stop posing people as ideological if they don’t agree with you, it’s so immature.

    So what does this person who calls Tomorrows Schools “charter” schools call the schools that Nact are introducing?

    Because they are not like Tomorrows Schools – none of them made profits, they had to charge activity fees etc. None of them could operate without the set curriculum and any private school had to adopt the set curriculum when they integrated.

    And if the Tommorrows Schools were charter schools because they had more operational idnependence, how does the later ERO development and now national standards fit in with this independence?

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  84. As for the idea that change is associated with improving educational outcomes, rather than the ideology of outsourcing government funded provision – yeah right, that’s the spin. It is those not blinded by ideology that run trials before implementation – it’s called scientific method.

    A recent example a group of Northland social workers were transferring some of their discretionary money to feeding children in schools because this achieved many of the goals they were given to achieve. Their own Minister told them to stop and the local Northland MP said that this only encouaged parents to not feed their children. So now these children are once again – hungry, truant etc. Now who is so blinded by ideology that they are failing to get the “underclass” to achieve more in school?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  85. SPC says “Oh stop posing people as ideological if they don’t agree with you, it’s so immature.”

    Obviously touched a nerve there. Must be close to the truth.

    Then you prove it by saying it’s only about making money. Yet we have Iwi, charity groups, non-profit companies etc, all backing charter schools.

    And we already have schools in NZ way outside the normal curriculum getting outstanding results with kids who were previouly failing.

    Your fixation on canning the whole thing because there is a possibility that someome might make a profit somewhere, proves a blinkered ideology.

    With 26% of kids dropping out of high school, we need to have a look at anything that can help.

    Including a serious look at charter schools that have shown they can dratstically improve academic and life outcomes in poor areas.

    Interesting that charter schools are seen as successful in a country like Sweden, who also allow companies to start up for-profit schools, or even chains of them.

    They believe different children will be better suited to different types of schools, rather than our one size fits all in NZ (or at least fits the 74% who finish secondary school without dropping out)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 (-3)

  86. Photo. Don’t you see the contradiction in complaining about “one size fits all schools” AND advocating NACT standards.

    Especially when you are OK with private schools not using the Standards.

    The variation we should be allowing for is the difference in learning styles and aptitudes of different students within a school.
    Something that the NZ curriculum addresses and Teachers try to do, but are constrained by time, large class sizes and lack of extra help for individual children.

    For example in the attempt to use less money for special needs children, huge amounts are spent on gatekeepers/bureaucrats time to restrict who gets help. That money, which could be used directly to put more kids through remedial reading and/or special needs programs is wasted!

    The USA, which you want us to emulate has a much higher dropout rate than NZ. Finland doesn’t!

    The experiment in “charter schools” in Sweden has rather mixed reviews. As has Sweden’s recent buy in to Neo-Liberal dogma.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 (+3)

  87. “And for the record, I am not smearing and demeaning teaching, I just refuse to submit to this ‘holier than thou’ bullshit that teachers are usually better than the rest of us lowbrow folks.”

    That’s what I was searching for. Got it now, thanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  88. “Obviously touched a nerve there. Must be close to the truth.”

    Conservative Right-wingers use this expression regularly.

    Could be the stupidest argument ever made. Perhaps there’s a duller, I’m not sure, but it’s a contender. It’s a ‘photonz1-favourite’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 (+2)

  89. Kerry says “Incidentally more of NZ’s population attain upper secondary education than does Sweden’s”

    The link you give shows the exact opposite.(the secodn one)

    It shows New Zealand as one of the worst countries in the OECD for students dropping out of secondary school – with TWICE as many failing as Sweden and the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  90. Greenfly says “Perhaps there’s a duller, I’m not sure, but it’s a contender.”

    greenfly – out of your thousands of posts, if you removed the abusive ones – there’s almost nothing left.

    You rarely write anything that’s not abusive – just monotonous abusive post after abusive post – hundreds of them all the same.

    Then you complain about dullness – I’m still laughing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 (-2)

  91. I made you laugh, photonz1? Hardly dull then, my comments. Would that I could extract even a wry smile from yours. No such luck – greyer than grey, hence my conviction that you are Peter Dunne, or if not, his hair. I note you go all frothy when I reveal your true identity – obviously touched a nerve there. Must be close to the truth

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 (+2)

  92. greenfly – I see you have nothing intelligent to add about the subject…..but what’s new.

    The fact that you are always out to put people down rather than contribute to the debate says a lot about your character.

    That’s obviously far more important to your than our children’s education.

    Debating with you has as much value as children in a playground trading insults.

    It you want to talk about issues and solutions one day, let me know.

    Until then, I’ll let you drown in your own negwtivity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 (-2)

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