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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Miseducation of Anne Tolley

Tolley slams striking teachers
LATEST: Education Minister Anne Tolley is urging teachers to head back to the negotiating table as the first of a series of rolling strikes gets underway today.

Teachers have given up listening to the Government and have called for more strike action next week, and thank god for that as no one wants to see all that pent up frustration at National melting public education simply walk back into the class room,

I don’t wish to antagonize things any further just because I believe National are really intending to implement league tables from these flawed National standards to assist the Private Education Industry, but Teachers, I heard Anne Tolley say yo Mamas were fat.

In reality the Government should thank it’s lucky stars this isn’t public sector strikes in France where the locals go on violent protest with as much wounded pride as a nation who rolled over for Germany in World War Two can muster.

The best Current Affairs Magazine in the country, The Listener, and I’m using the words, ‘Best’, ‘Current’, ‘Affairs’ and ‘Magazine’ as broadly as possible, gushed this week that National Standards are being implemented by Julia Gillard in Australia and she is Labour so it must be good. Of course Julia Gillard is also the Aussie Mining Industry’s coup puppet inserted into power to shut down any tax on their super profits so the irony of holding her up as the leading light of socially progressive movements may have missed the Best Current Affairs Magazine in NZ.

Personally I love how with a recession The Listener has gone from a weekly lifestyle guide for Baby Boomers and bored well to do Wellington housewives to gritty current affairs crusader in the blink of a consumer advertising slump. That said, let’s not be too mean to the Listener whanau, someone has to explain to the NZ Middle Classes why they can’t afford to holiday in Phuket this winter.

Anne Tolley continues to push ahead with these flawed National Standards despite what the experts say, and despite the fact that we have one of the best public education systems in the world...

Expert gives education system top marks
Leading educationist Professor John Hattie has given a more glowing assessment of the education system than the Government often gives it.

He told the Labour Party conference in Auckland on Saturday that parents often underestimated where the New Zealand system stood internationally and thought it was about average when it was among the best in the world

"We are way up there at the top. Something is going right."

Professor Hattie, an assessment specialist, has recently advised Prime Minister John Key and Education Minister Anne Tolley on the implementation of National's contentious national standards policy in primary schools, which National says will lift standards.

Professor Hattie largely avoided the subject on Saturday though he said that average standards for reading, writing and maths over the past 50 years had not changed.

While that might not sound impressive, the system was already near the top of the world.

...Hattie has advised the Government that National Standards could be the worst thing to ever happen to NZ Public Education, yet this Government continues to push ideology to help the private education industry over and above the public education system.

I'm sick to death of hearing from this Government that they don't have the money to give Teachers more, but this Government DID have enough money to give the richest NZers massive Tax Cuts.


At 20/10/10 9:27 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The teachers want to take the word of Prof. Hattie that national standards are bad. He also says that class size is NOT an important factor for educational achievement; will they take his word on that too?

At 20/10/10 9:58 am, Blogger Bomber said...

The teachers want to take the word of Prof. Hattie that national standards are bad. He also says that class size is NOT an important factor for educational achievement; will they take his word on that too?
GRIN - you would be funny anon, if it weren't for the fact that I actually sat in on Hatties presentation at the Labour Party conference, were you there Anon?

Hattie pointed out at the conference that he always get misquoted on class size, did you hear that bit Anon? He said that smaller class sizes DO make a positive impact on teaching children, he articulated his frustration that he is so often misquoted by those with an agenda on this point - his issue is that there are other things that can be done that make GREATER impact, but that smaller classrooms DO make a positive.

So where were you at the conference Anon, I was sitting 4 from the front on the left hand side in room NZI2 at 10.45am. Sorry, where were you anon?

At 20/10/10 10:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I left the UK to come to NZ partly because the education system in the UK was in a mess due to league tables. Pupils were bored of continuous testing and revision replacing learning in the classroom. Teachers and principals hated the system. NZ was a fantastic contrast.

Sadly this government wants to drag down our public education to appeal to the prejudices of its supporters. There is NO benefit to the national standards regime. Full stop.

We already had lots of clear assessment and reporting on our children's progress, but it was done intelligently and with sensitivity. What we are getting instead is meaningless statistics that tell us nothing useful.

At 20/10/10 11:41 am, Anonymous Cameron said...

And Anon the First goes toddling back under his/her bridge never to be heard from again (until the next drive by smear - all anyone can expect as "intellectual discourse" from the Nats/Act axis of stupid)

At 20/10/10 1:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah no money for the teachers, but apparently the government do have extra cash to waste on brand new uniforms for prison staff at a cost of $1700 per person, because they want the uniforms to be blue instead of green now. Wow that sounds like money well spent, not. What's wrong with the old green ones?

At 20/10/10 8:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Hattie gets misquoted so often on class sizes is because his research specifically talks about teacher-student one on one contact time having a major impact on student achievement. Of course having smaller class sizes increases that contact time.

Both teachers unions and the principals federation really need to get much more media savvy by using quotes such as Hattie's at the Labour conference and real facts about class sizes and teacher workload, rather than relying on rallies and harrassing Tolley at meetings dressed up. It's important that teachers portray themselves as professionals in these current pay talks, so they can be paid as professionals.

Btw I am a beginning teacher with a student loan from my 3 year degree which is almost larger than my yearly salary, and I don't know ANY teachers on more than 70K!

At 22/10/10 10:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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