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Charter Schools, Effecting Change, Government Policy, League Tables, National Standards, Partnership Schools, Performance Pay for Teachers, Poverty & Socio-Economic Status and Education, Privatisation of state schools, Protest - Have a Voice, SOSNZ, Standardised Tests, Teacher Intimidation

Anne Tolley’s Promises Were Worth Nothing… Beware Parata’s…

Today I found a 2009 article by Anne Tolley, responding to what she terms as scaremongering about the then proposed National Standards.

She says “our pupils are among the best in the world. But international studies show that the gap between our highest and lowest performing pupils is getting wider.”

  • On the contrary, the latest report has us still amongst the best.  Unlike the UK and USA and many other countries, we have not slipped down the listings, but held our own and remain in the top 6 countries.   What has changed, in the past two years, however, is the gap between richest and poorest.  Interesting that we never get much commentary from Anne or Hekia or John on how that affects our kids’ learning.

Anne goes on to tell us “There have been hysterical claims that we are no longer investing in subjects such as art and the sciences. Wrong again.”

  • The attempt to cut a huge number of technology teachers this year was only thwarted by a huge public outcry.  It was found at that time that the Ministry of Education’s calculations were wrong on many levels, and they had not even worked out how the cuts would truly affect schools.  That give you faith, doesn’t it?  The only reason those cuts did not go through is thanks to parents, teachers and unions voicing their  outrage.

Anne’s next foray against people with concerns about her education policies was to assure us that there were no plans to close schools:  “Or how about schools being identified as failing and being forced to close? Complete nonsense. Additional funding will be made available to those schools that need support.”

  • Charter Schools.  Am I missing something here, Anne, but within less than two years the plan now is to close failing schools and re-open them as Charter Schools with untrained and unqualified staff, no requirement to follow the curriculum OR report National Standards to the Ministry, and they can run for profit.  I think maybe you should check the mirror right now and see if your nose has started to grow yet.

Just in case your nose is still the same size, you went on to say “Results being used to give performance pay to teachers? Rubbish.”

  • How DARE you talk about educators scaremongering and be so dismissive of our concerns.  This week, not two years later, and as soon as the first National Standards were in,  Hekia Parata said “Performance pay has been raised. I’m keen to see it located in a context of overall quality management in schools.”   Do you really expect us to believe we were not right about that concern in the first place.   Shame on you.

Next Tolley quote “League tables? Never on the agenda”

  • I don”t think I need to say anything there.  Your own web site and the newspapers show this to be totally wrong.
  • How’s your nose doing?

In a triumphal conclusion to her acerbic article, Tolley crows “Those who have spoken out against the standards will continue to do so. By all means, have your say. But please get your facts straight and stop trying to mislead parents.”

  • Really?!

How about you and your government stop trying to mislead parents.  

You stop scaremongering.  

You get YOUR facts straight.

Best check that nose now, Anne, because at this point it may well need a bloody good sanding down.

~ SOSNZ

Further reading

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/3108071/Sorting-out-the-facts-from-the-fiction-about-national-standards

http://www.nzei.org.nz/site/nzeite/files/primary%20teachers//performance%20pay.pdf

http://www.oecd.org/edu/eag2012.htm

http://download.ei-ie.org/Docs/WebDepot/EI_Analysis_EAG2012_non-official.pdf

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi

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