Hekia Parata shared this meme on her Facebook page today, and good on her. As all good Kiwis know, we must never miss a chance to link something – anything – to the All Blacks.
However, the analogy is entirely faulty.
Does she propose we take just the top, say 15, students in the country and throw all we have at them. Fund them the most, give them the very best equipment, best medical care, best physiotherapists, best food, best buildings and sports fields, best transport, and all the positive support a country can muster?
But what about the other students? No, that can’t be what she meant.
Perhaps she meant the teachers are the All Blacks?
That might work, because we do and always have used data to inform us in our classrooms and schools, and we do try to improve and have fun. Excellent, that must be it.
Oh, wait… I presume The All Blacks don’t have to run their planned moves by the Minister, though? Or send their data in a couple of times a year for some civil servants to check over? Or get sudden edicts from the Ministry or Minister saying how they should play from now on. Hmmm… so the analogy falls apart again.
Of course it falls apart no matter which way you look at it, because it’s just a soundbite and means nothing.
Teachers are not the All Blacks. Nor are we the All Black captain.
We coach the ones who play well, the ones who don’t,
the ones with boots, the ones without,
the ones who would rather have a punch up than play to the rules,
the ones who want to play but are too shy or unsure,
the ones who think they are Richie McCaw when in fact they are more Ritchie Valens,
the ones who try so hard but never quite get to the top team,
the ones who blow your mind by making great leaps forward,
the hungry ones who can’t focus,
the depressed ones whose minds are somewhere else,
the ones going home to a warm dry house and the ones going home to mould,
the ones who can’t see the ball,
the ones who run the wrong way,
the ones who’d rather draw the ball or redesign it,
the ones who want to be an All Black
and the ones who don’t –
the ones who can be an All Black
and the ones who can’t.
What we are is the coach of all the teams – ALL of them – and we can’t and shouldn’t pick our players. We should teach the team we get.
So, if being an All Black teacher means picking only the very best, I’d rather be a little league coach any day.
~ Dianne Khan, SOSNZ
Thanks to Marcus for giving me permission to share this cartoon. I think it says it all about the current system …
teaching cartoons can be bought right here.
Because feeding hungry kids so they can learn is SO last season.
See here for the Children’s Commissioner recommendations on poverty: http://www.occ.org.nz/publications/expert-advisory-group/
“Really, John? You’re really going to let me tinker with
New Zealand’s state school system?
Oh thank you, sir, thank you…”
Playing (out) soon near you.
Brought to you by Charter Schools, GERM, and David Seymour.
So, two things come to mind when I see this pic:
1. Be careful what you say in public as hypocrisy is not a good look.
2. Paula’s right – don’t vote for f*@# wits.
If anyone can shed further light on this letter, which is apparently to Vic Uni’s student mag, do let me know!
UPDATE: And eagle eyes reader spotted this rather excellent article: http://thestandard.org.nz/key-not-sure-which-bennett-he-appointed/
“Testing can be fabulous. We can learn a lot about where our students are from tests, and we analyse the results alongside all that we know of the student to plan where the student needs to go next. National Standards, however, are not so hot. Don’t confuse the two.”
Further articles on National Standards: https://saveourschoolsnz.wordpress.com/national-standards/
… to follow in the footsteps of England and start forcibly taking over public schools and handing them over to charter schools.
And why would they do that?
Well, because of this:
* Tory = National
Still think they’re a good idea?
– and the money was shuffled from other areas of education, so others lose out.
Originally published in The Dominion Post 20/5/14
The dementor is in full swing, fairly skipping up the path of global education reform (GERM) throwing rose petals and blank cheques in her path, just behind her good pals George Bush, Michael Gove, Arne Duncan, Tony Blair and the other GERMers determined to leave our kids’ education to the whims of the market place.
Ooh I bet they are having one heck of a party!
Good job, too. I’m so very glad they are selling it all off. Schools schmools.
I mean, the free market has worked so very well in all other aspects of our lives, hasn’t it, with reasonable power prices, good telecoms services, stable housing market, no Wall Street crashes that rock the entire world markets.
Oh wait. I’m making a Hekia style faux pas here, aren’t I? A blunder, if you will.
Because privatisation does not necessarily improve services. In fact it can make them worse. And more costly. Much more costly.
Which is all a bit of a concern for me, because I like to know my tax dollars are being stent wisely, not just ferreted off into a poorly performing private sector company that doesn’t match what the public sector was doing in the first place.
I’m picky like that,
It’s not just me, though – even the Treasury has pointed out that private companies don’t do better than public ones – even if they are perceived to because they cherry pick their ‘clients’:
In fact public schools beat private ones hands down, despite having to cater for all students of all abilities, backgrounds, behaviours, and so on. Wow. Maybe we shouldn’t privatise all the things after all.
Maybe I should also go read what Allan has to say on the matter, since he has been at the sticky end of education for more years than I. He’s not teaching any more, so he has no vested interest whatsoever in how it all pans out. Let’s see what he says…
“As I’ve been saying for several years, National’s education policies have nothing to do with education, regardless of their spin about ‘raising achievement’ for all. This will come as no surprise to ‘thinking’ people but man, there are many out there who are still unable to open their eyes to the reality.
This includes far too many principals who damn well should know better.
Warning people – National and its cronies are set on a path to destroy New Zealand’s public education at all levels. The privatisation process is on full speed ahead. We have six months to stop it.”
Jeepers, he is rather concerned, and he has found a number of others thinking the same way…
I think I had best go and read the full thing. Bear with…
Okay, I’m back. So … maybe…. mayyyyybe…. just a thought, but maybe there are lots of folk out there that want to support and improve our public schools rather than cripple them and sell them off?
Like, off the top of my head, all those parents whose children will be at the mercy of this shackled and broken system, taught by a demoralised profession forced to focus only on test scores in maths and English.
And maybe the old who, when those kids are grown up, have to live in a world now run by them, at the mercy of the economy they create with their great test-taking skills (and high depression rate). Maybe they’d prefer well-rounded and well-educated people in charge instead?
Because, y’know, there could also be artists and dentists and musicians and physicists and counsellors and gardeners and dancers and doctors and hairdressers and chefs and inventors and, well to be honest, every single person in every single job and in every part of their lives needs more than to just be good at reading, writing and maths. Those things are great – essential – but they are not everything.
So, I think maybe I will stick with supporting public schools to remain just that – public.
For the good of everyone.