Good spotting

August 27th, 2010 at 9:03 am by David Farrar

blog:

Don’t you love when two people contradict each other in the same news article?

Even more so when the journalist writing the story doesn’t seem to notice!

“Parents were meant to have been told about the illusion before the exercise.” – Justin Reid, Otatara Primary School Board Of Trustees Chairman

“Yesterday, school principal Sharon Livingstone said the letter was a “mistake” and was not meant to go home to parents.”

Good spotting. It does make it look more likely that they are inventing excuses, after the event, and that it was in fact politically motivated.

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31 Responses to “Good spotting”

  1. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    of course

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  2. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Not necessarily a contradiction. Parents can be told of the exercise without having the letter sent home.

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  3. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    Off her tolley – Minister caught bullshitting about School trustees assocations supoport for National Standards (Dompost today)

    and…

    Mrs Tolley fought off criticism yesterday after it was revealed that parents in charge of 48 school boards had written to her at a rate of more than one a week complaining about aspects of the national standards.

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  4. mpledger (429 comments) says:

    The school was wrong to lie to the kids. All that does is breed distrust and cynacism in the kids.

    It’s not creative writing to write a letter in anger or when upset. It’s creative writing to know it’s not true but imagine how you would feel about a proposal you don’t like and then write a logical and coherent response. (Or, even better, to use your imagination to write a supportive letter as well.)

    I don’t think it was politically motivated – outside of Wellington and Auckland CBD people aren’t really interested in political game playing – they just want to get on with their lives with as little outside disruption as possible.

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  5. Rich Prick (1,530 comments) says:

    The fact that they cannot even co-ordinate their spin just confirms that it is BS. Lets call it for what it was, politically motivated half-baked crap by a couple of pinko teachers that found its way into the public domain. Followed by poorly thought out spin on the hoof that is in the “dog-ate-my-homework-Miss” category.

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  6. ben (2,396 comments) says:

    When’s the last time you heard teacher’s unions ever talk about, you know, teaching.

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  7. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    Ben – Tolley’s National Standard’s are supposedly a “tool to guide teaching”. All the noise we hear from both sides is very much about the classroom. Right now teachers in your neighbourhood are assessing kids against national standards, and trying figure out how that relates to Astle and StAr assessments, their colleagues, and the school next door.

    Any National education policy changes are going to be difficult – but watching National’s national standards implementation has been a lesson in “how to fuck everything up, at every opportunity”…

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  8. Nick R (497 comments) says:

    So the Minister is lying about support for National Standards and a school in Southland is lying about her extending the school day.

    This is a thoroughly toxic relationship. The PM has already taken tertiary education off Tolley. It might be time he took the rest. I reckon if he sacrifices her he will be able to save National Standards – and they should be saved. But as things are going now they are just going to slide gently into chaos.

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  9. thedavincimode (6,514 comments) says:

    “Mrs Tolley fought off criticism yesterday after it was revealed that parents in charge of 48 school boards had written to her at a rate of more than one a week complaining about aspects of the national standards.”

    48 school boards being what proportion of the total? I’m not sure, but isn’t it something like 600? It would be interesting to see a list of those school boards.

    Would it come as any surprise that the boards that agree with NES just got on with it and didn’t write to complain?

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  10. BeaB (2,056 comments) says:

    Otatara School has something seriously wrong going on. Why didn’t the principal front? The BOT Chair was clearly out of his depth. Who did the photocopying – on to Beehive letterhead? Who are the NZEI activists in Invercargill – any on the staff at this school? How did it get past school systems for sending stuff home?
    I have said many times before and will keep on saying it – primary schools have no public accountbaility AT ALL for EIGHT years of taxpayer funding! Why do we let this go on? High schools front up every year for three years with NCEA and results are in the media along with ‘league tables’. The sky hasn’t fallen in.
    When so many of our kids leave primary school with inadequate literacy and numeracy for high school studies we should be supporting Anne Tolley in all her efforts to make things better for those poor kids doomed to failure. Remember most of these policies come out of the Ministry – she didn’t dream them up.
    Or are teachers and their unions and slagging off a Minister more important than the dismal future for kids whose teachers failed to teach them to read?

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  11. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    Davincimode

    remember, those letters are from boards that really are mum and dad volunteers – not unions or political advisors. When a minister gets 50 letters from around the country, and they’re not from paid lobby groups, it’s a sign of something.

    I reckon very few boards agree with how national standards are being implemented – you’re right tho’ most are are trying to make sense of it as best they can…

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  12. thedavincimode (6,514 comments) says:

    I take your point k.j , but if the board members are not particularly sophisticated or assertive, that raises the prospect that the concerns expressed are merely reflective of teacher resistance.

    krazykiwi has commented in the last few days regarding resistance he encountered when he was on a board. Given the way that the teachers’ political lobby has operated, then it at least seems plausible that their tactics will have included attempts to lobby their boards to resist NES and these letters might reflect that.

    If these letters represent less than 10% of boards, then one might just as easily argue that 90% agree with NES. It could only be expected that only the antis would write. I’m not suggesting that those are the relative percentages – no doubt the number lies somewhere in between. But I think the raw stats on their own can’t be said to be in any way reflective of what most boards think. Yet, predictably, that is exactly how they are being trumpeted.

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  13. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    Ive never considered krazykiwi as not assertive – as a board memember or otherwise! But I guess we must agree to disagree – To me, 50 letters from mums and dads representing schools around the country is indictative that teacher’s arent altogther alone is struggling with National Standards.

    to quote myself – Any National education policy changes are going to be difficult – but watching National’s national standards implementation has been a lesson in “how to fuck everything up, at every opportunity”…

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  14. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    There are around 2500 schools in NZ, meaning the 50 letters represents around 2%. And while boards do consist of mums and dads, matters relating to education stuff (ie not buildings, newsletters, admin) are generally ‘lead’ by the principal and/or the teacher rep on the board.

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  15. thedavincimode (6,514 comments) says:

    … er .. I would never suggest she has handled implementation very well …

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  16. BeaB (2,056 comments) says:

    I can tell you that every board I have ever known (and I have known plenty) follows the lead of the principal on education matters like this. Just about all principals are members of the unions and well aware that staff can read the minutes. Boards just about always support their principal and staff. QED.

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  17. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    except the one I chair???

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  18. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    @BeaB – It’s worse than that .. in my view, a majority of NZ BoT’s are run by the principal with the Chair just the public figurehead!

    @k.jones – Good on ya!

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  19. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Jeez everybody, the dog ate their homework, just accept it.

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  20. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    i can remember attending a National Standards primer session for board chairs run by Krazykiwis wife i think? (who is extremely well regarded in the sector). All of us Chairs were clearly of the view that:

    the implementation programme for schools was ridiculous and would effect staff
    we had to do the best we could

    i dont recall anyone being manipluated by any nasty principals

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  21. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    @k.jones – At one primer session for principals and lead teachers, an NZEI rep ran around each conference table prior to the day commencing, and delivered a document and coaching on set of very loaded questions designed to throw the presenter and session off balance. Mrs kk wasn’t on the dais when the salvo’s were fired, but one of her colleagues was.. and handled the situation very well by all accounts.

    There is no question that improvements can be made in the way National Standards is implemented. But sitting and waiting while academics endlessly theorize about the best way forward isn’t going to help our kids who are being failed by the education system in alarming numbers. Of all groups, Boards should see this and demand to move forwards which is what your Board Chair group decided c.f. “we had to do the best we could”. Good stuff!

    Education is all about moving bolding from known domains of knowledge into unknown domains of knowledge, and using that transition, as odd, unplanned or uncomfortable as it may be as an opportunity to grow. That’s what we expect of students, and it should be what we expect of teachers and education industry leaders.

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  22. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    Thanks Krazykiwi (our politics to one side)

    And i really like this phrase

    “…That’s what we expect of students, and it should be what we expect of teachers and education industry leaders.”

    have a good weekend and go the phoenix!

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  23. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Thanks k.jones, same to you. Yes.. go the phoenix… and can it please warm up before the next Welliington game?!? Taking the top off in the last 10 is f-f-freezing!

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  24. RightNow (6,638 comments) says:

    (channelling philu) – this post title is false advertising

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  25. RRM (9,414 comments) says:

    Copies of the letters were not intended to be given to students and parents were meant to have been told about the illusion before the exercise, [Board of trustees chairman Justin Reid] said.

    ^^^ From the article the Act Yoof are complaining about. Seems to reconcile the two statements they think are contradictory. Arguments that are too powerful to discuss perhaps?

    DPF: It does make it look more likely… that it was in fact politically motivated.

    We’ll you’ve certainly been convinced since day 1 that it was politically motivated. And hey presto! Something that fits that theory.

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  26. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    We’ll you’ve certainly been convinced since day 1 that it was politically motivated. And hey presto! Something that fits that theory.

    Wow, I’m impressed by DPF’s power – able to subvert an individuals free will to further his VRWC.

    Knob head.

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  27. RRM (9,414 comments) says:

    Bitch.

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  28. BeaB (2,056 comments) says:

    Just about every objection put up by the unions has been put up about just about every education reform in the last few decades. It’s a mantra – we’re guinea pigs, run a pilot first, it didn’t work overseas, it will lead to league tables, teachers will teach to the test, teachers’ creativity (!) will be stifled, it’s ploy to introduce vouchers, it’s the first step to merit pay etc etc. Then the same old blokes are wheeled out (Elley, Snook, Crooks, Hattie etc etc ) to say the same old things.
    In the meantime, kids are doomed to failure, primary schools get away with running pet days instead of making sure every kid can read and the unions grow fatter and stronger on the backs of dismal under-achievement for far too many of our nation’s children.
    And the taxpayer keeps forking out oodles of cash for the Ministry of Education and ERO to do more and more of less and less.

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  29. Inventory2 (10,086 comments) says:

    @ krazykiwi – I’m coming down to the Sydney FC match, and I gather that James Stephenson is too; sounds like a good opportunity to meet for a couple of wets before kick-off …

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  30. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Bitch.

    Try the c word.

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  31. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    @IV2 – Sounds like a plan. Have lost your email addr. Ping me on krazykiwi.kiwiblog@gmail.com and we’ll set something up. Cheers

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