NZEI says Tolley should have attended US conference, not dealt with earthquake

May 23rd, 2011 at 4:17 pm by David Farrar

’s hatred of is clouding all their judgement. Their latest bizarre rant is that they are unhappy Tolley did not fly to New York for some talk fest conference, and instead stayed in New Zealand to concentrate on getting Christchurch schools re-opened.

Jo McKenzie-McLean writes in The Press:

Unions have criticised Education Minister Anne Tolley for not attending an international summit in New York because of the Christchurch earthquake.

Tolley was to lead a delegation in mid-March to the International Summit on the Teaching Profession at the invitation of United States Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) president Ian Leckie and the Post-Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) president Kate Gainsford attended the summit, held at the New York Hilton.

The Hilton sounds cheap.

However, Tolley said there was “no way” she was going to leave New Zealand after the earthquake to attend a conference.

She also questioned why the union leaders had attended the summit.

“It is up to these union leaders to justify to their members why they believe their job was to fly to New York for a conference while thousands of their members were affected by the Christchurch earthquake,” Tolley said.

“With all Christchurch schools still closed, many of them seriously damaged, and students displaced and out of school, there was no way I was going to leave.

“It was my job to be in Christchurch and Wellington leading ministry officials and supporting schools to reopen, and I was hugely impressed by the determination and hard work from principals, trustees and teachers during such a distressing time.

“I’ve personally told the NZEI union leaders, in no uncertain terms, my feelings on this matter.”

Imagine if Tolley had gone. She would have been attacked for abandoning New Zealand. NZEI seem determined to have an confrontational relationship.

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84 Responses to “NZEI says Tolley should have attended US conference, not dealt with earthquake”

  1. Manolo (12,624 comments) says:

    The parasitic nature of union leaders have been confirmed once again. Like blood-sucking leeches they attach themselves to a living organism and live at its expense.

    A trip to NYC for a couple of failed teachers? Not a bad reward for these two chardonnay-sipping socialists.

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  2. Bill Courtney (107 comments) says:

    DPF, your hatred of NZEI and your blind defence of Anne Tolley both cloud your judgement on this issue. If you had quoted from the remainder of the story from The Press, you would have seen that the Japanese sent their deputy education minister, even though they had suffered from their earthquake, and this is what Ian Leckie suggeted that Tolley should have done.

    Also, the conference was hardly a “talk fest” but a major international conference organised by the Americans in conjunction with the OECD.

    You should at least try and do some research before launching into these tirades.

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  3. mpledger (428 comments) says:

    Well, I glad she didn’t go. We have enough American education policy creeping into our education system, and being implemented in the cheapest way possible, without Anne Tolley picking up any more bizarre ideas from Arne Duncan.

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  4. Bill Courtney (107 comments) says:

    Here is the link to the OECD page that decribes the conference. If you look through the list of attending countries, you will not see NZ listed.
    http://www.oecd.org/document/52/0,3746,en_2649_37455_47390964_1_1_1_37455,00.html

    mpledger, it was not American education policy that was being discussed. They were simply hosting the conference.

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  5. decanker (220 comments) says:

    Perhaps the actual editorial should be linked to:
    http://www.educationaotearoa.org.nz/storage/ea-magazine-files/2011/autumn/EA%20autumn%202011.pdf

    The editorial’s headline is bad, though there really is nothing much wrong with the content and it makes no mention of Tolley; NZEI just say they would have liked to have had a Govt or Ministry representative there:

    It was a meeting of “the world’s 13 top-performing education systems, where New Zealand was acknowledged as having the practices and processes that other countries aspire to”

    “The New Zealand government chose not to send a representative because of the Christchurch earthquake. Japan, however, chose to send its deputy education minister. As a result, NZEI and PPTA representatives were embarrassed to see our delegation excluded from direct participation in the top table discussions. There was plenty to talk about – just nobody from the New Zealand government or ministry to discuss it with”

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  6. Positan (377 comments) says:

    re Bill – NZEI lost whatever credibility it possessed years ago, but it still seems blind to the fact. It has shown pronounced antagonism to the person of every National education minister since the late ’60s – while it’s slobbered up to the few of Labour ilk.

    If NZEI’s posturers were more concerned with teaching and far less involved in politics, we might have seen far more that was ascertainable as having been constructive in the academic development of our kids.

    Whether or not the Japanese chose to send someone to the conference is demonstrably irrelevant – every country’s circumstances are different, and Japan’s ministerial resources are many, many times that of ours. As a personal judgement, given the needs of Christchurch and those of the country, I think Tolley’s decision was the correct one.

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  7. queenstfarmer (696 comments) says:

    … and nothing of value was lost.

    It is typical, but sad, that a group of ideologue unionists would put an international talk-fest, which will acheive no tangible results, ahead of ensuring that all available resources are available to getting Christchurch (and its schools) up and running.

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  8. david (2,482 comments) says:

    Having scanned through the list of attendees, it did strike me that there was neither a broad nor a stellar cast at this knees-up

    Hilton
    New York
    Glossy material
    Air dollars
    Food & booze supplied
    A show on Broadway perhaps?
    What spare time – surely you jest.

    nah thanks

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  9. david (2,482 comments) says:

    Oh you are that Bill Courtney
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/11/bill_courtney_on_national_standards.html

    Great to have your unbiased and independent opinion Bill.

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  10. Elaycee (4,067 comments) says:

    @ Bill Courtney.

    Based on your previous vitriolic statements about the Minister and your desire to place every obstacle possible in the way of a successful implementation of National Standards, I suspect that if Minister Tolley gave you a brand new Rolex you would decline it because it was gold not your favourite colour – red. Like it or not, Tolley’s priorities were to help sort out temporary school accommodation for the kids in CHC.

    Interesting that you posted a link to the Press Release – perhaps Kiwibloggers can decide for themselves about any merits or otherwise of this ‘Conference’… here’s a link to the Agenda.

    http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/internationaled/agenda.pdf

    A total no brainer – Christchurch was the priority. Tolley did the right thing.

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  11. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    BC needs to recognise that most contributors here, including Farrar, aren’t into research or seeking out facts. Like all reactionaries, they listen to their intestinal rumblings and switch off their brain, especially when THAT word ”union” is mentioned.

    What did Tolley DO in the aftermath of the quake? Anyone know?

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  12. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,668 comments) says:

    A bloody sight more than Bill Courtney, by the look of it.

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  13. Jimbob (639 comments) says:

    Why is that teachers treat adults like children? Adults can actually think for themselves, thank you very much.

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  14. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Shame on Anne Tolley fancy missing a good brain washing. Most sensible Kiwis know what should be done in education and we don’t need a bullshit fest in the US to tell us how to do it. New Zealand once led the world in education. How many mindless fucking conferences have education officials been to over the years, should we not now be the shining star in the world or is our falling education standards related to the proportion of conferences one attends.?. Seems to me it’s probably time we solved our own problems rather then hitting the piss at the latest junket to be had.

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  15. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    DPF

    …Tolley did not fly to New York for some talk fest conference, and instead stayed in New Zealand to concentrate on getting Christchurch schools re-opened.

    I thought that was one of the things Gerry Brownlee had been given dictatorial powers to do. No need for another Minister, whom I doubt has the competence to do anything in that regard anyway, to be there to have her hand held by Gerry for the photo-op – apart from the fact that she is so incompetent that she makes Gerry look as though he is in control of the situation.

    Worst Minister ever (Merv Wellington and Judith Tizard possibly excepted).

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  16. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    @Maggie, just for you. From one of those links …

    “Everyone concerned is doing a fantastic job in extremely difficult circumstances,” Tolley. “I also want to thank parents for showing patience.”

    So she was wasting her time providing support and encouragement, when she could have been with your NZEI pals soaking up the fun and energy of New York.

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  17. kiwi in america (2,336 comments) says:

    Maggie
    If you want to know what Tolley has been doing re Chch schools post earthquake then listen to this 18 minute interview with Catherine Ryan http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20110304-0910-Schools_in_Christchurch-048.mp3
    Ryan ahs a reputation for being a very neural unbiased reporter.

    Tell us that had she gone to NY that you and the NZEI/PPTA/Labour wouldn’t have accused her of a frivolous junket rather that tending to the earthquake struck schools.

    If you even an ounce of a clue of the scale of the catastrophe that hit Chch and thus the schools, you’dve thought twice before posting your partisan hit piece.

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  18. Pongo (356 comments) says:

    Maybe if Tolley had gone she might have spoken to the yanks about their no unionised publicly funded private schools that are spectacularly successful or the poms who are doing the same thing with their acadamies. Scant chance of the Nats doing anything that might upset the left wing commontariat and take the gloss off the Key love fest.

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  19. Michael (880 comments) says:

    FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER! FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER! FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER! FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER! FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER! FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER!

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  20. tvb (3,939 comments) says:

    The Teachers’ Unions think they are on safe ground if they do anything the opposite of Ann Tolley. But I think Ann is slowly but surely winning the battle for public opinion. If Ann Tolley condemned a pedophile teacher (not uncommon sadly) the Unions would find a way to condemn her for that.

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  21. Nomestradamus (2,769 comments) says:

    Kiwi in America:

    If you even an ounce of a clue of the scale of the catastrophe that hit Chch and thus the schools, you’dve thought twice before posting your partisan hit piece.

    Now there’s a nice thought. Unfortunately, if you read Maggie’s previous comments, you’ll withdraw the “an ounce of a clue” part of your comment and apologise to yourself for engaging with a troll!

    For instance, back when the earthquake struck, Maggie had this to say:

    Maggie (618) Says:

    February 22nd, 2011 at 10:23 pm
    This is a national disaster. To anyone with family or Friends in Christchurch, I hope they are all OK.

    As for those who have used this thread for political purposes or indulge in namecalling: Shame on you.

    Hmmm, yes, so back then Maggie agreed it was a “national disaster” and discouraged everyone from using the earthquake thread for political purposes or to indulge in namecalling.

    And, on this thread, Maggie explained why he – yes, I seem to recall it’s a guy posting under a girl’s name – comments here:

    Maggie (618) Says:

    November 8th, 2010 at 6:38 pm
    kowtow, I’ve often wondered that myself, but someone has to provide a little balance. Otherwise this blog would consist entirely of unpleasant right wingers all agreeing with each other’s bigotry and prejudice. Think how dull that would be.

    Face it, if I wasn’t here you lot would have to invent me.

    Go figure…

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  22. Elaycee (4,067 comments) says:

    Maggie, it would have been very difficult for you to really understand the sheer magnitude of the Christchurch earthquake from your base in Australia. Even the TV pictures did not do justice to the sheer scale of devastation and the effect it has had on both people and property. It was not a time for political points scoring but rather a time when all Kiwis did whatever they could to help those affected.

    This only became politicised when the NZEI and the PPTA decided to use this as part of their campaign against the Minister (and of course the media lapped it up). But on this occasion, Tolley got it right.

    Or are you seriously suggesting that she should have gone to a conference in NY just 3 weeks after the city had been flattened?

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  23. reid (15,531 comments) says:

    apart from the fact that she is so incompetent that she makes Gerry look as though he is in control of the situation

    Apparently toad she’s very competent indeed for she introduced national standards quite over everyone’s heads in the ed business, she did it early in the first term and rapidly and she won, it’s in, up and running, and by the time National departs, all the parents will want them, so you guys will have a hard time dragging them away, won’t you. So evidentially you see, she’s not quite as incompetent as you so desperately want to think.

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  24. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    …………………………..Or are you seriously suggesting that she should have gone to a conference in NY just 3 weeks after the city had been flattened?…………..

    yes sadly, Elaycee that exactly what he is doing. A professional contraian defending the indefensible as always, tragic.

    I cant understand why he does not live in the Socailist Republic of New Zealand that 9 years of Labour created – but then even a shit stirrer like Maggie knows what a mess helen and co left for National, just like all labour governments have done.

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  25. Bill Courtney (107 comments) says:

    Apart from the vitriolic personal comments, which I will ignore, most comments miss the point.

    First, as decanker pointed out, the actual NZEI editorial never mentioned Tolley. If her decision was to stay behind, then why did she not arrange for a nominee to attend?

    Second, the invite list represented the world’s top performing systems, including China, Korea, Finland, Hong Kong and Singapore – all right at the top of the PISA results table. Was the fact that NZ’s invitation to this event – based on our outstanding PISA 2009 results – something that the NZ government did not wish to acknowledge?

    Last, the agenda included discussion on a range of key challenges, including issues such as “teacher evaluation and compensation”. This is one of DPF’s hot topics, so I would have thought he would have wanted someone present to pick up on the latest thinking. After all, the unions were prepared to be there and to discuss this. Ironically, this session was introduced by Singapore, who DPF (and Roger Douglas) raved about only recently!!

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  26. Fair Dos (1 comment) says:

    NZEI have got this badly wrong. If they want to be taken seriously they need to stop this nonsense.
    To attack an Education minister because she wouldn’t attend an overseas conference a couple of weeks after a major disaster which left all Chch schools closed – and some of them falling down – is beyond absurd.

    Even Labour had the good grace to acknowledge Tolley’s part in supporting the Ch schools – watch from 5:05 http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/7651

    Now if Labour recognize this, then surely the teachers’ union should have shown some common sense over this. Yes, the conference may have been worthy – but so what, in comparison to what was happening here.

    I can just imagine the unions discussing this over cocktails at the New York Hilton – …wait until we get back and we’ll use this as another example of how Tolley doesn’t value teachers…..
    If I was a Christchurch NZEI member i’d be asking why my leaders were in NY spending my subs, when they should have been on the ground lending a hand.

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  27. reid (15,531 comments) says:

    Was the fact that NZ’s invitation to this event – based on our outstanding PISA 2009 results – something that the NZ government did not wish to acknowledge?

    I would suggest probably not particularly Bill, it’s just we had an earthquake and there was lots to do and it’s laughable quite frankly to even suggest Brownlee could possibly handle all the ChCh needs across the board of govt, by himself. I mean all hands to the pumps and all. Wasn’t it.

    Yeah you’re right, it would have been good to send a delegation. Perhaps there’ll be another one, next year.

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  28. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    Bill

    In this age of technology why is it necessary for personal attendance to hear key note speakers?

    Video conferencing does for many major corprations these days ( i.e businesses that generate income for New Zealand ), , surgeons perform operations remotely.

    Now I can understand that the new Zealand delegates would have been of such a high caliber that their interaction would have been an integral part of this talk fest, but really, green miles Bill and all that.

    Work shops ,I hear you say Bill, but again video conferencing surely.

    Also who was footing the bill for this trip ? was it the union members or was it the tax payer.?

    My guess would be the latter, but it sure as hell wouldn’t have been the union delegates

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  29. big bruv (12,352 comments) says:

    I would suggest that one of the reasons that the unions (and assorted left wing parasitic scum like Toad) keep attacking Tolley is because she is a bloody easy target.

    We often hear that Neville Key was once called the smiling assassin, it is a pity he does not bring some of that ruthless streak out and boot Tolley to the back benches where she belongs.

    National standards was one of the main reasons the Nat’s were elected, they have a mandate from the people, we want it implemented and we want it done now, we do not give a shit what the teachers unions think about National Standards and we need a much stronger Minister to deal with the teachers unions.

    Sack Tolley and give he job to an MP who can deal to the teachers, ideally it is a job for Crusher Collins or Tony Ryall, bloody hell……anybody but Tolley, she is a nice lady but she is a very easy target for the unions and the left in general.

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  30. Psycho Milt (1,975 comments) says:

    Indeed, it’s inconceivable that Tolley might have found someone else among her staff and colleagues who could match her incisive wisdom and deep knowledge of the sector at a major conference – I mean, really, how many people out there are that smart? Clearly her leadership qualities and initiative were essential to Christchurch’s recovery from the quake, it’s just a shame that her staff and colleagues are so incompetent that none of them were up to the job of attending the conference in her place. Or something.

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  31. GazzaW (30 comments) says:

    Toad, Merv Wellington had the dubious honour of being the first Minister of Education to be targetted by the teachers’ unions. No argument at all about Judith Tizard but top of the pile for incompetence would have to be Russell Marshall.

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  32. dion (95 comments) says:

    > No need for another Minister

    Toad, you may find this a bit hard to believe but we actually have schools in Christchurch and Tolley is currently the education minister.

    Unless of course you’re saying that mad Delahunty would go jet-setting off to New York in the middle of a natural disaster if she were placed in that position.

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  33. Nomestradamus (2,769 comments) says:

    Bill Courtney:

    The NZEI editorial is fairly brief and, seeing as you clearly agree with it, I’ll quote it here in full for the purposes of facilitating discussion:

    We’re at the top of the world – it’s official!

    In March, I went to New York to a meeting of the world’s 13 top-performing education systems, where New Zealand was acknowledged as having the practices and processes that other countries aspire to. It was an exhilarating, humbling and inspiring experience to be recognised as a valued world leader alongside the likes of Finland, Singapore, China and Japan.

    The OECD and Education International called the ‘International Summit on the Teaching Profession’ to identify approaches to building a highly successful teaching profession. It was the first of its kind in that it brought together international political leaders and education unions.

    Two further meetings are scheduled. The OECD is clear that education reform can only be successful when governments and professional union leaders plan and work together.

    The meeting’s conclusions were also clear – that top-performing systems are successful because of teacher quality and the quality of school leadership. In many high-performing education systems, teachers not only have a central role to play in improving educational outcomes, they are also at the centre of the improvement efforts themselves. Governments and unions can work well together around the reform agendas needed to make great education systems excellent.

    The New Zealand government chose not to send a representative because of the Christchurch earthquake. Japan, however, chose to send its deputy education minister. As a result, NZEI and PPTA representatives were embarrassed to see our delegation excluded from direct participation in the top table discussions. There was plenty to talk about – just nobody from the New Zealand government or ministry to discuss it with.

    I’ve highlighted what I consider to be two germane points:

    1. Two further meetings are scheduled. So the fact that the government chose not to send a representative to the first meeting because of the Christchurch earthquake doesn’t seem so, er, earth-shattering now does it?

    2. Ian Leckie describes the meeting’s conclusions in terms that aren’t exactly earth-shattering either. Given that he actually attended the meeting, don’t you think he should be able to offer a more incisive, and nuanced, commentary on the key learnings from the conference?

    Yes, I appreciate that it’s only an editorial, but even so why couldn’t Ian outline his thoughts in a fuller article on, say, pages 18-20 of the NZEI publication, where space was instead dedicated to a discussion about, er, the Christchurch earthqake?

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  34. Robboy (49 comments) says:

    Hey Farrar, what part of “Leckie told The Press yesterday the minister should have appointed a senior government official to travel to New York” do you not understand?

    Or, “There was plenty to talk about – just nobody from the New Zealand Government or ministry to discuss it with”

    Your headline “NZEI says Tolley should have attended US conference” is incorrect and misleading. You have fallen into the trap of reading the sub-eds headline and basing your opinion on it without actually reading the quotes. Shame on you.

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  35. reid (15,531 comments) says:

    Clearly her leadership qualities and initiative were essential to Christchurch’s recovery from the quake, it’s just a shame that her staff and colleagues are so incompetent that none of them were up to the job of attending the conference in her place. Or something.

    Yes but that’s only what you think happened Psycho Milt, and for all we know, you could be making it up, for unless you have copies of the minutes of the relevant meetings, probably you know about as much as the rest of us and BTW, some of us don’t conclude that at all.

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  36. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    ..Leckie told The Press yesterday the minister should have appointed a senior government official to travel to New York”…….

    Another teacher telling the government what it should be doing, – do piss off.

    Would the delegates have been so keeen to attend if the talk fest was held in Casper , Wyoming? ( a great little town by the way but certainly not New York)

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  37. reid (15,531 comments) says:

    Hey Farrar,

    Just a suggestion Robboy as I see you’re new, but AFAIK and IIRC, DPF hasn’t ever expressed interest in being at either beck or call of any KiwiBlog blogger, no matter who they are.

    Sometimes, he even seems to get a bit annoyed when people act as if he is, for some reason.

    Often it appears he doesn’t even read every single comment.

    Isn’t that dreadful.

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  38. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Sooo … rolling up your sleeves and mucking in post disaster in horrible ChCh or expenses-paid trip to NY with Hilton thrown in and drinkies with your luvvie friends to talk about ‘the revolution’. . .

    Hmm. That’s a toughie. . . what a shame this was the only possible opportunity to attend, if only the organisers could have scheduled another one then they could have given this one a miss and attended the next one, and helped out with the re-building and getting those kids back into the classroom.

    Like that self-centred trollop Tolley did.

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  39. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (856 comments) says:

    oh God “concerned NZEI representative parent” bill Courtney is back with his particular brand of partisan bullshit.

    Yes Bill we get that you don’t like national standards

    we get that anything Anne Tolley does is evil

    we get that only you, “concerned parent of two” fully comprehends the threat that National poses to the quality of the NZ education system.

    Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to enlighten us, now haven’t you got something better to do, perhaps a young communist league encounter group to prepare for?

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  40. Bill Courtney (107 comments) says:

    deity,
    I’m delighted that you finally “get it”. As for the “young communist league encounter group” – now that’s an interesting one! Do they have a branch in Khandallah? I haven’t seen one advertised at the local cafes…

    As I declared in my guest posting on National Standards last year, I gave my Party Vote to National at the last election, but obviously, I now have to find an alternative.

    Have you come across anyone who actually understands what quality public education really is?

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  41. Andrei (2,430 comments) says:

    Luckily for the children of Christchurch Anne Tolley has got her priorities and that of her department absolutely correct.

    I hope the NZEI officials got learned lots of value enjoyed their junket to the big apple while their members struggled to get their schools back to functional status while also managing the issues this disaster had created in their personal out of office hours lives.

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  42. Robboy (49 comments) says:

    Bill, not in this cesspit, no.

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

    These NZEI tards have long since stopped letting common sense get in the way of hating Tolley. Still, their squawking makes a good indicator that she’s doing something right. Keep it up.

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  44. hayek (81 comments) says:

    Leckie said it was embarrasing that NZ missed out on the high-level discussions because no official government representative was there. Could be seen as a backhanded insult at Tolley, or could be a statement of fact. Certainly, the headline was wrong.

    Anne Tolley got defensive, but also seemed to attack the whole conference. That would go down really well with other countries’ education officials. Leckie and Gainsford are highly experienced teachers and principals as well as being unionists, so the whole “crush the chardonnay socialist unionist thugs” response seems a little bit out of proportion.

    At the very least, this would be no less justifiable than some conference on internet governance in Noumea eh DPF?

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  45. markm (90 comments) says:

    Thank you Anne Tolley for protecting my children from the Bill Courtneys of this world.
    They are the better for it

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  46. louie (78 comments) says:

    Do the NZEI thugs really think anyone believes they have raised non-attendance at this conference this because they care about the children??
    Just another tribal/ partisan attack on Tolley.

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  47. Nomestradamus (2,769 comments) says:

    Bill Courtney:

    So, apart from your drive-by response to The Deity Formerly Known As Nigel6888, you have nothing to say in response to my comment (which was directed at you after all)?

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  48. Rich Prick (1,320 comments) says:

    Now I know Tolley was conscious of unnecessary expenditure. Did the NZEI offer to pay her airfares in these difficult times? To do the important shit they say she should have done. And other shit, or whatever, God unions are irrelevant.

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  49. Bill Courtney (107 comments) says:

    nomestradamus,
    I still believe the simple issue was that, if Mrs T chose not to attend the conference, then why did she not send a nominee? The way the meeting was structured, with each country being represented by both its government and teacher reps, meant that NZ did not participate fully, as it should have done. Catching up later is not the best approach. NZ should be playing a full role in OECD meetings of this sort and making a full contribution to their success.

    The point of my original comment, which the one-eyed bloggers on this site miss, is that the attack by DPF in the original entry was unwarranted, given the editorial did not make a full frontal attack on Tolley, as The Press tried to make out. The very essence of this conference sought to have government and teacher reps side by side and not at war with each other. Tolley’s inaction in not sending a nominee was short-sighted.

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  50. Rich Prick (1,320 comments) says:

    Did any kids die Bill? Fuck, get a grip.

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  51. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    Bill said…
    Also, the conference was hardly a “talk fest” but a major international conference organised by the Americans in conjunction with the OECD.

    Bill, it is a talk fest, period.

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  52. Nomestradamus (2,769 comments) says:

    Bill Courtney:

    You choose to frame the “simple issue” as follows: “if Mrs T chose not to attend the conference, then why did she not send a nominee? I’m not Mrs T – makes a change from “Silent T” – so can’t presume to speak for her.

    I understand that you’d like to focus on that issue, but I’d still appreciate your response to the two matters I raised earlier:

    1. There will be at least 3 meetings. Is it really a big deal that the government didn’t send a representative to the first meeting on account of the Christchurch earthquake?

    2. If the conference was really as important (as you say it is) then why couldn’t Ian Leckie summarise the “meeting’s conclusions” in a more profound way? All he had to say (admittedly in the context of an editorial) was this: “The meeting’s conclusions were also clear – that top-performing systems are successful because of teacher quality and the quality of school leadership. In many high-performing education systems, teachers not only have a central role to play in improving educational outcomes, they are also at the centre of the improvement efforts themselves. Governments and unions can work well together around the reform agendas needed to make great education systems excellent”. Nothing new there, surely?

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  53. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    For those of you who seem to consider I know nothing about earthquakes and their potential for devastation:

    I was born in, and spent the first 23 years of my life in Napier {hence my nick which is short for Magpie}. An uncle was killed in the 1931 quake. My grandfather lost his business as well as his eldest son and died of a heart attack a few months later. No-one who lives in that city is ignorant of the threat of a shake and its potential for destroying human lives.

    From Napier I moved to Wellington, where earthquakes are also a regular occurence
    . I have experienced more earthquakes than probably anyone here and know the feeling of helplessness and fear as you wonder whether this one is going to stop or be the big one.

    So don’t judge people when you know nothing about their experiences.

    My question is whether Tolley would have been better engaged learning more about education {a lesson she needs very badly} than ”offering support and encouragement ” from Wellington.

    I’m delighted Nomestradamus finds my past postings so memorable he/she believes they are worth another airing. A membership form to the Friends of Maggie fan club is in the mail.

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  54. Jim (385 comments) says:

    The NZEI should focus on addressing the important issues with their members summarised here http://www.theonion.com/articles/report-increasing-number-of-educators-found-to-be,2732/ instead of wasting time and energy criticizing Tolley.

    Doesn’t anyone think of the children?

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  55. kiwi in america (2,336 comments) says:

    Maggie
    Your cheap shot was to imply that Tolley has done little to nothing to help earthquake struck schools. That implication was patently false. Did you listen to the Ryan interview on this precise subject? Probably not.

    You haven’t lived though a big earthquake so referring to relatives who did or your time in Wellington with little bumps of 4 or under is barely relevant. I was in Christchurch on 4 Sep and living through that was enough for me to appreciate the horror of what was a more vicious and devastating quake on Feb 22. I’m in very regular contact with family and friends in Chch and the disruption to education and schools has been one of the many burdens Chch residents must cope with. The Min Ed did a sterling job in getting as many schools open as quickly as they did and to make all the arrangements for almost 8,000 high school kids to carry on being educated across the city in other schools. Tolley directed those efforts and whatever you might think about her performance re National Standards, to imply her response to the earthquake was deficient was nothing more than a nasty cheap shot.

    Bill Courtney
    Had the NZEI and PPTA truly been wanting to further the needs of NZ education in a unified way then they would’ve covered for the lack of Min Ed officials at that one conference as being earthquake related. The tasks of getting Chch schools up and running would’ve consumed the entire department in Wellington. Non partisan participants would’ve seen the decision for what it was. The ideologically driven unionists saw an opportunity to take a swipe at Tolley and didnt waste it using as cover the Japanese. She reacted with the department’s priority at the time. You of course have predictably reacted to David’s reaction always through your lens of Tolley bad / teacher unions good.

    I would venture to say that the advancement of children’s education in NZ was not held back one iota by the Min Ed failing to send the official Leckie and Gainsford was moaning about. If nostradamus is right, there will be other conferences on this subject and I’m sure the right government people will be there. The unions are not interested in co-operating with this government – they will continue to maximise any opportunity for political embarrassment to ensure the election of a left leaning government to do their bidding. It’s fine for you to espouse that position but please spare us your pathetic attempts at lofty impartiality on this subject.

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  56. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (856 comments) says:

    Of course Nostrodamus was right (er sic? :))

    Shock horror Minister didnt attend OECD talkfest because of genuine national emergency. Call the prefects!

    The OECD writes thousands of worthy, and not so worthy reports every year, it organises hundreds of conferences and symposiums. Thats what it does. All of the papers are published and provided to members (and we are a member). Not attending one conference is not the end of the world, it doesnt even matter in the overall scheme of things. Makes no difference at all.

    But for the Khandallah “concerned father of two” communist this is another nail that he intends to bang as hard as he can.

    And yes Bill there are clearly communists in khandallah, who knew? Perhaps you would prefer to be regarded as a useful idiot instead, because those of us who do actually understand a bit about quality education appreciate that there is nothing even vaguely contentious about national standards – except to the lazy incompetents at the New Zealand teacher unions who might have to admit that the quality of some of our teaching is a bit crap, and the union position of defending every incompetent teacher, and forcing bland uniformity on the rest is damaging our kids.

    If you can escape from your Khandallah coccoon, why not head out to some lower decile schools and their communities and witness the damage caused by kids leaving school without basic numeracy and literacy skills. While you are doing that, you might have cause to wonder why half of our workforce lacks the numeracy skills to participate effectively in society. Yet we make these kids spend well over a decade in the formal education system, and they leave unable to read and write.

    That is the indictment, and that is the guilty secret that your New York flitting union bosses want to distract attention from with their propaganda campaign.

    Of course the Labor Government in Australia has no issues with national standards, but maybe Australians are less successful than New Zealanders? Maybe their education system is demonstrably worse? Hmm, or maybe not.

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  57. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (856 comments) says:

    Bill also pointed out that we missed out on learning from such educational leaders as Finland, Singapore, China (sic) and Japan.

    Funnily enough they do all have something in common:

    Finland – national standards – tick

    Singapore – national standards – tick

    China – national standards – tick

    Japan – national standards – tick

    who knew? Pretty outrageous I say, but at least we now know that Bill is a covert convert to the standards cause… better not let the NZEI know, eh

    bwuhahaha

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  58. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/education/10educ.html
    nice article about NZ’s interantional standing, We are up there with Turkey and Mexico!

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  59. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    sorry ‘interantial’ was a bloggian slip.

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  60. Psycho Milt (1,975 comments) says:

    Bill Courtney: I salute your efforts to educate people whose reading comprehension skills are obviously minimal. Their surly disregard for those efforts and unwillingness to even attempt to understand the text in front of them takes me back to my own school days – ah, bad times…

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  61. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    Lee C, that article quoted an expert called Mr Burt, who said that , Schools are inheriting an over-entertained, distracted student and that’s true.

    I see parents walking (or driving) their children to (primary) school all the times, although the school is only about 1 Km away from their homes. These are kids who are 8, 9 & 10. There are 2 school kids from my neighborhood, which I often talked to their parents lately and suggest to them that they should let their kids walk to school.

    Their parents have just brought those 2 kids recently to join my evening math coaching program and I often find them fall behind the other kids as I found out that their parents allow them to play computer games or surf the internet (being granted unlimited time), when they should be reading or doing outdoor physical activities. They only get off the computer when they feel bored. I’ve told the parents to limit the time their kids get access to the internet because it is doing harm to them, such as allowing them internet access no more than 2 hours a week (including playing computer games – 2 hours total/week), then split that time into 4 separate 1/2 hour sessions. The reason is that when they get over entertained their creativity is being killed. Besides, allowing kids to get access to the internet on a continual long periods is time-wasting and its not gonna lift their performance. Little Johnny is not going to die if his access to the internet is taken away from him, since kids at that young age are wasting their useful time on the internet to send messages back & forth to their friends on Twitter/Facebook.

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  62. wreck1080 (3,522 comments) says:

    @Bill Courtney:

    So, NZ should have attended because the Japanese chose to attend?

    That is absurd and DPF is absolutely correct. We are our own country and thankfully at least some of us put nation before self.

    The only hatred I see emanates from the unions. Especially the teachers union, they are a particularly deluded lot. I’m still annoyed about their pay demands during the recession.

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  63. Pete George (21,806 comments) says:

    I see parents walking (or driving) their children to (primary) school all the times

    Unfortunately that’s pretty much the norm these days. It means kids are transported from their house bubble via automobubble to their school bubble. No opportunity to let fresh air and fresh thoughts flow.

    Trouble is if they walk they will probably have their mp3 player plugged in as they txt on their phone on the way.

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  64. david (2,482 comments) says:

    OTOH it is really great that the NZ teacher’ union delegates to the conference came back convinced of the need to co-operate with Government in finding ways to encourage high performing teachers.

    Now that is a breakthrough and we should now expect to see the PPTA and NZEI hand in hand with the Minister in the introduction of the means of identifying the best teachers and finding ways to encourage them rather than dumbing down the system to treat all teachers equally.

    Aaaaahhhh ……. one can but dream that what has been written is a harbinger of things to come.

    So has Mr Leckie made an appointment with the Minister to bury the hatchet and start the co-operative process he has now learned is THE WAY?

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  65. Rick Rowling (776 comments) says:

    Maggie, Toad, can you really say, without blushing, that the NZEI, the Labour party or any other union wouldn’t have run some line about Tolley winging off to a luxury hotel in New York (complete with “outrageous” costings, a-la the BMW fleet & painting Premier House) while Christchurch schools reeled from the Earthquake?

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  66. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    I have no idea what any of those groups would have done, I speak for myself not for them.

    Can you really say, without blushing, that Tolley, with no educational background and limited intellect, is so on top of her portfolio that she can afford to miss any opportunity to further her knowledge?

    Can you really say, without blushing, that Christchurch schools would not have coped in her absence?

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  67. Rick Rowling (776 comments) says:

    Nope Maggie, I don’t say either of those things. That’s the point. I haven’t mindlessly decided on a Tolley=good / Tolley=bad prejudice.

    Various organisations and individuals on the left, however, have been saying a lot about Tolley, always bad, to the point where a situation like this comes up, based on past experience, it is clear that no matter what she did, they would complain about it.

    That would be why their credibility on this subject is so low.

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  68. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    It is certainly true that the relationship between Tolley and the education unions, which represent and are run by teachers, is totally fractured. Each party would no doubt blame the other and the truth is somewhere in between. Something has to be done to break the deadlock if the government is serious about education.

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  69. kiwi in america (2,336 comments) says:

    Maggie
    Had Tolley gone to NY and her critics went public about her going on a junket neglecting the school students of earthquake ravaged Christchurch, what would YOUR position be?

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  70. Elaycee (4,067 comments) says:

    Maggie 12.19pm says: “..Tolley… no educational background and limited intellect…”

    OK, lets look at the background of the main players here:

    Anne Tolley is a former Hawkes Bay Regional Councillor, a Napier City Councillor and was the Deputy Mayor of Napier City. Before entering parliament she was an active Rotarian, served on the Napier Girls’ High Board of Trustees and Hawkes Bay Polytechnic Council and was a Trustee of the Hawkes Bay Community Law Centre. Currently owns a business in Gisborne.

    Ian Leckie – before taking up his post with the union, he was principal of Tahatai Coast School in Papamoa, Mt Maunganui. Kate Gainsford of the PPTA union currently teaches at Wellington East Girls College. Bill Courtney is a former Chairman of Khandallah School in Wellington. He was outed by ‘Kiwi in America’ as “the teacher’s union activist who poses in the Dom Post Letters to the Editor as a ‘concerned citizen’ – under instructions from the PPTA to do battle with the ignorant tories on Kiwiblog.”

    Maggie, even though you are a self confessed left wing stirrer, surely you would concede that only a halfwit couldn’t recognise that Tolley has a more rounded background than the professional placard wavers who can only espouse the views of their union masters.

    Oh oh – you don’t???

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  71. Bill Courtney (107 comments) says:

    Elaycee,
    I am sick and tired of those of you who cannot accept that parents and trustees can form their own views on issues such as National Standards and education in general. When I posted my guest post on NS in November last year, I made it very clear that I had been the named petitioner on the big NS petition organised by NZEI. But it seems to be beyond the capabilities of most bloggers on this site to understand that that does not make me a “union stooge” as big jeanie et al constantly claim. “Outed by Kiwi in America” – don’t talk rot!

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  72. kiwi in america (2,336 comments) says:

    Bill
    I don’t claim to have outed you. That was elaycee’s comment not mine.

    You do constantly pass yourself off as a neutral semi-professional observer of the NS issue. You’re not. You’re a partisan participant with a very definite point of view that you express in whatever forum you will be heard/read in to do maximum political damage to Tolley and National. There’s nothing wrong with being a passionate believer (or in the this case non-believer) in matters in the political arena – just be honest and transparent about your partisan leanings and quit trying to pass yourself off as a non-partisan average middle kiwi parent in suburbia to somehow bolster your credibility.

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  73. kiwi in america (2,336 comments) says:

    Furthermore Bill, if we take you at your word that you have no actual teacher’s union involvement, your views amount to advocacy of their position. I actually believe you are genuine in wanting to contribute this issue. Why not engage with the Ministry constructively and work on the inside so to speak to improve NS?

    Maggie
    The teacher unions are not in the slightest bit interested in being part of breaking any deadlock with National – they will do all in their power to defeat this government and elect one that will do their bidding.

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  74. Elaycee (4,067 comments) says:

    Bill Courtney says: ““Outed by Kiwi in America” – don’t talk rot!”

    I see that KIA has already responded – and if you check the posts you would see that I made the ‘outed’ comment not KIA. But if you lay down the gauntlet, you’ll have to expect to have the facts repeated again, so here goes…

    From the Kiwiblog thread titled ‘Will Don Be Finance Minister?” :
    kiwi in america (1,260) Says:
    April 29th, 2011 at 5:46 pm
    Bill Courtney – ah yes the teacher’s union activist who poses in the Dom Post Letters to the Editor as a ‘concerned citizen’ – under instructions from the PPTA to do battle with the ignorant tories on Kiwiblog. No making teachers more accountable and introducing performance based pay – can’t have that. Even the slightest hint that Brash might be a Min Ed on a 2nd Key Administration – there’s a good chap Bill – go onto Kiwiblog and put that silly David Farrar right.

    And Bill, I’ve just checked the thread again and I note you did not refute or challenge KIA’s post. So which part could be wrong? The union activist reference? Nope – that can be verified with a simple search using Google. The pseudonym ‘concerned citizen’ used when you wrote to the Dom Post? Nope – that’s right. What about the pseudonym ‘concerned parent’ when the unions challenged National Standards? Nope, that was certainly used. Your claim to be impartial? Impartial??? Cue Tui billboard!

    Bill, your tactics are typical of the left – you attack the person rather than debate the merits (or otherwise) of a topic. You have done so to dozens of posters here and the minute someone voices an opposing view to yours (and worse still, they table facts that are not aligned with your own version of events), you immediately revert to type and explode in a spray of vitriol.

    Have you ever considered that you may actually be the person out of step here?

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  75. Bill Courtney (107 comments) says:

    Elaycee,
    What a pathetic comment! To both you and Kiwi, I say this: I am the one that has always posted in my own name; I write letters to papers in my own name; I have never used “concerned citizen” or any other label but I cannot control what others say or do; and yes, I wrote my own submission to the Select Committee based on my own research. I do not “pose” as anyone other than who I am and I express my own views on what I believe in.

    And yet both of you hide behind nom de plumes and make accusations that I am the poser! I repeat my simple assertion: my comments stand or fall on their merit. I accept that in this “cesspit” as robroy called it last night, these will be labelled and boxed in a convenient way, because you cannot accept that anyone who disagrees with your views can be anything other than politically motivated or an activist by nature. As for the label “semi-professional”, well on this site and on the subject of education, that’s quite a compliment. But maybe, I’m just a parent who cares about his children’s education.

    I suspect my time on this site has run its course. Goodbye and sweet dreams, Kiwibloggers.

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  76. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    Thank fuck for that

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  77. Robboy (49 comments) says:

    Bye Bill – your departure from here raises the average IQ of both Kiwiblog and wherever you land

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  78. Elaycee (4,067 comments) says:

    Bye Bill. Still in denial to the end. Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.

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  79. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Kiwi in America: Tolley had an appointment to attend a conference as part of her role as Education Minister, god knows she needs all the help she can get. She could have kept in touch with the Chch situation by internet and phone. The earthquake was a dreadful event but didn’t mean the entire business of government had to halt. I note Barak Obama is keeping abreast of the tornados in the US without abandoning his other responsibilities.

    You claim to know what teachers want, but of course you don’t. You confuse prejudice with wisdom.

    Tolley’s biography cements my case, she is a professional politician with no teaching experience, yet she claims to know better what works in the classroom and, when challenged, adopts a ”my way or else” position.

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  80. Elaycee (4,067 comments) says:

    @Maggie. Genuine question: Are you a teacher?

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  81. kiwi in america (2,336 comments) says:

    Maggie
    First off you made a claim that Tolley’s response to the earthquake was either non-existent or woefully inadequate. That assertion was a blatant falsehood and you knew it but you wanted to take a cheap political shot anyway. I note you have studiously avoided taking responsibility for that – which is pretty much par for the course for the left.

    Second and I will keep this really simple by asking questions:
    What is the probability that Tolley’s political enemies (and its fair to categorize the Presidents of the teacher unions as her political enemies) would’ve made a loud and public issue over her attending a conference in NY whilst her department struggled to get Christchurch’s schools open? I would put those chances at 90%+ – what say you?

    Give your disdain for Tolley and her positions and your stated position that she’s not up to the job, what is the likelihood that you would join the chorus of condemnation? Based on your past propensity to pounce at any opportunity to bag her – I’d say 100%!

    My point is that in your eyes (and in the eyes of the teacher unions) she is damned if she went and damned if she stayed. You’ve lept to the defence of the unions who David attacked for cheap politicking over her decision to stay. Like the teacher unions, you’re not in the slightest bit interested in the plight of education in NZ, yours and their objective is to inflict maximum political damage on her and the National government so as to ensure the election of a union friendly left leaning government who will scrap anything the union dislikes – like National Standards. The voters of NZ have rendered their judgement on National keeping its election promise to introduce National Standards vs Labour who are (and will always be) in the pocket of the teachers unions. The most recent verdict in the most recent Roy Morgan poll (National 53% – Labour 28%). Says it all really.

    You ascribe wisdom to teacher’s unions – the reality is this ‘we know better than thou ‘ paternalism of the left is nothing more than thinly disguised political hackery.

    Russell Marshall had a similar background to Tolley – don’t see you bagging him as Min Ed. No – because he did as he was told and followed the union line. Oh and as for Obama and the tornados – 300 killed is tragic but that’s 0.0001% of America’s population involving municipalities that comprise perhaps 0.001% of all cities and towns in America. Christchurch is NZ’s 2nd largest city comprising just under 10% of the country’s population. The death toll of 181 is 0.004% of NZ’s population which is a 4,200% larger impact than the US tornados. No comparison in terms of scale.

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  82. Psycho Milt (1,975 comments) says:

    Bye Bill – your departure from here raises the average IQ of both Kiwiblog and wherever you land

    It’s the completely unconscious irony I love about this blog’s comments threads.

    What is the probability that Tolley’s political enemies (and its fair to categorize the Presidents of the teacher unions as her political enemies) would’ve made a loud and public issue over her attending a conference in NY whilst her department struggled to get Christchurch’s schools open? I would put those chances at 90%+ – what say you?

    Quite possible, I’d say. But the probability of Tolley’s political enemies making a public issue of her sending a representative would approximate to zero. So, let’s see – what did NZEI actually say? Why, that the govt should have been “represented” – by someone from the “government or ministry.” In other words, a non-issue.

    You’ve lept to the defence of the unions who David attacked for cheap politicking over her decision to stay.

    Actually, the union made a reasonable point, one that The Press turned into an attack on Tolley and DPF made into a dog-whistle for the dumbass teacher-haters that infest his blog. Hardly Maggie’s fault.

    Russell Marshall had a similar background to Tolley – don’t see you bagging him as Min Ed. No – because he did as he was told and followed the union line.

    Dunno about Maggie, but I was too young to be bothered with much more than drink driving at the time Marshall was in charge. As you kind of point out in your bizarre way, he gets respect because he actually recognised that people working in education might have some useful knowledge of the subject – unlike the current incumbent.

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  83. kiwi in america (2,336 comments) says:

    Nice try Psycho
    Did the union leaders even inquire as to why no one from the Min Ed was sent? The Press reporter doesn’t elaborate on that point. Doubtful. Did The Press inquire as to how vital and urgent the conference was or was it as nostradamus has suggested; part of a series of conferences on the subject and not the end of the world that no official went. Again no evidence of this. Tolley’s response was “we were busy taking care of getting earthquake ravaged schools up and running”. 90% of NZers would accept that answer. The teachers union leaders, sensing an opportunity to have a crack at Tolley and embarrass her, wasted no time in trying to do so. You ascribe benign motives to the union that, given their history of making mischief for Tolley whenever possible, stretches credibility to breaking point.

    Aside from covering your ignorance of political history with a silly excuse about no caring about such matters in the 80′s, when it comes to the Marshall v Tolley comparison, you precisely made my point – “recognizing that people working in education might have some useful knowledge on the subject” is a mealy mouthed way of saying that Labour Ministers of Education tow the teacher unions’ line.

    It wouldn’t have mattered who National got to introduce National Standards – you, Maggie, Bill and the teacher unions would pillory the Minister as an ignoramus who just won’t listen to those unchallangable experts (the unions). Would Simon Power or Tony Ryall have done a better job at the NS implimentation? Probably but not by much – but the hostility, the stalling tactics, the misinformation, the astroturfing grass roots opposition, the wanton acts of civil disobedience by militant teachers and the finger wagging about not listening would’ve happened even if Winston Churchill was the Minister of Education!

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  84. Elaycee (4,067 comments) says:

    Kiwi in America Says : “The voters of NZ have rendered their judgement on National keeping its election promise to introduce National Standards vs Labour who are (and will always be) in the pocket of the teachers unions. The most recent verdict in the most recent Roy Morgan poll (National 53% – Labour 28%). Says it all really.”

    Touche.

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