Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Moving from frustration to disgust

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  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Oh Lucy! I am uh, ah, how to put it, uh aware of the whole College thing. I, uh ah, I also managed to avoid going to Wgtn College by avoiding those wankers.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1395 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Miro,

    Sorry I have to come to the defense of some higher decile schools (primary at least). If they are going to have a decent operational budget to cover the running of the school, they have no choice but to seek money from their community. For some up to 40 % of their operational budget (excludes teacher salaries) comes form locally sourced funds. Voluntary donations (not illegal fees) is a relatively easy way to get some of this. Regardless of who holds the treasury benches I don’t see this changing soon.

    There are definitely some differences in what people consider "the running of the school", though. Going with Wgtn East and Wgtn Coll, which are deciles 7 and 10 respectively IIRC, neither low - East's donations are set at$225-360 for 1-3+ children (plus $125 for IT, which may or may not be a one-off - I can't recall - and a number of activity fees, which vary from student to student.) Coll's are set at $720-1210 for 1-3 (not 3+). Neither is free education - most school websites I checked strongly encourage people to think of donations as mandatory, if only by implication - but one is somewhat higher than the other.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • tim kong,

    Fairfax has sent out OIA requests to all primary schools - requesting National Standards data.

    Commentary from Kelvin Smythe

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 146 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Over the holidays I had my own unfortunate introduction to national standards. My almost seven year old niece, who has moderate downs syndrome, received her end of term school report, which was a contrast in two halves. The top half, reporting on national standards, she scored I think one out of fifty for maths, and I think two out of fifty for reading.

    She can do some basic maths, and her reading is actually pretty good - she read one of her favourite books to me over the school holidays - but it's not at six year old levels in almost all criteria. As she gets older and the school work gets harder she will slip further behind national standards - 2% and 4% will be the best she ever does in reports based on national standards. This will only get worse, at present those numbers don't mean anything to her, three or four years from now, how will she feel seeing 0 on her report?

    The second half of the report, with comments from her teacher and things to work on was glowing - making tremendous progress, working hard, a joy to teach, achieving all the personal goals that had been set for her and more. I feel terrible for the teacher that had to put so much effort into a child, working with a part time teacher aide, and complete and hand over to parents a report that couldn't have made less sense to the uninformed reader.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6227 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    other useful skills

    Such as blagging the government into giving you law changes and corporate welfare?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Only against League tables really, not National Standards per se ?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 361 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    I feel terrible for the teacher that had to put so much effort into a child, working with a part time teacher aide, and complete and hand over to parents a report that couldn’t have made less sense to the uninformed reader.

    I feel angry at the way we're all being led down this road by our dipshit Prime Minister.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I feel angry at the way we're all being led down this road by our dipshit Prime Minister.

    No argument but it it enough to just focus on the guy at the top in this case? In the past few years I've see a lot of people slagging off John Key and imho he deserves it, but he's also frequently pushed to the front as a fall guy more than a leader or policy-maker, for no other reason than to make it easier for others to get on with the job of implementing the actual agenda without attracting so much criticism. In 12 pages of comments for this post so far (just as an example), I had to reach page seven before there was a single reference to Hekia Parata, compared with frequent and repeated references to John Key or Prime Minister. Focusing on criticising the PM at the expense of everyone else involved is playing their game.

    There are at least five other people who need to be strongly and directly criticised, associated with by name (not just abstract positions), held responsible for this during their current and future careers, and that's just those with direct ministerial responsibilities.

    The same thing's happening with asset sales and mining and a score of other things. The PM isn't there to lead or especially care or be relevant to what's happening. He's there to attract the criticism, file it in the trash and smile so that people forget. Helen Clark was also associated with nearly everything that happened in her government for better or worse, but she at least made it her business to actually know what was happening and be able to speak intelligently and accountably about it. Our current PM's just a wispy wave of flatulence which the rest of the government emits to distract people away from where the real action is.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 439 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to izogi,

    Focusing on criticising the PM at the expense of everyone else involved is playing their game.

    I do see your point. But the post was about Key pretty much launching league tables off the top of his head. If there's a fall-guy in the whole thing, it's Parata,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I do see your point. But the post was about Key pretty much launching league tables off the top of his head. If there’s a fall-guy in the whole thing, it’s Parata,

    Minister Parata was probably hung out to dry in order to divert attention away from far hotter issues, like Cath Isaac given free reign with charter schools. Don't be too surprised if Intelligent Design, Prosperity Gospel and textbook revisionism - à la Texas State Education Board - sneak into the charter school curriculum.

    With apologies to Maggie Thatcher, the trouble with disaster capitalism is that it runs out of other people to rip off.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

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