Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Good on ya, Paula

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  • Sacha,

    For the record, I'm with Craig on Field (and not embarrassed).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16740 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Plenty of schools, public and private, turn away special needs kids, and I wish the reason was as (relatively) noble as the one you're suggesting.

    Doesn't sound very noble to me. It's a sad fact of life for schools, that they are the meat in the sandwich (both in terms of bullying and special needs). As much as they don't have the resources to address these things properly, they need to be forced to deal with the issues facing them. They can then push that upstairs and demand resources.

    The alternative - sticking kids that are 'difficult' or require 'too much work' in the corner and trying to ignore them, or not accepting them at all - shouldn't be allowed to happen.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6201 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    a wringing endorsement

    A laundry pun!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I'm as hooked as anyone on cheap undies made in countries I know have less than ideal, to put it mildly, labour standards. Perhaps we all support slavery more than we'd like to own, George?

    Yeah, I'm a hypocrite on that matter too. Most things I wear are made in China under conditions that are most likely worse than I'd ever endorse, and while I buy fair trade on occasion, I like to wear new socks.

    Perhaps it's an out (it more than likely is), but I don't think that individual acts of consumer choice are going to change the fundamentals of our system.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Another neat post by Danyl who's been writing a fair bit on the topic this week:

    I think it’s safe to say National has won this battle. I’m always impressed at the Labour Party’s ability to get into a fight they can’t lose and then lose it.

    I guess we have to wait for the outcome of the privacy complaint to see where this story goes next; it seems likely that Bennett will be found to have broken the law, and it also seems likely that Labour will find some way to use the finding to embarrass themselves and cover Bennett in glory.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I don't think bullying in any school is appropriate, even if it's part of its "special character" - IMHO they need to be kicking out the bullies before they ever even consider kicking out the bullied

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2172 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    I don't think that individual acts of consumer choice are going to change the fundamentals of our system.

    As seen on the web

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Doesn't sound very noble to me.

    I didn't mean to suggest it was, but insofar as it shows a smidgen of concern for the welfare of the kids themselves, it's better than the actual reason.

    The alternative - sticking kids that are 'difficult' or require 'too much work' in the corner and trying to ignore them, or not accepting them at all - shouldn't be allowed to happen.

    It is, of course, illegal. But there are ways of getting the parents to actively seek another school: intimate that the special needs population at the school is too small, and therefore you don't have enough expertise; suggest that the school down the road does a much better job with children like yours; show how poorly resourced your special needs classroom is (by having one, you'll also imply you're not into mainstreaming). That sort of thing.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Somewhere a child waits...
    Silently for a pun

    Thanks lady. I must go now and make 500000 pairs of undies before gruel time. I really need that dollar at the end of the week.
    :-(

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4869 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Plenty of schools, public and private, turn away special needs kids, and I wish the reason was as (relatively) noble as the one you're suggesting.

    Please do explain further for everyone, as I have to dash. It is highly relevant to the Minister claiming she's canning the school-targetted physical therapy grant out of fairness.

    I wish John Campbell had let her explain about the relativity with the topup for struggling private schools. Could have been interesting.

    Speaking of entitlement, got to applaud Tolley adding $50m of extra ORRS spots. However, I understand those are only for additional students and can not be used to make up for withdrawing the supplementary therapy funding from some of the existing students.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16740 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    As seen on the web

    Think you can change the subject like it's your own blog or something? But yes, I'll second that endorsement.

    A laundry pun!

    I was going for hand wringing, but that works too.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Great FearFacts Corporation speaks...
    Today's Press weighs in on the Bennett Fit of Pique in their Editorial...
    Unsurprisingly, it applauds her actions,
    easy game when you are a totally anonymous leader writer, so I guess we have to investigate what benefits the Corporation, as the author by proxy, has received from the state and how
    much they pay into its coffers, as well...
    - all's fair, when all fear!

    yrs locally
    Hemi Spherical
    what goes around...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5046 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Read your Swift, Man!

    A Modest Proposal
    Well played Sir. And when will our Paula introduce this bill?

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4869 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    OK, I can add the core reason is that some "special needs" funding goes in bulk to the school no matter how many of its pupils actually require it. Schools are therefore incentivised to exclude as many students as possible to keep the per-student funding high - hence the types of behaviour Gio describes.

    I look forward to hearing how Associate Education Minister Heather Roy and Ann Tolley intend to address that structural inequity.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16740 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Please do explain further for everyone, as I have to dash.

    The actual reason is that they don't care, or don't care enough to fight that particular battle. And it is a battle - special needs education is systematically under-resourced, therefore each kid you take on, if you plan to fulfill your obligations as mandated by the ministry of education, drains resources from elsewhere in the school. Eventually, the ministry is going to ask you why you're not doing the other things you're supposed to be doing as a school, like looking after your property. And you'll be in trouble.

    Like in government, it's a matter of setting priorities. The parents of special needs kids will choose the school that puts their kids first, thus relieving those that don't from having to discriminate them more actively.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Perhaps it's an out (it more than likely is), but I don't think that individual acts of consumer choice are going to change the fundamentals of our system.

    Individual acts of consumer choice will always face the problem that richer people make more and more powerful consumer choices, and have a lot more choices in that regard.

    If I made a fair bit more money, I'd be a lot more selective about what I buy and where it comes from and how it was made. I only buy fair trade coffee, but then I don't drink coffee, so that choice only costs me a few dollars a year - people visiting my house. I don't buy fair trade hot chocolate consistently, because that would cost me a heap more money and I don't have it lying around.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6201 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    For the historically minded, the first sentence of that bill is factually wrong and also misleading. The Atlantic slave trade (which was different from the institution of slavery) was abolished in 1807 by the British, who then used their considerable naval power to eradicate the trade over the next few decades. It wasn't abolished as an institution in British plantation islands until later, and persisted in Cuba, Brazil and the United States for longer still. And, of course, not all slavery was Atlantic slavery, as it existed throughout Africa, and the Eastern trade went as far as the Bay of Bengal.

    Today, one popular estimate suggests that 27million people are in some form of labour that we could describe as slavery. But, for the purposes of that bill, I'm not sure that much of what we could actually import could be described as 'slave labour'. Some sugar from the Dominican Republic, pretty much anything from Mauritania, but the vast majority of modern slavery is either: debt peonage in places like India, Nepal and Pakistan (in which the labourers aren't owned, they just owe their labour for a debt which can never be repaid); sex slavery and trafficking, which is rife throughout the world (and estimate 50,000 women are imported into the US each year from Latin America, Asia and Russia and form Soviet States) but not the kind of export industry that would be affected by that bill; and domestic slavery, which exists in every single major metropolitan centre in the world, including London, Paris and New York, which likewise can't be prevented by such a bill.

    Basically, the people who made the underpants which you fret over work in terrible conditions, but almost certainly don't meet the definition of slavery proposed, and it's hard to say what dimension of the world's fastest growing and most iniquitous criminal activity would be affected by such a bill.

    And to be clear, I say all this not because I secretly support slavery and worship free trade, because I don't, but because it's an incredibly complex issue that in its modern form cannot be eradicated by 19th century means (i.e. by trade sanctions and naval power), which is what makes the first sentence of the bill so problematic. I don't know why National didn't vote for that bill, and it probably wasn't for the reasons I outlined above, but to say 'support this bill or support slavery' is incredibly misleading.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Like in government, it's a matter of setting priorities. The parents of special needs kids will choose the school that puts their kids first,

    Unfortunately those schools will no longer have that funding because Tolly and her band of money grubbing whores have found a new way to not give a shit.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4869 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Different funding, Steve.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16740 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes, different funding, although the repercussions on the schools are yet to be seen. ORRS is not paid to schools either, but schools benefit greatly from it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    A Modest Proposal

    Heres is another proposal. This one for the believers. Profession child disciplinarians for hire, that are trained in the art of loving violence. They would of course need to be a privet enterprise named something like: "Smacking incorporated". any good parent with a bad child could phone for a professional to come round and administer the exact right mix of violence, love and goodness to a bad child, allowing the parent to feel the satisfaction of loving discipline, with out the hassle. It just makes common sense, period, end of story.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Vigilante justice for children. Love it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • David Ritchie,

    David - have you a reference for this? It's rather alarming.

    If Mr. Litterick counts as a reference, then that's the one I'm using.

    So what difference does it make? It makes none, none at all, other than to increase inequality: a student in a private school will be funded by $15K of public money, while a student in a public school receives $5K.

    I can't find primary sources regarding total funding distribution but the recent budget saw $35m *additional* funding for private schools (with 4% of students) vs. $320m for public schools -- a ratio of 2.65 : 1. Obviously this is largely meaningless without the totals but helps fan the fires.

    Happy to take any other numbers into consideration.

    Wellingtron • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I say all this not because I secretly support slavery and worship free trade, because I don't, but because it's an incredibly complex issue that in its modern form cannot be eradicated by 19th century means (i.e. by trade sanctions and naval power), which is what makes the first sentence of the bill so problematic.

    I do think that applying such a remedy to a problem like this is always going to be challenging and incomplete. International law and work by the international community is going to have much greater effect.

    It is also the he number of items imported made clearly under slave labour is likely to be very small indeed. It may be that those things banned starts out very small and then expands slightly over time.

    But I'd rather an imperfect and incomplete regulatory instrument that forces us to examine the conditions under which things are made, rather than turning a blind eye - as has been and will be the case now. If we don't look for it, we won't see it.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I should also add that I think you've described the problem very well Jake.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

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