Posts by Euan Mason

  • Hard News: Jones: The contender leaves, in reply to Sacha,

    yes, and how come we can all do a better job of this stuff than those who are paid to?

    We are the unwashed masses, and so we understand better than our betters how these things will resonate.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Jones: The contender leaves,

    "Labour can’t do much about the pundits for now,.."

    Labour lost an opportunity this morning. Wailing about a National jack up just made them look like weak victims being yet again outmaneuvered by those clever Nats. How much better for Cunliffe to have said something like:

    "Yes, Shane and I have been discussing this, and while we are sad to farewell a valued colleague, we wish him well and we're glad he's found another way to serve people. Doing things for people is what Labour is all about, and we have a fabulous replacement in Kelvin Davis......"

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: All of these things are…, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I was there, I am scarred, I still feel unease when I see someone dressed like Thatcher.... EEEEEK!..... Collins

    :}

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Poll Day 2: Queasy,

    Russell, I like your questions, and I'd add this one:

    "When are the media organisations going to provide statistical literacy training for their commentators?"

    The confidence limits were + or - 3.9%, and we have them rabbiting on about shifts in numbers that were often fractions of the standard error, let alone the confidence limits.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Muse: Guilt By Association Copy, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Finally, of course Dotcom’s collecting practices are fair game, both for moral judgement and practical political purposes. He’s purchased one of the most loaded books in the world, an autograph copy of Mein Kampf, a book that could quite literally be described as a genocidaire’s manual. It’s also a book that is key to the leader-principle ideology of the Nazi state, and he’s just installed himself as permanent “visionary” of his own political party. I think there’s some pretty legit questions you can ask at this point. Now of course I’m sure you could construct a justification for owning this item, and Dotcom’s more than welcome to, but it’d have to be a pretty good argument.

    Keir, you are inferring far too much from this. If someone wants to add a famous book to their collection this doesn’t mean that they will agree with it and maybe use it as a manual for autocracy and genocide. My great grandfather was a prize p___k in his treatment of my great grandmother, but we have just purchased an iron canopy bed that his Lancashire factory made in the 1870s. He worked his way up from street urchin to factory owner and he very likely designed the bed himself. The bed will become a treasured family heirloom with connections to my lineage (despite some aspects of it being grubby and dark). This doesn’t mean that I wish to mistreat my lovely wife.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Muse: Guilt By Association Copy,

    Hahahaha. Whaleoil is such a card. :) Talk about drawing a long bow. I am no great fan of DotCom, but the little weasel of propaganda that Whaleoil produced about KDC’s ownership of Mein Kampf would be worthy of Goebels.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Schools: can we get a plan up…,

    Dear David Seymour (ACT spokesperson),

    “Partnership” (aka Charter) schools aren’t even required to have all teachers registered, plus they receive gobs of taxpayer money to try to ensure their success. This is hardly a paragon of quality and efficiency that private sector competition is supposed to produce.

    The elephant in the room here is whether parents are all well enough equipped to choose a decent school for their kids. Given the numbers that are attracted to Steiner Schools (Steiner believed that burying a single horn full of cow dung would elevate pasture productivity) or religious schools that teach creationism, it’s pretty obvious that not many parents are well enough equipped and so the state should step in and set standards. Your precious partnership schools don’t even have to abide by those standards.

    Many parents totally misunderstand the decile system, hence the flight from schools that have low student performance (more due to poverty at home than to anything about the school) to those with high student performance, despite the fact that low decile schools receive more funding in an effort to make up for deficiencies at home. Yet again this demonstrates that parental choice is flawed and not the answer to improving education. If you disagree with this then I have a question for you:

    What is it about the teaching at low decile schools that you believe results in low NZQA performance (i.e.: makes them “poorer” schools)?

    If you can’t answer this question adequately then your arguments fail.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What Hekia Parata actually said,

    Value added is certainly more rational than just stupid league tables based on "national standards" or NCEA. However, you need to ask how progress will be assessed, and also whether it is rational to punish schools that have plenty of kids who are likely to make less progress because they come from poor or dysfunctional homes; homes where parents are on the minimum wage, for instance. At face value, this looks like a massive shift of resources from poor areas to rich areas, and that would really suck.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: School bully, in reply to MxDEJ,

    That some teachers are better than others is both incredibly obvious and important. More than that, it's entirely within the Minister of Education's purview, making it incredibly relevant (unlike poverty, hunger, or racism, which are somewhat different in that regard).

    So hunger, poverty and racism don't influence education? It really doesn't affect your education if you and your parents live below the poverty line because their skin was the wrong colour for the boss, and you go to school hungry? Yeah right.

    Great post Jolisa, really f-ing great post. This issue makes me so angry. Keep up the good work, and let's shout this from the rooftops throughout the election season.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Spring Timing, in reply to Stephen R,

    Judith Collins will have to crush her own ministerial limousine if she mucks up again. Fortunately John Key has slapped her with a wet bus ticket and so she can use that.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/9820693/One-more-strike-for-Collins

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 143 posts Report Reply

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