Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: It is your right and duty to vote

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  • Islander,

    Berlusconi is an evil thug. There isnt a limit for expressing outrage directly to/at him.

    It is unfortunate that a mentally ill person heaved/hit him with a statue, because people will now think, O. okay, weirdo's action.

    I lok forward to further comment from Giovanni - because he knows way more about the whole affair - from the roots - than any of ANZ us can ever-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    What bugs me about the whole policy is that those who actually know WTF they are doing (ie teachers and education specialists) have been so completely ignored.

    We've got used to being ignored when it comes to this sort of thing. We are ignored because we have a vested interest, we're protecting poor teachers/schools, our unions are strong, we care more about our conditions than the kids.... I could go on but basically we know what works best and we try our hardest to achieve it and sometimes this gets lost in all the arguements.

    But, again: the thing that will wreck national standards as a research tool is some idiots in the news media doing an OIA and making league tables. The only real benefits of a national standarised testing scheme will be lost as the data are compromised.

    And mark my words, the fuckers will do it.

    Not only that but sooner or later some fucker is going to come up with the idea of tying it all to funding/teacher salaries etc.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    But, again: the thing that will wreck national standards as a research tool is some idiots in the news media doing an OIA and making league tables. The only real benefits of a national standarised testing scheme will be lost as the data are compromised.

    Um, I may be missing it...but:

    How does importing the data into a spreadsheet and then coming up with a (likely dubious) set of league tables going to compromise the base data ?

    Is it because schools will start "adjusting" their data so they can improve their position in the tables ?

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 456 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Is it because schools will start "adjusting" their data so they can improve their position in the tables ?

    They will engage in all manner of abuses and rorts to the detriment of children.

    - Selecting kids for middle-classness. (In the UK, this involved in one school interviewing kids to see if their home had a burglar alarm).
    - Excluding any child at the slightest hint of trouble.
    - Admitting additional middle-class kids through zone fiddles.

    etc, etc..

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4484 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    a scale model of the stock exchange

    It's a room above a pub..

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4484 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    How does importing the data into a spreadsheet and then coming up with a (likely dubious) set of league tables going to compromise the base data ?

    Probably because the data when put into league tables will be taken at face value with no knowledge of what learning progress has been made over the year and how the data is going to inform further learning which is what good assessment is all about. Putting it into a league table takes away the opportunity to use the data to help make decisions about improving children's learning.

    Is it because schools will start "adjusting" their data so they can improve their position in the tables ?

    You didn't hear it from me but I'm pretty sure that this goes on already in the secondary area with NCEA.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Surely there's a difference between on the one hand actively plotting someone physical harm, and on the other, enjoying a strong double shot of schadenfreude when someone cops a well-deserved smack in the chops, when that smack has nothing to do with you?

    Up to a point, Rich. But I understand that later this week I'll be attending a function with a certain Philip Goff, who is richly deserrving of a proper bitch slaping until he bleeds likes a haemophiliac garden sprinkler. Someone else will have to have the pleasure, though, because I don't roll like a thug. And I'm the kind of naive old whoopsie who still thinks it's really cool that I've got an on-line American acquaintance who walked up to Helen Clark on Lambton Quay, shook her hand and didn't get shot for his troubles. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    In the end what does it achieve anyway?

    Reminds such folk that rewriting the law to stop themselves going to prison doesn't keep you free.


    But, meh, as much as someone totally should have shot Hitler and Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot and a dozen other guys long before they become entrenched genocidal megalomaniacs, I'm not sure the current Italian guy deserves the same.

    Blair, Bush? Yeh, metal to the face, too right, and happy with the prison time it would earn me, badge of honour. But Berlusconi? Really? Seems more like a Bainimarama than a Bush, and is certainly no Hitler.

    Since Nov 2006 • 484 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    I'm going to go against the tide here and just say it: some people do deserve a smack in the mouth.

    I feel not a bit of pity for the corrupt thug Berlusconi. He changed the law so they couldn't convict him of corruption offences. And the things he's been accused of over the years would make a Mafia don blush.

    If the law can't be used to take a bully down, what else is left but "direct action"? I'm not saying someone should do anything really bad to him. But a smack in the mouth will do for now.

    He wasn't seriously hurt anyway.

    (getting coat...)

    Yorke of The Atatu • Since Feb 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    unless berlusconi dies in office, i'm pickin the next leader off the ranks will reverse the law and go him just for some populist desserts.

    and speaking of bainimarama, education budgets, democracy under attack and thuggery. spare a thought for our fijian cuzzins.

    http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2009/12/fijis-budget-2010-the-great-cover-up/#more-5421

    whaddayarekkin ?...fuck diplomacy let's invade fiji and occupy the moral highground ?

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    But is that a bad thing? Or is it that the whole thing is thought to be A Bad Thing by those in the know (i.e. teachers at the sharp end)?

    It's a Tolley thing. Knew it was coming so not particularly surprised. One just had to sit through Parliament last year to see her take over Katherine Rich to get an idea of what was to come. As a teacher said today that felt like music to my ears.Regarding Teachers unions " We may not be as strong as we were, but we are strong enough, so all you parents need to check them out, if you want a united front. This was a very reputable man.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6346 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    This is why standards are not what learning is really about. We've just been to the concert Oscar's music teacher organises for his students each term. It takes place in a peaceful suburban church with pleasant acoustics. A dozen students cover a great variety of ages, abilities and even instruments (he's a clever teacher). Each student plays their choice of music on their choice of instrument. Oscar has progressed to the ukelele after several years of guitar. (And fortunately he has moved on from his beloved national anthems). Others play the flute, recorder, electric guitar etc.

    The teaching and learning is evident in each student's progress from last term - such as confidence and skill.
    Comparing them with each other or expecting them to play the same piece of music on the same instrument to some particular standard would be irrelevant and demotivating. And not nearly as enjoyable.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2127 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    I hope that you have all checked out Eden Coffee and are going to Lawrence of Arabia... they seem like fun people. Unlike some of the posters today.
    Sacha's friend died and I can't imagine a worse introduction to a shock like that than being called a prick in public. I called him and we discussed how we appreciate the fact that Craig Ranapia has the balls to be involved in a liberal community with opposing views. Personally attacking people with the best intentions is stilll wrong - especially when you are on the arse end of a losing argument.
    I read back through the posts for "the last 2 weeks" and didn't find the day that you discussed your word of the year. Sorry for being an ignorant prick and missing it.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 279 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Any instrument .... wow .... things seem so much more wonderfully tolerant these days .... being of a decidedly non-musical bent, cats flee when I attempt to sing, I was forever thwarted in my early desire to play air guitar in the school orchestra

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Sacha's friend died and I can't imagine a worse introduction to a shock like that than being called a prick in public.

    Although Craig wasn't to know that, and I'm sure he'd be unhappy to know he'd upset Sacha, it certainly was not one of his best moments. Craig, no need to respond here, but perhaps an email to Sacha is in order.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Hey, I'm ok. Sad day but unrelated events. Said all I need to in last post.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    Sorry to rant but snarkiness should be abandoned. It's hurtful. We are a community unlike any other and we should respect that.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 279 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    Can you post a link to the "word of the year" discussion please... I'd like to be involved posthumously at least. Good to hear Sacha is ok tonight etc. Craig's a good bugger from my point of view... just a shame about his politics.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 279 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Word of the Year discussion. Because it doesn't fall under any of the blogger slots, it can be hard to find unless System is your entry point to Public Address.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    Thanks for the link. I endorse binge thinking... as does Andrew Williams.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 279 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8411135.stm
    We've wrecked the oceans as well. Over-fishing will be nothing compared to acidic oceans where all marine life die

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 279 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    WRT league tables, there is a world of difference between 'everyone knows its a good school' and being able to point to 'official' figures that prove it. Those schools that do well out of the league tables will not be able to resist using the fact. Those below them will feel the need to catch up and those at the bottom will find the league tables being used as a stick with which to beat them. It is called human nature and relates to game theory.

    Here in the UK* they tried to address issues of low decile schools not doing well by introducing a 'value added' measure. Since they measure kids at 11 just before they leave primary you can take that and see if they have improved at 14 and later during national exams. It has not helped.

    Also all the research on what enables 'good' schools to be good schools shows that it is all about selection. Whether that is achieved by the school having a high decile intake or by actively excluding the 'wrong' sort of pupil (which is how the religious schools do it) doesn't matter.

    *England and Wales, here in Scotland they do not do such testing. The teachers know where the kids are and they communicate that to the education depts so the stats can be crunched, but that is pretty much it until at 15 and national exam data are made public and the media go mad for it.

    Comparing kids from wildly differing decile schools is just madness and a real nonsense from a statistical p.o.v.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Herald reports that, of 269 principals surveyed by the Auckland Primary Principals Assoc., 93% feel a trial is necessary.

    Maenwhile, today's editorial says that teachers must learn to obey the Government's orders. No, seriously; that's the actual title of it.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, no need to respond here, but perhaps an email to Sacha is in order.

    Yes it is, but I really think I also owe the community an apology. Ignorance really isn't much of an excuse, and folks were really awfully nice when I mentioned I'd be off line for a while around my partner's heart op. In the end, an on-line argument shouldn't be gratuitously adding to real world woes. It's just not that important.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Maenwhile, today's editorial says that teachers must learn to obey the Government's orders. No, seriously; that's the actual title of it.

    I don't think that editorial could be more condescending if it tried.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

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