Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: School bully

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  • Hebe,

    Yes. All of it.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Kate Hannah,

    Auckland • Since Mar 2010 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Wood,

    This one post might be the most important document for an entire generation. Share this one, and share it hard. The kids currently can't, and they don't deserve what sewage is coming down the pipe, fed through to us from a failing system elsewhere and seemingly -- irony isn't even close, here -- unfiltered by critical thinking. Share it for the kids. And, god help us, the rest of us.

    Now back in Aucktown • Since Dec 2006 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    This post is so fucking righteously badass I want it engraved on stone tablets.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • 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).

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to MxDEJ,

    That some teachers are better than others is both incredibly obvious and important.

    But this isn't about improving teachers: it's about undermining the union. It's always, ALWAYS about breaking up the union.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Green,

    An excellent post, Jolisa, thank you for putting so eloquently what I feared was happening. I have also seen these things happen in the UK, further dividing a very divided education system. I hope as many people as possible read this and that it informs their choice at the upcoming election.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Great post Jolisa.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Thalia KR,

    After a decade of lurking, I have signed up in order to say thank you for this. Keep em coming!

    The conversations I was part of about yesterday's news showed kiwi teachers - and I know some *excellent* ones - are feeling acutely demoralised by the trail of breadcrumbs you describe.

    My mother, a teacher for her whole adult life, called it 'an act of abandonment'.

    So schoolkids will suffer not just because their day is dominated by teaching to the test but because many of their best teachers, particularly those who have clear alternative career opportunities, will leave.

    I'm currently obsessed with the idea of unschooling, but simultaneously proud to hear from friends around the world how very good our education system is, in relative terms.

    I guess MPs' kids mostly go to schools that will get more money in the brave new world. I don't mean that they want to change policy to benefit their kids (if they thought hard they'd realise their kids would be worse off) but that they perhaps don't have a lot of personal stake in thinking hard about the damage it would do to poor schools.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2014 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Ms Parata, they wrote in an editorial, has “revealed the Cabinet’s firm conviction that freemarket ideology is as applicable to purchasing school education as it is to buying a BMW or a nice dinner at one of Tony Astle ONZM’s restaurants.”

    There, fixed it for you Ms Parata.

    I too spluttered into my coffee when I read about Hekia Parata’s plans to link school funding to student “progress.”. The stupidity of such a statement would have shocked me had I not known where it came from.
    Now I shall draw a long bow…
    It is obvious to me that if you want to sell something you have to have some objective measure of its worth, like its ranking with other offerings of its kind, otherwise how would you know how much to flog it for? Plus, a business is surely worth more if its workers have no power?.

    Oh excellent post BTW

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Brilliant, Jolissa, And what you describe is *extremely* infuriating. Destroying what you don't- can't won't- understand is vandalism. That's what I see - combined with concern-troll murmurs of 'killing them with low expectations.'
    Hope Chris Hipkins really get's his teeth into this.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Katita,

    my long, slow realisation that the testing-tail was wagging the educational dog

    I was reading this post and thinking to myself "jesus do none of these clowns watch The Wire" and there you are - linked straight in to it. I both snorted and chortled.
    My daughter starts primary school later this year. I won't be voting National or Parata for many reasons. I'm not sure if I agree it's been a policy striptease - slowly revealing the true horror underneath or just a complete cock-up of off the cuff policy driven by sound-bite without any evidence-based input.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 65 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    NZ schools // UK hospitals. Demoralise, downgrade, sell off.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Mahal,

    This, this, all of this.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    The real trick here is there's an enormous amount of money to be had. With a partnership school all your incomes are higher and all your outgoings are lower and it's government guaranteed forever, or at least until people stop voting for the bastards.

    I mean, it's not as rich a pickings as the private prisons, because you can't just arbitrarily double your private school population like you can with prisons, unless you shut a randomised bunch of public schools each year or something.


    And there's the trick. Pull all the top teachers and students out of the poorest schools, hand them more money for leaving, then close the school that got "worse" in their absence so you can do it all over again. The awesome thing with the constant testing is there's always somewhere going to be headed downhill over any particular school year.

    And all you have to do to start a "partnership" school of your own is donate some dosh to the National party. Easy as tau.

    Since Nov 2006 • 607 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Salmon,

    Having watched the coach of a 'top' auckland private boys school blatantly cheat (yelling false information at the opposition team to put them off) in the last minute of a sports game yesterday (when two schools were locked neck and neck) i kept thinking - performance pay - performance bonus. The expression on his face when they ultimately lost wasn't a good one for young men who should be learning grace and dignity under pressure. If that's the future, we need to do everything we can to keep it out of our public schools.

    On a more constructive note: every study i have seen shows parental education background and early childhood as the biggest predictors of successful life outcomes. Any party that really wants to address these issues needs to ensure children are born into health, unstressed, literate homes. It's a long game, but the only way to change anything.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason, 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 • 258 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to tussock,

    The real trick here is there’s an enormous amount of money to be had. With a partnership school all your incomes are higher and all your outgoings are lower and it’s government guaranteed forever, or at least until people stop voting for the bastards.

    Come September I hope we see the true nature of NZ voters and not the realisation of the National Propaganda Machine's spin.
    We are continually told that "Life under Labour and the Greens will be a disaster greater than any disaster that has gone before"
    We are continually told that "National is ahead in the polls and Labour and the Greens are sinking like a stone"
    We are continually told that "John Key is the only person that can pull New Zealand together, he is the "chosen one"'
    We are continually told that "Everybody on the opposition benches is an idiot or a fool"
    We are continually told that "Only National has the answers"
    We are continually told
    We are continually told
    We are continually told.......

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
    Joseph Goebbels

    There are those that say he never said it but that, I fear, is just another lie.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    Before the last (or was it the one before?) there was no mention of Charter Schools yet the planning had begun especially with the employment as CEO Education of that English woman, who surprise surprise was well skilled in Charter Schools. After the election it became a demand from ACT, apparently, when in fact the groundwork had already started.
    Now we have the spectre of Bulk Funding (solve the NOVApay problem?) and sooner or later Performance Pay, and funding of Schools by the Performance/progress of the children. Thin edge etc.
    Jolisa. A brilliant portrayal and a dire warning to parents and kids.
    I wonder if the Herald would publish your work, or North and South?

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Ianmac,

    I wonder if the Herald would publish your work, or North and South?

    I’m thinking maybe Scoop might take an opinion piece but whaddoIknow?
    I've already suggested Chris Hipkins might peruse. If others push the opposition MPs, maybe they can get behind a concerted campaign to advise the public quickly

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Kevin McCready,

    Thalia KR
    I have to disagree with you about the conservatives thinking one step further and realising they would create a society that's ultimately damaging to their own interests. I disagree because I think that it a fundamental misunderstanding of the conservative mind, as opposed to the liberal mind. The extremist conservatives who are running the country truly believe that some people are better off dead. They think it will improve the gene pool. I have had discussions for example on drug policy with conservatives who are very very well aware that their policies lead to more deaths. They are happy for this to happen for the reasons I've given. The conservative mind is also driven by fear. The problem in the small world of NZ politics is that liberals are swamped by extremist conservatives on their end of the spectrum.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2013 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    And the private school system is no silver bullet. At least from my own jaundiced experiences, private schools are less about excellence, and more about grooming the next generation of old-money and new-money snobs. And with high-decile public schools, they're really just cherry-picking the kids from stable and affluent families - there were allegations of school zone gerrymandering not too long ago.

    I fear for the brilliant but autistic and other PDD-NOS kids who get written off by the GERM warmongers. My folks found out the hard way that square pegs didn't fit in round holes, even after making the hammer bigger, and what they ended up with was a pale imitation of a hikikomori. They ultimately put the blame on Tomorrow's Schools, and had they been in the know at the time, they would have sent me to a public school with the help of a teacher aide.

    And one more point: how many charter school owners and advocates would actually send their kids to one?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    The worst teacher my daughter had, the one that handed out worksheets with 1950s geography to fill in and whose idea of creative writing was getting them to re-write a previous student's poem would be considered the best under an assessed-by-simplistic-multi-choice-test system.

    We've just volunteered to help the Greens this election

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Kevin McCready,

    I have had discussions for example on drug policy with conservatives who are very very well aware that their policies lead to more deaths. They are happy for this to happen for the reasons I’ve given.

    To cut a long story short, it's a branch of Shock Doctrine disaster capitalism. In my view, disaster capitalism is the most recent manifestation of mistaking the Broken Window fallacy for a training manual.

    And is it putting on a tin-foil hat to suggest that the Novopay debacle is a covert method of attempting to wear down the teacher unions' fighting spirit?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    What makes this all the more depressing to me is that I'm a) training to be a primary school teacher at the moment and b) already pretty disappointed by how National Standards have led to only two parts of the curriculum (English and Mathematics) being taught (the other six parts tend to be taught in the spare hour teachers manage to find in a week; not joking). So, now I'm thinking "Is this really the profession for me?" and if I'm thinking that, an awful lot of registered teachers must be thinking that to. If I were a conspiracy theorist (as opposed to a conspiracy theory theorist), I'd think this was part of a plan to rid the world of our existing teachers and bring in a new class of people who ready students for their weekly pieces of assessment.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

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