Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: From soundbite to policy

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    Also, when it comes to teaching, it's not hard to find MPs with direct experience who can head the education portfolios. Finding former cops and soldiers is rather more difficult.

    Probably. But I think you could also make an argument that having experience in the Ministry (or most likely, one part of it) could be a bad thing.

    A former secondary teacher, for example, might push the secondary barrow a long way, and neglect the other parts of our education system.

    Also, and this is just my impression, there seem to be a lot more people from the secondary and tertiary education sectors in politics, than primary and early childhood.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    plenty of people expect that <Minister-or-whatever-of-their-pet-peeve> has inside experience

    I expect them to be mature enough to take expert advice. That's all.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    I have to agree with what many others have already said up page(s).
    My childrens teachers have already assessed where my childrens literacy and numeracy are at. They have also reported that info to me in plain everyday English. They already use this info to set new goals.
    My children do not need another test so that the Minister of Education knows what their rankings are compared to other NZ children.
    If the Ministry wants to improved our 'tail' of failing children another test will do nothing to help.

    I might tell my childrens school that they are not allowed to sit this National Standards test. There is no benefit to my children. Opportunity cost of test - learning time.

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    Opportunity cost of test - learning time.

    and that's just to my children.

    cost to teachers! too much time spent administering test, marking test, filling out the forms to report results to parents, school, ministry etc... hope there is still time to teach how to read and add 2 + 2

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Delay of Standards Review:

    “After meeting with principals and hearing from many heads of department and others, I have decided to revise the implementation timeline for the new standards by one year to allow further consultation with the sector,” says Mrs Tolley.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I applaud her decision - credit where it's due.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    “After meeting with principals and hearing from many heads of department and others, I have decided to revise the implementation timeline for the new standards by one year to allow further consultation with the sector,” says Mrs Tolley....
    Mrs Tolley has told the Ministry of Education that wider consultation with principals is required and, that as leaders of learning in their schools who are responsible for implementing the standards,__ input from principals and teachers is vitally important.__

    (my emphasis)
    so if this is important for NCEA - why not for literacy and numeracy National Standards testing????

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Other experience should also indicate that having independently verifiable performance measures are not the panacea they prefer to be. They tend to mean that organisations or organisms (in this case children) are assessed against that which is easiest to quantify, despite it being the more intangible, subjective and difficult-to-measure things representing a better yardstick.
    It sees whole organisations bent toward that which is measurable, rather than what is best. Or as I like to refer it the triumph/cult of reliability over validity.
    Whether it be needle exchanges measured in terms of needles exchanged, rather than increased health.
    Or academics in terms of citation metrics.
    Schools in standardised test scores.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Delay of Standards Review:

    Perhaps she reads PA.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    except I don't think anyone here has discussed NCEA...
    I thought that the literacy and numeracy national standards test was for primary age children?

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I think you're right, Max, but the intent is a shift in the right direction so hopefully similar action may follow with the primary school testing.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I expect them to be mature enough to take expert advice. That's all.

    Sacha: OK... I think it was Harold Macmillan who said "We have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down for the divine right of experts." At least there's one thing you can say for the Government -- they're on a three year, fixed-term contract and you can throw the bastards (and bitches) out on their ears with no right of appeal.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Ah yes, that was deceptively irrelevant of me. But if people want to see someone rant about the NCEA standards,they can do it here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    Thanks for that link Lyndon.

    A lot of good points were raised.

    Also to add to that -
    some teachers I know are concerned that certain subjects are falling in popularity because (for example) they might offer 24 AS credits that take a lot of hard work to get a pass grade (A, M or E). Other subjects offer over 30 US credits that the kids can do almost standing on their head.
    The students know this and MANY choose their subjects accordingly.

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    (Note to above)

    This becomes increasingly evident by Year 13 as the students learn the 'system'

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • James Liddell,

    Also, and this is just my impression, there seem to be a lot more people from the secondary and tertiary education sectors in politics, than primary and early childhood.

    Jacqui Dean for Minister of Education (and Broadcasting, of course)?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    OK... I think it was Harold Macmillan who said "We have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down for the divine right of experts."

    True, but I think there's a difference in falling down "for the divine right of experts" and just giving due consideration to their advice when considering policy changes, especially when the policy change is not really urgent.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Frogblog may have a point on the ETS. The foresters are supposed to start January 1 and nothing's been "put on hold" yet.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    What a Tolley shambles. Surely there would have been consultation with someone somewhere before the decision was made?
    And this Tolley decision has nothing to do with consultation with Standards testing in Primary schools. And it should/must happen! Some one must have to produce a proposition which is credible and well researched in order to justify money/effect for the betterment of Primary School kids especially for the "tail end" kids.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It's not a matter of abdicating decison-making - just of acknowledging when you don't know enough yet to challenge expertise. Nothing particularly earthshaking there, I would have thought.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • A S,

    Rich

    AS: Maybe you could discuss what prevented you achieving literacy yourself?

    Block capitals should be used for abbreviations and acronyms. There is boldface and underlining for emphasis. You have to talk *about* something, "I'm talking having..." is not correct usage.

    Glass houses, etc.

    Are you genuinely trying to be a condscending asshat? If you are, you're doing a damn fine job of it.

    OH, AND I'LL USE BLOCK CAPITALS IN ANY WAY I CHOOSE, THANKS VERY MUCH.

    If you can't distinguish between the issues facing those who aren't functionally literate and my not meeting your grammatical expectations, I suggest you STFU on your snide personal attacks, and maybe pipe up when you actually have a useful contribution to make.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    D'you think Hilary's canvassing worked ?

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    St even says
    "One of the many crosses that teachers have to bear is that everyone who has been to school fancies themselves as an expert on Education.
    Strangely, the same people can eat roast dinners without feeling they have become experts in Modern Agricultural Systems."

    On the other hand most of us spent a 10-20 years in the state system and have a very inside view on how it used to be, faults and all

    One of the real ongoing troubles with Education is it tends to be run by people who liked school/or did very well at it, passed exams went to Uni, did honour degrees, phds and now have the levers firmly in their hands
    They quite frankly don't understand the rest of us and it is only recently that they have tried too
    Certainly been big improvements since I went to school when if you didn't fit you left at 15 and got a job

    I am not a big fan of testing ( I loved test/exams) as it really fails to give you a big picture but something is needed and boy do parents love to have something to rate their kids with

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    AS: I think that Rich was making a point that you have attacked the ideas on this site with wild illinformed angles. eg I think you said that half the adult population was unable to handle literacy/numeracy. You have been very critical of the "standards" in schools and say that you believe that there should be lots of testing/accountability and that would eliminate/reduce the above problems. You have written in very "loud" condemming terms. And probably ignored some really well thought out ideas. You are most welcome to your own ideas but don't be surprised if there are some who resent ignorance loudly stated. You sound angry but offer nothing that I can recall which might help the 20% tail. OK?

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    People who shout are always so appealing in public. My admiration for them and agreement with their opinions only grows in proportion to both their volume and persistence.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

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