The networkonnet manifesto: sign up to have your ideas heard

The networkonnet manifesto: sign up to have your ideas heard

Kelvin Smythe with Allan Alach

The manifesto is intended to gather signatures then, with media release attached, distributed to media, teacher organisations, and a range of interest groups.

Readers can sign up by putting their names and position in the comments box following this posting or e-mailed to ksmythe@wave.co.nz  or allan.alach@ihug.co.nz

At the moment, it could be widely understood that teachers have no specific budgetary or system demands beyond opposition to substantial parts of government policy.

For the sake of our children, our own ideas need to be heard.

The networkonnet manifesto is intended to jog the teacher organisations to set out such specific budgetary and system demands and to publicise them intensively and imaginatively.

Readers will note that the networkonnet manifesto is based on a philosophy expressed as governing ideas. The government is working to a philosophy, brought in from outside and economics: we need to work to ours developed from our education heritage and social democracy. The hammering of public primary schools – the scapegoating, the disenfranchising, and the financial and spiritual impoverishment, is not government whim but engrained ideological policy as part of global capitalism and a shift of civilisation. That policy needs to be confronted with our own set of cohesive ideas.

We urge readers to sign up and encourage others in your school and beyond to do so as well.

The manifesto is open to change and addition, but if you support the general direction, then we suggest you take the positive step of signing up in support.

Readers might be interested to know that one significant political party has called the manifesto a ‘great read’ and remarkably close to theirs.

Kelvin Smythe and Allan Alach

 

The pattern has been that when Labour is in and is its usual generous self to education, the organisations have typically responded along the lines of: ‘A good start.’ When National is in, and virtually nothing positive occurs, the organisations have typically responded with an acquiescent silence – though when something token is granted near delirium eventuates. The organisation leaderships have been tigers with Labour and pussy cats with National, and the greatest tigers with Labour often being the most determined pussy cats with National.

We are not advocating that teacher organisations join political camps but they give electoral reward commensurate to educational gain. What teacher organisations need to have in their mind-set is that politics is a matter of priority, and if a political party makes school education a genuine priority then they should receive genuine electoral reward, as that party, in making school education a priority, means some other policy sector has become less of one.

The teacher organisation mind-set seems to have been that National has said it won’t give any extra money to public education so it will be a waste of time agitating for it, indeed, counter-productive.

This 2014 budget is one of the worst in recent history for education – especially for an election year. The 2 per cent increase in the school operations grant after taking inflation into account, the needs of present-day education, and the increase in immigration, is actually a cut; the small allocations for the ‘Reading Together’ programme and digital literacy (a little over $4 million altogether) are miniscule in scope though well directed; and the small increase for support teachers pathetic. As we know, the $359 million for the cluster programme (for secondary and primary and over four years) will do very little for children.

But enough of this – there follows a suggested programme of budgetary and system change demands for an election year.

 

Networkonnet manifesto

 Governing ideas

The key idea in the policy recommendations that follow is that the education system should be based on valuing variety – and fundamental to this, the idea of collaboration and shared knowledge development. It is not just accepting variety or tolerating it, it is valuing it – valuing it as part of living in a democracy and as the best means to help children’s learning.

Valuing variety would mean changes to regulations, allowing a wide interpretation of the curriculum – within broad guidelines – in school charters and evaluation practices. Eventually the curriculum would need to be revised to concentrate on principles and aims, leaving schools to decide how to interpret those – at the moment National Administrative Guidelines (NAGS) and the demands of the education review office (using national standards) exert a stultifying control of classrooms.

The Lange government, through Tomorrow’s Schools, introduced into education a philosophy antithetical to Labour Party philosophy. (Most Labour mps of the time find this hard to accept holding on to the idea that Tomorrow’s Schools was, in fact, about giving more power to schools.) While this neoliberal philosophy was diluted in the Clark years, it still remained and remains dominant.

In education that philosophy is expressed as managerialism.

As it pans out, the basic tenet of managerialism is that any issue in education, including the education effects of poverty – indeed, especially the education effects of poverty – can largely be resolved by management changes to do with the organisation and direction teachers. This always involves overstating the role of the teacher in learning so that when schools fail to overcome sufficiently the education effects of poverty, schools are blamed, providing an excuse for shaping schools into the political right’s own ideological image.

An implication in this top-down philosophy is that there is someone knows and that person who knows is a political leader informed by a certain category of academic.

The present education system is substantially a command one – a command one based on excluding teachers and parents from genuine participation in policy making, also on fear, control, propaganda, and corrupted statistics.

The education system needs to be democratised.

One very important effect of bringing in parents and teachers into policy making would be to broaden the curriculum to counteract the trend of an ever narrowing one.

A managerialist-based education system requires a curriculum that is amenable to command and control, also one that can be understood by politicians and bureaucrats – that curriculum is a fragmented one organised for measurement.

New Zealand primary education has a culture of being holistic, in other words, not fragmented for ease of measurement and control. (Many of the most important things in learning are immeasurable; in a measurement-based education system those things are neglected.)

A measurement-based classroom is possible in a holistic-based education system but a holistic-based classroom isn’t possible in a measurement-based system (an important point in considering an education system based on valuing variety).

The present primary school education system is governed by fear and bureaucratic command, and protected by propaganda and corrupted statistics.

The contract system is important to the government control of universities: a key way to restrict academic freedom of speech.

Within schools, the major source of fear and control comes from the education review office – it is unaccountable and used in a variety of ways to generate fear and ultimately obedience; it is really the review office that determines the nature of the curriculum.

The heavy use of statutory managers is another source of fear, control, and indirect propaganda.

People outside the education system have little appreciation of the extent and depth of the fear, control, and use of propaganda that exists within it.

Perhaps the key idea to be developed should be that just as a healthy economic system needs a free exchange of ideas so does a healthy education system.

And central to that is the idea of a shared view of the way knowledge is developed.

All parts of the education system need to be freed up so that all parts can share in the generation of knowledge: teachers, curriculum advisers, academics, parents, and government education agencies.

Teachers should be freed to colonise the curriculum (that is, make curricula work) and to establish their knowledge in the form of successful established practice.

Teachers and schools should function within fairly wide curriculum guidelines.

Academics sought for advice should come from groupings much wider than the current headlining quantitative academics; in particular, that means advice should also be sought from qualitative academics and curriculum academics with significant classroom experience.

 

More specific policies as an outcome of governing ideas

A call should be made for a grouping of countries to join together to develop an international testing system that functions transparently and concentrates on a broader view of the curriculum. (However, the government should stay in the present international system until that is achieved.)

The 359 million dollars intended for the government cluster policy should be spent directly on helping children in classrooms, not on giving large pay increases to a few teachers and principals.

In a whole series of ways, policies and increased funding to meet children’s special needs should be a priority.

First, there should be a substantial lift in support teacher numbers as well as moves to make support teacher staff better paid and to provide them with a greater sense of permanency.

Following that, there should be improved staffing ratios (gradually introduced) to give flexibility to schools enabling them to provide more individual attention to children’s learning needs, including some appointments for specialist learning (for instance, science, or maths, or Maori language, or drama) as set out as an emphasis in schools’ charters.

Also for improving home school relations (a priority).

An important idea to understand is that the government in implementing national standards ostensibly to lift learning in lower decile schools has used the opportunity to achieve its long-held objective of a narrow 3Rs curriculum for all children.

Improvements in staffing and support teachers and in other areas should be described as being there to help the learning of all children, not just the ones who are struggling  (children of all abilities are being badly served by the present system).

A non-contestable fund to promote Maori language should be established to which schools can apply to fund part-time teachers, support teachers, and Maori language labs.

There should be improvement to special needs services including making RTLBs (Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour) more accessible and less bureaucratic. Their role should be extended to work more closely with families – an improved version of the former visiting teacher positions.

The SAF (Student Achievement Function) should be removed with money saved being allocated to other and wider forms of advisory support.

Reading Recovery should be increasingly well funded.

The best home-school reading programme for lower decile schools, one already in operation in miniscule way, is Jeanne Biddulph’s Reading Together programme which binds home and school together in a harmonious and joyful way.

A Committee of Inquiry into making education more collaborative for successful learning should be established – though this should not mean changes to education won’t begin immediately (Committee of Inquiry for Collaboration for Better Learning).

School charters at the moment are a major source of control and bureaucratisation – school charters should be freed to allow schools to develop programmes, within broad guidelines, that suit them. (As discussed above.)

The education review office needs to be staffed by teachers and principals of the highest quality; deliver its work in schools in a different way; and be made accountable (it should also be made fully compliant with the Official Information Act).

There should be a Review Office Appeal authority appointed to hear appeals from schools (a priority).

A cross-sector review office advisory board should be established.

The review office should concentrate on work in schools, not producing reports – those reports should be done by universities on the basis of proper research design.

The School Trustees Association should be restricted in its work to providing direct services to members (a priority).

The statutory management system should be restructured: a more comprehensive conciliation system before statutory management should be established and perverse incentives removed. In particular, the cost of statutory management should fall on the ministry not the school.

Schools and colleges of education should develop a better balance between general education courses and ones directly related to classrooms (though both should be considered equally important) – this might mean rehiring some academics who possess both academic and classroom knowledge.

As one part of the advisory function, a permanent advisory service should be re-established attached to universities to function within broad guidelines (a reasonably free advisory service is an important source of practicable knowledge).

The Teachers Council or its equivalent should be reorganised to reflect the policy of collaboration. As well, it should concentrate on the safety of children. (All teacher organisations are doing well on this one, so I am not elaborating.)

Teacher organisations should be represented as of right on policy, curriculum, and administrative groupings.

Charter schools should be funded and administered on the same basis as other privately-run schools and the money saved allocated to meeting the education needs of low decile schools.

National standards should be removed and with the money saved used to re-establish NEMP (National Education Monitoring Project) formerly based at the University of Otago – more money than before should be allocated and the previous directors asked to advise on its establishment, functioning, and staffing (NEMP was a collaborative institution much admired and appreciated by schools).

NMSSA (National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement) based at the University of Otago should be removed, with the money saved used in the re-establishment of NEMP (see above).

Clusters established on a voluntary basis should receive some government funding.

How to bring parents into education on a national basis is a difficult one: my suggestion is, on a regular basis, NZCER to undertake a survey and some research as the focus for parent discussion (within schools) – the outcomes of this discussion to be reported to a body to consider and sometimes develop matters further.

A broad curriculum should be encouraged in anticipation of the outcomes of the results of the Committee of Inquiry (see above).

An important part of that broad curriculum is an understanding that attention to the 3Rs is mutually supportive with attention to flexible thinking – a mutual supportiveness that should be acted on from children’s first days at school.

The greater freedom for schools to shape their curriculum within broad guidelines will have major implications for the work Colleges of Education, advisory services, and education review office.

The use and resourcing of computers should be approached carefully: there needs to be a broad-based permanent grouping set up to provide schools with guidance on computer use in schools (at the moment it is growing helter-skelter with the curriculum quality being given insufficient attention); also government money would seem to be better allocated for professional development and computer maintenance rather than for directly purchasing computers and other digital devices. (Free technical support is crucial, along with extensive ICT support through advisers.)

The curriculum area of mathematics should be given special attention: a curriculum committee to report in three months, meanwhile, conferences should be organised around the country and extra finance made available to schools working on innovative ideas. (Bobbie Hunter from Massey and University and Jodie Hunter her daughter are doing some excellent work in junior maths with implications for older children.)

The Novapay system, from computer programming to data gathering and Novapay reception, has inherent faults within it – a new system should be introduced (either that or funding for office staff both schools and Novapay reception, be substantially increased).

 

The Beeby statement I like is the one he made in 1942 following a meeting with the South Canterbury NZEI management committee: ‘There seems to be a common desire on the part of teachers to ask the Department for detailed instructions regarding such things as the changes that are taking place in infant education, rather than to embrace the freedom the Department has given and to participate co-operatively in the working out of up-to-date practice in the infant room.’

 

Some excerpts from comments made by readers on the initial posting of what is now the networkonnet manifesto

 Bruce Hammonds said: 

The 2007 New Zealand Curriculum introduced by the last Labour government needs to be emphasised – it is highly regarded by teachers. National is about standardisation and competition while Labour needs to focus on personalisation and collaboration.


Barrie Wickens (principal) said: 

NZEI is gearing up, not as fast and responsive as you would like, but the wheels are turning. As of last night my Board had no knowledge of the IES in any shape of form. All they knew is that $359 million over four years is available (if National is returned to power… and I use the term power lightly). I started my informing process by showing them an NZEI Video (12 Minutes) on IES and while one or two said it was a Union push, they agreed that they need far more information to determine what this all means. NZPF is as you state. However! NZSTA … Conference 18 to 20 July has three remits for the AGM. The third is a cracker. Two school boards demanding NZSTA desist with any further involvement in the IES. This should be a defining moment for the President and Exec. To win this battle with National we have to gain the support of the parents across the country.

Catharina McNamara-Verhaart said:

Currently many New Zealand parents have a complacency education is working for their children because of the propaganda for national standards. Teachers often resort to hit and miss ‘teacher judgment’, as the so-called testing creates more what ifs than real diagnostics for real teaching/learning action. Senior management in these schools tells teachers to couch reports in positive education-jargon, mysterious-to-most-parents but impressive (deliberate managerialism), and gives teachers templates of those phrases for keeping school reports cohesive, and then checks each teacher’s reports to alter or praise for conformity. Principals might write a comment ‘Go Jase go! What a cool kid you are.’ (Jase has been the bane of his teacher’s life all year.) Children know how well they’re doing because of the reading/numeracy/remedial or extension groups they’re in. Exceptional schools educate holistically, assessing informally and formally, using sound teacher judgment as a valued professional tool. And they report in plain language

What you are proposing Kelvin needs to happen. Ake Ake

Marlene (not our Southland one):

 Hmmm a wonderful thought provoking post that will almost certainly fall on deaf ears and a long cold silence. We are divided and conquered as a profession, some lured into a state of complacency, some ticking all of the required boxes, some hoping they are shrouded in a Harry Potter cloak of invisibility. Some so completely overwhelmed and disillusioned they are barely breathing. I wish that we could follow our own pathway in education in Aotearoa. I wish that we had the opportunity to breathe life and oxygen into the long buried NZ Curriculum. I wish we could celebrate and promote the Key Competencies, much applauded, long forgotten. I wish we could remove education as a political football. I wish we could adopt an agreed direction for Aotearoa that does not change on government elections. I wish we stood still and looked for answers within ourselves. I wish we would cease the search for the magic bullet overseas and instead focus our energy on showing the world what we can do in this small but passionate land. I wish we could measure our success by designing a new system with the profession, by the profession and for the profession. I wish our leaders in education felt a sense of urgency. I wish they could unite, find their voice and show solidarity. I wish they could do this in a safe environment to do so. I wish we could debate this in an open forum with the policy direction influencers. I wish funding was allocated on a needs basis and that ORS funded students were not short changed. I wish we could be heard, be pro-active, be strong, be proud and refuse to be ignored. Do you have a magic wand for these wishes? Take care and thanks for always being our collective conscience.

Baldrick said:

Principals, how many of you have discussed any of these issues with your neighbouring principals? at your local principals group? with your own staff? at regional conferences? or (how’s this for a cunning plan?) added a point or two to your school newsletters or BOT reports as ‘Points to Ponder’?

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45 Responses to The networkonnet manifesto: sign up to have your ideas heard

  1. Suzy says:

    Share this anywhere you can. Social media, email, twitter or all of these plus more. I just have.

  2. Alison says:

    It’s important to sign this. Alison Kroon.

  3. Chris Horne says:

    I understand that the ‘collaborative’ model i.e the $359m one, is based on an overseas cluster or regional model .How obscene and devious to use ‘collaboration’ or cooperation to bring about compliance to a competitive, market driven, data based system. This model is all about embedding National Standards and right-wing ideology. It is all about control.

  4. Robert Clarke says:

    Kia ora mai !!!

  5. When will sanity prevail? It won’t as long as we keep heading down the path of education destruction being put in front of us.
    Chris Broadhurst

  6. Myles Ferris says:

    I support this whole-heartedly
    Myles Ferris
    Principal
    Te Kura o Otangarei

  7. Stuart Amer Year 3 Teacher Nelson Park
    School, Napier
    samer@nelsonpark.school.nz

  8. Struan says:

    Thanks Kelvin, perfectly put points, totally support!

  9. Averil says:

    Read, listen and support these messages for the sake of our children and teachers.

  10. Kelvin says:

    You most certainly can add my name to the document.
    Frank Dodd (former president of NZEI)

  11. Rex Morris says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with you kelvin. This $359 million is about putting in a layer of control above and alongside schools to ensure compliance with the deeply flawed national stands model of assessment. This is another serious step in embedding the neoliberal data driven education system that is seriously dumbing down what was a world class system. There were, and still is, ways of dealing with inequity. National standards and the subsequent processes is NOT that way.

  12. Kelvin says:

    Catharina McNamara-Verhaart (education writer). See Catharina’s statement above.

  13. Paul Shepherd says:

    There is a clear philosophical debate going on (or is it?). it has been said “Feed the Heart, before you feed the Brain” but present policy, and some principal/teacher response to this, would say that we have given up our Kiwi uniqueness. Go for it Kelvin – the sun will shine again 🙂 Paul Shepherd, Kamo Intermediate.

  14. I strongly support the direction of this manifesto. The most important part is that which lays out the governing ideas. As a teacher in NZ I loved looking at an English class at the beginning of the year and with them working out what we might study…which novels,plays,poetry…apart from needing and wanting to explore others ideas and different genre, I was absolutely free ( within some departmental book costs!!) to work with that particular group of students. I was free to explore variety. Such freedom does not exist in an English class in England!
    The next issue I support strongly and belatedly is your exposure and rejection of managerialism. I was a new principal when Tomorrow’s Schools hit. I did enjoy the financial flexibility. We did establish a shared decision-making school…but I did not ever see until I was distant from NZ and in the stranglehold of the English education system how dangerous this competitive model was, how isolating, how creative of failure.
    What I do not want is workshops, commissions on the direction to go in our structural changes. We need to move surely and quickly. Classrooms can be freed to get on with the job. Kids can learn in peace while we unpick the systems that have strangled and industrialised the classroom and replace them with teams focussed on supporting the school and its classrooms, not judging and measuring them.
    I could say more….but I have been boiling for five long years…and have come home desperately trying to understand what currently exists here.

  15. Marlene says:

    Totally endorse the manifesto, we need more sharing of this! Has it been emailed to all NZ Principals?

  16. Colin Tarr AFNZIM says:

    Ae, tika (yes, hear, hear). I’ve worked in the NZ education sector for 34 years. I support this manifesto. It contains much for current (and potential) policy makers (who want to make a real difference) to reflect and act upon.

  17. Stephen Blair says:

    Once again Kelvin you demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues facing us along with something rarely seen, a re-visioning based on strong curriculum theory.

  18. Pat Newman says:

    Past Newman. I would like to put all the politicians in a room, lock the door like they do in the Vatican when electing a new pope, and not let them out until we had a consensus around what is actually the best for kids, rather than for self serving politicos more interested in votes than actually solving the real problems!!! $359 for Parata’s dream? I could think of far better ways to sue that money that would actually help kids. Fullan being used as the expert to listen to??????? Another supposed expert with the practical experience of a cat!

  19. Kelvin says:

    Hi Kelvin
    The manifesto catches all of my thoughts as to where we are at—and where we need to go.Our education system needs a balance between the `heart and the head`.The pendulum has swung too far with current political initiatives which focus far too much on those clinical educational factors that focus on data,evidence and an excess of navel gazing/performance management.We need teachers who bring their heart to the work they do—that’s where the energy and support should be focussed.I feel that is being chipped away at big time . Sign me up Rex Allott

  20. Kelvin says:

    Hi Kelvin
    The manifesto says it all for me, well done. After reading it and the comments from enlightened principals I am hopeful that creative, holistic, child centred education may again be valued.
    I’d be happy to sign and support the manifesto in any way.
    Kind regards,
    Nel Bracegirdle

  21. Moira McKay says:

    Happy to support you Kelvin as always.

  22. Well put, Kelvin, Your vision for education meets mine in a way that this current government really does not. You appreciate where the need truly is, and you are focused on getting there. It is not a self serving ideology, but one for holistic and comprehensive education with the child (and future adult) in mind. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Dianne
    Save Our Schools NZ

  23. Bruce Henderson says:

    Great to see, Kelvin
    My great concern is that in a very real sense the tail is wagging the dog -instead of the education system being focused on the needs of our children, it is increasingly being focused on the wants of the governing party and the convenience of education bureaucrats -policies and requirements structured to fulfil central managerial wants rather than countrywide children’s needs.

  24. Jim Park says:

    Hi Kelvin
    I am happy to support the direction of your manifesto and have always thought that what happens in the classroom with the children was the most important aspect associated with teaching and learning. Unfortunately in todays educational economic and political climate, too many other things have got in the way. Teachers have lost control of the direction of the curriculum and the freedom to explore innovative and creative approaches to teaching and learning. A move back to the teacher having a major say in what happens in our classrooms can only be good for the children’s learning.
    Jim Park

  25. Sandy Anderson says:

    Sandy Anderson
    All for reclaiming learning and teaching within a creative environment for teachers and students.

  26. Susan McRoberts says:

    Thank you Kelvin for expressing these ideas so well. As a teacher I am tired of these untested , undemocratic and downright bizarre ideas from government. Our children deserve better. Please sign me up!

  27. Helen Moran says:

    I agree with everything. It’s so sensible. The only thing I would add is that all political parties commit to creating an apolitical education system so that this fiasco doesn’t happen again.

  28. Thank you Kelvin, I am a teacher in the early childhood sector and I also have two primary school aged children. I fully support your manifesto and will be spreading the word.

  29. Natalie Marsh says:

    Kelvin, I am in full support of your manifesto. As worksite rep I stand alongside teachers who are bone weary and exhausted but rest assured we still have fight within us. We are united in our approach and all have a far better understanding of where the $359 mil could be spent. I will be sharing your questions about IES at a meeting tomorrow.
    Natalie Marsh
    Year 3 Teacher (Primary)

  30. boonman says:

    Thank you again Kelvin.
    I fully support everything in the manifesto. I would also go as far as saying the development of education policies should be removed from the hands of untrained, inexperienced and ignorant politicians and put in the hands of a totally independent body. Like the Reserve Bank Act removed the control of fiscal policy from politicians after the joke economy the ’84 Labour government inherited from Muldoon, an Independent Education Commission would take the development and implementation of policy out of the hands of those who have no idea what they are doing. Teachers, researchers, and other experts would all sit on the commission and work together for the betterment of New Zealand children. Policy would be developed based on best practice with a focus on the whole child. Members of the commission would be appointed by bureaucrats at the Ministry of Education, not politicians, thus removing the tendency for whomever is in power to stack the deck in their favour.
    If this was allowed to occur over a period of years, as the Reserve Bank Act has been allowed to bed itself in, no politician would dare try and legislate it away.
    Education is far too important to be left in the hands of the ignorant ideologues we currently have in control.
    Mike Boon
    Y5/6 Teacher

  31. Dr Jenny Nelson says:

    I concur with what you have said.

  32. Gordon Baird says:

    Thank you Kelvin for your dedication to keeping education democratic.

  33. Steve Horne says:

    The National Government not only continues to push it’s narrow ‘ its all about the money and power ‘ pedagogy, it also fails to understand the practicalities of it’s policies and practices. As a parent said this morning on Breakfast television, ” Who wants their childs teacher now doing two full time jobs ?. So, who misses out then ?

  34. Anne Campbell says:

    I totally endorse what is said , I couldn’t believe it when I came across this manifesto- to find that there is a strong voice putting forward such sense on behalf of teachers and principals . Go, Kelvin!
    Anne

  35. Kelvin says:

    Thanks Anne and everyone else: all political parties (except one, of course) have studied the manifesto, and all have been in touch with me about it. David Cunliffe and I had an extended conversation. Thanks for your support. Teachers and principals have spoken to me about how inspiring it is to read what you have to say.

  36. Lorraine Blenkhorn says:

    If it only takes a small amount of water to cause a landslide in shaky ground imagine the impact that teachers united in one flow could have a very shaky education model. . . .

  37. Kelvin says:

    Mike Shennen: recently principal at Mt Maunganui Primary sends his support.

  38. Sign me up Kelvin. I fully support the Manifesto statement. This totally supports the paramount purpose of any investment in education must be aimed to directly benefit the kids.
    The IES Policy is unconscionable and will be unworkable. Steve Ostermann

  39. Kelvin says:

    From Mac Stevenson: Hi Kelvin

    Just in case my name is not there already it is a given that I would sign up for your manifesto. A sane voice in the world of education currently is a wonderful thing. Thank goodness you are still writing to remind people what could be.

    Have seen two things this week that drive me to despair. The first is the annual reporting that schools are required to do on MOE generated forms. Oh my gosh. What hours of wasted effort. The second is the nonsense opinion piece in the Herald this morning that states that the Govts proposed new principal system will lift student achievement. Don’t you just love how non educationalists just know so much nowadays?

    Take care my friend and keep up the good work.

  40. Deb Leov says:

    Let’s try to keep the amazing curriculum we have working as it should for the sake of our children,they are after all why we do what we do!! I agree with the comments referring to better use of this money.

  41. Christine Tuka says:

    Thank you Kelvin, this is certainly a thought-provoking and common sense read.
    Christine Tuka – Principal – Whangaehu School

  42. Vern Stevens says:

    Well Said Kelvin. Totally agree with the manifesto. Sign me up.
    Vern Stevens

  43. Mick Enright says:

    Reported in ‘The National Standard’
    Deaths. Revised NZC.
    Primary School Holistic Education. Possibilities of innovation, creativity, collegiality, well being, individual success, future focus. Sadly we will never see the future from such possiblities! Taken so early. RIP.
    It is hoped we meet again in another time.

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