It was fun to be on the Queen Street march with Ally Kroon and all the others, but it didn’t work out marvellously did it? Oh well, let’s keep at it.
The heading is not meant as a hard-hitting criticism of NZEI or NZPF; the manoeuvre to respond to the IES with the JI was an adroit one; it took the steam out Parata and the PPTA – serving to wrest some of the initiative from them. It also stopped a serious division developing amongst primary principals with the deluded breakaway group then being identified with government policy, thereby weakening NZEI for this and future battles.
It was for this reason I supported NZEI’s move to go into negotiations with the government.
One can see that all the fun has gone out of the IES for Parata and other anti-school education forces: it can be seen in Parata’s body language when discussing it; and in the sentiments expressed by Herald editorialists (spurred by Auckland Grammar’s Tim O’Connor withdrawing from it, calling it a waste of time).
Both the IES and JI are a bucketful of snakes. The JI is another gross entanglement; only Paul Goulter has ever had an inkling but that was last Thursday.
School education needs all this community stuff (National government-style) like a hole in the head.
Surely most of us can work out the National government plan for school education: to put layer on layer of bureaucracy on schools thereby pushing schools and teachers further down the hierarchy to control and dispossess. That is what those monster schools are about; having one principal for various schools; the imposition of the monstrous EDUCANZ as a controlling point; the setting free of ERO to dictate how schools should function down to minute classroom detail; and seeing everything as an administrative issue not a curriculum one.
The other part of the plan is to hide the resulting curriculum failure by setting up schools with a furtive encouragement to cheat. A kind of state sponsored context to do so. If you are caught out cheating outrageously, bad luck, you are for the jump, but for goodness sake don’t let that stop others.
I bet there will be in the new school funding plan, a pool to be shared on the basis of national standards or NCEA Level 2 results. Further encouragement.
The government has set Level 2 NCEA as the benchmark for how well education is going throughout the system. The league-table use of Level 2 NCEA and internal passes has meant cheating is richly rife; as for national standards, it is a more subtle kind of cheating but it is also widespread. The Achilles heel in the plan is PISA, which has the annoying habit of continually heading south, but PISA can be rorted, so I wouldn’t be surprised.
The National government is the first Western government to use cheating as a central policy of its education functioning. Brilliant really, you can knock the … out of schools and teachers at no political cost.
Yes – getting rid of the National Education Monitoring Project has worked a treat.
The following is a letter from a sharp Far North principal.
The outcome of the Joint Initiative is largely unchanged from the IES plan.
But the feeling I am getting is that my fellow principals are beginning to fold. Maybe a quick posting reminding them of the overwhelming rejection of this policy a year ago and that the changes are largely cosmetic (and for the greedy even worse) would be timely.
I saw this coming last year when NZEI began their JI talks with a strange focus on collaboration between schools as though that would be the panacea to all the troubles foisted upon us all over the last seven years. You have written to trust the organisations – right now I see NZEI as massive failure (within what I appreciate is a difficult situation) and NZPF as again quiet on the benefit for children. It seems to me that the fear of having a super principal new boss led many principals to reject last year rather than thinking about the effect of the policy on teaching and learning.
I agree with this letter completely, though I’m not quite so hard on the teacher organisations, after all, if we don’t like it we can vote it down or give it shaky support.
With December not far away, we don’t have to be turkeys.
To help in understanding the Marlene Campbell affair, the following was my response to a very good comment from Melulator:
Good comment Melulater: the judge had read all the government emails and documents but he had to guard against losing an appeal. As a result, he played it safe to make sure the decision that Marlene was wrongly dismissed stayed rock solid. He was also realistic about getting her job back; there are forces, especially National Party ones, that meant there would a kick-back detrimental to a settled environment for the children – I never gave much credence to the job-back claim. The judge’s very long summing up is an indication that he saw this as a case of considerable significance and injustice. When things settle down, and costs have been calculated against the government, Marlene will open up and people will be astonished. Marlene came into the school and did a brilliant job, pressure did go on teachers and there was some restlessness, it happens to many principals. Things settle down, they learn, they accommodate – but this was the Cameron Slater period – week after week he was invidious, and that process never became available. There was Marlene speaking out for teachers in that fetid national standards atmosphere – yes sometimes injudiciously, but overall wonderfully. Tolley went for broke to get rid of her – the rest will be revealed in time. No instance of serious misconduct in the statutory years or any of the court cases was ever brought forward. The judge kept asking where is the verified serious misconduct. It was a travesty. As I suggested, it will make a great book.