Dear Ms Kaye from the NZEI executive (highly confidential)
Dear Ms Kaye
We’re still very excited about your appointment and looking forward to being modernised.
We’re quite shivery in anticipation about that one but, in respect to something else, a killer virus has come up in the works.
Now we don’t want you to take the headline in our latest media release too much to heart; we’re confident we can work it out as part of you settling settle into your new job.
Congratulations by the way.
But when we said: New education targets a disaster for children – that was a fake headline.
We didn’t really mean that the 80% Better Public Performance target announced by the prime minister for mathematics and literacy would be a disaster for children.
Not at all, they will happily continue in their inability to achieve anywhere near functional mathematics or to put together a couple of passable sentences for writing, it is of no moment to them, after all it is not their fault – it takes a system to make potentially intelligent children get to that level of ignorance and inability. They will be as happy as Larry googling their way around room for inquiry learning (inquiry, you’ve got to laugh), blithely oblivious to the world around them.
The new targets are not a disaster for children they are a potential disaster for principals and teachers, and to you minister, and your friendly exec members.
You see minister; children are no-where near 80% in mathematics and writing, not really – they might appear to be closing in minister, but no-one in education takes national standards seriously. It’s a game we on the inside play to keep parents, media, and the public happy.
It’s just a game minister and you must join in, you really must, if you don’t the truth will be out and it will all end badly.
You see by raising the BPF target to 80% and making a big song and dance about it, there might be those who take a closer look and find the national standards an elaborate hoax. They will look at independent research or external exam results and say hi-ho what is going on here?
And where will be there then?
Yes – what a laugh the ministry and we at the executive had setting a Communities of Learning national standards target of 85% for all schools in New Zealand, no matter the school. That was fun. No-one took that 85% seriously: it was just a paper entry. Some of the schools raised a bit of a fuss, but who was listening?
There are those who say the Communities of Learning (CoLs) weren’t the best use of money, but as an organisational toy to play with, who cares, oh the meetings and the conferring with the minister. And just watch the national standards results, mathematics, writing, no matter the school, soar.
But BDFs are different, subject to different scrutiny.
The fact is minister we are in a tight situation here and we need to work together to save our butts.
For instance, minister, a group of academics from Dunedin you contract, the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA), said that in mathematics, y. 8 students in national standards were at 68.90% ‘at’ or ‘above’ but their research finding was 41%. While national standards can be relied to rise steadily, if you know what we mean, and if you don’t, well you’d better hurry up and do so.
Look we could go on minister but I’m sure you get the drift.
And we need to move fast because amongst others a loud-mouthed aging larrikin from Cambridge might light upon the 85% happily agreed upon by your predecessor and us for CoLs and the 80% we have called a disaster for BPFs.
Could it be explained away by that modernising idea of yours?