Charter Schools’ NCEA Results in a Post-Truth Era
On 8 December, Radio NZ’s Benedict Collins reported that Charter Schools had been using dodgy statistics to inflate their apparent “success” rate;
Charter schools use a different method of calculating their NCEA pass rates to state schools – one which inflates their success.
Education Minister Hekia Parata has been warned by her ministry that an imperfect impression of charter schools’ performance is being created as a result.
Advice to Ms Parata shows that when charter schools are measured using the same roll-based methodology as state schools, their pass rates plummet.
The Vanguard Military charter school on Auckland’s North Shore reported a 100 percent Level 2 NCEA pass rate, but that fell to 60 percent when the school’s results were calculated the same way as state schools report.
Labour’s education spokesperson, Chris Hipkins quite rightly slammed the fake results;
“It’s disappointing that we’re not getting apples for apples comparisons but it’s even more disturbing that many kids are leaving these schools without the qualifications the Government says every child needs.
The latest Ministry annual report data also shows charter schools’ National Standards results are actually in decline.
Last year charter schools were awarded performance bonuses for their results while state schools are staring in the face of major funding cuts next year.
It’s simply not fair that students are leaving these school with minimal qualifications while charter schools receive special treatment as state schools struggle.”
ACT’s David Seyour – current Leader of the neo-liberal party responsible for Charter Schools – gave this bizarre explanation for the why the figures had been willfully fudged;
“The reason that there is a difference, just remember, is that we have been pioneering holding schools to account through a contract, and it was necessary if you wanted to do that to have a different system of measurement.”
Seymour tried to regain the moral high-ground by hitting back at Hipkins to defend the bogus data;
“More importantly, Hipkins seems oblivious that there is more than one way to measure NCEA performance. Indeed, there are a range of different measures, including NZQA and what the Ministry reports on Education Counts.”
Seymour fails to explain why it was necessary to use “more than one way to measure NCEA performance“.
As PPTA President, Angela Roberts said;
“Charter schools are a bad idea, for a multitude of reasons, but to hear that their so-called success rates are not based on fair measures is disheartening. We question why the Government put in place a different system for measuring student success for charter schools in the first place.”
Benedict Collins also revealed that officials expressed disquiet at the way Charter School performance was being measured;
Education officials are to change the way charter schools report their NCEA results to bring their methodology in line with state schools.
Education Minister, Hekia Parata has been warned by her ministry that an imperfect impression of charter schools’ performance is being created as a result.
Advice to Ms Parata shows that when charter schools are measured using the same roll-based methodology as state schools, their pass rates plummet.
Parata – herself no stranger to controversy within her education portfolio – clearly wanted to tidy up the perception that National and ACT were trying to deceive the public;
“I want there to be a consistent system, for the purposes of reporting to the government, which is about roll-based, which means everybody who is enrolled at that school counts and how well did they do, versus only those who sat NCEA”
Yet, this is not the first time that National and government departments and organisations have been caught out falsifying data.
Police crime-reporting in a Post-Truth Era
A bizarre story of Police employing bogus statistics broke in the NZ Herald in July, 2014;
It took journalist Eugene Bingham two years to uncover information requested under the Official Information Act;
When the Herald finally received the information they had requested, a startling item of incriminating nature was discovered;
A damning internal police document has emerged that appears to show senior officers discussed not releasing embarrassing details about the “ghost crimes” controversy in which 700 burglaries vanished from official crime statistics.
The memo, known within police as a job sheet, states John Tims had been advised by then-deputy commissioner [Mike] Bush and assistant commissioner Allan Boreham not to respond to the [OIA] request. Brady [see image above] wrote: “(Tims) had been advised to let the request sit and when and if (3rd Degree) followed up with a request the matter would be addressed then.
“The direction to me was to not respond to the Official Information Act request and file the file as it is.”
Up until then, National had been gleefully trumpeting the fictitious “fall in crime”;
On TVNZ’s Q+A, on 25 October 2015, Michael Parkin interviewed outgoing Police Association President, Greg O’Conner.
O’Connor was unusually candid when he made clear the extent to which statistics are fudged to make politicians and State officials look good;
“Well, it’s uh, lies, damned lies, and statistics. If you look at the crime stats, um, which is those recorded stats, you’ll say the government and police administration are right. If you look at the stats around calls for service, they’re the phone calls that police receive in communications centes, etc, and just an example, family violence, domestic disputes; up by 10% a year pretty much, and across the board, 20% increase. So it’s the calls for service, to the extent that the communications centres couldn’t manage last summer. There’s a fear, and we’re obviously we’re trying to make sure it doesn’t happen this year. So the two are going in completely different directions.”
Parkin pointedly asked if the statistics are being manipulated. O’Conner’s response was startling in it’s honesty;
“Of course they are. Every government department – I mean, what happens is that, the stats themselves are fair, but I mean I see it as a debate [like] about health, y’know, medical – the waiting lists have going down, but people get kicked of waiting lists and so it’s, you achieve – Put it this way, with crime stats, what we’ve set out to do is the way to cut crime stats is to hit your bulk crime. So if you have any success there, of course, that’s going to be big numbers down. And what you ignore is your small numbers. You ignore, in fact, interestingly enough you ignore drugs. You ignore a lot of your serious stuff that you only find if you go looking. And in the past that’s got us into real trouble. Got us into trouble with the child abuse files, in particular, and you remember, that they were put aside. Because they weren’t politically known. They were business as usual. All of a sudden we were concentrating on the crime and crash reduction, um, and we ignored that stuff. And so you’ve got to be careful. And this is where the politicisation of policing is really dangerous. It’s not done by the Minister saying ‘you gotta do this and you gotta do that’, it’s done by funding.”
Herald journalist, Eugene Bingham, also reported;
“ It transpired others knew about the allegations around the same time, including the local MP and then-Minister of Justice, Judith Collins.”
Judith Collins featured heavily in Nicky Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics‘, and recently stood as a candidate for the next Leader of the National Party.
Mainstream media is often criticised for reliance on superficial ‘news’ reporting; ‘clickbait‘; and dubious ‘stories‘. On this issue, the Herald and Eugene Bingham revealed to New Zealanders the extent to which State agencies will go to “massage the truth” to present deceptively favourable impressions to the public.
Statistics NZ in a Post-Truth Era
In August of this year, I reported how Statistics NZ had radically changed the manner in which it defined a jobseeker;
Change: Looking at job advertisements on the internet is correctly classified as not actively seeking work. This change brings the classification in line with international standards and will make international comparability possible.
Improvement: Fewer people will be classified as actively seeking work, therefore the counts of people unemployed will be more accurate.
Statistics NZ explained the ramifications of the “revised” definition of unemployment ;
Decreases in the number of people unemployed and the unemployment rate
Changes to the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate range from 0.1 to 0.6 percentage points. In the most recent published quarter (March 2016), the unemployment rate is revised down from 5.7 percent to 5.2 percent
Increases in the number of people not in the labour force
Decreases in the size of the labour force and the labour force participation rate
A person job-searching using the internet was “not actively seeking work“. Predictably, at the stroke of a pen, unemployment “fell” over-night from 5.7% to 5.2%.
It was “manna from heaven” for the incumbent government which has been besieged on several fronts for worsening social and economic indicators.
Despite being little more than a dressed-up “accounting trick”, politicians could claim with a straight-face that “unemployment was falling”.
Which did not take long.
Statistics NZ announced it’s changes on 29 June 2016.
Four days later, our esteemed former-Dear Leader, John Key, gloated on TVNZ’s Q+A to Corin Dann;
“The unemployment rate in New Zealand is now falling pretty dramatically.”
By August, both Key and Bill English were joyfully quoting the “new unemployment stats”.
On 8 August, Key was quoted on Interest.co.nz;
“On the other side, we need these people in an environment where unemployment is 5.2% and where growth is still very, very strong. You’ve just got to be careful when you play around with these things that you don’t hamstring certain industries that need these workers.”
So not only was Key quoting the “new, revised” unemployment stats – but his government was now actively predicating their immigration policy on the bogus data.
Three days later, in Parliament, English also gleefully congratulated himself on the “fall” in unemployment;
“The Reserve Bank is forecasting an increase of about 1 percent more growth in the economy over the next 3 years, compared with what it thought 3 months ago. It is forecasting that unemployment is going to continue falling from 5.2 percent this year to 4.5 percent by 2019 and that job numbers will increase by more than 2 percent on average over the next 2 years. A significant component of that, of course, will be the construction boom, where thousands of houses will be built over the next 2 or 3 years. These forecasts are in line with Treasury’s forecast for the labour market and show an economy that is delivering more jobs, lower unemployment, and real increases in incomes when in many developed countries that is not happening.”
Whilst it is expected for politicians to mis-use questionable data for their own self-aggrandisement (and re-election chances), worse was to come.
On 10 August, Radio NZ‘s Immigration Reporter, Gill Bonnett, reported;
“The unemployment rate stood at 5.2 percent for the three months ended in March.”
Bonnett did not quote a reference source for that statement. Most likely it was Statistics NZ and it’s now-“revised” figures.
It is unfortunate that some journalists seem unaware of the new regime which portrays unemployment lower than it actually is. The fact that Statistics NZ has fudged their data which now skews unemployment should be common knowledge throughout the mainstream media.
Especially when National ministers are now “patting themselves on the back” for a “fall” in unemployment that never happened, as their Twitter-feed showed on 2 November;
And three days later;
As I wrote on 14 November about Statistics NZ’s decision to change it’s criteria for unemployment,
Ms MacPherson’s [Government Statistician] assertion that Statistics NZ has changed it’s definitions of unemployment and jobseeking “to maintain consistency with international best practice” is not an acceptable explanation.
If “international best practice” does not recognise on-line jobseeking as constituting a definition of unemployment – then that in itself is worrying and suggests that global unemployment may be much, much higher than current international statistics portray.
As a consequence of Ms MacPherson’s decision to exclude on-line jobseekers from official stats, this blogger concludes that official unemployment data is severely flawed and unrepresentative of our real unemployment numbers.
In simple terms; the numbers are a sham.
Unemployment statistics will no longer be presented in on-going up-dates of the Jobless Tally.
When data cannot be relied upon to be accurate, it ceases to have value, except as propaganda.
Those who welcome the Post-Truth Era
On 10 July this year, Radio NZ’s Colin Peacock asked if “a ‘post-truth’ era is upon us?” He quoted journalist Andrew Vance’s misgivings about the way half-truths and outright lies were now becoming more and more a feature of current political discourse;
…TVNZ’s website, political correspondent Andrea Vance said “the polls don’t punish National for straying from the truth”, and she pointed to the success of fact-free campaigns by Donald Trump in the US and Brexit backers in the UK.
“We are living in a ‘post-truth’ era and it has infected New Zealand politics,” said Ms Vance, who worked for newspapers in the UK before reporting on politics here.
She’s not the only one who thinks so.
Massey University philosophy professor Bill Fish also sees echoes of the UK’s “post-truth” Brexit campaign in New Zealand politicians’ attitudes towards expert opinion and evidence.
“This is different,” Ms Vance told Mediawatch. “With Trump, Brexit and what’s happening here you’ve got political players actively deceiving the public. Politicians have always been selective with truth, but now it is brazen. I’ve been doing this for 17 years and its getting worse. It’s also crept into the public service. This lack of accountability and obfuscation feels like it’s sanctioned by political masters”.
Post-Truth has it’s sibling, “fake news” – which has shown to be an effectively vicious political weapon in the recent Presidential elections.
The phenomenon of Fake News – promulgated and spread repeatedly predominantly by conspiracy and alt.right websites – recently came to violent conclusion in the US when a 28 year old “lone gunman” (did he act alone or was it a conspiracy?) attacked Comet Ping Pong, a pizza restaurant in northwest Washington;
Edgar M. Welch, a 28-year-old father of two from Salisbury, N.C., recently read online that Comet Ping Pong, a pizza restaurant in northwest Washington, was harboring young children as sex slaves as part of a child-abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton.
The articles making those allegations were widespread across the web, appearing on sites including Facebook and Twitter. Apparently concerned, Mr. Welch drove about six hours on Sunday from his home to Comet Ping Pong to see the situation for himself, according to court documents. Not long after arriving at the pizzeria, the police said, he fired from an assault-like AR-15 rifle. The police arrested him. They found a rifle and a handgun in the restaurant. No one was hurt.
In an arraignment on Monday, a heavily tattooed Mr. Welch, wearing a white jumpsuit and shackles, was ordered held. According to the criminal complaint, he told the authorities that he was armed to help rescue children but that he surrendered peacefully after finding no evidence that “children were being harbored in the restaurant.” He was charged with four counts, including felony assault with a deadly weapon and carrying a gun without a license outside a home or business.
According to alt.right websites Comet Ping Pong contained a secret underground facility where “young children were used as sex slaves as part of a child-abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton“.
None of it was true, but in an ironic twist, the gunman who attacked Comet Ping Pong is now himself viewed as part of a conspiracy cover-up to protect the non-existant pedophile ring;
The viral nature of the misinformation was illustrated again late Sunday, not long after the police arrested Mr. Welch and called Pizzagate a “fictitious online conspiracy theory” in their report. Some individuals on Twitter said Mr. Welch was an actor used by the mainstream media to divert attention from the alleged crimes at Comet Ping Pong. Followers of a shuttered Reddit thread on Pizzagate dissected the episode on a new online network called Voat.
Witch-hunts based on paranoid conspiracy theories become more bizarre when they turn on – and cannibalise – their own followers.
Even here in New Zealand, individuals were not immune to the moral-panic fanned by the flames of Fake News. Some commentators uncritically reposted the pedophile allegations.
Pointedly, no citations were ever provided to the parroted allegations. (Mainly because the allegations were a fabrication. Perhaps even a conspiracy in itself, to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.)
As Clinton herself warned, Fake News can have disastrous “real world consequences”;
“This is not about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk. Lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days to do their jobs, contribute to their communities. It is a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly.”
This seems to have been recognised by the Trump transition team who took action against one of their own, caught spreading Fake News;
President-elect Donald J. Trump on Tuesday fired one of his transition team’s staff members, Michael G. Flynn, the son of Mr. Trump’s choice for national security adviser, for using Twitter to spread a fake news story about Hillary Clinton that led to an armed confrontation in a pizza restaurant in Washington.
At first Vice President-elect Mike Pence denied that Flynn had ever worked for the Trump team, saying on MSNBC that he had “no involvement in the transition whatsoever”;
However, soon after, a transition spokesman, Jason Miller, admitted that Flynn had worked for the transition team. Miller said Flynn would no longer be involved.
From Flynn’s Fake News to Pence’s dishonest denial – the truth eventually came out.
Curiously, Michael Flynn’s father – Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn – is also well-known for his John Key-style of “truthiness”;
“He has regularly engaged in the reckless public promotion of conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact, with disregard for the risks that giving credence to those theories could pose to the public,” Representative Adam Smith of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said on Tuesday.
“Someone who is so oblivious to the facts, or intentionally ignorant of them, should not be entrusted with policy decisions that affect the safety of the American people,” Mr. Smith added.
The Mainstream Media
As Fake News websites and “stories” proliferate, the mainstream media may actually take on a fresh breath-of-life.
In a functioning democracy; with the need for vital checks and balances; the msm will become more critically vital to determine what is real and what is fantasy. Which also adds greater pressure on msm to ensure that it’s stories are well-researched and cite accurate facts and data.
Relying on dubious sources (such as the Herald did with the now-discredited Donghua Liu allegations) or questionable data from governmental bodies such as Statistics NZ, Police, etc, is no longer be sufficient.
This will be an opportunity for the msm to re-gain their relevance in a post-truth era of Fake News and deliberate political prevarication.
The question is; will they seize that opportunity?
Fake News, Post-Truth, Lies, Charter Schools
Charter Schools are an ideological response to State schools. It is an exercise designed to confirm that profit-driven, private-run education services are more effective and deliver better results than that offered by the State.
One of the core tenet’s of the New Right is that private enterprise/endeavour is superior to anything available from the State.
In 2002, businessman Phil Barry, author of The Changing Balance Between the Public and Private Sectors, published by the Business Roundtable (aka NZ Initiative), wrote in the NZ Herald;
“Private firms tend to be more efficient than their state-owned counterparts, especially in competitive industries.
Privatisation of SOEs is likely to lead to improvements in their efficiency and to more open and competitive product markets, benefiting consumers, taxpayers and the economy as a whole.
The evidence does not suggest that private ownership is always more efficient. Some state enterprises can perform very well, at least for a period.”
And in 2012, then ACT-leader, John Banks said in Parliament;
“Public or private ownership of assets has been studied to death in many, many studies, and the jury is in. Private enterprise runs businesses better than the Government can.”
For many on the neo-liberal Right, education is a business not a public good and therefore should be no different to electricity supply (semi-privatised); Air New Zealand (semi-privatised – again); or a whole host of other services and assets that were once owned by the tax-payer but have been sold off over the last thirty years.
But to ensure that the basic tenet that “private enterprise runs businesses better than the Government can” is believed to be true by the public – and especially the voting public! – it must be shown to be true.
If it cannot be proven to be true, using accurate measurement and data, then fudging the truth will have to do.
In essence, that is what ACT’s David Seymour was saying when he lamely attempted to justify the inflated success rate for Charter Schools by claiming different standards of measurement;
“The reason that there is a difference, just remember, is that we have been pioneering holding schools to account through a contract, and it was necessary if you wanted to do that to have a different system of measurement.”
“…there is more than one way to measure NCEA performance. Indeed, there are a range of different measures, including NZQA and what the Ministry reports on Education Counts.”
When there “there are a range of different measures” you simply pick the one that gives you the results you want.
Which raises the question: what does it say about an ideological experiment if it requires a lie to sustain it?
Note: certain portions of this story have been re-published from previous blogposts.
Scoop media: Ministry reveals shocking charter school results
The Northern Advocate: Charter school pass rates plummet when brought in line with state schools
NZ Herald: Police made burglaries vanish
NZ Herald: Two-year search for ‘ghost crimes’ truth
TVNZ: Q+A – Police Association president steps down
Scoop media: Parliament – Questions & Answers – 11 August 2016
Twitter: National (2 Nov)
Twitter: National (5 Nov)
Radio NZ: Is a ‘post-truth’ era upon us?
New York Times: In Washington Pizzeria Attack, Fake News Brought Real Guns
Snopes.com: Chuck E. Sleaze
The Daily Blog: Slippery
Twitter: MSNBC – Morning Joe – Mike Pence
New York Times: As Fake News Spreads Lies, More Readers Shrug at the Truth
Wikipedia: List of fake news websites
The Standard: Charter schools fiddling their results
Previous related blogposts
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 11 December 2016.
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The thing about Charter Schools – which was one of John Bank’s “legacies” before he ended up in Court cleaning his ears – is that teaching staff do not have to be registered. Despite official advice from the Ministry of Education, which stated,
“The overall potential for a negative impact on students’ education from teachers who do not meet the minimum standards for the profession is high,” the statement said. “Teacher registration is one of the most influential levers in raising teacher quality across the profession in both state and private schools.”
Amidst fears of people with unknown histories; dubious qualifications; and other unknown unpleasantries, ending up in Charter School classrooms, our Dear Leader John Key seemed… relaxed by it all;
“But I don’t think we should be hung up by any one particular angle. There will always be a push back by the teachers union that will be fearful of that, but as I say if you look at the history of New Zealand schools we have had plenty of people who have been teaching our youngsters who haven’t been registered qualified teachers. If those partnership schools don’t succeed the Government will be just as quick to close them down as we have been to establish them.”
Key has said he would not be bothered if his children were taught by unregistered teachers. Not bloody likely – Key’s offspring were taught in the most expensive private schools money could buy. No chance of Key’s offspring rubbing shoulders with middle class kids in State schools or working class kids in Charter Schools – the Key Clan could afford The Best.
So what of Charter schools? Despite the mealy-mouthed reassurances from the likes of Key, Parata, and Banks – a simple reality remains; they will be employing unregistered teachers. Which leaves us with a situation like this, as reported by Radio NZ on 27 May;
Coming soon to a Charter School near you: a teacher who has been sacked from his job and de-registered. But there is nothing to stop this man from being -re-hired by a Charter School.
- Un-registered, he is no longer listed with the Teacher’s Council. (Unless the Council maintains a separate Black List of de-registered teachers and is readily available to education institutions?)
- He has not been charged or found guilty of any offence, according to the story above – so any Charter School conducting a police background check will come up with nothing.
- The man’s identity has not been released, so even a simple Google search will come up with nothing.
- All he needs to do is remove the last school he worked at (from which he was sacked), and he effectively has a “clean” C.V.
The policy of allowing unregistered teachers is a ticking time-bomb, and this blogger can already see tomorrow’s headlines; “Unregistered teacher at XYZ Charter School molests pupils“.
There will be the usual ‘noises’ of “improving procedures and protocols” being made. But without registration, the pupils of Charter Schools will be vulnerable to predator-“teachers” who fancy a 12 year old boy or girlfriend.
In effect, Parata and Banks – with the blessing of Dear Leader – have handed paedophiles their next victims on a tax-payer funded plate.
As usual, it is the most vulnerable in our society who will be paying for National/ACT’s shonkey, ideologically-half-baked policies.
We have been warned.
Fairfax media: Ministry advised against unregistered charter teachers
TVNZ News: Key – Don’t worry about unqualified teachers
NZ Herald: Ministers’ kids skip big classes
Radio NZ: Pupil praised, teacher deregistered
Previous related blogposts
From around the world
allthingslearning: Can a teacher “create” LEARNing THAT LASTS?
New Statesman: The American revolution in English schools
Huffington Post: In Support of the Whole Child
No Right Turn: Charter schools are bad schools
Local Bodies: NZ Charter Schools Defined
The Standard: Incoherent education policy
The Standard: Robber’s charter
The Daily Blog: Does it get any more rich than this?
Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 29 May 2014.
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An incoming Labour-Green-Mana(-NZ First?*) coalition government will have much work to do – especially in it’s first three years.
In the six years that National has been in power, they have passed many odious and often repressive pieces of legislation. Labour and the Greens have already committed to repealing some of these laws and policies.
As a Labour-led coalition government addresses growing problems of child poverty; income inequality; a shortage of decent, affordable housing; and chronic unemployment (currently at 7.1% according to the 2013 Census), a legislative programme will demand a long list of progressive reforms.
In no particular order;
“The Hobbit Law”
Enacted on 29 October 2010, the Employment Relations (Film Production Work) Amendment Bill/Act ( aka “The Hobbit Law”) was passed by National in just 48 hours. If Parliament was an Olympic event, Key and his cronies would’ve won a Gold Medal for the breath-taking speed at which this Bill was rammed through the House under “Urgency”. The law effectively stole the rights of workers to be treated as employees (rather than “sub-contractors”) and negotiate collectively.
It was part of a package of corporate welfare for Warner Bros, which included a $67 million subsidy, courtesy of the taxpayer. That was despite the first installment of The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey making over US$1 billion, world-wide.
Never before in our history has a government yielded to such naked, open pressure to change our labour laws to suit a foreign corporation. The term “prostitute” doesn’t begin to cover the heinous nature of this sell-out by a New Zealand government to a trans-national corporation.
A year later, Labour announced it would repeal this odious piece of legislation. I expect them to keep their word. If only to send a clear message to firms wanting to do business in this country that our laws are not for sale.
Sponsored by the one-man-band ACT Party, Charter Schools are private companies using tax-payer’s money to make a profit. No wonder Russell Norman likened John Key to Robert Muldoon – this is Muldoonism at it’s best/worst (depending on your point of view).
The Charter Schools policy was never put before the public during the 2011 general election, and there is no mandate for it. The ACT website’s Education Policy contained a vague, oblique reference to “reforming education towards a more market-like and entrepreneurial service” – but no specific regard to “Charter Schools”.
There are many things wrong with the Charter Schools policy – chief amongst them that they are not accountable under the Official Information Act; nor are registered teachers required; companies running Charter Schools need not hold any education experience; public scrutiny is weak to non-existent; and overseas evidence shows that Charter Schools are not a solution to education problems.
In fact, they may owe more to ideology than to any robust study and even Treasury – no bastion of progressive thought – has voiced criticism on the proposal,
However they also show Treasury is not convinced the benefits of introducing the schools will outweigh the costs and risks.
The papers express scepticism that increasing competition between schools will improve the education system.
The documents show both the Treasury and Ministry of Education opposed the Government’s plan to allow partnership schools to hire unregistered teachers.
Treasury told the Government that teacher registration is an indication of a minimum level of quality.
Labour has firmly stated that legislation enabling Charter Schools will be repealed.
Excellent. As it should be. This is not about educational “excellence” nor parental “choice”. This was an ill-conceived, ideologically-driven, nutty policy from a small, dying political party that gained 23,889 (1.07%) popular votes at the last election. As such, the education of our children cannot be left to the idealogical whims of what is, in reality, a fringe group of right-wing, free-market zealots.
Terrorism Suppression Act
This was a legacy from the Clark-led Labour government and it was a knee-jerk, ill-conceived, poorly executed piece of repressive garbage that belongs more in Pinochet’s Chile or Ceausescu’s Romania, than in a social democracy such as New Zealand. The Act was a ‘nod’ to our so-called “allies” in Washington and London, post September 11, when paranoia about global terrorism was at it highest.
The law was used to facilitate the Urewera Raids in 2007 (along with raids in Auckland, Wellington, Palmerston North and Hamilton). Eighteen people were arrested.
None stood trial under the Act itself, and instead four individuals were eventually charged under more mundane firearms offenses. The Court threw out out “evidence” which had been illegally obtained.
The Terrorism Suppression Act itself was described by Solicitor General, David Collins, QC, as, “unnecessarily complex, incoherent and as a result almost impossible to apply to the domestic circumstances observed by the police in this case“.
Considering that the Urewera village of Rūātoki was held in lock-down by para-military garbed and armed police, with many innocent people including women and children confined for a lengthy period under armed guard, this was nothing less than a suspension of our rights as citizens, and a step towards a neo-fascist state (though one suspects there are some New Zealanders who would happily welcome such a regime) . The only acts of terrorism on that day in October, seven years ago, was by the State and it’s frightening, menacing, para-military which forced it’s way into people’s homes and threatened them with lethal weapons.
Thirty years previously, movie-maker Sam Donaldson presented us with Sleeping Dogs – a cinematic version of C.K. Stead’s novel, Smith’s Dream. The storyline was of a nightmarish, dystopian near-future, of New Zealand as a repressive police state, with all dissent brutally crushed.
That future arrived on 15 October 2007.
In December 2013, the Human Rights Commission published a report on the raids – called “Operation 8 by Police – which stated, in part, that innocent people had been exposed to unnecessary trauma. Earlier that same year, the Independent Police Conduct Authority stated that the police had illegally stopped vehicles, detaining people in their homes, and taking their photographs,
Three children under 10 had rifles with red laser lights pointed at them and were kept under armed guard in a shed for nine hours without food or water during the Urewera police raids in 2007.
“They smashed through our front gate and came running up towards us telling us to come out with our hands up,” Tu Temaungaroa Moko, now 14, said yesterday after the Independent Police Conduct Authority branded police actions during the raids unlawful, unjustified and unreasonable.
Tu was bundled into the back shed with his mother, Awhi Tia Koha, and brothers Te Ahoaho Hellman, now 15, and Taihakoa Rawiri Moko, now 9, and kept there by two armed police.
“We had tried to hide in the bedroom, we were scared stiff, we didn’t know what to do,” he said.
The armed police arrested their father, Moko Hellman, and searched the house.
“They tipped food on the floors, wrecked the furniture and pulled everything out of cupboards and shelves.”
All the search recovered was several rounds of .303 ammunition belonging to the boys’ grandfather, Tu said.
The IPCA report published yesterday says police had no right to block roads, search vehicles, detain and photograph locals, or detain residents while their homes were searched.
This was shocking, brutal, and unacceptable behaviour by the State.
This law must go. It has no place in a civilised society that purports to respect civil rights and justice. There are adequate firearms laws enough with which to pursue and prosecute those who mis-use guns, or conspiracy laws to deal with more nefarious activities.
The Terrorism Suppression Act gives too much power to the State, and it’s para-military arm, and events in 2007 demonstrated that such tyrannical laws can easily be mis-used.
This law was a product of a Labour government. It is an obscenity. It must be repealed by a new Labour government.
Search and Surveillance Act
Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Act
Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Act
As if the Terrorism Suppression Act wasn’t sufficient power with which the State could coerce it’s citizenry, this National-led government found it necessary to implement more draconian laws. The Search and Surveillance Act, Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Act, and the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Act all gave government extraordinary powers to monitor New Zealanders and to carry out searches on the flimsiest pretexts.
In 2012, National passed it’s Search and Surveillance Act, which as TV3 reported,
It gives police the right to search or keep people under surveillance without a warrant in urgent or emergency situations, changes the right to silence and empowers judges to decide whether journalists can protect their sources or not.
That Orwellian piece of legislation was followed up a year later with not one, but two, new laws allowing the State to further spy on New Zealanders.
As I wrote on 30 June last year, despite the Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003 being fairly clear on the issue, the Bureau still had the mistaken belief that they were somehow entitled to spy on New Zealand citizens and permanent residents.
Either in ignorance, or another of his pathetic lies, John Key maintained this fiction,
“In addition, the Act governing the GCSB is not fit for purpose and probably never has been. It was not until this review was undertaken that the extent of this inadequacy was known.”
Acknowledgement: John Key – PM releases report into GCSB compliance
Despite the fact that the Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003 is actually quite clear – especially Section 14 which states –
Neither the Director, nor an employee of the Bureau, nor a person acting on behalf of the Bureau may authorise or take any action for the purpose of intercepting the communications of a person (not being a foreign organisation or a foreign person) who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.
– the myth was perpetuated that the law is “unclear”.
The GCSB was never mandated to spy on New Zealanders. John Key’s National government changed all that with it’s one-seat majority in Parliament, and not only legitimised the Bureau’s spying on 88 New Zealanders – but has given it authority to spy on us all.
The GCSB Act was followed in quick succession by the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Act which, as Thomas Beagle, explained,
The TICS Bill is a replacement for the Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act 2004. This law forced communications providers (ISPs, telcos, data networks, etc) to provide “lawful intercept” capabilities so that the Police, SIS and GCSB could access communications once they had a suitable warrant. The new bill expands and clarifies these requirements.
The Bill specifies that the law applies to companies whether based in New Zealand or overseas. It then goes on to give the Minister the power to ban the resale of an off-shore telecommunications service in New Zealand if it does not provide interception capabilities. This could stop the resale of foreign-hosted VPNs, instant message services, email, etc.
Network operators must decrypt the intercepted communications if they have provided the encryption, but there is no obligation to do so if the encryption is provided by others.
What does this mean for providers such as Mega (file locker) or LastPass (password storage) who have a business model based on the fact that they supply a cloud product that uses encryption but have deliberately designed it so that they can not decrypt the files themselves? This gives users the assurance that they can trust them with their data. Will the government close them down unless they provide a backdoor into the system?
The TICS Act is insidious because it forces telcos to comply with politicians and spy agencies demands for access to our communications. In effect,any company such as Telecom, Vodaphone, Slingshot, Chorus, etc, which offers a telecommunication service becomes a spy-agent for the State. Not content with the Police, SIS, and GCSB, private companies become extensions of the State to surveil the populace.
Orwell himself could not have dreamed of a more unbelievably cunning plan.
Little wonder that telcos, Apple, Google, etc, opposed this draconian piece of law-making,
Opponents may be facing an uphill battle against spy bill fatigue as TICS goes through the house.
But there are a couple of intriguing twists.
One is its provision for the ICT Minister to require service providers (such as Apple with iMessage, Microsoft with Skype and Google with Chat, Talk etc) to make communications on their services interceptable. Apple and Google have submitted against the legislation. Will they ramp up their opposition as TICS works its way through Parliament – especially given Vikram Kumar’s revelation that they could be forced to allow the GCSB back-door access, with the orders kept secret? And would the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Google or Facebook actually decide to give New Zealand a swerve?
These three laws are inimical to an open, free, society that prides itself on respecting privacy and civil rights for its citizens. Because, really, just how many bad people does New Zealand have, as enemies, to warrant such hard-line laws that would be more at home in a nation at war with it’s neighbours?
All three should be repealed forthwith, by an incoming Labour-led government.
To be continued at: A proposed Labour-Green-Mana(-NZ First?) agenda – part rua
(* At this point in time, NZ First’s leader, Winston Peters, has not indicated which bloc – Labour or National – he intends to coalesce with. As such, any involvement by NZ First in a progressive government cannot be counted upon.)
Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 16 January 2014.
Statistics New Zealand: 2013 Census QuickStats
Fairfax media: Controversial Hobbit law passes
Radio NZ: Government defends Hobbit subsidies
Dominion Post: The Hobbit hits $1billion mark
Fairfax media: Nats criticise Labour’s ‘Hobbit’ law stance
NZ Herald: Norman – Key ‘acting like Muldoon’
The Press: No mandate for charter schools
ACT Party: Education Policy
Stanford University: CREDO Report on Charter Schools
Labour Party: Charter school applicants put on notice
Wikipedia: 2011 Election Results
Parliament: Terrorism Suppression Act 2002
NZ History: 2007 ‘Anti-terror’ raids in Urewera
NZ Herald: Terrorism Act ‘unworkable’
Fairfax media: Facts about Terrorism Suppression Act
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– Citizen A –
– 1 August 2013 –
– Marama Davidson, & Colin Craig –
This week on Citizen A host Martyn Bradbury, Marama Davidson, and Colin Craig debate the following issues:
- What do the revelations about possible spying on journalists Andrea Vance & Jon Stephenson tell us about the state of NZ Democracy in the week the GCSB Bill passes its second reading?
- Should foreigners be able to buy land in NZ?
- Should religious education be part of State schools?
Acknowledgement (republished with kind permission)
= fs =
This requires no further commentary,
Well, except this. Banks witters on about our kids needing a “world class education”.
It’s a shame he never learned simple lessons to do with common courtesy.
= fs =
People welfare, bad!
It’s fairly obvious what National thinks of New Zealanders who find themselves on the welfare safety net. Especially when those on welfare are there because of a global financial crisis brought on by unfettered, laissez-faire capitalism (aka naked greed) hitting a wall, and sending economies worldwide deep into recession.
But never mind. National has an answer for such dire events.
Corporate welfare, good!
Even as National continues to persecute, demonise, and blame the unemployed, solo-mothers (but never solo-dads), invalids, widows, etc, for their lot in life (because as we all know, the unemployed, solo-mothers (but never solo-dads), invalids, widows, etc, were directly responsible for the Global Financial Crisis that began in Wall Street’s boardrooms) – John Key and his cronies continue to lavish truck-loads of tax-payers’ money on corporate welfare.
1. ETS Subsidies for farmers
In June 2012, Business NZ CEO, Phil O’Reilly, wrote in the NZ Herald,
” There has been a lot of redesign and tinkering with the ETS. Established in 2008, reviewed and amended in 2009, reviewed again last year and about to be amended again – it’s no wonder that businesses involved in the scheme have review fatigue.”
Mr O’Reilly may well complain. But he is unfortunately too late. On the morning of 3 July, Dear Leader John Key announced that the 2015 postponement (of elements of the ETS) had formally become an “indefinite postponement” (ie; gone by lunchtime on that day).
“We’re not prepared to sacrifice jobs in a weak international environment when other countries are moving very slowly.”
Yet that hasn’t stopped National from levying ETS on the public. No fears there, evidently, of impacting on the pockets of ordinary Kiwis, and in effect, susidising farmers to the tune of $400 million per year since 2009.
In effect, this is a transfer of wealth from ordinary taxpayers to polluters [edited]. After all, what else can it be called when the public have to pay for an ETS – but farmers, industries, coal & oil companies, etc, – the very groups that produce CO2 and methane – are exempt?
So much for Tim Groser – Minister for Climate Change Issues and International Trade – insisting,
“The National-led Government remains committed to doing its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it is worth noting that we are the only country outside Europe with a comprehensive ETS.”
National’s “committment” to reducing greenhouse gas emissions has gone up in smoke and carbon dioxide.
As the Sustainability Council NZ reported in November 2009,
- Households would bear half the total costs under the amended ETS
during its first five years (52%), while accounting for just a fifth of all
emissions (19%). Together with small-medium industry, commerce and
services, and transport operators, they would pay 90% of the costs resulting
from the ETS during CP1 while being responsible for 30% of total emissions.
- Pastoral farmers would gain a $1.1 billion subsidy and pay an amount equal
to 2% of their fair share of the Kyoto bill during CP1, while large industrial
emitters would gain a $488 million subsidy (at a carbon price of $30/t).
On top of that, National appears unwilling to release actual financial data when it comes to the ETS. Critical data has been withheld, as the Sustainability Council discovered last year,
” Governments are legally required to provide an update of the nation’s financial position just before elections but those accounts do not recognise carbon obligations until they are in an international agreement, hence there is nothing concrete on the books until after 2012. “
And the Council report goes on to state,
” The Sustainability Council requested a copy of those projections eleven weeks ago.
After various delays, the Treasury delivered its projections the day before the election
– late in the afternoon and with much of the key material blanked out.
What arrived is the carbon equivalent of a finance minister presenting a budget and
“Here is the estimated tax take for the next 40 years, and here is the total
spending. But we are not going to tell you how much tax is coming from any sector,
and we are certainly not going to tell you how tens of billions of dollars worth of
carbon subsidies and other payments are expected to be distributed. And no, we are
not giving you the figures for the past four years of the ETS either”.
It looks to be the closest thing in the public domain to New Zealand’s carbon books
and yet: future agricultural emissions are a state secret; future deforestation rates are a
state secret; even projected fossil fuel emissions are a state secret – all blanked out. “
So what do we have here?
- Ongoing subsidies to polluting industries, with said subsidies paid by you and me, the taxpayer.
- Secrecy surrounding future ETS agricultural, deforestation, and fossil fuel emissions.
- Constant deferring of including polluters in a scheme that was designed specifically for dirty industries and farming practices.
- Importation of unlimited, cheap, foreign carbon credits.
It seems a crying shame (as well as a fair degree of sheer madness) that we are paying subsidies to industry – whilst not offering the same deals to the generation of renewable energy and further research into renewable energy options (wind, solar, tidal, etc).
Ironically, the one subsidy that might have helped our economy and environment was scrapped in 2011, making Solid Energy’s biofuel programme uneconomic. (See: Biodiesel loses subsidy, prices to rise)
Instead, the taxpayer continues to subsidise polluters. On 27 August 2012, National finally ditched agriculture’s involvement in the ETS, giving farmers, horticulturalists, etc, a permanent “free ride” from paying for their polluting activities. (See: Farmers’ ETS exemption progresses )
This is the inevitable result of electing a corporate-friendly political party into government.
2. Subsidies to Private schools and Tertiary Providers
Subsidies to private tertiary education providers continues to increase,
” The Government is investing a further $29.503 million in the Private Training Establishment (PTE) sector over four years. This increases the funding rates for private training providers in line with the Government’s promise to treat them more equitably with public providers. The resulting funding difference is now half of what it was previously. “
So, if you’re a private company offering to train someone a course in “xyz” – expect a hand-out from a corporate-friendly National.
In the meantime,
- ” Student allowances are removed for post-graduate study the parental threshold for accessing allowances is frozen for the next four years. The Government says the changes will save $240 million in the first year and up to $70 million a year thereafter. The Budget cuts all funding for adult and community education in universities, saving $5.4 million over four years. “
- “ It also saves $22.4 million over four years by ending funding used to help tertiary education providers include literacy and numeracy teaching in low-level tertiary education courses...”
- ” Sunday Star-Times recently reported one in five young people left school without basic numeracy and literacy skills, despite the future workforce depending on advanced expertise. “
- ” Early childhood education subsidy cuts worth tens of millions of dollars are likely to be passed on to some parents through increased fees.
Education Minister Hekia Parata has kicked a total revamp of ECE funding into a future Budget, opting instead to stop cost increases to the Crown by cancelling the annual upward inflationary adjustment in rates.
The subsidy freeze takes effect on the next funding round, stripping about $40 million out of ECE payments to 5258 ECE centres. About 1427 of those centres are eligible for “equity funding,” however, and will get a boost through $49m extra directed to them over four years in a bid to enrol more children from the lowest socio-economic parts of the country.
But the scrapping of an annual inflationadjustment for other centres will be an effective funding cut as inflation pushes the cost of running ECE centres up. “
National’s most recent hand-out went to private school, Whanganui Collegiate,
For a Party that advocates the “free market”, it certainly seems odd that they’re willing to throw bucketloads of our taxes at businesses such as private schools. After all, what is a private school, if not a profit-making business?
And don’t forget Charter Schools – which is the State paying private enterprise/institutions to run schools – whilst making a profit (at taxpayer’s expense) in the process. Why don’t exporters get this kind of support?
That was certainly Gerry Brownlee’s attitude when Christchurch’s post-earthquake housing crisis became apparent,
3. Media Works subsidy
In 2011, this extraordinary story broke,
Prime Minister defends loan to MediaWorks
Published: 8:28PM Friday April 08, 2011 Source: ONE News
The Prime Minister is defending his decision to loan $43 million of taxpayer money to private media companies.
John Key claims the loan scheme was designed to help the whole radio industry.
But a ONE News investigation has revealed MediaWorks was the big winner after some hard lobbying.
Key is known for being media friendly, but he’s facing criticism from Labour that he’s become too cosy with MediaWorks which owns TV3 and half of New Zealand’s radio stations.
It has been revealed the government deferred $43 million in radio licensing fees for MediaWorks after some serious lobbying.
Key and the former head of MediaWorks, Brent Impey, talked at a TV3 Telethon event.
“I just raised it as an issue but we’d been looking at it for sometime. My view was it made sense. It’s a commercial loan, it’s a secured contract,” Key said.
It’s believed the loan is being made at 11% interest.
But in answer to parliamentary written questions, the Prime Minister said he had “no meetings” with representatives of MediaWorks to discuss the deal.
Two days later that answer was corrected, saying he “ran into” Brent Impey at a “social event” in Auckland where the issue was “briefly raised” and he “passed his comments on” to the responsible minister. ”
Aside from another example of Key’s mendacity, when he originally claimed to have had no contact with Mediaworks,
… in answer to parliamentary written questions, the Prime Minister said he had “no meetings” with representatives of MediaWorks to discuss the deal.
Two days later that answer was corrected, saying he “ran into” Brent Impey at a “social event” in Auckland where the issue was “briefly raised” and he “passed his comments on” to the responsible minister.
… this affair was another example of selective subsidies being offered to some business – whilst others are left to their own devices to survive,
We’ve lost 41,000 jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors over the last five years. To which National’s Minister-Of-Everything, Steven Joyce’s response was,
“Nobody’s arguing that being a manufacturer isn’t challenging. In fact, in my history in business, every time you’re in business it’s challenging.
“But going around and trying to talk down the New Zealand economy and talk about a crisis in manufacturing, I don’t think is particularly helpful.”
“There is no doubt that economic conditions in the post GFC- world are challenging for some firms. The role of Government is to do things that help make firms more competitive and that is what our Business Growth Agenda is all about.”
Or Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy saying,
“Our trading disadvantage has meant that we need to do more with less, and to work smarter.”
To which exporters responded with this,
“We’re told to get smarter and I find that irritating and insulting. I’m about as smart as they get in my little field. How the hell do these people get smarter? For a politician to tell somebody else to get smarter – he’s risking his life.”
Not very helpful, Mr Joyce. Though Opposition Parties may appreciate that you are pushing your core constituents into their waiting arms.
That’s how you alienate your voter-base.
4. Sporting subsidies
The Rugby World Cup
- Prime Minister John Key today announced a $15 million grant for an upgrade of Christchurch’s AMI Stadium for the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
See: Govt announces $15m for AMI Stadium (30 April 2009)
- Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin says he is “chuffed” the Government will contribute up to $15 million to cover shortfalls in private sector funding for the $198 million Otago Stadium project.
- The Government blew out a $10 million budget to host VIPs at the Rugby World Cup – even though just a handful of foreign leaders attended.
- An extra $5.5 million will be spent on the Rugby World Cup to make sure there’s not a repeat of the chaos that unfolded on the evening of the tournament’s opening ceremony.
- Including the $350m spent to upgrade stadiums and provide IRB-approved facilities around the country and millions more pumped into infrastructure and preparations, the bill for the tournament has easily surpassed the $400m mark.
The Major Events Development Fund will invest $1.5 million on each of two Volvo Ocean Race Auckland stopovers to be held in 2015 and 2018 following an announcement today by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce
Meanwhile, Health Minister Tony Ryall refuses to provide additional funding for specialised medicines for patients with rare disorders. See: Letter from Tony Ryall, 5 December 2012
The message is crystal clear; National will subsidise rugby games and yacht races. But don’t expect help if you discover you have a rare disease.
5. Warner Bros subsidy
After Jackson made public noises in October 2010 that ‘The Hobbit’ could be taken offshore, there was a kind of mass-hysteria that pervaded the country.
Warner Bros wide-boys jetted down to meet Dear Leader, who kindly supplied a taxpayer-funded chauffeured limousine to bring the Holloywood execs to Parliament.
Dear Leader said “no more subsidies”.
Nek minit; Warner Bros demanded, and got, an extra $15 million. (see: Govt defends Hobbit jobs claim)
All up, the New Zealand taxpayer coughed up $67 million to give to Warner Bros. (Who sez crime doesn’t pay? Gangsterism obviously turns a healthy profit now and then.)
The film obviously didn’t do too badly at the Box Office – $1 billion is not too shabby by anyone’s standards,
Can we have our money back now, please?
6. Broadband subsidy
Funny isn’t it. Pro-business lobby groups always complain about State intrusion into the market place… Except when subsidies are being handing out.
One wonders why, if the Free Market” is more efficient than the State, that $1.5 billion in taxes has to be paid to private telcos to do what that they should already be doing.
Perhaps this is why it took the State to build this country’s infra-structure over the last hundred years. Infra-structure such as electricity generation. (See related blogpost: Greed is good?)
Which National is now preparing to part-privatise.
Private companies will soon be owning what taxpayers built up over decades, and which private enterprise was loathe to build in the first place. (If you’re wondering whether I’m referring to state power companies or broadband – there doesn’t seem to be much difference.)
Meanwhile, back in the Real World!
Dear Leader says,
“Some argue that people on a benefit can’t work. But that’s not correct.”
Because as Welfare Minister Paula Bennett stated candidly on Q+A on 29 April,
“There’s not a job for everyone that would want one right now, or else we wouldn’t have the unemployment figures that we do. “
Which means that National’s “reforms” to push 46,000 of welfare is not just a meaningless exercise (the jobs simply aren’t there) – but is actually a political smokescreen to hide their own incompetance at forming constructive policies for job creation.
Unfortunately, there are too many right wing halfwits and Middle Class low-information voters who readily buy into National’s smokescreen. It’s called prejudice, and means not having to think too deeply on issues,
Fortunately, it is the job of those on the Left to dispel these unpleasant notions for the Middle Classes. (National’s right wing groupies are a lost cause.)
Let’s start by posing the question; why is welfare for corporations supposedly a good thing – but welfare for someone who has just lost their job, supposedly bad?
That’s what we need to keep asking the Middle Classes.
Eventually, they’ll start paying attention.
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 8 March 2013.
Fairfax media: Doubt stalls biofuels growth (14 March 2011)
The Press: Solid Energy ‘wasted millions’ on biofuels (31 Aug 2012)
Southland Times: Biodiesel loses subsidy, prices to rise (30 May 2012)
TVNZ: Prime Minister defends loan to MediaWorks (8 April 2011)
Radio NZ: Data reveals drop in manufacturing, building jobs (22 Feb 2013)
Previous related blogpost
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From the NZ Herald, on 26 April, Peter Mazany makes his case for running a Charter School;
Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – Peter Mazany: Charter schools ‘vital’ for some students
This op-ed piece sounds more like a self-promotional advertisement than anything truly news-worthy,
“Our company Schoolsims NZ has submitted an application to start a Partnership School/Kura Hourua.
I and some of my colleagues have taught or have positions at tertiary institutions in New Zealand. I have received prizes for my work when teaching at the University of Auckland as the most distinguished teacher and as the MBA teacher of the year. I do not and will never have a teaching degree and without the partnership schools initiative, this opportunity to start a school and prove the value of our teaching and learning methods would never have been available. I am sure that some of the other applicants are in the same position.
We are working with about 50 schools and provide them with an effective form of simulation-based learning for NCEA accounting with a large computer-based component.
Our target is to double the effectiveness of teaching and learning in half the time and half the cost over a range of standards in NCEA accounting, business studies, and maths.”
Of particular mirth/derision, is Mazany’s statement,
“I do not and will never have a teaching degree…”
He sounds positively proud of the fact he has no formal training/education in teaching!?
One wonders if he’ll be de-motivating his Charter School students to likewise not seek further, higher education?
Why should children in Mazany’s Charter Schools seek higher education? Aftrer all, Mazany has set himself up as a role model.
But more chilling was this statement in his promo;
“Our method can produce huge benefits in results, efficiency, flexibility, speed and cost.”
One can imagine the outcome of a regime that focuses on “results, efficiency, flexibility, speed and cost“,
This is education for our children. “Results, efficiency, flexibility, speed and cost” sounds more like an assembly line for pre-programmed automatons.
It will be a primary issue for an incoming Labour-Green government to remove all funding from Charter Schools and to eliminate this bastardised, dumbed-down, profit-generating version of “education” from our society.
As an aside, I wonder if Mazany paid NZ Herald to publish what is, in effect, an advertorial.
“Burnt out Teacher”, Man expanding business seeks wealthy partner(-ship school)
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
~ Cleaner rivers
~ No deep-sea oil drilling
~ Less on Roads - more on Rail
~ A Living wage at $19.25/hr
~ Marriage equality - Yay! Got that one!
~ Strong, effective Unions
~ No secret free-trade deals
~ Breakfast/lunches in our schools
~ Introducing Civics into our school curriculum
~ Cut back on the liquor industry
~ A fairer, progressive tax system
~ Fully funded, free healthcare
~ Ditto for education, including Tertiary
~ Fund Pharmac for Pompe's Disease medication & other 'orphan' drugs
~ No state asset sales!
~ Rebuild public TV broadcasting!
~ Keeping farms in local ownership
~ Reduce poverty, like we reduced the toll for road-fatalities
~ Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
~ Being nice to each other
- Trumpwatch: The Drum(pf)s of War
- The Mendacities of Mr English – Social Services under National’s tender mercies
- Trumpwatch: Muslims, mandates, and moral courage
- Trumpwatch: Voter fraud, Presidential delusions, and Fox News
- Cutting taxes toward more user-pays – the Great Kiwi Con
- St John management applies tourniquet to workers’ throats
- Letter to the editor – Juliet Moses does NOT speak on my behalf!
- The Legacy of a Dismantled Prime Minister
- Trump escalates, Putin congratulates
- Protestors condemn Russian involvement in atrocities in Aleppo
- The Sweet’n’Sour Deliciousness of Irony: Russia accused of meddling in US Election
- Charter Schools in a Post-Truth Era
- The Dismantling of a Prime Minister – Completed
- The Mendacities of Mr Key # 19: Tax Cuts Galore! Money Scramble!
- The Rise of Great Leader Trump
- An earthquake separates John Key and ‘The Iron Lady’, Margaret Thatcher
- When Life is a Lottery
- The seductiveness of Trumpism
- 2016 – Ongoing jobless tally and why unemployment statistics will no longer be used
- Black Ops from the SIS and FBI?
- Expose: Winston Peters; the 1997 speeches; and neo-liberal tendencies
- Letter to the editor – Do National voters want us to be tenants in our own country?
- Congratulations Dr Smith!!
- Special Education Funding – Robbing Peter, Paul, and Mary to pay Tom, Dick, and Harriet
- New Zealand – we’re in the sh*t
- We don’t want to send the wrong message – John Key
- National exploits fudged Statistics NZ unemployment figures
- Is Karl du Fresne happy now?
- “Spinning” in a post-truth era
- Letter to the editor – Plunket and the slow strangulation of community organisations
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