Monthly Archives: February, 2013

Parata’s reign ‘a string of blunders, miscalculations’ – from the ODT

This is pretty much what I’ve been thinking for the last year. An excellent commentary on Hekia’s continued muppetry. http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/247537/paratas-reign-string-blunders-miscalculations

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Tweet from ACT Party (@actparty)

Here’s a tweet I just read from The “we’ve got fewer votes than Hone” ACT Party:

“Our people (Maori) have been educated for 30yrs under current system & are deteriorating” Nga Kakano School on need for Partnership Schools.

Doesn’t that time-frame coincide with the first wave of neo-lib reforms to NZ’s public education system? Just sayin’

Rodney Hide Tells Us What He’s Really Thinking

Hi everybody.

It’s been an incredibly busy week as I get ready for my first camp this year (that’s right!! I’m going on more than one!!!). Having been relieving for the last 3 years I have forgotten how much actual organising is involved in setting up a camp. 11 hour days just about every day this week.

There is the small matter of planning and teaching for my class that has to be catered for as well.

So I’m just getting my head into gear this morning thinking about finishing of the RAMs form so that my kids are safe on our four-day mission when I read this headline in the Granny Herald:

Mad and bad unions hold us to ransom

Because the article was from the former Right Honourable Rodney Hide I decided to read further, wondering to myself whether it was cleaners, Helen Kelly or watersiders that he was aiming his attack.

No. It was teachers.

O.K. Fair enough. I mean all of the teachers I know who belong to unions are currently thinking to themselves, “I must really hold my school, parents and community to ransom.”

Take me for instance. I’m a union member. This week when I was working my 11 hour days at school – getting in at 7am and leaving at 6pm – every five minutes or so I was about how I could bring down the entire education system.

I was also plotting. Plotting to take over my school so that my power was absolute. Once I have taken over my school I can take over the whole district, province and finally country. Once I have total control of the education system I will be able to destroy it.

Because, Rodney Hide, every single teacher I know got into teaching, not to impart knowledge, not to improve lives, not to help future citizens discover their passions, but to destroy the very system that employs them. You are so very, very right.

It was that and the money.

Yes, Rodney Hide, once again you have hit the nail on the head with your wonderfully insightful perceptions into those things you know so little about.┬áIt must be incredibly hard to remain so committed to your right-wing ideologies of low government spending (unless it’s on subsidies for close colleagues) after being so used to spending vast amounts of free government money for so very long.

I look forward to your future ravings with a sense of awe.

You are awesome. Your Awesomeness.

Mr B.

You Stop Blogging for One Month….

Hi everyone!

It’s been a crazy few weeks for me since Christmas. Possibly only matched by the endorsement of Hekia as our “Great Communicator”. Or maybe the appointment of Stephen “You Break It, I’ll Fix It” Joyce to oversee the Novopay madness.

In any case, if you believe all is well in the education sector because the government appears to be “on to it” then think again oh ye of too much faith.

Let us first dig our tendrils into Mrs Parata who popped up the other day somewhere north of Christchurch clutching a spade and announcing, with great communicatory skills, that the government would be investing millions into Christchurch schools. Even building a new one!

When asked about Novopay said it was being dealt with and trotted out the pre-agreed government line of, “hindsight is a wonderful thing.”

As I, and a few others, have pointed out on twitter recently, foresight is slightly better. The main issue with Novopay along with many other vast government IT initiatives is that the people signing off on them have to rely so much on the “advice” of officials. The only thing they really know about information technology is checking their emails and sending their sister an animated birthday e-card with dancing kittens.

Mind you, if we stopped politicians from signing off on anything they didn’t know anything about then Bill English would have only ever been the Minister for Farming and Rural Voices with special responsibilities for Hiding His Income Stream in a Trust So He Doesn’t Have to Pay His Taxes.

As for Stephen Joyce. Apart from being the Minister for Business, Innovation and Everything in the Whole World, he is now the minister responsible for dealing with Novopay. On the one hand he has started off with a bang announcing a ministerial inquiry and a “technical audit” to ensure the robustness of the software (I appear to be using a lot of “inverted” commas today – this may be a direct response to my increasing cynicism towards this government).

Ultimately you can say all you like Your Joyceness, but the reality is that you and the previous Labour government made your decisions solely based on cost. The cheapest tender won through in the end. As I’ve said before, the cheapest doesn’t always work out to be the best – especially when those tendering didn’t really understand what they were tendering for because the people they were tendering for didn’t really explain properly to the people doing the tendering what they really and actually wanted from the thing that was being tendered for. Or something.

However, amongst the Novopay madness and the wondering about where Craig Foss is now, something popped up this morning that caught my eye. This little piece of interestingness that was featured on the Fairfax website Stuff this morning.

Imagine my surprise when I read this:

“We believe that the future of learning will be blended; students will combine learning from online and video technology with group work and individual study”

Nikki Kaye, Chair, Education Select Committee

Apart from not really marrying with the current National Party policy of OneSizeFitsAll education with their national standards and stuff, this is the most forward thinking thing I’ve heard from a government person. Ever.

This is how I actually think. School needs to almost like work – project based, rich experiences that are in context so we don’t get the disengagement that is really behind the “tail” that Hekia and her National buddies keep going on about.

The policy direction in education has, for a long time, been a “back in my day” attitude when it should really be “what do the learners of the future need” attitude. We need more of the thinking Nikki Kay has going on in her head to seep through to the empty vessels that make up the rest of her cabinet.

And I never, EVER, thought I would be commending someone from National about education.

Mr. B

What am I?

I’m not an astronaut.
I’m not a farmer.
I’m not a store-keeper.
I’m not a rocket scientist.
I’m not a consultant.
I’m not a shearer.
I’m not an IT specialist.
I’m not a truck driver.
I’m not a nobel prize winner.
I’m not an accountant.
I’m not a dentist.
I’m not a diplomat.
I’m not a journalist.
I’m not a lawyer.
I’m not an archivist.
I’m not a computer programmer.
I’m not a financial analyst.
I’m not an engineer.
I’m not a social worker.
I’m not a surgeon.
I’m not a translator.
I’m not a pilot.
I’m not a nurse.
I’m not a chemist.
I’m not a neuroscientist.
I’m not an investment banker.
I’m not a statistician.
And I’m definitely not a politician.

I’m a teacher. I teach all of the above.

Mr B.