One Down, Three to Go

Well, well, well….

There were surprises galore this week from Wellington – most notably the frothing and foaming of our neoliberal ruling establishment after Labour and the Greens released what will turn out to be a huge vote winner with the rest of us non-elite types.

The rainbow cloud of diversity wafted over Pakuranga.

And Peter “I’ll work with anyone for a ministerial position” Dunne said he didn’t like charter schools and wouldn’t be voting for the Education Ammendment Bill.

Triumph!!!

Now we just need to get the Maori Party.

At the moment they think charter schools will be good for Maori achievement. This suggests they are buying in to the lies being spouted by the NACTs. We must get to them and tell them what is actually going to happen to their mokopuna.

Here are some email addresses:

p.sharples@ministers.govt.nz

t.turia@ministers.govt.nz

tari.turia@xtra.co.nz

And this could be the most important one because of the recent ructions within the Maori Party.

teururoa.flavell@parliament.govt.nz

Get on the email, highlight how Maori are going to be DISADVANTAGED by this experiment that has failed so many low incom eaners in the US and the UK.

Mr B

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More Solutionatoring

I did offer a solution a week or so ago. Progression whereby we compare the child to their own previous performance – since we as educators know that comparing a Hokitika child to the magical average child or a mythical standard is complete hogwash.

I don’t use the term hogwash lightly. In fact, the failing education policies of the US and UK which are currently being thrust down our throats (and it’s not really thrust since the NACTional GERManiacs are being very, very, very sneaky with their implementation), other words spring to mind.

Poppycock. Balderdash. Or a good old-fashioned load of old bollocks.

If charter schools turn up in our education system, which I have no doubt they will while the current muppetry rules our set of islands, we may have to do some serious thinking.

If you are any old body who’s never worked in a school you will probably be able to rock up to one of these charter schools and start teaching from day one. You have a lot to offer our children according to John Banks. Never mind that you don’t have the theoretical underpinnings to your pedagogy, or skills in behaviour management, it can’t be that hard standing up in front of a class. And not to worry, you get holidays all the time and hardly ever work anyway.

That’s the impression of teaching a lot of the naysayers who think education is collapsing.

So back to the thinking I’ve been doing… You can treat this charter school nonsense as the nonsense it is, or you could embrace it with the kind of crazy hell-bent enthusiasm they were least expecting.

Finally we get to my solution for this week.

What if all the entire teaching profession of New Zealand got together and set up a vast network of charter schools. We would walk out of our own schools on the last day of this year and walk back into the same buildings at the beginning of Term 1, 2014. Our students would be the same. Our colleagues would be the same. The school building we worked in this year would be the same. Everything would be the same. Exactly the same.

Except for one thing.

We wouldn’t be bound by any of the rules and regulations that currently weigh us down. No Official Information Act. Hardly any ERO or Ombudsman. It would be totally awesome.

We would be free people. FREE!!

Free to teach kids in ways we believe are the best. Work closely with our local school communities to develop and refine our curriculum so they reflect the unique aspects therein. We would be free to hire the best teachers – teachers who were fully registered and experts in their profession with a range of skills and talents that would offer kiwi kids the creativity and inspiration to become life-long learners. Students would conclude their education excited, enthused and fully prepared to enter the 21st century workforce.

And we could call it school.

Mr B.

Images from the Marching Against the GERM

As promised yesterday, here are some images from the marching against the current educational reforms being implemented in New Zealand by people who have absolutely no idea about education, teaching, learning or children. Just money.

Crowd Walk Down the Road to Brownlee's Office

Of course, His Gerryness wasn’t in (he was on a plane heading to Thatcher’s funeral), but we stayed anyway. Some teachers had protected themselves well against any stray GERM that had made it to the march. Teachers Protect Themselves Against GERMs

There was a good turnout.

Crowds Gather Outside Brownlee's Office

There were several speakers as well, including the head of the NZEI, Judith Nowotarski and Greens MP Eugenie Sage. Both spoke passionately about the ideal of a free and fair public education system. There was also talk of our world leading curriculum – a curriculum that gives schools and their communities the freedom to teach things that are meaningful to them. Of course, with GERM, we’ll all be brilliant at passing tests and crap at relating to other people.

Ideal candidates for working in accounting or politics.

Judith Nowotarski, President, NZEI

Eugenie Sage, Green MP (and the only MP there)

There were some great signage. I saw one on the news that said “I taught you to read this sign,” showing still that despite the government’s best efforts to demoralise and demonise the profession we still hold on to our sense of humour.

Signage

It was a great day. Our Christchurch protest was a lot smaller than the massive representation of teachers, parents and support staff in Auckland, so there was time for an open-mic session where the floor was opened to anyone there. I was anyone. So I said (as per a previous blog), if those promoting the reform of our public education really believed that their policies were so absolutely fabulous, they would be dipping into their own deep pockets, grabbing a bunch of money from a secret family trust, and investing it in a privately run school. But it’s not about education. We all know that. It’s about the 1% getting their hands on yet more public tax money.

The irony that this 1% work so feverishly to get their hands on a pool of money they’ve also worked so feverishly not to contribute to is not lost on this author.

Thank you to all the parents and supporters of our cause who turned out as well. We are all voters. Our votes rule. Class size changes were halted because the government realised not that it was a stupidly outrageous policy, but that many, many parents voters hated it.

We will win. We. Will. Win.

Mike

PS: Apologies for the quality of the pictures – they were taken on my dumbphone.

Marching Agains the Wreckers

Gerry Brownlee wasn’t in today. He was heading over to represent our government at the funeral of their matriarch Baroness Thatcher. It seemed fitting he wasn’t at his electorate office. I’m certain he is like many other members of the current government – very scared of the general populous.

There are just so many things this government is doing that people just can’t stand. I’m sure it is very rare for the Minister Responsible for the Lack of Democracy in Canterbury to be in his office of a weekend to answer questions from concerned citizens. I am certain he is far too busy.

Anyways… the national day of action against the edu-reform agenda kicked off in Christchurch with about 200 people marching on Brownlee’s office. There were speeches – even I added a couple of words of my own during the open mic bit. Eugenie Sage from the Greens was there in support, telling us that many other Green MPs were joining other marches around the country.

There was no sign of any Labour MPs. Should I be worried about this? Will they continue the GERM? I certainly hope not.

The most rewarding thing was the amount of supportive tooting from passing cars. It seems there are a lot of people out there who value children / support teachers.

New Zealanders who care about qualityublic education for or children must fight the GERManiacs. They will wreck our education system just like they have done in the US and the UK.

I have pictures, but bluetooth is not working so you will have to wait until tomorrow.

Mr B

Why Are Kiwis Taking To The Streets?

Dianne at Save Our Schools NZ has written a wee post reminding us all about the reasons we need to protest the GERM this Saturday. At the end of the post there is a link to the details of where and when the marches are happening.

Join me in Christchurch protesting outside the office of Christchurch dictator and professional pie eater Arch-lord Gerrance Brownlee.

See you Saturday!!

Why Are Kiwis Taking To The Streets?.