After the utter insanity of yesterday, it’s great to come back down to earth with a bit of a thud.
My last thoughts on Sunday evening ahead of the school week were not about my class or our impending camp. No. My bedtime thoughts were based around various mind wanderings towards that most heinous of bedfellows – our current Minister of Education.
I thought to myself… I bet the first thing she does tomorrow morning is shout RECANT! RECANT! RECANT!!
So I tweeted:
After all this crazy day of tweeting I’m expecting a classic by-the-books #Hekia backdown in the morning. Many weasel words forthcoming.
— Boonman (@boonman) March 16, 2014
Just to clarify things, I also tweeted this morning:
I suspect Hekia Parata’s weasel words today will include the phrase, “well.. it’s only one of a number of funding options we’re looking at.”
— Boonman (@boonman) March 16, 2014
And sure enough, around half an hour later the weaseling was complete and our grand master used the term “funding options” exactly as I suspected.
What was a “range of funding options” early this morning turned, according to Voxy.co.nz, into…
Education Minister Hekia Parata has rejected claims that the Government is looking to fund schools according to student performance.
“That is simply not true,” Ms Parata says.
Just to clarify what Hekia said in the Herald on Sunday yesterday.
The Government is spending a record $9.7 billion on education, she said, but achievement levels were below the 85 to 100 per cent New Zealand needed. The most successful funding systems narrowed the gap between high-achieving rich kids and under-achieving poor kids by “strongly incentivising” pupil progress, she said.
Putting the words she said at the end of a long paragraph indicated that the ‘she’ they are
So basically, between the time Parata talked to the Herald and yesterday afternoon when the National Party strategists realised what a complete shit-storm of dickheadery she’d created (yet again), her view had changed from a direct quote saying she would incentivise pupil progress to denying she’d ever planned such a thing.
And I say Bollocks to that.
This is all about damage control. A minister floundering and opening the government up to be attacked, yet again, at their weakest point. It really is amazing they let her say anything at all considering the number of times she messes up so comprehensively.
All I can say is keep it up. The sooner we see the back of you the better.
To change tack slightly, here’s a link to a fantastic blog published on Public Address this afternoon. It brilliantly outlines the tactics National have been utilising to lump us with an education system that has, so far, failed so very dramatically in the United States and the United Kingdom.
What her son says (educated in both the US and latterly New Zealand) is worth quoting it in its entirety.
“They’re going to ruin the schools. How do you pass these tests of “progress”? By doing worksheet upon worksheet upon worksheet. But what do you learn from that? You don’t learn how to manage yourself and your time. You don’t learn how to think your way around a problem. It stifles creativity. Maybe you do better on your test score, but how are you going to manage in real life? Sure, I got high scores on those stupid tests in America. But when I got back to New Zealand, I had to learn how to cope with everything else. And the everything else is really important.”
Yes, indeed. Tests are rubbish and do nothing to prepare you for a world where critical thinking is required.
But we all knew that anyway.
I’m off on my school camp tomorrow morning so I could be out of the loop for a few days. Please don’t allow Parata to do or say anything until I get back.
Minister rejects claims on funding changes: Voxy.co.nz – March 17, 2014
School funding shakeup looms: Herald on Sunday – March 16, 2014
School bully: Public Address – March 17, 2014