Tolley’s revenge

Regular readers will be aware of a nasty little Wairarapa principal called Kevin Jephson.

His style is to slag off the Government, National Standards and Anne Tolley to his local papers – which dutifully print every word, without wondering why he would be so critical.

Well, now we know.

Yet again, brave, plucky little Kevin is getting in the first blow against the big bad Government by going public with his school’s National Standards results – apparently instead of him and his teachers being responsible for poor standards at his school it is the government’s fault because they measured him and found him wanting.

But this usual smokescreen won’t hide the tragic facts for kids and parents at his school.

These results are shocking. That’s why the MoE wants to give them help.

Jephson has been caught out – which is exactly why we need National Standards.

And no amount of whining or complaining is going to cut it with parents, while a principal just down the road is singing the praises of Natonal Standards and making a real difference for kids.

Parents will vote with their feet. And soon Kevin will be left ranting in an empty classroom, waiting for the removal van to arrive. I suspect even then the sad little loser will still be blaming the government for his now empty school.

But by then Anne Tolley’s revenge will be complete.


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  • Hakim of Phut

    Revenge ? Thats not the kind caring Tolley we all remember, who lost her job and was demoted. Sweet Anne  only wanted to know which kids needed ‘more assistance’ , not to close close schools

    • Thorn

      Anne Tolley is now:Minister of Police, Minister of Corrections and Deputy Leader of the House. Not bad for a demotion.  

      • BD

        Its great when Phut throws out these idiotic comments

      • Super Guest

        Minister of Police is a promotion.

      • Gazzaw

        This is Anne Tolley’s last term as an MP and it is obvious that with the introduction of charter schools and the major confrontations that will ensue with the teachers’ unions over performance based pay etc that education is going to take more than three years to drag into the 21st century. Hekia Parata is young enough, skilled enough and ballsy enough to have plenty of time on her side to achieve what parents, employers & universities are demanding.

        The groundwork in Police and Corrections has largely been set up by Judith Collins & needs an excellent administrator to ensure that those reforms are put in place – something that Anne Tolley is well capable of doing.   

      • Hakimofphut

        Come on , shes   gone down the list while Hekia Parata who got her old job is higher up than Tolley was before. Of course this means there isnt any  cabinet job next time so she will be going back to Napier or Gisborne or wherever

      • Thorn

        Ask Trevor about demotion; he is off to Coventry big-time.

      • Kosh103

        And yet she has dropped in the party rankings and has been tossed off the front bench.

        Demoted. Serves her right too.

    • Roger

      Phut goes phutt. The sort of Enid Blyton title Phut reads – hilariously you can see his lips moving.

  • Anonymous Economist

    This so-called “principal” should be fired, his pension rights terminated, and he should be banned for receiving any government benefits whatsoever.

    Then the “community” should be offered a one-time choice – either go charter by Friday or the school is closed.

    end of story. 

    • Hakim of Phut

      They dont even know what charter means yet ?
      But one bit we do know , no national standards tests.

      • Guest

        No teacher unions more like!

    • Mrs O.

      The fact that you haven’t got the guts to post yourself under your real name and slander a good man who has many years teaching under his belt with a bigger passion for teaching children than you probably have for anything, just shows everyone on this site that your comments are not worth reading.  It is all very well for somebody like you to sit on the end of your computer and pass judgmental comments but Kevin is poles ahead of you in his passion for teaching our chldren, expertise in how to do this effectively and intelligence, and will only see your comments as comical and drawing further attention to our cause.

      • Dr Wang

        Somewhat ironic that you can bag someone as gutless if they don’t post under their real name..”Mrs O.”

      • Cactus Kate

        The term you want is “libel”.  

      • Troy

        He’s a labour fag hag who should stop tossing off about how bad things are under national and start really caring for the kids – he’s a goat’s cock and everyone knows it.

      • Mrs O.

        That is my real name, and anybody who has the right to comment on this wonderful educator will know who I am so why don’t you grow a pair and tell us all what your name is and what you do for a living because I’m sure you are not anywhere near qualified to judge a professional like Kevin!

      • Vij

        He is a moron just like you

      • Mrs O.

        Uneducated people like you Vij crack me up – have to personally attack people because you feel so inadequate!

      • Mrs O.

        And thats why my children have been through Dalefield School and are leaders in their colleges.  I owe it all to Kevin Jephson and Dalefield School!

  • C4D

    The National Standards are excellent. As are the new NCEA accreditations and changes. Across the board they represent a major uplift in the standard of numeracy, literacy and vocational learning AND you can now integrate the subjects together to create project based learning. This is a major plus for the students.

    The core issue is because the overal quality within current stock of teachers. By and large the ones grumbling are the ones incapable. They’ve been left ashamed as they are not equpped with the cognitive tool set to teach to the new levels. The ones who are good, who see the benefits and opportunities for the students, often get blocked by those actively attempting to dum down the system.

    It’s a MUST that the government should bring in performance based pay for teachers. Increase the educational threshold for new-teacher entrants both from an experience and qualification perspective. Sack failing teachers.

    • Kosh103

      The NS are rubbish. The levels are wrong, as Tolley admitted, they tell lable children without taking into account ANY learning issues. And the fact that you think that now because we have NS we can only just now integrate sujects into project based learning (oh and BTW, PBL is very outdated) shows how little you actually know about education.

      • Angry Croc

        Suggest that Kosh103 and Mr Jephson be back-classed to Year 1 so they will actually know something when they leave school.

      • Kosh103

        My my, what a well thought out argument there Croc. How expected.

      • James Gray

        What the hell is the point in adjusting the standard to the child, if you do that properly, then every result will be equal to the mean.

      • Angry Croc

        No argument there Kosh, just a statement of the obvious. How was your first day back?

      • Agent BallSack

        Year 9 & 10 don’t go back until Wednseday. Gives the teachers 2 days to polish the desks and prepare the years curriculum, Croc

      • Kosh103

        James it has nothing to do with adjusting the NS to the child. The levels are wrong – either too out there or too basic. And they do not allow for learning issues, the fact that kids pick things up at different speeds. Now using the Nat Curr levels (that have been desgined with a considerable about of work as opposed to just slapping them together like the NS) they allow for learning issues, but still provide a level to aim for.

      • Another NS fail by Kosh.

        label not lable
        subjects not sujects

        “they tell lable children”…WTF is that supposed to mean?

        Show how little you know about spelling…or grammar.

      • Kosh103

        WO, I say this with all kindness, you dont know fuck about education and look like like a total retard everytime you offer a stunted uneducated know nothing view on it.

        Have a nice day.

      • Amazing how teachers have so much time to comment on blogs but not enough time to meet National Standards.

      • Kosh103

        Amazing WO how often you think you know something about a subject, when really you know next to nothing.

      • Peter Wilson

        Kosh, are you saying there should be NO measurement of children’s learning. Or is just the NS system that is faulty? I’ve had this argument with many teachers, and surely some testing of basics can be reported back. I get the argument about learning difficulties, but so what, it’s still good to know where you’re at, you can then design some kind of future around that. No good at maths? Don’t be a computer nerd. Hopeless at English? Become a journalist.

        Of course, the other point is that if we can’t measure teachers performance, then perhaps they shouldn’t be paid so well?

      • Bunswalla

        From kosh “Amazing WO how often you think you know something about a subject, when really you know next to nothing.”

        Translation (for those like kosh that will undoubtedly fail NS when he grows up and starts primary school): WO you think you know something about a subject, when really you know something about that subject.

        Amazing Kosh what an uneducated, illiterate, stupid litle retard you are, bereft of even the most basic understanding of the english language and what your words mean.

      • Anonymous

        It doesn’t matter what the levels are, it only matters that measurement is consistant, and that results are comparable.

        I suspect the objection rises from the later, rather than the former.

      • Kosh103

        Peter – we have a valid and well put together way of measuring and assessing children. It is the NZC. It takes into account all the things that NS do not.

        NS is an ideological based thing and does not reflect good ideas or best practice.

      • Kosh103

        Thankyou Brunswalla for yet again proving me correct in regards to how stupid the right can be when they are caught out knowing nothing.

      • Agent BallSack

        Kosh the right don’t have a monopoly on stupid. Whether you like it or not NS will be implemented and then you will be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, undoubtedly sobbing all the way.

      • Kosh103

        ABS – NS is not a 21st century system. It is an 18th century one.

      • Super Guest

        @ Kosh. Like socialism, right?

    • RockinBob

      Performance based pay sounds great – but may not be the true answer.  We’ve seen how performance based pay works for Wall Street bankers, and the like…. too much focus on short term results, and too many shortcuts.  As long as performance based pay has a longer term focus then it can be used well.  Too much chance of a teacher slipping little Johnny the test answer in order to keep his $5000 bonus.

      Great idea, just needs the right application.

      • Angry Croc

        Nah, teachers are too honest for that sort of thing????????

  • Nice post Cam. NZEI and its minions probably didn’t realise that Tolley was playing the long game, and her strategy has been spot-on. And if NZEI thinks that Hekia Parata is going to be any less formidable, they’ll be naking a huge mistake.

  • Hollyfield

    My daughter’s school appears to have no problem with National Standards, publishing in school newsletters the percentages of students that have met each standard at each year level.  In a newsletter towards the end of last year the principal even said that she looked forward to being able to compare the school’s results with those of other schools in the area.  I guess that’s because she has confidence that she and her teachers are doing a good job.

  • BOT Member

    Percentages are worthless in a school with a roll of 60 kids though Hollyfield. When you have one year 8 pupil 100% is what you get for their results.  In some ways then you can’t publish the results as then they fail to be confidential and that child can be singled out as pass or fail quite easily….

    • Symgardiner

      If you are the only student at a year level, you are probably not going to be a problem. The point of National Standards is not these students. Its the 20% who are crashing and burning. Spare a thought for them.

      • Thorn

        Do these 20% need an entirely separate education system? 

      • Gazzaw

        You are dead right Thorn. The system is probably called charter schools.

      • Hollyfield

        The most important thing, in my view, is that the students with difficulties are identified and this is reported to parents.  My daughter is one of the “20%”. For the first four years of her schooling I was told she was “doing fine”, when this was clearly not the case. They brushed off my repeated concerns, and it was only an expensive educational psychologist’s report and a change of principal before they admitted she needed help. (National Standards followed a year later, but by then the principal had already implemented National Standards type reports).  My daughter will probably always be below the standard in writing, but her reports now let me see that she is making good progress, and the knowledge that she is having difficulties has meant that I have arranged out of school support for her – support that I could have put in place several years earlier, if only the school had not kept telling me I was worrying about nothing.  She now has glasses and hearing aids, too – she had passed optometrist and audiologist testing at age 6, but if the school had told me about her difficulties and behaviour in class I could have arranged repeat testing at an earlier age.

      • Kosh103

        BTW, that 20% is a lie.

      • Dion

        How about you give us some facts then Kosh and tell us what the figure really is.

      • Guest

        Why – they’re useless, unable to learn, destined to bludge on our fucking taxes – why should we flush more good money after bad?

      • Agent BallSack

        And that’s just the teachers Guest. Dont get us started on the Teachers Union!

  • Thorn

    can easily forgive a child whom is frightened of the dark; the real tragedy of
    life is when men are afraid of the light.’ Plato

    Jephson hides with the cockroaches.

  • BOT Member

    Hmmm, I am not sure what to make of your story, being as I sit on the Board of Trustees.  
    Dalefield School is a well respected school within the community. College principals have recommended our school to prospective pupil’s parents because of the quality of the students that go to college from our school.  People choose to send their kids there as a school of choice and I admit it’s not to everyones liking being as it’s somewhat unconventional.  Our role is growing at the minute and the parents of the school for the most part back Kevin Jephson.  The teaching standard is excellent and my son is reading and writing well beyond his age capability but still “fails” the National Standard even though he has been promoted a year. 

    What Kevin is complaining about is not that assessment shouldn’t be done but it should be done with the child in mind.  Most children are not of the expectations of the National Standards (if you interpret them properly) and in fact they are very dubious and open to interpretation.  Kevin is a very passionate teacher and the children thrive in the family atmosphere that this school provides.  Kevin’s stand is to interpret the standards by the letter and the measure our kids by them.  He is only reporting this fact.  Our children are doing exceptionally well in local competitions against other kids in the Wairarapa such as the Matharapa, and our kids go on to excel at college.

    From your last article where you quote our ERO report, you quote only the bad parts, it was very favourable for the most part. We objected to the strategic review part of the report and lodged a letter to the ministry which has been kept alongside it with the file, being as we were a new board at the time with no experience it was unfair to rate us the way they did.  ERO are not interested in how happy the children are or how well they are doing, they only want to see the relevant bits of paper.  The school has a role of 60 kids and I know each child personally.  Some of the reporting can be dubious, especially if you can single out the single year 7 pupil or the two year three pupils and so it puts into doubt that we could report them at all without breaching confidentiality.  Sample sizes for percentages are not workable for 60 children.

    The amount of paperwork generated for a small country school like ours is immense (and really makes no sense given the sample size of our school) other schools get to employ an extra teacher or the principal doesn’t teach.  Kevin is a teaching principal and this is the way we like it, he is an exceptionally astute man who knows what is going on in every area of his school.

    ERO and the Ministry have been focussing on our school, not because of our standards, or our ERO report but because of the fact we didn’t want to adopt National Standards in the first place.  The school community were behind the board’s decision (in fact they were surveyed at the end of last year and have been informed at every step of the way), and as a board we deliberated this very carefully.  In the end we were threatened and beaten into submission by the ministry even though we believe these standards will be detrimental to the standards of education.  The children have been assessed each year through standardised testing and are not failing the system, this is why we believe National Standards will fail the kids.

    We were sent as part of this process (as a board) to a school in Lower Hutt (not comparable in size or structure) to see how they implemented the standards.  The principal there admitted that less time was spent on arts, music, PE etc as a result of the pressure of trying to “teach” to the standards.  The standards will not create the critical thinkers that are required, it will just place merit on academia and not talent.  The school reports looked more like percentile charts that measured the growth of babies than anything else.  I also suspect that the standards will be used not to increase the standards in education but to make cuts to education budgets and to force closures.

    I suspect people will take what they want to from this story anyway, I read the full press release and it’s nothing like what has been printed in the media.

    What our school promotes is invaluable, the kids are caring towards each other, there is no bullying and the school has a wide variety of learning experiences for the kids.  The parents value the education that their children are getting.

    Both the school community and the Board will continue to back Kevin.  I suspect Kevin’s only mistake here was to be too trusting with the media to highlight what he believes are the failings of National Standards.  You will find a lot of principals don’t agree with National Standards but people these days will not stand up and fight for what they believe in.  Kevin’s many letters to the newspaper are just the outpouring of his utter frustration with the Ministry and the standards.

    As a school we feel that National Standards are not coherent with the NZ curriculum document, which did so much to empower teachers and this is why we took the stand against them and why we will continue to back Kevin.

    • Guest

      From the Collins English Dictionary

      1. a part that an actor plays
      2. a function assumed

      (among many other definitions) a list of names

    • Thorn

      What do the Solway BOT know that you don’t?

      • Carmen

        How to play the ministry of educations game.  Because thats all it is.  National standards are not about the children, they are about giving a job purpose to some pen pusher in Wellington, to justify his or her job.

    • jay cee

      no no no no, you’re on the wrong blog here, this is not the place for lengthy debate bot member,you are supposed to sum up complex issues with a clever one liner or cliche.if that doesn’t work then the default position is an ad hom attack.

    • Agent BallSack

      “Kevin’s many letters to the newspaper are just the outpouring of his utter frustration with the Ministry and the standards”
      And only a minuscule fraction of the Government bashing that this Labour supporter engages in. He’s so politically motivated. I wonder where does he find the time to actually do the job he’s paid for, in between rushing to the press, and super fonting Labour releases in the ‘school’ newsletter.

      • phronesis

        “The principal there admitted that less time was spent on arts, music, PE etc as a result of the pressure of trying to “teach” to the standards.”

        So more time teaching less time playing then.

        “The standards will not create the critical thinkers that are required, it will just place merit on academia and not talent.”

        We will have to teach the kids to read and write rather than developing their “talent” as good little socialists.

    • Doc

      “The principal there admitted that less time was spent on arts, music, PE etc as a result of the pressure of trying to “teach” to the standards”

      …and this is a GOOD thing.  If students are unable to read, write or count to an acceptable standard, then the school should be 100% focused on remedying that fact.  This is a school that we’re talking about – Not a sports club. Not an art gallery.  Those are ‘elective’ activities and should be developed and nurtured, but not at the expense of the fundamentals. 

      • Agent BallSack

        I’m kind of glad you didn’t mention music because I think that is one subject that transcends between learning areas. Reading, writing and understanding music utilises many different function areas of the brain and I think it is an important subject. I was always interested in music, English and maths at school and found the were hand in glove type subjects. Notably the circle of fifths.

      • Kosh103

        Oh dear, you clearly do not understand the importance of the other subjects.

      • Doc

        Kosh – take your blinkers off and you will see that I stated that the “other subjects” should be nurtured…

        The key here is that Little Johnny’s parents get to see that he hasn’t learned to read or write to the same level as his peers – despite the fact that he’s getting A’s on his report card. (Ostensibly because he’s the star fullback on the school’s first XV.)

      • Kosh103

        Doc, through the other subjects you can teach children the core subjects as well. For some kids this will help them “get it” where a traditional lesson isnt doing for them.

      • Angry Croc

        Reading, writing and arithmetic Kosh. Get it right and you can learn anything. Don’t they teach that at TRaining College or what ever they callit these days?

      • Kosh103

        Angrycroc, you are another one with no understanding of how kids learn,or anything educational. You are a blind fool who likes to think he has something meaningful to contribute.

  • Dalefield Parent

    Well said BOT member. Those of us who choose to send our children to Dalefield school do so because our children are getting the best education at primary school level in the Wairarapa. Our kids do well in all areas of academia and as we know all the kids personally we know how they are acheiving. Sadly people like to target people who disagree with stupid ideas such as national standards – do any of you actually know Kevin or in fact a parent from Dalefield? I doubt it. We need more poeple to challenge National Standards before it harms our children’s education to the extent it has in the UK and other countries it has been implemented in.

    • Anonymous

      and you’ve been marrried to kevin for how long?  and please do something about the jersey and tie combo, tacky very …….socailist actually

      • Dalefield Parent

        that’s the best you can come up with? Grow up

    • Anonymous

      perhaps kevin might like to and get on and do the job he is paid for rather than spend half his time moaning and whining.I just read the comparison of his school and one up the road nearly the same decile, seems to me one school has a decent principal and one has kevin. 
       If you are related please disclose other wise you are just another apologist using children to try and prove a political point.  you are the one needing to grow up

      • Another Dalefield parent

        Do you have children at school? If so do you have more than one school in your area to choose from? I chose a school with a roll which enabled teachers to truly get to know and understand every child and their learning style, personality, interests, strengths and needs over a school that could teach them to read and write – I could do that myself if that was all that was important, what is important is to prepare the mind – what a coincidence the Dalefield ‘motto’ is Chance favours the prepared mind

      • Jester

        Another Dalefield parent does not have a reply link so will post it here.

        Interesting motto for Dalefield to have ADP. Taking a quote from Louis Pasteur and bastardizing it to fit.

        Actually the quote in full is “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind”.

        It’s believed that Pasteur was commenting that for the “Aha Moment” to occur one needs to remain open to solutions and opportunities.

        Ironically Principal Jephson doesn’t appear open to anything other that his own opinion.

    • Angry Croc

      People, Dalefield Parent. Did you learn to spell from Kevin?

    • Sarah

      do well in all areas of academia you say – perhaps with the caveat except meeting National Standards. On what basis do you say the ‘best education’.

    • Not compared with Solway down the road. Pull your heads out of your arses and stop giving the crap Principal a reach around. He is tits and the results show it.

  • Michael

    How would anyone know that the children at the school were failing and needed extra help without National Standards? If you have a read of the ERO report for Dalefield and you think it was a pretty good school. 

    Based on that result (failing to identify most of the students are behind their peers at other schools) there’s one agency we can cut.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm….  what about the twenty-thirty students that have been removed from Dalefield School over the past 3-4 years due to issues with the Principal and his wife? (Actually many more but I will keep it conservative)  Check the records…  most of the community drive past the Dalefield School and go to other Carterton schools.  ‘There is no bullying’ is an interesting quote because there was always bullying as there is in any school, and when a teacher is harsh and critical, is that not a form of bullying?  And who says that Dalefield School provides the best education in the Wairarapa?  Other schools have way more children achieving. Is the principal making a fuss to cover over his huge blunders!!!!!?  Give the standards a chance, let the expectations be higher and maybe the teaching and achievement will lift!  Bring it on.  Dalefield School is a wonderful School that is steadily going down hill…  along with the role.  Nothing to do with the standards! Such a shame :(

    • Dalfield Parent

      We all know who you are JustCos because most of Dalefields issues several years ago came about Justcos you caused them.  Most of the community do not drive past the gates at all, our roll is the largest it has been in years.  You need to move on and stop your little vendeta against the school you so rightly claim is wonderful and your right, it is.

      • Anonymous

        I left quietly…  about number 25 to go after the junior teacher had started even relieving in the junior room.  I personally felt my child would not be safe in that environment. Did you even know that there are still children starting at other schools even though they intended to send to Dalefield because they don’t want their child in the environment of the junior room…  I personally know of 4!  Some went for a school visit and were horrified at the chaos and lack of structure in the room.  But you are right, its a great school and if it doesn’t shut down, it will be great again.  Hang in there concerned parents and BOT, accept the criticism, learn from mistakes, be strong.  Don’t just accept things, ask Why? and use the answers for change and improvement!  Kia Kaha!

      • Another Dalefield Parent

        I am not sure where this information about 25-30 children has come from.  This is definately not correct, it was not even a fraction of that.  This was caused by a smear campaign carried out by a  certain parent who rallied a few others.  The person responsible has never been honest and upfront about this campaign, but it is widely known amongst the school community who this person is.

  • David

    Well fire his sorry arse for condemning kiddies to a lifetime of under achievement, shame crusher didn’t get education.

    • Ex Pupil

      So under achievement is  around 30% of 2010 ex pupils doing NCEA Level 1 at Year 9.

  • Another Dalefield parent

    Dalefield School is starting 2012 with the biggest roll it has had for many years, I have 2 children there and 2 more to start in the coming years. I have seen families come and go and spoken to parents about reasons for leaving etc – each to their own and people look for different things in schools and education but we travel to Dalefield over Carterton, which is closer, because we want a school which has undeniable passion for each child as an individual. My children (in my opinion) are exactly the sort who would just ‘slide’ through the system, not causing trouble or attracting attention, but they have enjoyed every day at Dalefield, are meeting National Standards and developeing a magnitude of other skills and dispositions thanks to the wonderful staff including Kevin and his lovely wife. I don’t wish to participate in an argument but like has been said there are other options for schooling in Carterton so lets just let the children and families who are happy and succeeding at Dalefield do so without insult – we all make our own choices.

    • Sarah

      Until now there hasn’t been sufficient information for parents to make their ‘own choices’. Now there is and many parents will choose otherwise. It’s not insulting, it’s stating facts.

      • Kosh103

        Rubbish. There has always been plenty of information. Parents have, and still do, opt to pop along to the odd teacher/parent meeting, look over a report card or 2, and call it a day.

        Parents dont need NS, they need to go talk to their kids teachers as opposed to dropping off and tuning out.

      • Another Dalefield parent

        there is always information available to parents, it is about parents actively seeking it out. National Standards are far from facts, there is more to a child than maths and literacy.

      • Symgardiner

        I agree. As a parent of a 5 year old starting school this week… All I really had to g on was hearsay and ERO reports. Sure you visit the school and make a first mpressions judgement of staff. But oh for some hard results. Bring on NS!

      • Dalefield Lover

        Well they are obviously making their choice Sarah as their are many new families that have started with the school this year.  This is because of the schools good name and level of education, not the National Standards results, most people don’t even take notice of those.

  • Killjoy

    I still feel quite uncomfortable with the sentiment that National Standards will fix all the problems (or even find them).
    There needs to be a way to rate or assess how children are doing alongside their peers, but I’m not sure what the best way to do this is.

    I see the issues around NS as this (based on my limited knowledge of NS):

    – There is no provision for variable factors and all children are rated equally.

    You should have ratings according to Decile levels and school sizes/ locations (not sure if this exists presently). 
    My concern with ratings such as this is however, is that you could lump all kids from “poor areas” together when you still have great parents who support and nurture learning- sometimes even more than those kids from “rich areas”- as they don’t want their kids to be caught in the same life that they’ve had.
    Likewise you could lump all kids from “rich areas” as being well supported by their parents when in actual fact some parents sacrifice EVERYTHING just to get their child to the school and can’t afford any more to keep their child up with their peers at the school or you get parents who are working away so often that they don’t get to or can’t spend valuable time with their child.

    NS could just highlight that a child has a learning disability but not enable a teacher to find the tools needed to work with that child to get them learning at the same rate as others or provide the support to the teacher to help them do the same.

    – Many teachers (even good ones) I’ve spoken to find that NS requirements mean that more time is spent on reporting and so less time is available for effective planning and their own development.

    We all have pointed the finger a teachers having so much holiday time and “easy hours” however the crap they endure in the classroom is literally tiresome and with meetings and planning and reports and NS reporting and implementation, they really do put in the hard yards for what they’re paid.
    No-one wants to spend hours every week over and above what they’re paid to do to keep on top of back office/ paper work as it gets tedious and you can burn out.
    When you start down that road its very easy to lose the passion of what you’re doing or why you’re doing it.

    – There has been very little or no response to feedback from schools by the Ministry/ Minister to improve the implementation and results of NS.

    A good employer will involve their “people on the ground” or at least listen to them when making a  change to a business model or practice.
    I realise that there were trial schools but not sure if these consisted of different areas/ demographics/ Deciles/ sizes and what changes were made to NS from feedback given by these trial schools before it was rolled out?
    I realise that the NZEI and PPTA or whoever would probably resist any and every change however you need to have some buy in from the people that will implement and actually work out the systems/ services/ etc for it to work and it seems that there has been quite a lot of opposition to NS by many schools so is this a minority issue from underperforming teachers or are there real concerns around how in its current form it will have the results expected…??

    As I said above, I don’t know what the answers are but these are some of the questions that I believe should be answered so that people on the fence (such as myself) will push those resistant to it into line…

    • Ben E. Basha

      If you look at the numbers in the BTAC, it is a minority that is against NS.

    • Kimble

      More time spent on reporting is a problem? Thats like complaining that people escaping a fire spent too much time looking where they were going and not enough time running.

      Thats what we are talking about here; feedback. We need to be able to observe things in order to change things.

  • sarah

    killjoy of course there’s no room for variable factors. It’s not like your boss is gonna say ‘you can’t read, but I’m gonna give you a job anyhow because you came from a home with little money’. We need to know which kids can’t read and fix it, because without it they will fail where it really matters – real life.

    • jay cee

      with ns children may be being assessed as having achieved the standard in  reading, to use your example,  to keep the education ministry happy as well.

      • Kimble

        But thats not an argument against them.

  • Irtimo

    Lame article fellas. In ChCh we have funds being taken elsewhere when we could have put them to good use. Performance pay would be nice but I would like to pick and choose the kids for my class so they don’t come with issues.

    • Sarah

      So if they come with issues, you feel you can’t increase their performance relative to what it was the year before? Why have teachers?

  • Sublime_kev

    “My kid is excelling…” but cant pass the National Standards?

    Can someone point me towards the posts detailing the questions asked in the National Standards and specifying why they are inappropriate?

    Has that article been written?

    If I wanted to argue against them, that would be the first thing I would do once they became available.

  • Goldwood

    “Kosh123” wrote that the 20% figure is a lie. In fact the 20% figure of children failing to leave school with basic literacy and numeracy skills is in the 2008 Education report on the long tail of underachivement, based on evidence from ERO.

    “BOT Trustee” wrote: “Our role [sic] is growing at the minute [sic] and the parents of the school for the most part back Kevin Jephson. The teaching standard is excellent and my son is reading and writing well beyond his age capability but still “fails” the National Standard even though he has been promoted a year.”

    Errr – BOT Trustee, how do you know that your son is doing so well without some sort of standard to compare him to? If he is failing the national standard then QED either the teaching standard is not as excellent as you think, or your son is unfortunately not as gifted as you believe? Perhaps, given that your son has failed the National Standard, having him advanced a year by a principal whose competence appears to be questionable, may not be in your son’s best interests?

    Now maybe, BoT Trustee, you are right, and that your son is gifted. But the question does remain – why does your son seem to be failing when it comes to measuring him against everyone else?

    • Kosh103

      Having read the ERO report, I can tell you it wasnt as National reported it. Many were sucked in by the lies told.

      • Anonymous

        and the warfies aren’t on $91k, eh Kosh (rolls eyes)

      • Kosh103

        Oh davcav, dont join the ranks of the know nothings on here. Unless you have read the report and actually KNOW anything about education (beyond the fact that you went to school as a kid) I suggest you dont put your neck out.

      • Dion

        Kosh for someone who is meant to be teaching kids 34 weeks of the year you really are an intellectual snob, aren’t you.

      • Kosh103

        Dion, I have little time for those on the right (or the left for that matter) who prattle on about education, pretending they know their arse from their elbow when they clearly do not.

        If this, by you, makes me a snob then I am happy to accept that lable.

  • soaring albatross

    Some say that national standards are really vital for education then propose trials of charter schools that are not bound by either curriculum or national standard testing.

    No wonder they had to replace Tolley. She sells national standards and now Parata sells charter schools.

    But join the dots, for schools failing  under national standards the solution is to be replaced by a charter schol free from such testing. Then the 20% who fail will end up in charter schools and everyone in schools with national standards will pass. Then National claims a 100% pass for pupils under national standards. The 20% who once failed are by then attending charter schools.

    National does not care that those at charter schools are failing, only that someone is making a profit teaching the failing kids and that the teachers are not in a union.

  • Anonymous

    Another Dalefield Parent:
    “I chose a school with a roll which enabled teachers to truly get to
    know and understand every child and their learning style, personality,
    interests, strengths and needs over a school that could teach them to
    read and write – I could do that myself if that was all that was

    Yep, and watch them gravitate to growing marijuana and stealing to support their lifestyle when they can’t get a job: but that’s OK, their teachers gave them glowing references…

  • EX Navy Greg

    I am going to stick my neck out here, I agree with two points Kosh makes.
    Point 1: not all kids learn at the same speed.
    Point 2: the problems at home have a huge effect on kids learning ability.

    I also believe that dysfunctional children from dysfunctional families ( I use the term loosely), should not be lumbered onto teachers who are not, and should not be social workers.

    I don’t know the answer here, my oldest daughter has left home and is earning more than I ever have at the age of 26, maybe our kids have the answers?

    • Agent BallSack

      It was bound to happen Greg. Kosh rambles so much and consistently back pedals and contradicts themselves that they were going to say something agreeable once or twice. We now return you to your regular schedule of shocking spelling, right hating, dribbling invective. 

      • Kosh103

        What rubbish. I never back pedal, nor contradict myself esp on educational matters.

        And whats more, most of the time, I am right.

      • Agent BallSack

        Good morning Kosh :). It was more a commiseration post at Greg than a hate on you thread. Don’t worry, when you do come over to the right we will welcome you.

      • Kosh103

        ABS – I can assure you I will never join the dark side of the force. I am happy over here on the light side.

  • Symgardiner

    Amazing the number of comments on is post. And not the usual folk. Looks like someone has been inviting people to come and post. A bit like the Green’s notification system.
    The cool thing is at in a could of years NS will be embedded just as NCEA is. Remember the bleets when that was introduced.

    • Agent BallSack

      NCEA was the dumbing down of the system that made teachers jobs easier. Of course it produced a generation of kids who spell like this too as ‘lyk dis 2’. Now that teachers and principals are expected to actually work for their money, we hear the screaming. The rest of us when expected to work harder for our money, cinch our belts and are head down, arse up. But that’s because it doesn’t make great political football.

  • Pingback: National Standards are working « Homepaddock()

  • Bea

    BOT member, I also sat on a BOT, also rural.  Its not your job to stand behind your principal.  Its your job to make him do his job. 

    One of the bigger problems with sitting on a BOT is the ability of teachers, department heads and principals to impart information.  Many of them appear not to know how to write a concise report that provides comparatives.  Its no good wittering about what a class or department did without providing comparatives, benchmarks and trends.  Its up to the BOT to set standards so that they are receiving meaningful information.

    There were, however, some teachers at my school who were very good at it.  There’s a huge range of ability between teachers, which is why standardisation is needed.

  • Roflcopter

    To BOT Member, Parent etc.

    It’s laughable to hear comments about your kids being bright sparks, yet failing NS.

    NS is not an exam, it doesn’t impose any other level of achievement a child must attain to be at NS levels.

    NS is there to simply measure how a student is doing, relative to the current curriculum standards that a child must be at. It’s primary focus is to clearly say whether they are below, at, or above the standard set out in the curriculum, and if they aren’t, then what can be done to try and get them to that level. If your child is failing NS, then they either aren’t the bright spark you think they are, or the quality of teaching is so poor that they don’t get the opportunity to excel…. based on ERO reports, and other snippets posted, it sounds like it could be the latter.

    NS is not designed to lift the 20% of people failing. It is there to identify the areas where investment in learning for a child can be made, to give them the best chance to move out of the 20%.

    I sat in a 2 day workshop with principals and deputy principals, going over how NS rolls out and what help was available via the ministry to ensure everyone has the best chance to roll it out successfully. There was a mix of schools, at the time, who fully embraced NS and were rocking on, and others who were absolutely vitriolic at the whole concept…. the funny thing was, those that were against only complained about ONE thing… the thought of league tables. That was the ONLY thing they hated, knowing that some of them were going to be found wanting.

    This vitriol we see is nothing to do with the child’s learning, it’s all self-centred self-preservation, and the fact that you continually allow people like Jephson to continually pull the wool over your eyes tells me you deserve everything you get.

    • soaring albatross

      Yet when I read criticism of NS from schools consulting parents and informing the wider community of their position,  I don’t see any focus at all on league tables.

      They claim their existing assessement systems are more advanced (ERO information supports this) and NS, not being moderated, being of little use to them.

      How exactly league tables work when NS is not moderated is a mystery.

  • Anonymous

    I think everyone here has been prejudiced by their (and their kids’) own personal experience with the education system. Having left high school in 2003 at the end of Year 13 I was left with a very bitter taste in my mouth. The majority of teachers at my old school were wastrels and rejects – there is no doubt about that. The people I went to school with who have now become teachers are worse. 

    In my job quantifying performance is also difficult – the measures used don’t suit everyone and they never will. Continued regulation of performance (as is required by NZICA) is conducted and is crucial to improved performance and service. No set of accounts or client is the same. No child is the same. The same standards are applied to every set of accounts and client. The same set of standards are applied to every child. What makes people good accountants is the ability to work with what has been provided in order to maintain compliance with said standards. Why can’t teachers be measured by quantifiable standards in order to asses performance? Because let’s face it – those standards haven’t just been implemented to help identify struggling children, they are also there to identify struggling teachers. 

    I fail to see how someone who is a teacher, and therefore has (in my opinion) a higher level of social responsibility and accountability, can work in an environment without quantifiable standards. Accountants are ultimately responsible for the amount of tax paid by their clients and have transparent regulations and standards required by both the government and the public. Teachers are responsible for educating tomorrow’s workforce and shaping our young minds. I consider that to be a more important task than a tax agent. Why do teachers consider themselves to be outside the realms of accountability for their personal performance?

    No doubt Kosh will trot out his ‘you just don’t understand’ and ‘stop being so stupid’ lines but at the end of the day school’s aren’t a teachers charity. Regulation is the changing face of all industries. Regulation also isn’t static, it is constantly changing and adapting. Employees must constantly change and adapt within the required framework. 

    • Kosh103

      We HAVE excellent well developed standards in the NZC. NS’s are a poorly thought out right wing 18th century tool.

      And Sarrs, YOU dont undertstand and YOU do not have any knowledge of educational matters.

  • Tracy Olsen

    Leave my uncle Kevin alone you bully! Why don’t you sat this shite to his face you coward!

  • Agent BallSack

    @Tracy:disqus  Olsen – He’s more than welcome to come over here so we can. Job descriptions change, can he not man up and change with the job? Or is he too old and set in his ways?

    • Anonymous

      Perhaps a relative of Mrs O. from above?

      Maybe this girl should make a video to get her point across *ragged sobs* leave my Uncle Kevin alone *tears rain down on the internetz* 

  • Paulus

    Real problem in Education is simple.

    If people cannot speak properly how can you expect them to Spell or Write – let alone Read.

    • Kosh103

      The real problem in education is in the home and Wellington.

      • Agent BallSack

        The real problem in education is in the home and in the teachers lounge. 

      • Super Guest

        It is in Wellington, you’re right. His name’s Trevor Mallard and he forced a failed Scottish self esteem generator on the NZ public and passed it off as an education system.

      • Angry Croc

        So you live in Wellington ?

      • Dion

        I’ll not argue with you there.  However, you are a professional and are (rightly) expected to do your job.  

        And yet you indignantly reject any attempts to put some transparency around it without offering any solutions other than the status quo.

      • Kosh103

        Oh super guest, Labour have been a far better supporter towards education in NZ than National ever has been.

      • Anonymous

        NS helps change both.

        My son’s principal commented how NS had increased parental involvement.

        Parents now knew there was an issue and took action.

    • Kosh103

      Ahhh ABS – talking without knowing I see.

      • Super Guest

        Pot-kettle-black. You’re a teacher, you can’t do, so you indoctrinate. You can’t do because you don’t know. You don’t know because you’re a peasant, you think you’re entitled to something (someone else’s money) for nothing just because you breathe.

        Aren’t the teacher’s union due for another ass-whooping, folks? Performance pay perhaps? Kosh’d have to survive on 30c a year.

      • Agent BallSack

        Just exercising my right to speak it as I see it Kosh. I have had great teachers – I have had some who were masochists who got their rocks of caning young boys. Not every teacher is bad, just as not every right winger is the harbinger of doom. I appreciate the job the majority of teachers do, but not highly political ones who use children as political pawns. Such as Jephson.

      • Angry Croc

        ABS, well said.

      • Kosh103

        LMAO, I love it when you make assumptions SG. Uneducated fool that you are.

      • Kosh103

        Well ABS given national are using children as political tools I would suggest you start taking a disliking to them.

      • Agent BallSack

        Ahhh but National are a political party Kosh. We are talking about an individual who won’t declare his political interests but uses children and their brainwashed parents as his pawns. And he is in a position of authority where perhaps a declaration of interests is advisable, rather than a “Poor us -Look at our shit results”. You are a teacher Kosh – whats more important to you? Politics or your job?

  • Angry Croc

    Kevin, what a hero. You have created one of the most commented on blogs for a long time. Your colleague Kosh1021/2 must be really envious.

  • Ex Dalefielder

    As an ex Dalefield pupil, Mr Jephson was my most memorable teacher. I’ve honestly got to say that my time at Dalefied primary school were really the best years. I now send my son there because I know from first hand experience that the education he is receiving is of high standards. Knowing that I’m not being lied to about how well or not my child is doing is really comforting as a parent. It means I can really see what areas my son needs improvement in.

    Comparing him to a national standard would be pulling the wool over my eyes. I mean is the government really trying to turn us into sheep.