JT and National Standards

Labour and the teachers unions hated the fact Anne Tolley had parents on side with National Standards and refused to back down.

Another supporter of National Standards is…John Tamihere.

His trust bought the West Auckland franchise for the Kip McGrath tutoring service 14 months ago because it was not happy with local schools.

“We are sick and tired of hearing that it’s our solo mothers that are failing the schools, it’s low-income families that are failing the schools,” he said.

“We know it’s our schools that are failing the families.

“We can’t have our babies hitting secondary school and not being able to participate in the secondary school curriculum because they can’t read and write and at no stage were we advised that it was a problem. So we support National Standards.”

He said that stance “doesn’t enamour us to the Principals’ Association in our area”.

“They say we are being judgmental on them. We have to be. We can’t allow this spate of Maori boys, in particular, to fall out of secondary school without even level 1 NCEA.”

So he isn’t afraid to go against teachers unions – which Labour has been relying on for support.

This should be interesting.


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  • thor42

    Why the *heck* he is in Labour and not National is a mystery.

    He’d seem to be a perfect fit for the Nats.

    • Phar Lap

      Only because silly Willie Jackson would give him such a hard time ,he would have to cut Willie off at the pass,and we all know what that means.Tamihere values his personal freedom.He would rather live a lie,than end up being true to himself.Some people call them narcissists,others call them losers.

      • Magor

        on the mark indeed!!

    • stinkeye

      Because then he will cause more of a fuss and end up popular again…

    • Magor

      alas a labour person through and through

  • Allyson

    Labor losers and their trade Union nasties are confident of success in these trials. Otherwise they could just sit back and watch em fail. Sorry guys but our children’s future trump your politics every day.

  • Jimmie

    No offence to Mr Tamihere, but I would have thought that if Parents wanted to know if their kids could read or write they could – you know – buy a pencil & piece of paper and ask them to write a few sentences out.

    And for reading – buy them an age appropriate book and ask them to copy down the first 2 or 3 pages.

    Then the parent could look at the end results and decide if their kid is doign well or not?

    Or is this too simple?

    • Allyson

      Ahh c’mon Jimmie. If a parent wants better than a crap state sector education from a lousy union infected workforce we have to give them choice. You make some good point though.

    • It’s a good question Jimmie.

      What JT leaves unsaid is that he’s trying to bridge the gap where Parental Responsibility isn’t doing its part in the childrens’ education.

      Schools aren’t set up to provide a constant feedback loop to parents, so by the time you get the Report, your kid is already seriously behind.

      If you then ignore the report, or have some sort of she’ll be right attitude, then your child will be two or three years behind before some sort of remedial action gets triggered.

      What JT appears to be doing, and I applaud him for doing something, is to use Kip McGrath as a vehicle to create a much more intense feedback-remedial action loop so kids don’t fall behind so much, and parents (whatever the cause of their inaction or disinterest) are no longer able to ignore the reality of their children failing the basics.

      JT is to be admired for trying to fix it instead of lamenting about the statistics at yet another hui.

      • Magor

        it looks good in press but really it’s about snouts in troughs..!!!

      • Patrick

        Be interesting to see whether owning Kip McGraths provides any improvement in the education of kids out West that JT deals with. Otherwise this is just a whole bunch of hot air dressed up as some sort of “extreme makeover”

        • Mediaan

          Yes indeed.

          I see it as a good focus, a very good impulse, well done, but a pity about the rather westie “buy something” solution.

          Surely there are people in the Trust who can read and could volunteer?

          They must have some suitable, positive people who never criticise and can spare a few hours? Half an hour, three to five times a week. That’s what the (much-criticised by bludgerdom) white middle classes do.

          And, do me a favour, don’t set it up then apply for a government grant. Just pay for it.

    • LabTested

      Right! Or is it too simple too spell check your post?

  • Craig Cottam

    Johns’ got it wrong, the first place to look is the families, being poor is not the reason kids are failing, plenty of poor kids do well at school. They kids that are failing are failing for the same reason they are poor, basically their parents don’t or can’t give a crap. Sort the parents out, educate them to be better parents then we’ll see the improvement in the kids.

    • Cracker1963

      Im on a Board of Trustees for my local school. I attend the suspension hearings (all due to violence at school) were we meet with the kid & their parents. No racial bias here, the 3 kids who have attended the hearings this year , one was part-Maori (aren’t they all), Russian immigrants (although the son was born here & spoke perfect English), and your bog standard ‘European NZer’ (god I hate that description). In all cases, it’s the parents who failed to ‘parent’ their kids. The part-Maori boy had never met his father & his mother spent all her time in the local Pub (she went straight to the Pub after the hearing), the Russians marriage had disintegrated & they were too busy fighting each other to give crap about their kid . The last boy( and the most violent), his parents were in complete denial that ‘their little Jimmy’ was a violent bully & thief. Common issues were that all these boys were 12 years old, all were left unsupervised after school all week, 2 had little or no contact with their fathers, their Mothers could not/did not control them. I feel a little sorry for these kids; all were of above average intelligence, but none were given any direction in life. None were disciplined by their parents, none played any sport, all were very selfish and their (few) friends were scared of them. I fear for both their future & the communities they live in. Of the 3, only the part-Maori boy had any plans for the future (wants to join the Army- will either make or break him) the rest gave the impression that life was standing still, In that they couldn’t see past tomorrow, in fact some couldn’t see further into the future that 1 hour! Kip McGrath will be of little help to these boys.

      • …and that makes it a bad idea for other kids that require remedial attention with the basics, does it? Are you saying these kids are already ready to be put on the scrap heap?

        If this is what you think, could you consider resigning from your Board of Trustees for someone who can see the glass half full?

        • Cracker1963

          Petal, I think you misunderstand my comments-Yes, remedial action is good for kids (both of my kids have been to Kip McGrath) the major problem I mentioned was intelligent kids acting badly and parents unable or unwilling to do anything, and that issue is not being addressed.

          • Mediaan

            So what’s the answer Cracker? What do we do about these “parents who fail to parent”?

          • Cracker1963

            Unfortuately we can do bugger all. Like the Mother who, after the meeting, sent her son home alone & when to the Pub (we only found this out as the kid left his school bag behind & we called him at home for his Mum to collect). She just doesnt care. If the parent dont care, what can we do? Im open to suggestions. One thing for sure, the school punishing the kid is pretty much counter productive.

          • Mediaan

            Poor kid. But I was also wondering, what can society do?

            Most answers are bottom-of-the-cliff.

            Legally, the kid is probably under 14 and she is breaking the law. But reporting it is not realistically going to help.

            The other type of bottom-of-the-cliff solution, the good parents in the area do extra work and set up their own social welfare net to identify and help these kids, such as an after-school homework club with biscuits and a drink. But they already pay taxes to support the drinking mother. Why, really, should they?

            What is the top-of-the-cliff, before it happens, solution?

  • Neil

    Surely this doesn’t matter as long as it is still the teachers as individuals that vote in our elections – not the Teachers Union. I’m sure, based on just my own aquaintances who are in that profession, they don’t all vote Labour or Greens.

  • Marcus50

    I am a keen supporter of national standards as they give parents a good idea how a school is performing and whether their child is doing well relative to the rest of the country.

    The problem is our regime offers neither an objective standard nor is consistently applied from school to school. Supporters of the Tolley shambles will comfort those of us who want a real national standard with the comforting words that the bugs will be ironed out and it will get better. What a crock.until it is properly moderated and has consistent testing regimes the national standards that Tolley brought in are a charade.

    We also have a huge hole in National standards which are supposed to cover from year 1 through to year 12. NCEA picks up Year 11 and 12 but there is no national standards reporting for years 9 and 10. It is hard to see how anyone can consider the programme a success at this point.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    I think JT is showing the beginnings of a new Labour Party. Get rid of the queers and steers, the unionist blackmailers, the womens special rights brigade and re-create what Labour once was.
    To have an effective Government you need an effective opposition, at the moment the opposition is full of those above who are just greedy selfish arseholes