Education

These words were not a problem until we made them a problem

If you’re a freshman this year amidst the hustle and bustle of starting college, moving in and figuring out your new routine and lifestyle, orientation leaders at Colorado State University introduced you to an important aspect of CSU’s culture: inclusive language.

Inclusive language includes every identity, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. During orientation, we were introduced to gender pronouns such as “they, them, theirs.” This is something to be excited about, and most of us actively respect people’s gender pronouns, but as the semester continues, it has become obvious that inclusive language extends way beyond gender pronouns.

It is great for students to try to use inclusive language, but it has become an expectation of students. This expectation might not be entirely fair. We have been asked to get rid of the language we have been using for as long as we have known the English language.

We were told that the popular term “you guys” was not inclusive of all genders, and we should instead replace it with “y’all.” We were told to use the term “first-year” instead of “freshman,” because “freshman” is not inclusive of all genders.

Read more »

A guest post submitted to Whaleoil and edited by Whaleoil staff.

Guest Post content does not necessarily reflect the views of the site or its editor. Guest Post content is offered for discussion and for alternative points of view.

The poorest are the ones hurt by Hitman Hipkins

Hitman: Education Minister Chris Hipkins has eliminated all NZ Partnership schools
Photoshopped image Credit: Luke

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has closed down every Partnership school in New Zealand despite their record of success. There is no place for the Charter school model in the Labour-led coalition government. Forced to become schools of special character, most of these former Partnership schools are still operating. Why did they change and what is now going to happen to them?


The New Zealand education system is in major trouble.

The gaps between New Zealand’s Asian population (67 per cent of school leavers with UE), European (44 per cent), Pasifika (22 per cent) and Māori (19 per cent) are a national disgrace and we have given up on believing it can be different.

We are sliding rapidly in international measures and our schools are among the worst in the OECD for closing the gaps. Socio-economic advantage has a stronger impact on achievement in New Zealand than in many OECD countries.

Our best university is no longer in the top 100 in the world. Teacher training is a mess — the entry bar is far too low for primary training and the opportunity cost of another year without pay means the best university graduates won’t even give teaching a second thought.

The latest pay rounds have turned into massive whine-fests and many teachers are simply putting off anyone looking for a positive profession to be involved in.

We have not recognised how the world has changed. If the education system was once a performance car, it was built in the 1950s.

Successive governments have crashed it and bashed it and worn down the engine; the Ministry of Education sits firmly on the bonnet and the unions have run off with the keys.

Those establishments continue to preserve their power and the children miss out, especially the vulnerable ones.

Legislation has now crushed the charter school model. In one sense it will mean very little. Those highly irrational sorts in education who were entirely triggered by innovation will be able to go back to their knitting. The established charter schools will continue to run under a different model because the good people who set them up will stay around – at least for a little while.

Read more »

A guest post submitted to Whaleoil and edited by Whaleoil staff.

Guest Post content does not necessarily reflect the views of the site or its editor. Guest Post content is offered for discussion and for alternative points of view.

An unfair test and a poor verdict

A 2018 report titled ‘An unfair start: inequality in children’s education in rich countries’ has been released by UNICEF and it ranks us 33 out of 38 rich countries in the world in terms of educational equality. We failed the educational equality test.  Quote.

The report looks at the gaps between the highest and lowest-performing pupils in OECD countries, by measuring the difference between those in the bottom 10 percent and top 10 percent.” End of quote.

I am not a statistician, but taking the top and bottom ten percent of student achievement and measuring the difference between them cannot possibly be a good measure of the value of anything at all, and certainly not of educational outcomes.

It tells us, as anyone would expect, that there is a big gap between good and poor educational student outcomes.

Read more »

The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

Pablo Picasso
Glass and bottle of Suze (after 18 November 1912)
pasted paper, gouache and charcoal

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

On Saturday in Auckland this is the place to be: Trust LIVE 18

On Saturday in Auckland, this is simply the place to be … all inquiries to Alwyn Poole

[email protected] or Karen on 0210440556.

It is this Saturday

Nov 10: At the Victory Convention Centre (Beaumont St) Auckland.

“The Villa Education Trust is possibly NZ’s most innovative and effective education organisation. Mike King is, without doubt NZ’s greatest spokesperson for Mental Health”.
They have put together a phenomenal event called Trust LIVE 18
At $20 an adult or $10 for 16 and under this is the best spend since you paid 80c for a stamp for the Kiwibuild lottery!
Highlights:

Read more »

If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

You can follow me on Gab.ai 

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

No more English tests for foreign teachers

When I was studying accountancy, I struggled really badly with Statistics. I had a hard time grasping some of the concepts. Because I wasn’t terribly mathematically minded, I needed a really good tutor to help me across the line.

My tutor was a young Cambodian guy. Absolutely lovely young man, but I could not understand a word he said. The classes were a nightmare, and I ended up having to repeat the subject twice before finally gaining a pass mark.

Now, this was at a tertiary institution, where the students are older and much more capable of independent study. While tutors are always important, the quality of the tutors is probably less so in a tertiary institution than in a school but I still did not pass that subject until I found a tutor who could speak English and could explain the underlying concepts of the subject we were studying.

Read more »

Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

Labour’s reasonable idea but very silly mechanism

We have a genuine qualitative and quantitative shortage of teachers in New Zealand. We also rank 33rd in the OECD  for overcoming socio-economic disadvantage.

The Labour government has just decided that New Zealand schools need – non-teaching – “Learning Support Co-ordinators”. The role is remarkably similar to the Villa Education Trust designed “Community Liaison Managers” (no credit of course from Hipkins and Martin) – with one huge problem! That is that the government has again bent the knee to the UNIONS and these people must be registered teachers.

It makes no sense. There are highly skilled people in the community able to do these jobs (e.g. Ed Psychs), there is already a teaching shortage and this takes people out of the classroom, and it is a non-teaching role.

Read more »

A guest post submitted to Whaleoil and edited by Whaleoil staff.

Guest Post content does not necessarily reflect the views of the site or its editor. Guest Post content is offered for discussion and for alternative points of view.

Headline of the day

We all know the joke about how Socialism makes everyone equally poor.

Now, according to this NZ Herald headline, it also makes students equally uneducated.

Perhaps that is the spin the Coalition of Losers can use next election to justify canning high performing Charter schools.

They did it for equalities sake!

Read more »

If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

You can follow me on Gab.ai 

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

Charter schools through the back door?

PHOTO-Supplied to Whaleoil
Dominic Elliot holding a sign: “Jacinda where is your support now?”

Question:

What do you do when you have publicly rejected a very successful educational model that benefits the demographic that your political party claims to care about and have closed down all the schools that are using it?

Answer:

You get the Ministry of Education to tender for suggestions on how to deliver charter schools without calling them charter schools!

Read more »

If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

You can follow me on Gab.ai 

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

The shoe’s on the other foot and academics don’t like it

As Winston Churchill famously observed, too many people see free expression as a one-way street. Academics, who are as often as not in the vanguard in attacking free expression, hold a similar attitude to “academic freedom”.

Academics in the humanities especially, increasingly act as a kind of Congregation for the Defense of the Left-Wing Faith. Even the dumbest orthodoxies are uncritically celebrated and promoted. At the same time, heretical speakers and research are ruthlessly banished from the academic sphere.

But, as per Churchill’s observation, when the shoe’s on the other foot, academics squeal like pigs. Quote:

Outrage erupted across academia yesterday when it was revealed a federal minister had quietly ­vetoed 11 humanities research grants without providing any reasons and without publicly declaring the decision at the time.

Read more »

Who is Lushington D. Brady?

Well, a pseudonym. Obviously.

But the name Lushington Dalrymple Brady has been chosen carefully. Not only for the sum of its overall mien of seedy gentility, reminiscent perhaps of a slightly disreputable gentlemen of letters, but also for its parts, each of which borrows from the name of a Vandemonian of more-or-less fame (or notoriety) who represents some admirable quality which will hopefully animate the persona of Lushington D. Brady.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

Two impertinent questions for PPTA union apparatchik Tom Haig

Happy school children whose school was not closed by the Labour-led coalition government because it is a teacher union-backed state school

A recent article by Alwyn Poole on Stuff made the following points:

  • Statistically, New Zealand has one of the most racist education systems in the OECD.
  • Equality of opportunity, regardless of ethnicity or wealth, should be the foundation stone of our education system.
  • The key qualification to bring about change is University Entrance.
  • Only 19% of Māori school leavers and 22% of Pasifika students achieved University Entrance.

The article then went on to propose ten solutions.

The response from the PPTA through Tom Haig’s Twitter account to Alwyn Poole’s article was that teachers cannot make a difference due to socio-economics, and the cause of educational inequality is “colonialism” (i.e. it was the fault of James Cook).

Read more »

If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

You can follow me on Gab.ai 

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.