Auckland Grammar School

Oh look, another registered teacher goes down the criminal path

The Labour Party and teacher unions all claim that charter schools are bad because there is no requirement for them to hire only registered teachers.

Apparently being a registered teacher protects kids and the community…except when it doesn’t.

Yet another registered teacher has come before the courts, and this time it wasn’t kiddy fiddling, it was fraud.

A teacher from a top Auckland school has admitted using colleagues’ personal details to swindle more than $67,000.

Ex-Auckland Grammar School economics, accounting and business studies teacher Rafe Callum Fannin, 36, pleaded guilty to 13 charges at Auckland District Court this morning.

Police initially charged Fannin with four counts of dishonestly using driving licences, in the names of people he worked with, to gain a pecuniary advantage.   Read more »

The unintended consequences of Len Brown’s compact city

A newspaper has a story today about one of the unintended consequences of Len Brown’s stupid compact city plans.

Key schools near the inner city are already bursting at the seams and will have to accommodate even more students as intensification forces more people into the same area.

Auckland’s two most exclusive state schools have looming roll dilemmas due to a property boom predicted to surge student numbers.

More than 1800 apartments will be completed in the Auckland Grammar zone within three years, with 600 of those also falling in the Epsom Girls’ Grammar area.

Changes under the proposed unitary plan are likely to bring further intensification, and two special housing areas were just last week announced in the same neighbourhood.

Developers are using access to the “very best schools” as a selling point, but the schools say they are at capacity and do not know how they will cope with higher numbers.

Read more »

Yep, you so are going to get fired

The headlines could have been more shocking, and there could’ve been a call for a school to be shut down because of one of their staff being a ratbag, but neither of things happened…because the school is a state school.

But it is Auckland Grammar School and so a newspaper had to make a song and dance.

A teacher from a top Auckland school has been charged with using colleagues’ personal details in a bid to make money.

Auckland Grammar School economics, accounting and business studies teacher Rafe Callum Fannin, 36, appeared in Auckland District Court yesterday facing four counts of dishonestly using a document to obtain a pecuniary advantage.

And police said in court it was likely further charges would be laid.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail, and outside court Fannin conceded: “It’s not looking too flash, man.”

“I’m going to get fired. I’m f***ed anyway, you know what I mean?”    Read more »

Whaleoil, Laurie Anderson, School and joining dots

loureedlauriandersonheader

I was browsing through several blogs and sites last night and learned something interesting.

Lou Reed who passed away this week was married to Laurie Anderson.

She has written about his passing, saying he was a “prince and a fighter”.

Laurie Anderson remembered her husband Lou Reed as “a prince and a fighter” and for “the incredible joy he felt for life” in a letter published yesterday in The East Hampton Star on Long Island. Reed died Sunday at 71 of liver disease while the couple were at their home in Springs, New York.

“Lou was a tai chi master and spent his last days here being happy and dazzled by the beauty and power and softness of nature,” Anderson wrote. “He died on Sunday morning looking at the trees and doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician hands moving through the air.”  Read more »

Remembering School

This video was on Boing Boing yesterday.

If you can believe it I studied this song, plus others by Laurie Anderson in my 4th form English class at Auckland Grammar. My teacher was Michael Giacon. For what it is worth I think he was probably my best english teacher at Grammar. He drove a Nash Metropolitan. Heh, the things you remember.

The hypocrisy of teacher unions

The PPTA President Kate Gainsford has called on Anne Tolley to sack the board of Auckland Grammar School for phasing out NCEA and daring to offer an alternative.

Education Minister Anne Tolley has been urged to sack the board of Auckland Grammar School after its “brazen attack on the credibility of the NCEA”.

In a leaked letter obtained by The Dominion Post, secondary teachers’ union president Kate Gainsford accuses Mrs Tolley of a “timid” response and spells out five steps she should take now that Auckland Grammar has declared its intention to ditch NCEA in year 11, except for maths and English exams for weaker pupils.

Ms Gainsford, president of the Post-Primary Teachers’ Association, tells Mrs Tolley in the letter that she should make a clear statement in support of NCEA, publicly criticise Auckland Grammar and order it to use NCEA, sack the board of trustees if it refuses to comply, make NCEA a legal requirement, and halt taxpayer funds for exam systems which compete with NCEA – such as the University of Cambridge system that Auckland Grammar prefers.

“Your refusal to be interviewed on the matter, and merely releasing a written statement that you have full confidence in the NCEA, was in our view a very timid response to a very direct attack,” her letter states.

I wonder perhaps if Kate Gainsford also wants the boards of all the schools who refused to implement National Standards late last year sacked as well?

There is of course a difference between the two cases, but not one that helps Kate Gainsford. Auckland Grammar is actually offering a superior qualification system, one that it has been using for some considerable time. It s position also isn’t a political one, it is fact and evidence based and educational. The NZEI and Prinicpals Associartion led protest against National Standards never offered an alternative, simply a refusal to implement government policy.

NCEA is but one method of legally acceptable standards and testing, Cambridge is another, Auckland Grammar School is simply following the doirections of its parents and offering a superior education measurement system. It isn’t refusing point blank like the National Standards protestors were.

If Kate Gainsford had even a modicum of humility she would withdraw and apologise. She won’t of course because it is purely a political point she is trying to make and a chance to bash rich parents at a rich school.