Catherine Isaac

Catherine Isaac on charter schools

The Dom Post yesterday published a piece by Catherine Isaac on charter schools.

For some inexplicable reason the masses can’t know about this because they haven’t put it online.

Lindsay Mitchell however has scanned it.

Bold educational initiatives deserve a fair go 1 Read more »

Speaking of Save our Schools, what happened to that poll?

As you may recall, two days ago I directed your attention to a poll running on the Save our Schools web site.  They wanted to know if you thought Charter Schools a good idea.

At the time I drew your attention to the poll, the results were like this



Clearly, the 123 voters thought, with about a half majority, that Charter Schools would not improve educational outcomes.

But that’s probably because the Save our Schools web site is particularly aimed at people who feel the education sector needs “saving”, so the result isn’t particularly enlightening.

Currently, the site displays this notice:

Read more »

A little job for the Army

It looks like the union organised opposition to Charter Schools have a little poll running on their website.

NACT assure us that Charter Schools are being brought in to help Maori and Pacifica students achieve better results.  They don’t offer any evidence, in fact Catherine Isaac said on Campbell Live tonight (23.4.13) that they “might improve things,” so it seems even she isn’t that sure.

But all of that aside, what do YOU think?

Feel free to comment below, too.  I’d love to hear people’s reasoning for or against or whether they are just plain confused.  Read more »

Now the Condescending Drama Queen

Asssociate Professor of being a Drama Queen at huge taxpayer expense at Auckland University – Peter O’Connor – clearly feels he is running short of attention so it now putting out his own press releases on Voxy.

At least in this one he acknowledges that Maori (at 23% behind non-Maori) have been long-term screwed over by the NZEI/PPTA system.


But then O’Connor makes it clear that he considers Maori groups to be so dumb that they cannot make decisions themselves for the well-being of their youth and that they are simply being “manipulated” into supporting Charter Schools.
O’Connor also shows his lack of academic integrity by continuing to ignore many of the positive results overseas.


Associate Professor Peter O’Connor from the University of Auckland says that the Act Party’s cynical manipulation of Maori disaffection with the current education system means the future of the charter school experiment now rests on an unlikely alliance between ACT and the Maori Party.  Read more »

Why Teachers should be ignored

Herald on Sunday

Teachers annoy the crap out of me. They think that they are the only ones entitled and capable fo commenting on education. While they demand obeisance and silence in their own classrooms they behave like petulant children when in a grown up environment. This is why they should be safely ignored and progress made on Charter Schools without their input which will be entirely negative and disruptive.

South Auckland and Christchurch had been mooted as ideal sites for future charter schools, but the proposal received a decidedly hostile reception when Isaac spoke to 400 people, mainly educationalists, at the Otahuhu Town Hall this week.

DERISIVE LAUGHTER and cat-calls punctuated Isaac’s speech. Amid accusations that the Act Party’s agenda was driving Government education policy, the party’s former president and candidate insisted she genuinely wanted to help kids who were failing under the present system.

Of course, implementing charter schools is Act policy and is part of the confidence and supply agreement the party signed with the Government. The appointment of a former Act apparatchik, described as “cronyism” by Labour, is no accident.

And those factors set the tone for a heated meeting.

“It wasn’t a community meeting; it was a political meeting,” Isaac says now of the high tempers at Otahuhu hall on Monday night.

“They were a little unruly, especially since they were teachers. I don’t imagine they behave like that in the classroom,” she adds.

Otahuhu College principal Gil Laurenson was at the meeting and confirms “it degenerated into a bit of a slanging match”.

He wanted solid information about the proposal but came away frustrated. “I don’t think that meeting advanced the debate around charter schools.”

Not from education sector?

As we have seen there has been attacks in the media on Catherine Isaac and her supposed lack of qualifications in the Education sector. This somehow is supposed to discount her from participating in or chairing the committee responsible for overseeing the implementation of Charter Schools.

This is really the elitism of tenured education staff and their fervant belief that only the teacher unions are allowed a say about eduction. It is typical socialist we-know-best attitudes.

Nanaia Mahuta jumped right in:

Labour’s education spokeswoman Nanaia Mahuta said Ms Isaac’s appointment was political opportunism from the Act Party.

“I see it as no surprise. She has strong linked to the Act Party and they’re putting in one of their mates to push along their ideology.

But if you look at her lifetime at the public trough you can see she is actually far less qualified to talk on anything, let alone education, yet for some reason the union dominated Labour party has seen fit to appoint her as Education spokesperson. I think that everytime Ms Mahuta opens her gob to talk about Education she is told to sit back down until she has done her time in the education sector.

Then there is Catherine Delahunty:

Green education spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty today described Isaac’s pending appointment as ”disturbing”.

”The trial now looks like a joke.

”It shows this is nothing to do with education, it’s to do with the Government’s agenda to turn the education system into a business opportunity.”

Isaac’s three terms as a school trustee did not qualify her for the role, said Delahunty, who has also been a school trustee.

”This is a major political platform for education. It is a change in direction. It is not something for amateurs.”

Catherine Delahunty should take her own advice and STFU about education as well. She isn’t even remotely qualified to even issue press releases on the subject. I find it highly ironic that her favourite recipe is for a fruitcake.

It was nice of the opposition to focus on qualifications for speaking about education. Now they can just shut up.

The hypocrisy of Robin Duff

We are well used to unionists telling us one thing and doing another. Robin Duff, head of the PPTA is no different. The PPTA and NZEI have fought the government to a stand still over National Standards.

Just yesterday they were calling for the data to be kept secret. Trevor Mallard even, bizarrely, tried to have National Standards data made more secret than SIS briefing papers.

Then Robin Duff in an opinion piece has this to say in opposition to Charter Schools:

Charter schools don’t have to follow the New Zealand curriculum or use the New Zealand qualification system and even though politicians mandate attendance at school for all children between the ages of 5 and 16, parliament will have no right or duty to scrutinise the activities of these schools.

The Official Information Act won’t apply, so it will be difficult for the media to enforce transparency. The other moderating influence on corrupt management practices in schools – unions – will be kept well clear.

The teachers union have opposed transparency every step of the way in education and now they are moaning that private training institutions should somehow be subject to the Official Information Act. They make out like this is a revelation and somehow evil ignoring the fact that every integrated and private school already enjoys freedom from busy bodies like him.

They don’t need the scrutiny of the OIA because their results speak for themselves.

To cap off his hypocrisy he then carps about an Act official being appointed to chair the committee to oversea implementation of Charter Schools.

Not mention the fact this educational experiment will be monitored by a committee led by a woman whose sole qualifications appear to be that she “loves education” and has served on a school board. The appointment of former ACT president Catherine Isaac is clearly politically motivated and shows that the implementation of charter schools is not evidence-based, but ideologically driven.

Of course it is politically motivated, it is Act policy, why wouldn’t they want someone in tune with the policy overseeing the implementation. If the situation was reveres you don;t think Labour would be appointing a neutral person to oversee their key policies do you? Mike Williams when president of Labour had 6 government appointed directorships after all.


Best reasons ever to appoint Catherine Isaac

The usual suspects are upset about the appointment of Catherine Isaac to a role overseeing the Charter Schools programme. But the best ever reason for actually appointing Catherine Isaac was provided by the head of the teacher’s union PPTA:

Mr Duff said the committee overseeing the trial was a “farce”, and Mr Banks was not interested in consultation with people in the sector.

One thing we have learned is that there is little point inconsulting with the feather-bedding teacher’s unions. It is a pointless exercise.

Listen to the full rant:

And following up that little tirade from Robin Duff is Catherine Delahunty, providing the best ever reason why Catherine Isaac is the best person for the job:

Delahunty said there had been no public discussion about what a charter school was.

“And then we get an appointment of somebody not from the education sector but entirely from the ideology of privatisation.

She certainly won’t be listening to the carping of the vested interests of the various teacher’s unions.

The government was hardly going to appoint equally political appointees from union hacks and flacks were they?

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