Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: School bully

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  • Sacha, in reply to bmk,

    It's wasteful supplying breakfast to children who are fed

    As a proportion of total spending it seems pretty small. Hoiwever current proposals suggest that what's politically achievable now is targeting of bottom deciles (providing govt is still measuring such things).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to bmk,

    benefits are far too low

    yes. UBI could be interesting.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Sacha,

    yes. UBI could be interesting.

    Yes, that's my favourite idea too.

    What I like about it is that because it's universal it gets rid of the 'us and them' mentality of tradition welfare. And best of all it recognises that a universal income is a fundamental right and not something begrudgingly doled out provided people humiliate themselves enough in order to receive it.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Sacha,

    As a proportion of total spending it seems pretty small. Hoiwever current proposals suggest that what's politically achievable now is targeting of bottom deciles (providing govt is still measuring such things).

    Again this is inefficient though. School decile ratings are very crude. You get very poor kids at high decile kids and plenty of comfortable, middle-class kids at lower decile schools (at least in my experience).

    This means if you only target low-decile schools you won't be solving the core problem; there will still be kids going to school hungry.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • bmk,

    I don't want to sound all contrary here. With sufficient evidence I could easily get behind the idea.

    But I feel like we are conceding to the right by proposing this idea. Rather than putting benefits back to proper levels we're saying we'll feed the hungry kids at school. It feels very much like papering over the cracks. It feels like we are saying as a society that it's ok for there to be bad poverty and for kids to have no dinner as long as they have breakfast and can learn better then we're doing our job. Instead I would much prefer a policy aimed at addressing the core problem which is poverty not a lack of breakfast.

    But maybe I'm wrong on this - certainly I seem to be in the minority here.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to bmk,

    what did you make of the Greens policy abut making schools into community service hubs like some Scandinavian countries do?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Sacha,

    I liked that since that seems a much more comprehensive solution than just providing breakfast.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to bmk,

    and there's at least some evidence it works

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to bmk,

    I liked that since that seems a much more comprehensive solution than just providing breakfast.

    And I second that, but include the breakfast for the reasons I have already explained.

    I am starting to warm to the Greens.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to steven crawford,

    they seem to have thought things through

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    What about lunch? If the Brit systems are being imported, how about free lunch for kids? Depending on which TV Chef you watch/listen to, they are either good or bad.

    Why do we treat kids here like we do? Seen but not heard seems to be still alive and kicking. Speaking of which, 20/20 had a hair raising interview with the anti violence guy. He thought a hose to thrash his kids was better than being slashed at with a machete. Its all relative init.

    Lets start with the premise they are going to be citizens in the near future. Someone mentioned pensioners are subsidised to the hilt. Strange isn't it we don't do the same with kids. Lumber them with tests, lumber them with student loans. For life.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The lunch could be formal, withe breakfast casual. There will be plenty of children who will enjoy having breakfast at home. But there is no reason to not be at the table with there peers with a cup of coffee;)

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Someone mentioned pensioners are subsidised to the hilt.

    Pensioners vote. Some of them also have a real sense of "I've paid taxes all my life" entitlement, and that's only going to get worse as the number of Boomers receiving National Super increases.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    And even if you don’t want to buy into the whole “children are hungry because their parents are neglectful”, or “parents don’t feed their children because they spend the money on alcohol, cigarettes, lotto and Sky subscriptions” thing

    I don't know if it's the major cause, but if it's a cause at all, for anyone, then it's something that breakfast provided by someone other than the parents gets around. Which raising benefits can't help with.

    And yes, it takes away that horrible choice of rent or eat, at least with respect to breakfast.

    Either that more money won’t help the kids and if they have that neglectful parents what about lunch, what about dinner?

    Lunch isn't exactly a bad idea. Dinner, not so much, since by then, the kids aren't actually at school.

    I used to get a school lunch, at primary school. It was organized by the PTA, by volunteer parents, rather than by the school, but I do remember there being some real advantages to it. It fizzled out in the end, though, as voluntary charitable things often do, when sufficient contributors got tired of doing it. It was a source of interesting variety, as the responsibility for planning it shifted. I doubt I would have ever discovered the vegemite and chicken chips sandwich otherwise. Nor would I have learned a distaste for pea soup :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to BenWilson,

    Lunch isn't exactly a bad idea. Dinner, not so much, since by then, the kids aren't actually at school.

    This is kind of what I mean by conceding the argument to the right. This is kind of saying we don't care if kids go hungry or live in poverty as long as they are fed and productive at school.

    That's where I much prefer the school-hub idea, mentioned above, of the Greens. About a whole package of care for those who need it - not just food at school.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to bmk,

    – not just food at school.

    It's not just about food in your mouth. It's education in many forms, health a huge one. Anything that can help quell our Enormous Diabetes problem in NZ is great for the tummy as well as the health budget. Multiculturalism is another benefit when you get people joining together for a meal.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Ria, in reply to Greg Wood,

    I agree. This is a brilliant article. Thankyou to the person who posted it. Sharing away...

    Dunedin • Since Mar 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Ria, in reply to Ross Mason,

    lol brilliant

    Dunedin • Since Mar 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to bmk,

    This is kind of what I mean by conceding the argument to the right.

    That sounds like the Perfect being the enemy of the Good. Yes, it would be great if we lived in a paradise where governmental services can detect and correct all injustices to children. But we don't and therefore measures that can make a difference should not be dismissed on account of their imperfection.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Anyone out there still doubting that the story I told about our experience in the US could ever truly happen here, READ THIS, about one NZ 5-year-old being kept in at lunchtime to "complete his writing."

    Yep, it's one little story. But that's exactly how it happens: one kid at a time, one story at a time, one school at a time, one "hey, this ain't right" feeling at a time - until we join the dots.

    And here's another bit of anecdotal evidence, from a teacher who's been talking to her colleagues who are thinking about school choices for their own children:

    More recently, the teacher/parents I have spoken to have all categorically stated that if they could they would choose to home-school their child. That they felt their child's emotional and mental well-being was at-risk in some schools because of the pressure schools are now under to conform to the government's policies.

    You know it must be bad if teachers, given half the chance, would choose to home-school their own kids.

    Sounding familiar??

    And if that's not got you exercised enough for a Monday morning: here's a rolling list of what the current government has managed to do to our schools in two terms. It's quite some reading.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Meanwhile, here's a brilliant, informed rant about what's wrong with standardised testing - funny and quotable, and very, very useful for clarifying things when talking with anyone who just, y'know, "can't quite see the problem with testing kids and using those tests as measures of progress, because what's wrong with a few little quizzes here and there?"

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    a real sense of “I’ve paid taxes all my life” entitlement

    Belatedly: they SHOULD feel entitled. We're all entitled, because we're members of this society. Isn't that what this is supposed to be about?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Jolisa,

    about one NZ 5-year-old being kept in at lunchtime to "complete his writing."

    This recently happened to my 7 year old niece. She'd been in a decile 5 school where she'd been thriving and doing really well. Her parents moved and she ended up in a decile 9 where the teacher decided her writing wasn't up to scratch and forced her to spend all her lunchtimes locked up in the classroom writing lines. She'd come home from school in tears, in the weekend say 'Why am I so sad?'.

    Until finally her mother had enough and complained to the principal who got her moved to a different classroom where she's since been much happier.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Jolisa,

    when talking with anyone who just, y'know, "can't quite see the problem with testing kids and using those tests as measures of progress, because what's wrong with a few little quizzes here and there?"

    I can't see the problem either. If that's what was on offer I'd be all for it :)

    The big one to me is what the test is supposed to measure. I suspect that "teacher competance" and "pupil knowledge" are corellated but not especially tightly, and a test designed to show one may well fail at the other. Especially since they're apparently trying to measur teacher output by measuring net change in pupil knowledge, putting them even further off course.

    I suspect that at one stage in my schooling my "net gain in knowledge" of the subject in question was inversely correlated with teaching input, because my experience of that input was profoundly negative. And it's open to gaming... if there had been a test or exam to evaluate their teching I would cheerfully have written "I dunno nuffink" on the paper under my name and handed it in (and likely have encouraged others to do the same). My academic career wouldn't have been affected unless it was the final year external exams.

    And anyone who wants my adademic transcript as part of the job interview process... good luck. I spent 3 years after my masters degree enrolling in interest papers then either dropping out or getting mediocre marks in them. My "GPA" is probably a bare pass if I'm lucky, but I learned an awful lot.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1229 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Jolisa,

    Attachment

    Meanwhile, here’s a brilliant, informed rant about what’s wrong with standardised testing – funny and quotable, and very, very useful for clarifying things when talking with anyone who just, y’know, “can’t quite see the problem with testing kids and using those tests as measures of progress, because what’s wrong with a few little quizzes here and there?”

    This cartoon keeps coming to mind. Sadly, all the usual suspects keep insisting that it's the goldfish's fault for not being able to climb the tree. Without external help (in their view, creeping socialism), at least.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

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