Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: What Hekia Parata actually said

79 Responses

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  • Andre,

    Thanks for the heads-up Mathew. The 15% difference isn't because of overseas-based owners though. Oh no... of course not. And did you realise that it is IMPOSSIBLE for the government to give a true figure on foreign ownership other than deals covered by the OIC? Not that they're covering up the truth of the matter or anything.
    And hot off the press - more lies from Big Sister...
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11222454

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Andre,

    The 15% difference isn’t because of overseas-based owners though

    BNZ's head economist reckons 12% of Auckland's sales are to overseas buyers. I would say he's got a pretty reasonable handle on the situation. He also says the government should probably be measuring it properly, instead of relying on educated guesswork from the industry.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • andrew r, in reply to Andre,

    So true. Depressing how disconnected the populace would seem to be - given as you say, current polling - essentially middle NZ doesn't seem to care to much about er .. anything, house mortgages notwithstanding. Kind of depressing. Engaging with this ludicrous Minister of Education and policy ? Nah not interested.

    auckland • Since May 2007 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    The Majority of kids do well in NZ schools.
    But along comes Parata with a commodity production model and if re-elected will clearly produce a plan to tie productivity to funding. Simple. She says so as in transcript. As in a factory you count the objects coming off the conveyor belt and add reward/better equipment to enhance that productivity and reward the managers. Simple plan. Easily written with glib Polispeak.
    Anyone who objects to this plan obviously does not want children or teachers to excel. Minister exercises the sneering belittling naysayers who she believes are clearly supporting mediocrity. Bah! Humbug!

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    That waffle suggested to me that funding will come out of state Schools and head into Charter PPP schools.That will eliminate the $2 out of $5 expense for property which can eventually be flicked off. With the rules already completely different for assessing teachers within their own system and check ups, they could easily declare that they are highly successful thus deserving of better funding. Once students move over to Charter Schools, out go the Union. The Academy up in Kaitaia I noticed complete with military style insignia that has opened in an old windowless wallpaper shop looked about as comfortable as a public toilet. But it would save this Govt money!

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

  • TracyMac,

    And yet our whole rental system is still based on the notion that it's a "temporary" lifestyle, rather than moving towards a more European-style model (where most people rent, often for decades, prices are much more stable, and you don't need to go cap-in-hand to the landlord if you want to paint a wall or nail up a picture).

    Oh, other than the fact that landlords increasingly want to lock you into fixed-term leases, with little discernable benefit to lessees. (wanting a minimum term is understandable).

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to TracyMac,

    fixed-term leases, with little discernable benefit to lessees.

    By law they cannot increase the rent for the term of the lease. Given current crazy rent prices in some markets that may be a good thing, if the term is actually of such length as to buffer against the "It's been ages since I last increased your rent, here have a 50% hike" effect.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    By law they cannot increase the rent for the term of the lease. Given current crazy rent prices in some markets that may be a good thing, if the term is actually of such length as to buffer

    I thought they could build in regular annual increases? Although in my experience that has never been an issue as a lease longer than a year hasn't been available. The better landlords have been the ones who come round every year or so to negotiate an increase in the month-by-month lease but obviously operate on the "a tenant in the house beats two at the inspection" principle.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1232 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Two pages and you're talking about rent???

    Eh?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    My cousin is a teacher in the UK. She has taught under the "value added" system, at more than one school. At a hard school, her "value added" was low. When she switched jobs to a wealthier school, her "value added" went up in the first year. But as she put it "I didn't suddenly become a better teacher overnight". Indeed, she thought she worked less hard at the second school, because there were fewer other issues to deal with besides teaching.

    "Value added" is as much a crock as the rest of the crock, but it sounds so much more rational and alluring, doesn't it? Yes, of course we recognise that some pupils start school with less learning capital than others, but once they get there, their ability to learn or not is entirely down to their teacher. If they don't learn as fast as the quickest students in the country, it must be because the teacher isn't doing their job as well.

    It's not like the things which meant they started with less learning capital continue, and continue to impact their learning. Nothing like that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Crunchy Weta,

    Please just ask her directly what Nationals plans for the next three years are. Don't give her wriggle room. It's a simple question and voters deserve an answer. If she has no plans, why not?

    Mamaku • Since Nov 2006 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    As a parent who has had two kids either pass through the system or in the process of passing through (state schools) - one NCEA, and one (with special needs) national standards and currently NCEA - I find the reaction here unrelated to our experience. Today's schools are a major improvement, in my view, on what I experienced back in the day. Then the assessment system was totally about the test or exam, failed a high % automatically and discouraged anything outside the approved tramlines. It also focused on a set of very narrow exam passing skills. The current system has a much wider base of assessment and looks far more at the whole child than anything either I or my partner can remember. If you are arguing that this will change because the government will look harder at value for money I might be concerned but, on the basis of the interview fragment, I can't see us heading back into the educational dark ages. There's also a basic fairness test. If Hekia Parata was not a National Minister and we leave aside her subject matter I imagine most commenters would praise her frankness with an interviewer and willingness to actually answer questions. Nor, by comparison with the jargon and cliches I deal with daily, her own past performances and the performances of any current leading politician (Government or Opposition), was she particularly unclear.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Tinakori,

    I imagine most commenters would praise her frankness with an interviewer and willingness to actually answer questions

    Eh? Are we discussing the same interview?


    *although I note that she did actually front to be interviewed this time. Unlike with Novopay.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    This Govt really acts like
    pigs can fly with Napoleon up the top and few Squealers to do the dirty work.

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

  • Tinakori, in reply to Lilith __,

    We are indeed and the spoken word hardly ever emerges in well wrought sentences and paragraphs even when the interviewee is used to being interrogated by journalists. If they do, its usually because the text has been fixed up at a later date and agreed between interviewee and interviewer.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Tinakori,

    We are indeed and the spoken word hardly ever emerges in well wrought sentences and paragraphs even when the interviewee is used to being interrogated by journalists. If they do, its usually because the text has been fixed up at a later date and agreed between interviewee and interviewer.

    If Parata would like to make some kind of clear unambigious statement then she has the channels to do that. But whenever anyone asks anything, in the House or outside it, she hedges and fudges. It's hard not to see that as intentional.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Lilith __,

    I love* that our standards for her are so low that we're basically giving her props for being insufficiently obfuscatory. She's trying so HARD to pull the wool over our eyes, and failing, and this apparently means she's being open and honest. Heh.

    *which means "hate", obviously

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Lilith __,

    *although I note that she did actually front to be interviewed this time. Unlike with Novopay.

    Cunliffe says “She has to go"

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

  • Felix Marwick,

    The confusing nature of her answers have been responsible for a large proportion of Parata’s problems. It once took myself and two other reporters a whole week and four interviews to determine exactly what the story was about teaching creationism in charter schools. All because she couldn’t be succinct or precise.

    Last night’s effort on the Kohanga Reo inquiry was as equally frustrating. Listen and judge for yourself

    http://chirb.it/bpvtdK

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to Tinakori,

    Pretty hard to see a clear answer to the fairly direct question:

    ‘and tell me if I’m getting it wrong… you are talking about pegging funding to delivery progress…outcomes?’


    Given she now seems to be claiming she said nothing of the sort, you'd think a 'No, I'm not saying that', would have been in order.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I'm trying to imagine a government that would simply state its policies rather than making us guess.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    A few teachers in my department began to tinker with the value added system last year and are carrying on with it this year (as part of some professional development time we'd been allocated). The teacher who's idea it was is from the UK and has been part of it there.

    I think it has some merit as a teacher/student tool. But certainly not as a mechanism to fund schools. That would be an utter disaster.

    In terms of it's use in our department the teachers looked at common testing that all our students had done in the junior school and made some projections as to what sort of marks they should be getting in their classes (though Achieved, Merit and Excellence leaves a fairly wide sort of mark to aim at). Anyways' they communicated with the kids individually what they should really be aiming for and could use it as a motivational tool. If students had tested highly and were 'intelligent' then if they were getting 'achieved' grades then they were politely talked to about it. Nothing hard out, maybe just a few words here and there. It can be those little comments, or chats, words of encouragement that make a big difference in individual student progress.

    Ultimately this group of teachers devised a little scoring system assigning value to NA, A, M, or E grades and so at the end of the year could decide if they'd 'added value' to their class as a whole.

    But considering they tailored this to suit our circumstances the idea of it being done effectively on a national scale is ABSURD. Not to mention all the things going on in our kids lives that can hijack their learning that we have no control over. It's kinda hard adding value to a kid who's been stood down for 4 days, or one who comes to school 2-3 days a week, or is truant from an assessment... or the size of a class. Last year I had a lower ability class of 17 and we destroyed the internal assessments (in a good way), but I've had the same class in other years with 28 or more in there and it's been nightmarish to teach effectively and get good achievement rates, often times when you go through why a student has underachieved it has very little to do with anything that you did, but none of those things could possibly be measured by some sort of national math tool. Possibly over several years and a dozen+ classes you could make some fairly solid conclusions as to the effectiveness of your teaching but I've had good 'achievement' years and not so good ones in no particular order, despite the fact that I'm more and more organised and am probably getting a little better at the craft each year. It ain't no guarantee.

    The idea of some sort of performance based pay has been mentioned in education circles since I started in NZ schools in 2006... it ain't gonna happen. It's UN-FUCKING-DO-ABLE.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    What makes performance or added value impossible to judge is the amount of stuff that needs to be in place before results can start to show up. Kids can’t learn until they feel safe to take risks and often need to interact with ideas quietly and internally before they can show what they have learned. If a child does well in a test, it is not the result of just six months of teaching but of all the groundwork put in by parents, teachers, teacher aides, coaches, tutors….over the course of years.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Yamis,

    Last year I had a lower ability class of 17 and we destroyed the internal assessments (in a good way), but I’ve had the same class in other years with 28 or more in there and it’s been nightmarish to teach effectively and get good achievement rates, often times when you go through why a student has underachieved it has very little to do with anything that you did, but none of those things could possibly be measured by some sort of national math tool.

    This is precisely the problem they've had with value-add assessments in the US - there's absolutely no consistency of results for teachers year-on-year or between classes in the same year, presumably because all the other factors (class size, prior student preparation, etc) create so much noise in the data any signal you might hope to see is invisible. And if past performance by this metric has no predictive power, then it's not actually a metric - it's wishful thinking disguised as a metric.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    ...some sort of national math tool.

    Is that Bill English?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7947 posts Report Reply

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