Posts by Lynda Johansson
Hard News: Dunce Dunce Revolution,
I'm currently teaching part-time in a decile 8 school, taking small groups of students for learning support in literacy and numeracy. These students are identified from the data collected (running records/AsTTle/numeracy project assessment tools etc). This, all in place without direction needed from Anne Tolley et al. Meanwhile, under the new curriculum the big question currently being studied throughout the school is within the area of biology and there are seeds sprouting in classes all over, compost making going on, writing reports, instructions, reading around the topic, graphing the data for statistics, trips planned to botanic gardens etc. The place is buzzing. Meanwhile there's art happening, daily fitness, swimming about to start up again. Hard to see what the problem's supposed to be, let alone what the solution is likely to cause!
Hard News: Conversation Starters,
Going back to the earlier comment on standardised assessment and John Hattie's research. First of all, there's nothing new there, I remember the stuff about formative assessment and feedback being introduced to the school I was working at in 2002, direct from his research. The other parts have filtered through over the years as well. I suspect this had more to do with the slow news period over the silly season. But to answer Graeme, the important thing here is that feedback goes primarily with formative assessment, the ongoing imformal sort built into your classroom programme, and less so with the summative sort.
I've talked to a couple of friends, both principals at South Auckland schools from opposite political positions, and they both say they will be directing teaching of the tests (Star and asTTle).
Hard News: From soundbite to policy,
Happened to be out for dinner last night with a friend who has a daughter with the childhood form of diabetes. They are seriously considering some form of implant which makes management of the condition far easier, especially for a young woman going into puberty. But of course it's incredibly expensive. When I mentioned to her the success of the herceptin lobby, she said it had already been noted and was very much being taken into account. And why wouldn't you go down that route. If an exemption is being made for one drug, it's going to be hard for them to turn down other such worthy causes.
Hard News: Will they make O'Reilly sweat?,
Re Australia and its treatment of refugees: this Wire interview from a couple of weeks ago about a guy who traced what became of some of the Nauru refugees sent back home, fairly sobering stuff!
Re alternatives to newspaper monopolies: this site was mentioned on national radio yesterday
Re Judith, I listened to Joe Nunweek's interview with her yesterday on the Wire. She seemed pretty relaxed about her situation, although her answers to his questioning on the IP stuff were a little guarded. She did mention that she'd had her locks superglued when she got to the office that morning and that Helen Clark's electoral office had been hit with shit and eggs. Such generous people - someone needs to remind them they were on the winning side.
Likewise the continuation with the lesbian meme. My daughter has a friend who is a young gay woman, never been particularly worried about her sexuality, but after putting up a rather lovely goodbye and thankyou open letter to Helen Clark on facebook, has been inundated by the most hateful anti lesbian smears from people her own age. She's spent the last few days in tears. These are first time voters. You kind of wonder where it will all end.
One final point, the group of gay women around Libby Burgess who was the spokesperson for the Herceptin lobby, just wonder how hard it must of been for them deciding who to vote for, with the party willing to buy off their votes around the single issue, also being the one with the supporter base so seemingly misogynist and anti lesbian in particular.
Hard News: Congratulations, Mr Key,
Danielle: And we don't have to pay out of pocket for our primary and secondary education either (ie, you can send your kids to the local state schools here)
By the way, did anyone see the valedictory piece on Helen Clark on last night's TV one news. It was terribly mean-spirited given that such things are usually reasonably generous.
Great post Russell, appreciate the nod to those of us who've been doing the rather thankless tasks involved in political party activism. Would appreciate putting a hold on the obituaries until Sunday, I've still got to get motivated enough to do scrutineering and phoning etc tomorrow.
Agree entirely about the comments around the worrying authoritarian trends evident in National's intended breakdown of separation of powers in Super fund and Pharmac policies. Also, having the family business involved in the construction industry, we need further insistence on self-regulation on health and safety issues like a hole in the head! Try competing with the cowboys out there if you have any ethical standards like preferring not to kill or maim your workers or customers!
As for the national party education policy, being a primary school teacher, I find it difficult to see the value in yet more assessment! We already know our kids who aren't meeting the literacy and numeracy benchmarks. It's harder and very expensive to find good diagnostic information from the data, and then find ways to close those gaps. That's where the money needs to go, not on developing yet more testing. Not to mention the leaching of yet more funding from the state system into the private one. One thing I'm really proud of and that we shouldn't take for granted is how good it is to be able to send your kids to the local state school and not to have to go privately as the default setting because the state system has been allowed to become a sink one.
I think I know the cafe you're talking about in Dargaville and the coffee, food and garden bar there are great. I've spent many a happy afternoon there when visiting my elderly mum. Interestingly, my parents left that part of the country to run a coffee lounge in Customs St (long gone), in the seventies. It was called the Cadora (I think) and was notorious at the time for the prostitution ring and drug peddling that used to operate out of it. A rather rude awakening to life in the big smoke for my rather sheltered mum and dad, straight off their small farm. But it had a magnificent espresso machine which they learnt to operate. There was a regular clientele of Europeans and I can only assume there were other similar businesses although most would have been in Wellington. Does anyone remember it?
I also have just viewed the podcast of the show and enjoyed it tremendously. One point not raised elsewhere that I've seen, probably because it's really a little too soon, but I guess the church was also able to display it's particular brand of Christianity and has probably had a number of converts since, given the amazing apparent serenity of the response to such an overwhelming tragedy.
Hard News: All the cool kids were there,
<quote>__Actually, it was more like the young bucks fostering the veteran...__>
Yeah, you're probably right. I was talking to Buzz from Voom earlier on in the night at the same gig about how much those who are the creative forces behind these bands stake on their music.