Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Of Monsters and Old Boys

107 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • Paul Litterick,

    "ambitious parents"

    A chill runs down my spine.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Thanks for this post Russell. I read a herald article quoting John Morris as saying that with the introduction of zoning, the proportion of Māori and PI kids had dropped from 10% to 3.5%, and that that was a bad thing. It sounds all well and good until you realise that that's because they're no longer poaching the most academically and athletically gifted from other schools; hardly altruistic. I look forward to the day that someone suggests to Grammar that they should cede from the state school system if they're so unhappy with it.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Education is a society that at least pretends to still believe in the clarion words of Clarence Beeby that:

    "every person, whatever his level of academic ability, whether he be rich or poor, whether he live in town or country, has a right, as a citizen, to a free education of the kind for which he is best fitted, and to the fullest extent of his powers."

    needs more than just zoning or non-zoning. What we need is to do is abolish all private schools, all zoning, and require our schools to reflect in their students the demographic and economic make up of the nation as much as is possible.

    And if that means bussing kids from Otara to Epsom Girl's or Auckland Grammer and vice versa, then so be it.

    Education in a democracy shouldn't be an exercise in the middle class doing everything in their power to skew the playing field as early as possible.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Bugger. GRAMMAR.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    One of the most significant effects of the 1989 Education Act was legislative right of children to attend their local state school.This particularly means poor kids, brown kids and those with special educational needs. Since then 'bad' schools have tried all sorts of ways to get around this and keep these kids out of their schools while 'good' schools have taken the challenge to be more inclusive and skilled in their teaching to address the diversity of needs and learning styles of their students.

    I don't think I'm using 'good' and 'bad' in the same sense as John Roughan.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I don't believe that the decile-10 schools actually provide a better education or have better teachers. They firstly have more tractable, easier-to-teach kids and secondly, enable their graduates to gain entry to an old-boy network.

    Schools like Selwyn (not to mention alternative schools, which don't really exist in NZ) make much better and mores succesful efforts to actually develop their students than the decile-10 pseudo-Etons.

    I'm with Tom, we need to get rid of private education and work on equalising opportunity by making privileged schoools open up their facilities to kids outside their area.

    I don't pay taxes to provide the means for the privileged middle class to pass that privilege on to their kids.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Bugger. GRAMMAR

    Bugger grammar, really reckons I.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    "ambitious parents"

    A chill runs down my spine.

    Yeah, I heard the principal of Grammar on the radio a few days ago, and he used this phrase 3 times in about 3 minutes. I'm pretty sure it's code for something approximating "our sort of people."

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    I don't think I'm using 'good' and 'bad' in the same sense as John Roughan.

    Gold.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Tom/Rich:

    I wonder if you have any specific reasons for wanting to ban private schools. I went to one, with two working parents paying for it, neither of whom was paid a forture. Private schools are subsidised by the state, yes, but at a much lower rate than public ones. My parents paid their share of the education budget through decades of taxes - are they entitled to none of that being spent on my education?

    I mean, is the arguments "diverting scare resources to rich pricks" or is it "I am ideologically opposed to private schooling for no specific reason"?

    And Tom, you seriously want to Bus people across town to ensure that all schools are model UNs? That's a wee bit of crazy talk.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Not so good, of course, if it's your local school that "dies" while your children are attending it. But disaster capitalism always has it casualties, right?

    It's all a bit Underpants Gnomes really
    Choice
    +
    ?????
    =
    Magically balanced school system in an upwards spiral of choice-induced improvement mania!!!

    I can see the logic behind it, but actually layering it onto the real world seems unworkable. Besides the lost generation as you try and get to this utopia, I just don't see every school in the system suddenly deciding it has to up it's game to keep kids. The poor-ERO-score schools will just stay the same and end up being the school of last resort when you're turned down from everywhere else. This belief that an entire public school system will chase students through improving quality is nice, but totally naive.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I wonder if you have any specific reasons for wanting to ban private schools. I went to one

    Reason #1 is right there.

    Reason #2 is that I don't believe that the wealthy (and anyone who can afford private education on top of all the other costs of bringing up kids is wealthy, in my book) have the right to pass their privilege onto their children.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I don't believe that the decile-10 schools actually provide a better education or have better teachers.

    I agree. There are a lot of aspects to a good education and all the research I've read puts it down to good relationships between kids and teachers. A good friendly inclusive school with a culture that respects diversity is likely to encourage these relationships. It's not to do with decile at all. But more likely to be lower decile schools as they have more diversity in their student populations, and often attract more innovative teachers.

    Although I do know a couple of local high decile schools that do this well too - incidentally they also welcome students with special educational needs.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    John Roughan is a fantasy writer.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Rich:

    Reason 1: Ouch. Was that really called for? Do you deeply dislike me or find me horribly offensive?

    I was going to respond substantively, but I don't really feel like being personally attacked all afternoon, so I'll leave this thread alone.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Eddie

    Of course you and your parents were entitled to their share of the tax vote. But if y'all want to duplicate that expense on a private school, don't ask me to subsidise that extravagance with my share of the tax vote, which my oldest daughter is happily enjoying to the full.

    Besides, you and your parents already did benefit from their share of the tax vote by living in an educated society.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Rich: u meanie!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Robeson,

    Among the perverse social consequences of the profession's engineering is a reduction in the number of Maori and Pacific Island pupils at Auckland Grammar.

    James Green, Roughan quotes this in his article as above. I found this in part a bit racist- that the only sign of Maori and Pacific Island education achievement would be the percentage who were getting entry to Auckland Grammar.

    This is how Roughan is measuring the success or failure of zoning it would seem.

    Since Feb 2008 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Eddie, every child withdrawn from the public system isn't just an exercise in choice, it is an attack on public education.


    1/ Buying advantage for your children over and above their abilities is wrong in a democratic society.

    2/ Those who are privately educated and privately educate their kids have a vested interest in making sure the state provision is not as "good" as their system.

    3/ Private schools entrench privilege through peer group. Banning private schools would result in much greater cross social group mixing, and make available much greater organisational and financial networks to schools that are currently less advantaged in these areas.

    4/ Withdrawing the wealthiest, gifted or most motivated parents and children from the state system isn't just an act of private choice, it is also an attack on the overall talent available to the state sector.

    However, banning private schools will not be to bring state schools up to the academic standards of private schools. To me that doesn't matter, because schools in a progressive, egalitarian democracy should be about more than just academic results. Which leads me to the bussing question. Yes, believe that might be necessary. I can't see how taking kids and putting them into an artifical environment that in no way reflects the society they will live in does anyone any good, except in very narrow class terms. And class and privilege are two things we expect to education system to diminish, not reinforce.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Eddie: private schooling isn't what it's cracked up to be, as far as my own experiences are concerned. I was sent to two of the country's "Ivy League" high schools, one in Welly and one in ChCh. In particular, the ChCh one turned out to be full of "snob yobs" - in 1996, my 7th form year, at least 7 of these snob yobs were nabbed for substance abuse at an end-of-school party. I'll try and dig up the article for that one.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    I found this in part a bit racist- that the only sign of Maori and Pacific Island education achievement would be the percentage who were getting entry to Auckland Grammar.

    I think it's more elitist than racist, as its mostly an exercise in cherry picking. There also seems something wrong in taking students who should have leadership roles in other schools and sending them to Grammar.

    Having been educated in a place with no 'choice', I tend now to see that as a benefit.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Blah, I'll dive back in cos people are actually making sense (except Rich).

    Tom, I can only speak from experience, and my experience is that my private schooling was not any 'better' than that my brother got at a public school. But my personality as a teenager was such (I've grown up somewhat since then) that I would have been eaten alive at the school my brother went to. The school I went to had small enough classes to protect me from that.

    Although point 1 I will buy, if you'll also accept that it is morally wrong to have anything but absolutely standardised class sizes across the public school system.

    I don't think your point 2 actually makes any sense. If I have kids, I have no bias towards sending them to a private school at all. My old school would have been (and was, for some of my schoolmates) terrible for people of some personality types. You're making assumptions about the motivations of people you don't know.

    Point 3 - I'm still friends with 2 whole people I went to high school with, 10 years after the fact. My current group of friends is socially, ethnically, and economically diverse. I don't think that would be an uncommon finding among private school attendees.

    Point 4 - The public sector organisations I work for would be surprised to hear that.

    As for bussing - fair enough, and I take your point.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Deepred:

    I agree. The small class sizes were great for me, but from talking to my brother and friends at other schools, the quality of teaching or resourcing were not noticeably higher.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    Well the report I heard on the radio seemed to be making a big deal about the skyrocketing Asian population of Auckland Grammar, which is perhaps the real reason they want to draft in the offspring of Old Boys (as in Good Ol' Boys I guess). Something similar happened with academically-selective Sydney Boys High School, to the extent that they had to withdraw their rugby team from the big private schools' competition (they were the only state school involved) after a few too many 100 point thrashings. Cue much wailing from the Old Boys, who weren't mollified by their alma mater's new-found success at badminton and table tennis...

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    I don't believe that the decile-10 schools actually provide a better education or have better teachers. They firstly have more tractable, easier-to-teach kids and secondly, enable their graduates to gain entry to an old-boy network.

    Is there a way of comparing schools in the same deciles (literacy & numeracy datasets)?

    Whilst I might not support the complete removal of the private sector I would support the removal of *all* state funding for that sector including religious schools.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.