Posted by: PPTAweb
on 21, Nov, 2013
A tall tale? Jet Star needs pilots in order to cover their flights – they overpromised and are unable to operate without these pilots. They have approached Air NZ requesting Air NZ pilots fly Jet Star planes - at Air NZ's expense. This means Air NZ will have to reduce both domestic and international flights.
Air NZ has refused.
Jet Star managers are up in arms at Air NZ's refusal to cover. They are encouraging their passengers to write opinion pieces to the papers and to comment in social media damning this divisive approach.
Posted by: Observer
on 23, Oct, 2013
Tagged in: Untagged
It’s no surprise that a political spinmeister like Matthew Hooton would be so quick to leap to the defence of charter schools. American experience shows it is exactly people like himself, along with developers, consulting companies and of course, the self-styled “CEOs” of charter schools who make the big money and will be the real winners out of this political scam.
It’s not about the kids. If it were, instead of parroting the minister’s simplistic platitude about “the tail”, Hooton would make an effort to understand the cause of under achievement and what might constitute a real solution to the problem. For a start, the 20% who are the cause of our concern happen to constitute the same 20% who grow up in extreme poverty, who are more likely to live in overcrowded dwellings, more likely to suffer from preventable health problems and more likely to live in families blighted by drug and alcohol dependency and mental health problems. As the Prime Minister’s science advisor Sir Peter Gluckman has observed, there are no “quick fixes” to these problems; solutions, such as there are, will be multi-systemic and long term.
Trumpeting charter schools then, as the answer to this complex array of problems is the educational equivalent of colour therapy. According to Hooton, it’s ok to conduct educational experiments on other peoples’ children because will lead to “new ideas”. Sure Matthew; service academies, teaching creationism, and class sizes of 15 were all unknown until charter schools discovered them! One of the new charter schools has even announced it will be relying on local high schools for the delivery of core curriculum subjects – nothing new there.
Posted by: Tom Haig
on 27, Sep, 2013
I don’t think I’m the only one who shuddered when Parata posted her holiday snaps recently on twitter and one showed her grinning next to the gormless Michael Gove.
Posted by: Michael Stevenson
on 26, Sep, 2013
D Grade education minister Hekia Parata landed another blow to earthquake devastated Aranui schools this afternoon by issuing a slow death warrant. Parata closed four schools - Aranui High, Aranui Primary, Avondale Primary and Wainoni Primary.
Parata described the closures as a “significant milestone”.
The overwhelming majority of submissions received during Parata’s “consultation” process had argued for the schools to be merged instead of closed. A merger would have kept the curriculum alive, given the community a new school to works towards collaboratively, and resulted in a much higher level of job security for staff in the build-up to a new Year 1 – 13 campus in 2017. By ordering a closure, four schools are now left in a state of flux. Inevitably many staff will have to look for work elsewhere which leads to less curriculum and subject choices for students.
The minister’s only explanation for her slow death option appears to be a leaked ministry briefing (later made public) stating a new school can’t open until 2017 so “PPP procurement can be explored”.
Posted by: Tom Haig
on 24, Sep, 2013
So the first (and likely last) wave of charter schools have crawled out from the murky shadows. What have we learnt from a first glance at this unwelcome, invasive species?
For one thing, there’s nothing in these that is different from what can already occur in regular public schools, kura kaupapa or special character schools. We already have military academies, bi-lingual units, Christian schools and so forth… and indeed much greater innovation in terms of learner-centred and holistic education than these seem to be offering.
They’ve picked up on the worry about unregistered teachers, and are fudging around the percentage to allay this. The ones offering secondary education all say they will have registered teachers for the ‘core curriculum’ but no commitment to have registered teachers for what they call ‘supplementary subjects’. This distinction is weasel words – in public schools all around the country there are hundreds of trained and registered teachers teaching automotive, tourism, hospitality and so forth. With schools this size they may have only 2 or 3 registered teachers teaching maths, English and science – and untrained, unregistered mates of the owners in ‘teaching’ everything else.
It’s also clear that the students in this first cohort are part of a political game – the schools are going to have to do anything to show fantastic (in the true sense of the world) results. Word is that the ‘deliverables’ in the contracts are designed to extract maximum positive data as soon as possible for Banks to crow about from the rooftops. This is a really risky proposition for these students and will encourage poor behaviour from the schools.
One of the schools is going to open on the North Shore (the Vanguard Military Academy). Though it is supposedly targeting the ‘priority learner’ groups there’s no evidence of how it will do so. All the initial material on these schools said that they would be opened in ‘areas of significant educational underachievement’ – what are they doing opening one on the North Shore of Auckland?