D is for “delight” as “dosh” is “diverted” from schools with the most “dropouts”

July 9, 2010

Alf anticipates great weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, in response to news that secondary schools in poor areas are likely to lose the most public money under changes to the way they are funded.

The first squawks are likely to come from the stroppy teacher unions, which can be counted on to take time out from flailing at national standards to denounce the funding changes.

But Alf personally sees great merit in what will happen, according to his understanding of the Dom-Post report, which is based on Budget documents.

Here’s what’s doing:

The Government has changed the way schools receive operational funding. From next year it will be based on the actual number of pupils schools have in each quarter, rather than on an annual estimated maximum amount. The move is expected to save the Government about $500 million a year.

Cabinet papers by Education Minister Anne Tolley said the change would have the greatest effect on low-decile schools, which tended to have higher rates of pupils dropping out.

They would also lose more funding per pupil because they got significantly more per head than schools in more affluent areas.

This makes great sense to Alf.

Pouring more money per brat into schools with the greatest dropout numbers is like a pig farmer pouring more swill into the runts of a litter to keep the scrawny buggers alive, rather than into the plump porkers that will bring home the bacon.

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So which is more precious – kura kaupapa or Tolley’s policy of going soft on them?

February 4, 2010

School principals say they want to be treated as “democratically” as Maori immersion schools in the roll-out of national standards, according to the NZ Herald.

But are the Maori immersion schools being treated more “democratically” than mainstream schools?

It’s more a matter of them being given preferential treatment, or favourable treatment, or special treatment…

And hence the mainstream schools are being discriminated against.

Alf accordingly would advise the aggrieved principals to take their wailings to the Human Rights Commission, except he thinks the commission is a waste of space, and anyway it tends not to recognise discriminatory practices if Maori happen to be the beneficiaries.

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The Pita principle: support national standards in Parliament, then worry about the consequences

February 2, 2010

Prime Minister John Key should be more pissed off with the shifting positions of Pita Sharples than with teacher unions, which he has criticised over their opposition to national standards.

He says – and Alf agrees – the unions are simply protecting under-performing teachers.

But the unions have been doing exactly that for as long as Alf can remember.

The shifting sands under Sharples are another matter. The bugger is the Associate Minister of Education, after all.

The Maori Party co-leader supported the enabling legislation when it was introduced to Parliament, let’s not forget.

Now (according to Stuff) he says he holds “grave fears” about new nationals standards, which will set benchmarks for reading, writing and maths.

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