Monday, May 30, 2011

How long do schools take this nonsense- Orwell strikes again

On May 18TH Karen Sewell gave a speech at a graduation ceremony in Wellington that both impressed a listener - and left him wondering. ' I was impressed with your speech. It's liberal, curiosity-based characteristics of New Zealand system have made it, as you mentioned, world class.
I cannot imagine, then, why you would want,as your tenure in the Ministry to dismantle everything that has made education in this country so successful......I do not know how you can praise the song bird and shoot it cold dead. Were your sentiments "mere words".

Or do you know of as yet unpublicised initiative to rid New Zealand classrooms of the anti -educational fixation with endless quantitative analysis and " little boxes" ideology that day by day robs our citizenry of the right to a genuinely liberal education?

Should the present imperatives remain in place I fear that my own education, and that of my children, will prove inferior to that of my grandchildren?....

I hold you -along with dimwitted education ministers we have all had to endure in recent years - fully responsible....

I merely wish to give expression my despair and heartbreak I am forced to live everyday.... ( as the) Ministry edict to squeeze the wonder and curiosity out of each precious life I encounter.At least their decline will be well measured, recorded, and reported I suppose.Pity that in so doing there's so little time left for teaching, let alone thinking, exploring,discovering, nurturing, inspiring, mentoring,discussing and creating.

It is not a good time to be involved in New Zealand education.'

There is nothing liberal or democratic about the following orders!

Subject: Attn: The Board Chair - School charters for 2011
The Board Chairperson
25 May 2011

Tēnā koutou katoa

School charters for 2011

On 8 October 2010, I wrote to year 1-8 schools setting an expectation that you would submit your 2011 charter at the beginning of this school year. I’d like to extend my thanks to the schools that have provided their 2011 charters.

This is the first time you have been required to include National Standards targets in your charters, and I acknowledge and appreciate the effort that you have put into this work.

Charters are an important part of your school’s annual planning and self-review process and provide valuable information for you and your community.Given that they are your plans for the school year, it makes sense to have them in place before the school year gets underway.

They also help the Ministry work with you to identify what additional support the students or your school may need in that year. This could be Professional Learning and Development for teachers or resources for students.

Charters, like your school’s annual report, are also a legal requirement and form part of your accountability to your community and the Crown. Therefore, if you haven’t provided your 2011 charter please note the deadline and processes below.

All schools that have not submitted a charter (except those in the Christchurch City, Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts)

Our regional staff have been in regular contact with schools that have not yet provided charters to offer support in preparing and submitting a charter and to remind them of the requirement to do so.

This support is ongoing and our regional staff will continue to be available to work with you and discuss what support you may need to submit your charter. I would like outstanding charters to be submitted to the Ministry by Thursday 9 June 2011.

If your school has not submitted your 2011 charter by 9 June, I will write to you and formally request documents relating to your charter, which will need to be supplied by 1 July.

I will make this request under the Education Act 1989, Section 144A, which allows me as Secretary for Education to request information that I reasonably need to administer the Education Act.

Schools in the Christchurch City, Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts that have not submitted a charter.I understand that many schools in the Christchurch City, Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts are still dealing with the significant disruption caused by the 22 February earthquake.

If your school has not yet provided your 2011 charter and will be unable to do so by the end of term two, please contact your regional Ministry office to discuss support options that are available.

If your school needs support preparing your charter, please contact your regional Ministry office.

I thank you all for your ongoing commitment to improving the educational progress and achievement of all our children and young people.

Nāku noa, nā
Karen Sewell
Secretary for Education

Orwellian double speak at it best.


Mac Stevenson said...

This is disgraceful. She is making things up and brow beating schools.
The Education Act does not require schools to have a Charter sent to the MOE by the dates stated and does in fact state "at any time".

How much longer are principals and boards going to put up this without making the point that self management is now just a joke?

As is often said on the Tumeke blog site - the sleepy hobbits who live in NZ haven't woken up yet to what is really happening.

Anonymous said...

This is bullying at its best - or worst.Time Karen Sewell was put out to pasture - on second thoughts her successor would be worse!! She has been paid well to lose her liberal voice but she had once?

Anonymous said...

You might find that she is retiring because she has to put out this rubbish. She admitted as much to a group of people I was part of

Bruce Hammonds said...

Too many in the Ministry have sold out on their integrity -what a way to leave the profession. Their argument is, possibly, that they do their best to keep the worst at bay. The trouble is this becomes compromise all the way down!