The Dim-Post

March 21, 2012

Heal thyself

Filed under: education — danylmc @ 11:30 am

The drive to ‘fix’ our education system continues, with Treasury insisting on larger class sizes and ‘accountability’ for teachers. So once again, here’s this chart from an London School of Economics global comparison of educational outcomes.

Our teachers give us the best value for money of any country in the entire world! I’d really love to see how Treasury’s forecasts stack up when compared to the accuracy of Finance Ministries in comparable countries – but for some reason, fixing one of the best education systems in the world is a hot-button political issue, while decades of under-performance at one the most crucial departments in the public service isn’t.

I can’t shake the suspicion that the thing that needs to be ‘fixed’ about our education system is that it’s heavily unionised, and that the obsession with teacher accountability involves shifting their contracts and funding to individual schools rather than the Ministry of Education, thus handicapping the unions’ ability to negotiate.

120 Comments »

  1. Echoing a comment on some other blog about such comparisons, I note that the salaries are given in $US purchasing power parity. How susceptible to exchange rate fluctuations is that?

    I also note that Finland is pretty much an equal positive outlier from the best fit. Given earlier comments about Finland, we must have a similar homogenous society to obtain such effective teaching…

    FM

    Comment by Fooman — March 21, 2012 @ 11:55 am

  2. Reviews of Treasury Forecasting perfomance are available see http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/informationreleases/forecastingperformance/reviews Long term fiscal analysis is also being tested with an external panel see http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/media-speeches/media/19mar12

    Now onto the point about high quality teachers its worth reading the actual Treasury which acknowledges that NZ does well in education for most students , but and this part is important to the education debate there are some groups that are underachieving and have continued to underachieve despite large increase in funding and other resources. It is the underachieving group that matters, the middle and upper class performing well less so although any country would want to ensure you kepp making progress on the gains already made.

    So as far as I can tell the evidence says yes Treasury benchmarks its forecasting and performs well in comparison to other forecasters.

    You might be right about the union versus Crown battle of single buyer versus single seller, resulting in ongoing head banging battles regardless of government make-up, none of whcih has anything to do with student achievement.

    So lets seperate student achievement debates out of the debate of whether one group can extract advantages out of another.

    So what are your suggestions about improving student achievement for the underachieving? You have to include fiscal constraints in your points otherwise we are just talking unicorns and magical money trees in the backyard.

    Comment by WH — March 21, 2012 @ 11:58 am

  3. The other thing about schools is everyone has been to one.

    This makes everyone from the head of treasury (went to school in another country entirely) to a semi-literate self-employed plumber done good (hated school) to a socialite pretty young thing from EGGS (didn’t learn a thing but mety her AGS hubby at the ball) to a retired angry person calling NewsTalk ZB (was last at school in 1956) an infallable expert on education policy.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 21, 2012 @ 11:59 am

  4. And just checking the original reference, a comment there makes a good point: The teacher salary variable should be normalised to the relevant countries median wage/salary/income, to give an idea of the “price” of achieving well taught kids.

    FM

    Comment by Fooman — March 21, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

  5. @WH. I think the point being made is that this focus on fixing our education is a misguided. Although there are large numbers of under-achievers, our teachers do deliver. Rather, the focus needs to be on the major dividing factor between high performing and low performing students, and that is, ironically in the words of Gabriel Makhlouf, that “whether your family was wealthy or poor had a greater influence on a child’s success at school than in most other developed countries”.

    Comment by nw — March 21, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

  6. I am deeply suspicious of the “hands off our wonderful teachers. They are above reproach” school of thought. As an ex- teacher myself and a parent, I would just note that teachers represent the normal bell curve of the population. There are a few that are exceptionally gifted. There are a few that are simply incompetent (and no effective way of moving them out) and the majority are pretty average.What else would we expect?
    And one size has never fitted all. We voted with our feet when it came to our children’s education and would do so again to seek the best outcomes for them. I notice that friends and contemporaries who didn’t vote with their feet usually lived in middle class suburbs with decile 8 to 10 schools close by. It is very easy to be liberal and tolerant in that sort of privileged enclave.

    Comment by AJ — March 21, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

  7. The so called ‘long tail’ of underachievers has been a fixture of the New Zealand education system for over a decade, so why is the Treasury only troubling itself with this issue now? There are no obvious solutions to an issue where socio-economic gradient and the preparedness of children for starting school are contributing factors.

    Comment by Plum — March 21, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

  8. @nw – no issues with that per se, however in the absence of other tools to address wealth due to current policy settings, what are your other tools to lift success for underachievers. Treasury rightly points out that the best teachers have a significantly greater effect on student achievement than the average teacher. If you can lift the quality of the average teacher then you have a better chance of helping the underachievers (again given current policy settings and avoiding conversations about unicorns and magic money trees).

    Comment by WH — March 21, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  9. The fact that Treasury has anything to say on how to fix education is bizarre. What the fuck would they know? Seriously? There’s a whole Ministry dedicated to Education. There are large numbers of people with degrees from the Faculty of Education at respected Universities.

    This brings home to me what a strange cult Treasury really is, that it would even consider itself fit to make public statements about fixing education. Is there no subject on which they don’t have the perfect and predictable answer, which is always exactly wrong?

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 21, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  10. @7 and @9 Treasury has concerned itself with education for many years now, human capital is recognised as a very important part of the Country and effects our long term wellbeing/living standards.

    @9 There are teams at Treasury and in other govt agencies/universities working on education and related issues, they also have large numbers of people with degrees from well respected universities. Is there something factual and useful you want to add to the conversation about underachievement or do you just want to lob grenades at the crowd as a new form of shooting the messenger. And most importantly how is there commentary wrong – evidence please, Treasury was kind enough to provide the basis for their analysis,

    Comment by WH — March 21, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

  11. Education is a running sore and constant political controversy in every democracy regardless of actual achievement levels. It’s like health in that respect – it can always be done better, because in even the smallest countries you can always find somebody who is losing out when you go looking.

    Education is even worse than health in some ways, though, because of the whole WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN thing.

    Comment by Hugh — March 21, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

  12. >most importantly how is there commentary wrong

    It’s wrong by the obvious fact that “Teacher quality”,defined as the ability of teachers to improve outcomes for students, leads to better outcomes for students, is true by definition, telling us nothing much that hasn’t been known for thousands of years. Leaping from that to therefore raising class sizes and “making teachers more accountable” as a solution does not follow at all. Is there a *shred* of proof that “making teachers more accountable” improves the average quality of teachers? Because that ideological leap is being used to justify increased class sizes, one of the main things that has been shown *time and time again* to *reduce* educational outcomes.

    In other words, this advice will reduce educational outcomes, if followed, unless something for which there is not a shred of proof other than Treasury’s blind belief, turns out to be true.

    >Treasury has concerned itself with education for many years now

    Aha, so *that’s* what’s been going wrong.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 21, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

  13. Even urban liberal self appointed defenders of the proletariat went to school so have an opinion … but seriously there is no reason why the education system should not be subjected to reviews and change, is there? Unless you prescribe to the view that it defn. ain’t broke and that is clearly untrue.

    Comment by merv — March 21, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

  14. The issue, merv, is that if you’re trying to fix the problem of poor kids failing school without fixing the fact that they’re poor when, in this country, that is proven to lead to generally worse relative life outcomes, then you’re going to achieve nothing. Unless of course what you’re trying to achieve doesn’t actually have it’s success dependent on more of NZ’s poor children doing better at school.

    Comment by Chris Bull — March 21, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

  15. That may be one cause but not the only cause, Chris, but I guess you are aware of that and are just avoiding the point that the education system is not special v.v. any other part of the apparatus of Governemnt and should be reviewed and improved from time to time.

    Comment by merv — March 21, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

  16. Now onto the point about high quality teachers its worth reading the actual Treasury which acknowledges that NZ does well in education for most students , but and this part is important to the education debate there are some groups that are underachieving and have continued to underachieve despite large increase in funding and other resources. It is the underachieving group that matters, the middle and upper class performing well less so although any country would want to ensure you kepp making progress on the gains already made.

    1. What Treasury knows about education is what anyone else with an opinion knows about education – not much. Its opinions should be treated accordingly.
    2. What Treasury does know damn well, is that the underachievement is to do with poverty, not with the quality of the teachers. However, fucking with the teachers is easier than coming up with some means of addressing poverty so that’s what they’re going with.
    3. Our existing education system works extremely well for most students, so Treasury suggests fucking around with exactly the bits that are currently working extremely well for most students? What imbecile would consider that a good idea?

    Comment by Psycho Milt — March 21, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

  17. I can’t shake the suspicion that the thing that needs to be ‘fixed’ about our education system is that it’s heavily unionised, and that the obsession with teacher accountability involves shifting their contracts and funding to individual schools rather than the Ministry of Education, thus handicapping the unions’ ability to negotiate.

    You can’t shake it because it’s an accurate assessment of the real drivers of the govt’s education policy.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — March 21, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  18. @ Merv – ‘there is no reason why the education system should not be subjected to reviews and change, is there?’

    The education system has been subjected to near constant change over the last decade – a new curriculum, NCEA, National Standards.. how about we let the last change settle in and be evaluated before more is introduced?

    Comment by Plum — March 21, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

  19. Strange that every change is rallied against by the education lobby groups (read unions) as being unnecessary and bad for kids (read union members).

    Comment by merv — March 21, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  20. “The issue, merv, is that if you’re trying to fix the problem of poor kids failing school without fixing the fact that they’re poor … then you’re going to achieve nothing.”

    +1

    Comment by Hugh — March 21, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

  21. While the bell curve issue can be true, most schools insist their teaching staff under go appraisals by senior management every year. These are generally NOT a rubber stamp affair. They look at a variety of factors including student engagement, not dissimilar to most industries KPI’s.
    The real difficulty is asessing the effectiveness of a teacher. How can you compare a Year 1 teacher in a decile 1 school, who takes a student who has never held a book before, to being just bleow cohrt level, but is still a failure according to national standards. Compared to a teacher in a decile 10 school, who’s students come already knowing their alphabet and writing their own name. Until that conundrum is solved, or the poverty levels that breed decile1 areas are nade redundant it is pretty much impossible.

    Comment by Stephen Doyle — March 21, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  22. +2!

    Answer “give more money to beneficiaries” = -1

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 21, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  23. I dunno bro last time I checked there was a direct correlation between having more money and being less poor

    Comment by Hugh — March 21, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  24. That man for head of Treasury!

    Comment by Gregor W — March 21, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

  25. Strange that every change is rallied against by the education lobby groups (read unions) as being unnecessary and bad for kids (read union members).

    Wow, every single change eh? You wouldn’t be pulling that ine out of your arse would you?

    More likely that’s just a conclusion you’ve arrived at because you have a problem with unions.

    Comment by The Green Blazer — March 21, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

  26. London School of Economics?

    Pravda might have been more reliable.

    Comment by Adolf Fiinkensein — March 21, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

  27. Every change quoted by Plum, yes, “a new curriculum, NCEA, National Standards.. “

    Comment by merv — March 21, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

  28. London School of Economics?

    Pravda might have been more reliable.

    Where do you think they went wrong in their methodology?

    Comment by danylmc — March 21, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

  29. The OECD’s ability to compare educational outcomes between countries shouldn’t be over-estimated. But even if we are near the top of the world, that doesn’t imply we’ll stay there without making changes. Education research is ongoing, and recommended best practices change. To give a concrete example, when NZ developed Reading Recovery we were leading the world. While the programme still has a clear positive effect, it’s been slow to adapt to new findings*, and there are newer programmes that appear to work just as well or better. Whether that’s related to South Korea’s kids surging ahead of ours I don’t know.

    Treasury should note the above relates to evidence-based reform, as opposed to logical-fallacy-based reform.

    *Main thing is that you need to follow up the initial interventions in later years or else a lot of kids fall behind again. Of course this costs $$$

    Comment by bradluen — March 21, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

  30. I keep hearing this argument (first heard it on ‘Waiting for Superman’ but it’s been parroted a lot since) that “if we got rid of/replaced the bottom 10% of teachers” we’d have this fantastic improvement in the education system.

    If we magically got rid of the bottom 10% of police we’d catch more criminals
    If we magically got rid of the bottom 10% of doctors we’d cure more illnesses.
    If we magically got rid of the bottom 10% of fishermen we’d catch more fish.
    If we magically got rid of the bottom 10% of politicians… …I won’t go there – but safe to say it’d be a good thing.

    I suspect the problems that exist with teacher performance is not that principals are unaware of their crap teachers and I don’t think they willingly hire crap teachers and keep them on for year after year compromising the education of hundreds of kids just because they are afraid of starting performance management or the union always wins (the facts will support that lots of teachers get ‘managed out’ and the union often loses). I suspect the bigger problem is that they don’t have a great bunch to pick from.

    Rather than arbitrary targets based on national standards (that ironically are not nationally standardised) how about a target around number of qualified applicants for each teaching job – you’d get much better teaching outcomes if every 1000 teacher vacancies had 3000 applicants rather than 1100 (do we even know what these number are?)

    The difference with this approach is that the approach would be different – it requires valuing and rewarding teaching as a profession rather than denigrating and scapegoating teachers for issues mostly out of their control.

    Comment by Richard29 — March 21, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

  31. Ahahaha – I just read what I posted…

    “The difference with this approach is that the approach would be different ”

    Well that statement is pretty profound😛

    You know what I mean (maybe).

    Comment by Richard29 — March 21, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

  32. How can you compare a Year 1 teacher in a decile 1 school, who takes a student who has never held a book before… to a teacher in a decile 10 school, who’s students come already knowing their alphabet and writing their own name. Until that conundrum is solved.

    It has been solved for nigh-on 200 years… Statistics; it works, bitches.

    Comment by Phil — March 21, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

  33. >The difference with this approach is that the approach would be different – it requires valuing and rewarding teaching as a profession rather than denigrating and scapegoating teachers for issues mostly out of their control.

    It might work if there were 3 times as many applicants as the number of teachers needed. Is this the case? If not, one way to achieve that might be to put teacher pay up substantially. I’d very much agree with doing that.

    >I suspect the bigger problem is that they don’t have a great bunch to pick from.

    If so, could that be related to being undervalued, by which I mean underpaid, by society?

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 21, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

  34. In Finland, teachers are highly paid, and teaching qualifications are difficult to get because of the high standards required of graduates. This removes of the challenges in assessing teachers across disparate schools: they only let the absolute cream graduate from teacher training in the first place, and then they leave those people to exercise their own judgement. Note Finland’s place on the graph.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/Why-Are-Finlands-Schools-Successful.html

    Perhaps one day in NZ we’ll pay teachers enough that ambitious motivated people will have economic incentives to prefer a BEd to a BCA. One day.

    Comment by Stephen J — March 21, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

  35. ““The difference with this approach is that the approach would be different ”

    Well that statement is pretty profound ”

    Have you considered a career in the public service? You’d go far

    Comment by Hugh — March 21, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

  36. The chart shows that there is a strong relationship between educational performance and pay but, particularly at the higher performance levels, the variance is strongly influenced by other factors.

    Comment by tinakori — March 21, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

  37. “I suspect the bigger problem is that they don’t have a great bunch to pick from. ”

    Wait, so how did we end up at the point that teachers are bad in NZ? I thought the evidence was that our teachers do a pretty good job, especially given how little we spend on education compared to other countries. Do we actually have conclusive evidence that NZ teachers are actually a really average bunch? Or that lots of them are bad? Where is this research?

    “socialite pretty young thing from EGGS (didn’t learn a thing but mety her AGS hubby at the ball)”

    What century are you living in? Don’t you mean the pretty young thing from Kings who doesn’t know a thing but meets his (high achieving, top of the class) wife from EGGs at the ball who then goes on to become a lawyer and provide for them both?

    Comment by Amy — March 21, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

  38. “I’d really love to see how Treasury’s forecasts stack up when compared to the accuracy of Finance Ministries in comparable countries”

    http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/jfrankel/BudgetForecastOxfordREP2011.doc

    The NZ Treasury was one of the few that persistently under-estimated the fiscal balance in the last decade. So perhaps you could call them plonkers, just not in the direction that your cheap shot was intended.

    Comment by Miguel Sanchez — March 21, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

  39. #30 and #33
    Actually there is an oversupply of teaching graduates, less than half of secondary teaching grads from my course got jobs in the last two years. These are people with degrees and postgrad teaching qualifications. They are competing with experienced, long-serving teachers for jobs and dipping out. Of the new grads who get jobs, at least a third leave the profession in the first five years. Why? Because teaching is hard. Young male teachers have a better chance because secondary schools need blokes to deal with the brawls and violence brought into schools by students or brought to the school gate by others looking for trouble.This isn’t discrimination – it’s hard, cold reality.

    One point – when ncea came in, there was an exodus of teachers from the profession. This resulted in distortions such as primary-trained teachers getting jobs in secondary schools. In theory, they are supported by professional development courses and opportunities for study leave. Sometimes primary trainees do really well in secondary, particularly in year 9 & 10 (3rd & 4th form) classes. They are less able in senior specialist subjects and it is commonplace to find teachers working in subject areas for which they do not have degrees or specialised knowledge. Teachers who can successfully manage classes and engage students are highly valued and this often trumps qualifications – you might be Mensa material with a PhD in maths but if you can’t engage, inspire and manage students, it’s not worth much in a classroom.

    Comment by Kerry — March 21, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

  40. “…Don’t you mean the pretty young thing from Kings who doesn’t know a thing but meets his (high achieving, top of the class) wife from EGGs…”

    No.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 21, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

  41. Since when has Treasury got anything right?

    Comment by peterlepaysan — March 21, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

  42. “How can you compare a Year 1 teacher in a decile 1 school, who takes a student who has never held a book before… to a teacher in a decile 10 school, who’s students come already knowing their alphabet and writing their own name. Until that conundrum is solved.”

    Phil replied “It has been solved for nigh-on 200 years… Statistics; it works, bitches.”

    No, statistics does not enable you to meaningfully compare them. It merely enables you to distinguish between them for the purpose of avoiding comparing them. tis different.

    Comment by kahikatea — March 21, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

  43. It’s kind of funny because I actually did know a pretty young thing who went to Kings, who didn’t learn a thing but inherited his father’s company anyway (it’s good to be a guy, huh?). I also knew several high achieving lawyers who went to EGGs. But obviously that’s not the reality the middle aged men on this blog live in. Also, if you want your daughter to be a pretty young socialite, surely you’d send her to Diocesan or St Cuths? Get an eating disorder thrown in for free. Or why not just cut out the middle man and send her straight to Kings.

    Comment by Amy — March 21, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

  44. Pinched this from Rightandleft:
    “The studies which found class size had very little effect on student outcomes were seriously flawed. They were conducted by having teachers use the exact same methods and lessons for classes with different numbers of students. They found the students had very similar results regardless of how many were in the class. But the whole point of having smaller class size is it allows teachers to use different, more effective methods. Research has also found that the most important thing a teacher can do in the class is give individual feedback to students. The more individual feedback per student, per class, the better the student outcomes. To me that seems like a pretty common sense result. It also doesn’t take a genius to see that increased class size inevitably means less feedback per student, which means poorer outcomes.”

    Comment by xianmac — March 21, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

  45. Public education once worked reasonably well. Then it became a socialist immersion process where actual education takes a back seat to “socialisation”. (a situation that explains the banality of most of the comments on this blog)

    Its just one more in a long line of public institutions that have fallen victim to the socialist political machine and subsequently rendered worthless in terms of their true purpose.

    One of the worst aspects of the education system is that we continue to accept the lies of the socialists running it. Those lies that say the system is working, and producing world class results. Anyone not blinded by socialist blinkers knows well this is utter bullshit.

    Reminds me of the lies about the Cuban Health and Education sector and its claimed successes, whereas every time these claims have been really tested they have failed. The so called results underpinning the claims are fake, politically motivated, and produced by dedicated communists rather than real educationalists.

    Public education today is a politicized farce,a fraud, a failure and a stain upon western civilization. Made so by way of the left turning it into a political tool. It won’t improve until the socialists are banished from our political landscape.

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 22, 2012 @ 4:04 am

  46. Stalin socialist cultural marxist communist fraud machine tool Cuba. Yawn.

    Oh dear. Why have you decided to take up residence here Redbaiter? I mean, you’ve had this decade long hate-inspired “strategy” for reforming the world, which admittedly has failed dismally, but it’s hard to see how boring people half to death by repeating the same nonsense day after day after day to people who consider you potty is going to improve matters for you.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — March 22, 2012 @ 6:42 am

  47. Public education once worked reasonably well. Then it became a socialist immersion process…

    Kind of ironic given that the system that “once worked reasonably well” before the socialists got to it was largely set up by Beeby under the first Labour govt (people who actually were socialists, unlike the fantasy socialists populating Redbaiter’s delusions).

    Comment by Psycho Milt — March 22, 2012 @ 6:47 am

  48. Guy Smiley, you keep placing stuff on this board that says nothing. Why bother writing it?

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 22, 2012 @ 8:30 am

  49. “people who actually were socialists,”

    Yes they were in a sense Milt, but they were not cultural Marxists. (like you)

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 22, 2012 @ 9:22 am

  50. I think a lot of people have missed the point of this report, which is fair enough as it was only immediately obvious to me as I knew the result of the report before it had actually completed – I had learnt a month or so ago (through the friend’s network) that Treasury had commissioned a report intended to show that increased class sizes didn’t matter. Leaving aside the obvious failures inherent in prestating a conclusion, I was interested in how they could possibly do this given that class sizes obviously do have an effect on teacher’s ability to reach every child.

    Never underestimate the Treasury’s ability to make reports – while admitting that the class size does have an effect, the report concentrated on the point that an amazing teacher with a large class would achieve better results than an incompetent teacher with a small class. The report then made the required conclusion (although it was still an intellectual stretch) that class sizes should thus increase, which would then result in all teachers becoming amazing teachers. Exactly how the “freed up” money from increased class sizes would succeed in doing this, or how the teacher’s competency levels could be assessed is of course not clearly defined, but what can be immediately actionable is the required increase in class sizes to achieve this wondrous outcome.

    Well played Treasury, well played.

    Comment by tieke — March 22, 2012 @ 9:28 am

  51. @Kerry @39 Interesting. I’d heard that this was the case. It does suggest that there are some rather broken aspects of teacher training – the high drop out rate is very wasteful, and suggests that anything that could be done to pre-vet candidates would be very much worthwhile. I think this was the idea behind the idea of parachuting people into classes after only a short course – essentially it quickly weeds out those who didn’t really know what to expect with teaching and are likely to drop out later on anyway, after a long expensive training course. So long as they are still given the full rounded teacher training in due course, it seems like a very good idea to me, a form of apprenticeship, rather than an academic subject divorced from the reality of the actual business, which comes as a sudden shock to many.

    In terms of there not being enough work locally, presumably there are multiple causes. Firstly, increasing the student/teacher ratio means there simply is actually less work to do (although the people doing the work are being worked harder, and pastoral care starts disappearing). Secondly, the presumption that the training is so that teachers will work locally is not necessarily accepted at the political level, or at the level of educational institutions decision making, or even in the minds of the candidates. If you buy into the idea of education as an export market, then you have to accept that a lot of the graduates are going to end up exporting themselves. Not that I think that idea is sound at all, it’s publicly funding the training of teachers for other countries, and losing valuable taxpaying citizens, but I do acknowledge that a lot of people think this way.

    I’ve made numerous comments on how I don’t think services are a sound export market to be investing in. Teaching is a particularly strong example of a poor outcome there.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 22, 2012 @ 9:34 am

  52. redbaiter flies the flag of racist slaveocrats, what a mystery

    Comment by Trouble Man — March 22, 2012 @ 9:38 am

  53. When anyone mentions “austerity” I generally reply with “unsustainable tax cuts”. The naitonal Party has done the same thing the GOP did in the US:

    1. Cut tax cuts.
    2. Watch deficit grow like crazy.
    3. Use deficit you created to justify privatising services, gutting unions, lowering wages. reducing working conditions and selling state assets.
    4. Job done.

    Of course most of it – perhaps even all – didn’t need to happen if taxes hadn’t been cut.

    But then job growth in China would have slowed ever so slightly had we done that.

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — March 22, 2012 @ 11:03 am

  54. Re: comment 52: Flying fingers of chaos strike again. I hope you all get my drift.

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — March 22, 2012 @ 11:04 am

  55. Rush Limbaugh’s timely address, today-

    The Silent Majority About To Explode (On education and other things)

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/03/21/the_silent_majority_is_about_to_explode

    I know you’ll all love it.

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 22, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  56. “Silent majority” arguments are the signs of a deluded thought process.

    They’re silent. That means you don’t know what they think. If you are claiming to sbe peaking on behalf of them, you are by definition not a part of them. There is no reason at all to believe that members of the silent majority agree with each other, let alone some blowhard.

    Just the leave the poor silent buggers out of it and frame an argument with, I don’t know, evidence?

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — March 22, 2012 @ 11:22 am

  57. ““Silent majority” arguments are the signs of a deluded thought process.”

    Wow, coming from a socialist, that’s really so great.

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 22, 2012 @ 11:33 am

  58. Red – As an atheist I fully approve of not forcing everyone to observe Christian (and in the US, Jewish) holidays. Let’s hold secular holidays instead. Religion is a private matter and should not be forced onto other people.

    Comment by Me Too — March 22, 2012 @ 11:35 am

  59. redbaiter what do you actually think a socialist is

    hint: since you live in the first world, it’s you

    Comment by Trouble Man — March 22, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  60. “Wow, coming from a socialist, that’s really so great.”

    Awesome.

    So tell me then, aside from pure projection on your part, how do you know what this so called silent majority thinks?

    You’ve told me before that they’ll have me swinging from a lamp post. And yet, and yet.

    There have been many many elections where the silent majority have elected damn socialits with all their book learnin and what not. I assume this is due to the cultural marxism and the brain washing and so on.

    I want to understand how it is that society can be, at the same time, a brainwashed mass of sheeple deluded by the socialistic machinations of the marxist teachers and all that, and, totally unfooled by the marxists and about to overthrow them, any day now.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — March 22, 2012 @ 11:44 am

  61. Point of information Me Too: there are no Jewish holidays observed in federal or state level in the US. That is an odd thing for you to have said. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_holidays_in_the_United_States

    Comment by Stephen J — March 22, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

  62. Stephen J – I was referring to the Rush Limbaugh link, where Mr Limbaugh talks about universities no longer closing for religious holidays – including Jewish ones.

    Comment by Me Too — March 22, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

  63. redbaiter: Please return to your Kiwiblog lair; I’m sure your delightfully though out quips and linking to dehumanising, hate-inspired, selfish and thankfully soon to be redundant pundits will receive a much more appreciative audience there.

    You’ll be happier and so will we.

    Comment by Luke — March 22, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  64. Troll aside; back on topic:

    I believe we can address poverty in the school environment by again following Finland’s excellent (and proven lead)

    “Since the 1980s, the main driver of Finnish education policy has been the idea that every child should have exactly the same opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, income, or geographic location. Education has been seen first and foremost not as a way to produce star performers, but as an instrument to even out social inequality.

    In the Finnish view, as Sahlberg describes it, this means that schools should be healthy, safe environments for children. This starts with the basics. Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling, and individualized student guidance.”

    From: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/

    Comment by Luke — March 22, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  65. “Education has been seen first and foremost not as a way to produce star performers, but as an instrument to even out social inequality.”

    Well there you go. Stuffed up by the commies, just as I said.

    BTW, there is no such thing as a “free” school meal.

    “Social equality” too is an infantile concept.

    Funny ain’t it, how all you super intelligent well educated socialists use the same jargon as second hand car salesmen, and talk in such child-like terms.

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 22, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

  66. “Funny ain’t it, how all you super intelligent well educated socialists use the same jargon as second hand car salesmen”

    Yeah, I hate it when I go to buy a second hand car and the salesman spends all his time talking about social equality.

    Comment by Hugh — March 22, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

  67. I’ve come to the conclusion that Redbaiter is akin to a boring, fairly cracked, quasi-fascist Hodor.
    His response to any statement appears to be “Socialists!”

    Comment by Gregor W — March 22, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

  68. “I’ve come to the conclusion that Redbaiter is akin to a boring, fairly cracked, quasi-fascist Hodor.”

    Except I can’t imagine RedB being gentle.

    Comment by Me Too — March 22, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  69. Something like this maybe:

    Comment by Hugh — March 22, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  70. “…It’s kind of funny because I actually did know a pretty young thing who went to Kings,…blah blah blah…”

    How about I rewrite things for you then?

    This makes everyone from the head of treasury (went to school in another country entirely, but that OK, other countries have great school systems) to a semi-literate self-employed plumber done good (hated school , not that for a minute I am claiming that plumbers – or indeed any tradesperson or even perhaps producer of cheesey commestibles – are automatically undiagnosed dsylexics who couldn’t read at school) to a socialite pretty young thing from EGGS (didn’t learn a thing but mety her AGS hubby at the ball, which is not to suggest for a moment that the stereotype EGGS girl’s reputation isn’t potentially simply that and plenty of EGGS girls go on the fruitful and well paid careers in fashionable white collar environments) to a retired angry person calling NewsTalk ZB (was last at school in 1956, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be repositiories of eternal wisdom and keepers of eternal truths about lifes learning journey) an infallable expert on education policy.

    Happy now?

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 22, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

  71. “Stuffed up by the commies, just as I said.”

    Except, Russell, it’s demonstrably not been stuffed up, by stalinist cultural marxist commie scum or anyone else. You really are quite slow aren’t you?

    Comment by Guy Smiley — March 22, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

  72. Merv “Strange that every change is rallied against by the education lobby groups (read unions) as being unnecessary and bad for kids (read union members).”
    Nope. Mixed on NCEA- some for, some against.
    New primary curriculum: almost universally acclaimed. (It’s the envy of teachers all round the world)
    National standards- introducing a sort of low-grade managerialism into primary schools and completely under-cutting said well-liked curriculum- almost universally opposed.
    Just for the record🙂

    Comment by rob stowell — March 22, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

  73. 🙂

    Nasty little commie cowards like you are not important anymore Guy. The real offensive now has to shift to the forces who pretend to be different but are really just the same.

    The National Party in NZ and The Republicans in the US. The UK Conservatives. All traitors and treasonists..They’re the real problem, and the problem that really needs fixing. And it will be fixed, believe me.

    Once those parties are refomed, dirty little commie subversives like you will be gradually removed from all of our public institutions over the next 30 years. From our schools, from our media, from our entertainment sources, from our bureaucracy and our government.

    You’re time is over. So you can spit your pathetic little sacs of venom at people on message boards like this, but it just makes me smile, for I know that you know its over, and that is what is making you so nasty.

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 23, 2012 @ 7:07 am

  74. “Your” time. It’s your time that is over Guy.

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 23, 2012 @ 7:10 am

  75. “The National Party in NZ and The (sic) Republicans in the US. The UK Conservatives (sic). All traitors and treasonists.. (sic) They’re the real problem, and the problem that really needs fixing. And it will be fixed, believe me.”

    Goodness Russell. How are you going to fix them? Please set out your (see what I did there) plans. You were dead keen on second amendment solutions recently. You’ll have to round up a posse. Good luck with that.

    If the real barrier to savage conservative nirvana is the right then you’re (see what I did there) not exactly using your (see what I did there) time productively shrieking abuse in here are you boy?

    Comment by Guy Smiley — March 23, 2012 @ 7:26 am

  76. Yin meets Yang. How sweet. You two weirdo’s toddle off and find a room m’kay.

    Comment by merv — March 23, 2012 @ 8:25 am

  77. “not exactly using your (see what I did there) time productively shrieking abuse in here are you boy?”

    It’s not just me, as you well know Guy. Its the message I and millions of others like me put out. That’s why whenever we come on a site like this there is wailing and passionate cries for censorship, from socialist goons like you and Luke for example.

    And if I can cause the kind of rage and venom I see emanating from you today (and yesterday) in just one of your kind Guy, its has just made my day for me.

    Its all productive, because every word we utter brings your political demise and your current global hegemony a step closer.

    Why else would you be expressing such bitterness and hate?

    Suck it up Guy, you, with your pathetic, childish and half smart assumption of a name sourced from exact;y where one would expect, are done.

    Have a good day. 🙂

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 23, 2012 @ 8:35 am

  78. Correction- “Its all productive, because every word we utter brings your political demise and THE DEMISE OF your current global hegemony a step closer.”

    We’re right Guy, that is why we will prevail.

    Right in the end always does.

    Your Potemkin village built on lies and deceit is about to slowly crumble, right before your eyes.

    And all you can do is watch and squeal and whine.
    🙂 🙂

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 23, 2012 @ 8:39 am

  79. Hey Redbaiter.

    Rush Limbaugh called. He wants his prescription opiates and tinfoil hat back.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 23, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  80. I think we just have to take Red on his word that he is working industriously for the great reclaiming and only comes here to cut us to the quick with his savagely pointed criticisms on his tea breaks. (While also finding time to be productively self-employed without ever taking a handout from the government – where does he find the time?)

    Comment by Hugh — March 23, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  81. “every word we utter brings your political demise and THE DEMISE OF your current global hegemony a step closer”
    So if I read TWO books to my child every evening, it will hasten the victory! Suck that up, commies…

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 23, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

  82. It’s not just me, as you well know Guy. Its the message I and millions of others like me put out

    I wouldn’t fuck you.

    Comment by Phil — March 23, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

  83. Phil, he must be referring to Cactus.

    Comment by Simon Poole — March 23, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

  84. “23.I dunno bro last time I checked there was a direct correlation between having more money and being less poor – Comment by Hugh — March 21, 2012 @ 3:02 pm”

    I dunno bro, last time I checked there was a direct correlation between not having to work for a living and not being able to work for a living.
    Hows about we fix the high marginal effective tax rates that beneficiaries face? Let’s let them work without slashing their benefit, eh? (Yep, I’m on about the Big Kahuna again. Sorries.)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 23, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  85. @Fist: Ah yes, the old “unemployed people just aren’t motivated enough to find jobs” chestnut.

    Comment by Hugh — March 23, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

  86. To be fair Hugh, starvation is a very effective motivator for labour.

    Now be a good chap and bring round my horse-less motor-carriage.
    I’m off to tour my dark satanic mills.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 23, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  87. “whenever we come on a site like this there is wailing and passionate cries for censorship….”

    That’s not only a lie, Russell, but laughably hypocritical given that you never tolerated any form of dissent at the Anders Breivik fanzone you called a blog.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — March 23, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

  88. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/6629986/Rewards-for-quality-teachers

    finally announced after all the drip-feeding to the media

    Comment by HB — March 24, 2012 @ 9:40 am

  89. Such impotent flailing is so good to observe.

    When I first started writing on the internet, I expressed much the same views as I did today, and I was widely reviled by all and sundry. Because I was the only one.

    Since then, I have witnessed an amazing renaissance of anti-socialist expression. All over the globe, its anti-socilaist opinion that is attracting the most attention. It’s a force that has grown a million fold on what used to exist.

    We’re seeing two things as a result of this- 1) Although there is still along way to go, socialism continues to fall out of favour. We all know that the break in the dam is not far away.

    2) The left are intensifying their efforts to preserve their decaying system. All over the globe they’re indulging in tyrannical acts aimed at stemming the tide of criticism, using the power of government to shut down free speech. With the LA city council’s attacks on Rush Limbaugh just the latest example.

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/03/22/city-council-oks-resolution-urging-media-to-curb-racist-sexist-slurs/

    They can’t stop it. All these acts do, (including the sneering insipid smug and hate driven comments from the likes of you and others on this forum Guy) is awaken people to who the left really are, and remind them of their historic legacy of murder and tyranny and totalitarianism.

    So struggle on Guy, you oily disgusting lilttle subversive rat. Enjoy it while you can. But you’re not going to kill and jail and suppress like you have in the past. This time, we’re more than ready for you.

    In fact, we’re only just getting warmed up. There’s a lot more free speech coming your way Guy, and there’s SFA you can do about it.

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 24, 2012 @ 10:01 am

  90. “including the sneering insipid smug and hate driven comments from the likes of you and others on this forum”

    I know you’re just a little girl, Redbaiter, but you are by far and away the leading stockist of hate-fuelled abusive and largely deranged commentary on this and pretty much any blog I’ve encountered you on anywhere on these here cyber-prairies. Please stop weeping about how everybody hates you. You’re welcome to your free speech it’s just that some of us prefer a little more sanity in our reading material and would prefer you go back to whatever sewer you were slithering about in before you suddenly decided to make the Dim Post your new favourite place.

    “Since then, I have witnessed an amazing renaissance of anti-socialist expression”

    Yes, renaissance.. sure…

    you are a funny and sad deluded little person

    Comment by nommopilot — March 24, 2012 @ 11:03 am

  91. Wait all of this was just to introduce performance pay? That’s not as bad as it could have been.

    (by which I mean it’s something that has been tried and has failed again and again in the US, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars, but is not otherwise actively destructive as long as the development is led by teachers, which it won’t be)

    Comment by bradluen — March 24, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

  92. “85.@Fist: Ah yes, the old “unemployed people just aren’t motivated enough to find jobs” chestnut. – Comment by Hugh — March 23, 2012 @ 2:21 pm”

    Actually, my chestnut was the one about intergenerational dependency.

    I notice how superannuitants are not stigmatised as beneficiaries. Imagine if we were all paid a citizen wage. And instead of abatements, we all simply paid flat tax of 25/28/30% (whatever), on all our other income (other than the citizen wage) including capital gains and other comprehensive taxes. Look at how many superannuitants choose to work (sure, there are some that HAVE to work).
    Forcing people to work is a bit like nagging: it doesn’t work. It simply creates stress. But if a solo mum chooses to work a few hours on a few days a week, other than paying a flat rate of tax, she is not penalised by abatements that can run to 60% (and I think it has been reported that someone faced a 110% effective marginal tax rate if they were to take on work).

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 24, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

  93. Wow Nommo, with three fresh posts in front of this one, and 89 comments to scroll down through on this thread, you were apparently still compelled to seek out my contribution, and write a response to it.

    You should call the cops on that guy who’s holding the gun at your head and forcing you to do these things.

    He must be some kind of utterly cruel bastard.

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 24, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  94. “Wow Nommo, with three fresh posts in front of this one, and 89 comments to scroll down through on this thread, you were apparently still compelled to seek out my contribution, and write a response to it.”

    Some truthiness here. RB is quite read-worthy I believe. His word choices are often interesting, his sentence structures often quite pleasant, and his meter consistent. I for one do seek out the occasional RB comment because frankly they’re quite good to read.

    His intent, his reasoning and his world view are clearly nuts, like a guy who insists some poor innocent woman is Olivia Hope; not unfit to stand trial, but mad nonetheless, however, plenty of artists were/are quite mad.

    Comment by Aztec — March 24, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  95. “Such impotent flailing is so good to observe.”

    You’re well placed to recognise impotent flailing given the nil-return your paranoid shrieks have produced over the last decade.

    “When I first started writing on the internet, I expressed much the same views as I did today, and I was widely reviled by all and sundry. Because I was the only one.”

    What you do isn’t really writing or expression. It’s simply hysterical reaction drive by fear and hatred. And let’s stop kidding ourselves shall we? Angry, aging, sterile right wing fucktards with substance abuse issues have always been with us in large numbers. You’re not special, except that most of the other fucktards aren’t quite as OCD as you.

    “So struggle on Guy…”

    Thanks, but I’m not struggling, I’m laughing at you. Never change.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — March 24, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  96. It’s an interesting experience opening two tabs and flipping between this thread and http://verydemotivational.memebase.com I’m hoping that Mr Baiter keeps going, personally.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — March 24, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

  97. “I’m hoping that Mr Baiter keeps going, personally.”

    Well, I’m truly sorry I can’t satisfy that hope Rhino, but the same old same old stuff coming from Guy and his acolytes is just so yawn inducing I’m totally lost for inspiration.

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 24, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

  98. I’d declare victory if Russell wasn’t an inveterate liar.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — March 24, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

  99. “I’m totally lost for inspiration.”

    Run out of P?

    Comment by nommopilot — March 24, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

  100. Guy, I don’t think that either “victory” or “liar” have any usefulness in this context. “Victory” assumes a competition according to mutually agreed-upon (or at least understood) rules and criteria while “liar” assumes a clear, likewise mutual understanding of absolute and intended truth and falsehood and furthermore, the outcome of the debate must be at least potentially open while the parameters remain constant. However, Mr Baiter has already decided the outcome on his terms: everyone who opposes him is a “socialist” and “socialism”=evil/stupidity/bad dress sense. He then goes through his mental gymnastics to see how whatever it is anyone says leads to this conclusions.

    Naturally, the line of “reasoning” that leads from “I like ice cream” to “I am an evil gay Jewish North Korean Freemason feminazi socialist who wants to oppress the world while eating as many deep-fried babyburgers as possible” can be as twisted as an epileptic snake on LSD and even M C Escher couldn’t depict that clearly, so in order to prevent his brain imploding, he’ll slip to his scatological default.

    I wouldn’t even say that he’s arguing in bad faith – ie., moving the goalposts – because as I have alluded above, the appearance of anyone on the field, in his mind, is a goal for him.

    Most trolls go into a debate with no end in mind, simply the process of riling people. Mr Baiter wants to be opposed because it proves to him that he is, on his obscure terms, “right.” He is, in effect, the most purely instinctive troll around, so instinctive that he’s almost if not completely reflexive. Sadly, he simply doesn’t have the intellectual ability to meet the task he has unconsciously set himself, hence his fallback into first, repetitive spasms of swearing (he should take some lessons from R. Lee Ermey, I feel) or simply, “Bored now.”

    You may as well declare victory of a puddle or deem it wet. Instead, think of the range of responses that are appropriate not to an ideologue of opposing colour, but an individual technically called a “raving loon”. You can ignore him until he goes away, you can poke him with a sharp stick and see what noises he makes for your entertainment, you can treat him like a child who has become so wrapped up in the pretence that they are a pirate, they can’t possibly abandon it by either smiling and patting them on the head and asking what sort of adventures he has in pirate-land or you can play along and declare that you are an Admiral of the Royal Navy, charged by Queen Anne to rid the seas of his sort and charge in, playing along for fun.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — March 24, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

  101. That was beautiful, thanks Rhino.

    The sharp stick appeals.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — March 24, 2012 @ 7:50 pm

  102. No, it is not “beautiful” – in the last paragraph at least, “of” should be “over” and I’m sure that I’ve misplaced a comma or two.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — March 24, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

  103. Wow, so many words.

    Such a sterling effort.

    I’m just so damn honoured.

    Here I was thinking I was nothing to you.

    Anyway, Queensland.. what a hiding for you guys..!!
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Suck it up commies.

    More to come.

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 25, 2012 @ 12:00 am

  104. XF: “Forcing people to work is a bit like nagging: it doesn’t work. It simply creates stress. But if a solo mum chooses to work a few hours on a few days a week, other than paying a flat rate of tax, she is not penalised by abatements that can run to 60% (and I think it has been reported that someone faced a 110% effective marginal tax rate if they were to take on work).”

    Indeed. The whole point is about making work pay. Work-for-the-dole and other “faith-based” retreads are fixated on attacking the symptom, which is structural unemployment. Throw in other complex factors like machines replacing manual labour and doing the job more efficiently, offshoring (which is affecting even the white collars), the Wall Street system becoming a law unto itself, and so on.

    Comment by deepred — March 25, 2012 @ 12:21 am

  105. Here I was thinking I was nothing to you.

    Oh no, you’re not nothing. You’re a specimen.

    I do know that you mean to be ironic in saying that, but you do nonetheless demonstrate your neediness. You want to be opposed – it’s the only thing that validates you in your own mind.

    you guys..!!

    The plural is appropriate, but fails to suggest the magnitude of the entire human species, since by your stated measure the nominally “right” are Marxists and even the Nazis are too left wing, since the word is an acronym of “Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.” There are a lot of us relatively leftish sorts still alive – about seven billion or more currently, I gather, but the dead vastly outnumber the living, and the Great Green Arkleseizure alone knows how many have lived in total. Considering recent discoveries regarding the genetic legacy of the Neanderthals and Denisovans, counting the total number of “people” in “our species” might be a very uncertain endeavour indeed.

    However, looking a bit deeper into that, since the “mainstream” right are themselves “treasonists” corrupted by Marxism, the electoral defeat of one group of Marxists by another group of Marxists is meaningless unless the electorally victorious nominally right wing party are not actually Marxists – but since you’ve said that such types are still effectively Marxists, there has been no defeat after all – it’s simply the Judean People’s Front defeating the People’s Front of Judea, while the invisible anticommunists are… somewhere. By your terms, some Marxists have been defeated by other Marxists. What lesson is to be drawn from that?

    Anyway, whatever that might mean, I must admit that logical argument, or trying to find logical inconsistencies misses the point. It’s merely idle, almost aesthetic, observation and I can’t say that I’m observing in a professional capacity, not being a qualified psychiatrist.

    More to come.

    Thank you, and keep up the good work. I didn’t mean what I wrote to be a sharp stick (it wasn’t addressed to you), but it provoked a squeak anyway, as I expected it would. If I may make a request, could you offer perhaps an analysis based on race or sex as well? Your opinion on former ACT publicist Ansel’s gender-typing will do for starters. It’ll be useful for calibration.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — March 25, 2012 @ 1:43 am

  106. I can’t satisfy that hope … I’m totally lost for inspiration

    Apparently I’ve provided that inspiration. Better than P, I am, Nommopilot!

    Now, for fun, here’s a paradox: either Mr Baiter replies, proving his neediness; or he does not, demonstrating that he lied. However, as I said, I don’t think that the concept of lying is quite appropriate as a criterion in judging someone who treats the truth so contingently… so, yes, I am cheating a bit with the setup.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — March 25, 2012 @ 2:02 am

  107. “Here I was thinking I was nothing to you.”

    So many lies Russell. Narcissism being one of your myriad of psychopathologies, you think that everyone is obsessed with you.

    And why do you think that a bunch of Stalinists beating a bunch of Maoists in Queensland is worth you squawking about?

    Comment by Guy Smiley — March 25, 2012 @ 7:08 am

  108. Really puzzling that so many words can be written in response to such a short and casual observation.

    You guys must care so much…!!!!

    Maybe I’ll read it one day if I get supremely bored. Sorry, but lack the interest right now.

    ..and there you go with your usual unethical behaviour.

    Same old Stalinist stuff.

    Allegations of lying?

    Never an example of course. Just the same old groundless smear tactic that is always part of the left’s damaged psyche.

    You guys are always so much and so disappointingly the same.

    So predictable. So contemptible.

    Have a good day.

    Queensland was good though wasn’t it?
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 25, 2012 @ 8:13 am

  109. You’re really an odd wee obsessive aren’t you Russell?

    Why was Queensland so good for you again? Communists defeating communists doesn’t really do it for you surely?

    Comment by Guy Smiley — March 25, 2012 @ 8:49 am

  110. Its good for two things-

    1) it demonstrates that the system of lies and propaganda that underpins socialist tyranny are losing their effect, and-

    2) It gets right under the skin of cowardly innately unethical commie scum like you.

    Have a good day loser.
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 25, 2012 @ 8:59 am

  111. Poor, confused Russell. You just can’t help yourself can you?

    Your first point’s false by your own admission (they’re all commies after all), and I’m afraid a minor Australian state moving from red to blue doesn’t register.

    0-2. You have a good day too, you dull, lying, obsessive, sociopathic, impotent, lonely old bottom-feeder.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — March 25, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  112. Thank you, DM, for donating this post for use as playpen for RB and those who choose to do mudwrestling with him, leaving the rest of your site for adults

    Comment by Leopold — March 25, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  113. Thanks for joining in Leopold.

    Always room for another dumbfuck blindly hypocritical commie academic type of mudwrestler..

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 25, 2012 @ 11:56 am

  114. In order to raise the calibre of this thread’s discourse, I call for a round of I know you are, you said you are, but what am I?

    Suck that commies!

    Comment by Gregor W — March 26, 2012 @ 9:08 am

  115. FIN.

    Comment by merv — March 26, 2012 @ 9:30 am

  116. I call a clear win for Redbaiter. Anyone who engaged with him lost, before they even began. I hope the lesson was learned.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 26, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  117. “Anyone who engaged with him lost”

    I think retardedness was the winner on the day

    Comment by nommopilot — March 26, 2012 @ 11:08 am

  118. You are all missing the point.
    The problem is not the 75% of students who comemout of the system OK – its the other 25% – they cost all of us for the rest of their lives – welfare, health, prison, councelling, housing, etc.

    And the reason they are such a cost is that they cant read or write. And it starts in the primary system.

    In the primary system they think everything is equally important – taking school trips to kelly tarltons is rated up there with the ability to read and write. But thats where the basis is wrong.
    And I hope one the things to come out of National Standards is that kids will not go on until they meet the required level.
    I know guys who tried 3 times to get school cert – they finally got it and they are now a successful contributing members of society. The current ‘no-fail’ system just pushes them on and if they cant do the next level – they fall way behind – and into the welfare etc system.
    Thats why treasury is commenting – not because they know anything about education – but because they have been taught to count – and they have been counting the cost of kids who failed in the education system.

    Comment by Barry — March 26, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

  119. >Thats why treasury is commenting – not because they know anything about education – but because they have been taught to count – and they have been counting the cost of kids who failed in the education system.

    Yes, although they’re ignoring the main and obvious cause of the long tail, which is down mostly to differences in income. This began before education, and has causes that have little to do with the quality of the teaching and more to do with things like empty stomachs, bad clothes, neglect at home, poor health, etc. You can’t “count away” these differences, and hacking into the education system that provides very good outcomes for people who aren’t suffering from these things is not going to work. In fact, by ignoring the root cause, poverty, this crap from Treasury is causing more damage than anything it is attempting to solve.

    That’s quite aside from the completely unproven ideas Treasury have about improving teacher quality, and the *ridiculous* use of those ideas to justify something that is KNOWN to cause bad outcomes – increasing class sizes.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 26, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

  120. #118 @ Barry
    Good point about literacy – there is a case to be made for entry to high school being dependent on attaining the necessary degree of literacy and there are various tests that measure that, such as Asttle and PAT. Right at that point there should be intensive literacy programmes available to ALL who need them. There is a noticeable co-relation between disruptive behaviour and poor literacy skills at high school level.

    Worth noting: Teachers are expected to offer a “differentiated” approach to learning. In the classroom, this means that instead of your lessons being pitched at the midpoint of your students’ ability range, they must be differentiated to suit all students and their individual academic ability, literacy level, whether they have any disabilities, language difficulties, are new migrants, have behavioural problems etc.

    So: that one lesson becomes subdivided to catch every student at their individual level. You can imagine that in a class of 30, with a wide range of ethnicities, English language capabilities, disabilities, the really keen ones, the lazy ones, the very bright and the less-blessed …. well, essentially the teacher ends up setting and marking variations for every single lesson they teach. A massive amount of work. Does class size make a difference? Oh yes!

    Comment by Kerry — March 26, 2012 @ 5:43 pm


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