Tuesday, 23 August 2016

New style charter school introduction

Then read RNZ report below: Online Schools, then compare Parata's spin with what actually happens in the US…

"Opposition parties have been scathing of the proposal, which would allow children to attend online schools set up by tertiary institutions and private companies.
Tracey Martin.
The online schools would be known as Communities of Online Learning (COOLs).
Teachers' unions have warned it would let in low-quality, low-cost private operators.
New Zealand First education spokesperson Tracey Martin said it was one of the most dangerous things she had ever seen in education.
"It's the final nail in the coffin devaluing trained and qualified teachers."
Children would also miss out on social skills learnt in a classroom, she said.
"There's also the start of a work ethic. So you get up in the morning, you go to school at a certain time, there's a way to behave inside that social environment, you do a job, the children are there to learn, and you work in a team to create things and sometimes individually.
"Those are all human conditions that need to be in play here," Ms Martin said.

But Education Minister Hekia Parata said the proposed changes would not threaten classroom-based schools.
"This is another option. They will not replace schools - they will supplement and complement them, and there will be a very rigorous accreditation process for anyone who proposes to become one." Older students who were disengaged from conventional ways of learning might be among those who would benefit from an online school, Ms Parata said.
Parents would not be forced to enrol their children in online schools.
"We are enabling, not compelling. "Children's social skills would still develop through interaction with family and friends, she said.

Massey University Institute of Education director John O'Neill said research into online schools was limited and inconclusive. "There's only one very obscure piece of evidence, from a very obscure source, that's used to justify the argument that we should be focusing on converging face to face and distance learning."
ACT Party leader David Seymour said the Government already had an application for an online charter school, and even though that was turned down, he thought many more providers would be interested.
He said he was not opposed to children learning online from overseas companies.
"It's quite possible that you're going to have a person, whose particular circumstances are such that they haven't got on very well in the existing school system and this is the solution that will work with them and expand them to their maximum potential," he said.

Catherine Delahunty.
Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said online schools opened the way for privatisation.
"There's a lot of evidence overseas that charter schools grab these opportunities and really try to make the most of them for profit, and not necessarily for the benefit of young people at all," she said.
The establishment of online schools would be part of a bill amending the Education Act.
Other changes included a proposal to expand the current power for school Boards and allowing the Ministry of Education to step in earlier if schools were not doing well. RNZ report ends

Can and should we trust the likes of Hekia Parata and David Seymour both are nothing more than neoliberal clones, to plan the education of our children. The concept of Charter Schools in the US is absolutely rubbished as you saw in the above video, and I should point out the video covers the nutty idea on On Line based charter schools. Within a week or two we may find out just what this PR exercise seeks to divert our attention from. It could well be the sacking of Murray McCully.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Local Election Report comment.

17th August 2016 Candidate meeting.

On Wednesday the 17th of August I went to the most boring council candidate meeting ever…it was a total waste of time and effort. It started at 7pm and by 8.30 pm we had heard from a so called election expert who took 15 minutes to explain the electoral process, 2 Mayoral candidates 26 or 27 candidates all of whom cared wonderfully about Palmerston North, all had passion of some sort or another. All suggested you should vote for them…none had any policy other than faith in their own unproven or tested ability to pick winners…None had an actual time frame for achievement measurement.

There were amongst the candidate Councillors some who have been on council for so long that it was hard to remember council without them. [Findlay, Jefferies, Dennison have all passed their use by dates]

The usual style in PN is to retire as a councillor or Mayor and immediately stand for the regional council and remain there until death forces them out.

There is also a new income stream available to professional public money takers and that is to stand in both the Council and Health elections, this year Dennison, Broad, Findlay, Egan, McCann and Naylor are attempting this double dipping habit.

The sameness was overwhelming; each councillor claimed they were the driving force for this or that. 

Abi Symes was the only new candidate who actually suggested that just maybe younger people might actually make some progress in this ultra conservative city; she was a breath of fresh air.   

The present day Councillors all stated that they had served the council / public / citizens absolutely amazingly brilliantly. Many suggested that what happened in Havelock North could not happen here, because they were all alert and watching the quality water situation…closely, there was no mention that Palmerston North failed to comply with conditions laid down by the Manawatu Regional [Horizons] Council.

We had the idiotic spectacle of Council wannabe Joseph Poff still raving on about wind-farms etc. Jim Jefferies found a sudden love of our water supplies but failed to mention that he was, along with Lew Findlay one of the old Councillors who have kept pumping crap into the Manawatu River.

Adrian Broad.
Adrian Broad tried to create an illusion when he read out a list of past employers and a massive list of organisations he has [supposedly] helped create jobs in, after listening to the list of his grandiose positions one can but wonder why he included the Hospital Board as if this role was a community voluntary activity when in fact is a paid role. It’s not hard to tell when Public Relations depart and truth becomes obvious.

The contest for Mayor is totally nuts. Grant Smith the present mayor Vs Ross Barber who was nominated by ‘God’ to represent his [Gods] team! At the meeting Smith used the usual standardised PR words to prove how grateful he was to represent etc. etc. While Barber spoke for two minutes and what he said was incomprehensible to be polite, nutty to be honest.

It’s no wonder people don’t vote…the numbers attending this so-called public meeting equaled around three people per candidate. Three media staff, five or six council staff gave the meeting a half filled look…
Questions to candidates were not allowed, but questions over coffee was allowed!{Democracy in Action}

In fact these so-called meet the candidates’ events are really much like the behaviour of present Councillors in regard to the instructions issued by a $350.000 CEO and his full time team, they tell the Councillors what they should / must / do and for the most part Councillors simply go along with the CEO’s wishes.

Brent Barrett.
The Labour Party and especially the Greens [nominated Brent Barrett] offered a collective force that was large enough to develop real policy for the future; it is a process and the only process to counter the destruction of the Ward System.

Under the ward system, meetings consisted of no more than around six candidates who then would answer questions and hold discussions about past, present and future happenings. This gave a much better in depth discussion…one could consider that wards represented their actual communities.

The introduction of political party tickets is now the only way that action ‘Policy’ can be decided in any meaningful manner and thereby giving choice to those who vote.

The Labour Party and the Greens have bravely recognised that fact; they deserve your support in attempting to reinstate community into the council.

Neoliberal clap-trap has over the last twenty plus years attempted to convince communities like ours that only if they pay supper inflated salaries to so called CEO’s will we get better services, evidence proves otherwise, just ask the people of Havelock North.

I strongly suggest, in all honesty that if you are a Greens voter then vote for your greens council nominee [Brent Barrett] or if you are a Labour supporter that you vote for your Labour Party nominees [Zulfigar Butt, David Chishholm, Sheryll Hoera and Lorna Johnson]

Of those standing for both the Council and Health Board you I would suggest you consider carefully which position you pick for them Council or Health Board, they simply cannot to do justice to both. By doing this you will be at least sharing the load plus adding to the community input for these positions. It’s the democratic action to take. Those standing for both positions are: Broad, Dennison, Egan, Findlay, McCann, and Naylor.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

The main stream media has lost its way.

The main stream media are rushing toward tabloid style journalism to maintain their readership, massive headlines about criminal events, murder and stories about celebrities make up the greater part of our daily paper. Teenagers don’t buy newspapers, nor it would seem do people between the ages of 20 to 35, why because they’ve seen it all in social media these days.

It seems as if they [the MSM] have become just an arm of the social media and face-book craze, investigative journalists have had to go outside of the MSM to successfully have a career in journalism these days. Would you want your son or daughter to start a career in journalism with a student loan bill of thousands of dollars when the prospects of future employment look so bleak?

Here are but two examples of very poor journalistic efforts. The first is from the crazy American election circus and the second is about the manipulation of important information we should know about especially as NZ becomes more and more linked to American style of journalism.

This is a typical Trump story that we really don’t need to know about.

“Following a series of reports suggesting that Donald Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, may have worked as an illegal immigrant in 1995, the Republican Presidential Candidate* has announced that “fair is fair” and she’ll have to go home to Slovenia.
He delivered the news while speaking at a rally in Portland, Maine today.

“She has to go home folks,” he said to a raucous crowd, holding his hands out on either side, shrugging. There were scattered boos. “No, no, no. She has to go home. That’s what I say, right? They can come in, but they have to come in legally.”
The crowd cheered enthusiastically, before Trump brought his wife on stage to “say a few words.”
She leaned into the microphone.
“I understand,” she said, before backing away.
The crowd applauded.

“See, isn’t she lovely folks? What a woman, jeez. But she has to go back. Bye bye.”
He waved to her, smiled, and delivered a lingering thumbs up as she was escorted off stage by security.

“Boy oh boy,” he continued. “So, that’s that, and they’re saying that I’ve had a great week, that this is the best week of the campaign by far. Don’t you think it’s been a great week, folks? I think it’s been a great week.”
The crowd began chanting “Trump, Trump, Trump!”

“Oh we’re going to win big, we’re going to win so big,” he said. “So I was watching Hillary this morning– isn’t it a shame about Melania? Oh isn’t it a shame? I hate to see that. But it’s time to be tough, you know it. This guy up front, right here, he knows it. It’s time we got tough, because there’s something going on.

“There is something going on, and we don’t know what’s going on, but it’s something, right? It’s something, but Obama, and Crooked Hillary – I call her Crooked Hillary – they don’t even want to know what’s going on.
“So what we have to do is, we have to get tough, we have to get tough on our borders, until we can find out what’s going on. And that includes my wife – ‘cause you know, she’s Slavic, or Russian or something – and people say ‘Oh, Donald, but Slovenia, that’s not like, Syria.’ She’s from Slovenia, she’s from Slovenia, you’ve probably never even heard of this place, right? I mean, I hadn’t even heard of this place.

“And it’s not like Syria, it’s not quite like Syria, but it’s not like England, or Sweden. It’s actually pretty close to Syria, I think, and we don’t know what’s going on there. We don’t know what’s going on, so you gotta be smart, folks. You have to be smart, because other countries are looking at us, and we’re like, idiots, okay? Okay.”
Melania will leave for Slovenia tomorrow, along with her son Barron, who, while born legally to Donald and Melania, does speak fluent Slovenian.

How important is the above to New Zealanders? Will what we think play any meaningful part in the future of Donald Trump and his third wife Melania? Or will it simply fill our papers with more crap about American politics, think about how much has been published in our MSM about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the past few months.
Below is a story which actually affects us here in NZ, It is about the Arms business in the US and worldwide. Click onto the reference https://www.thenation.com/article/the-obama-administration-has-sold-more-weapons-than-any-other-administration-since-world-war-ii/

Now ask yourself if you have read anything on this subject in your MSM,

 Here are a couple of paragraphs from that reference:
 “The numbers should stagger anyone. According to the latest figures available from the Congressional Research Service, the United States was credited with more than half the value of all global arms transfer agreements in 2014, the most recent year for which full statistics are available. At 14 percent, the world’s second largest supplier, Russia, lagged far behind. Washington’s “leadership” in this field has never truly been challenged. The US share has fluctuated between one-third and one-half of the global market for the past two decades, peaking at an almost monopolistic 70 percent of all weapons sold in 2011. And the gold rush continues. Vice Admiral Joe Rixey, who heads the Pentagon’s arms sales agency, euphemistically known as the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, estimates that arms deals facilitated by the Pentagon topped $46 billion in 2015, and is on track to hit $40 billion in 2016.

This item is particularly relevant to NZ because the Arms Industry 2016 Annual Forum has invited arms dealers from across the world. The 2016 NZ DIA Forum will be held in the Viaduct Events Center, Auckland on 16 - 17 November in conjunction with the RNZN 75th Anniversary celebrations, Operation Neptune. This is why Key has been begging the US to send a ship to take part. Here a full report and request from Action Station on this subject.

The real question is? How come this event has received very little if any investigative journalist activity…have our newspapers been brought off, is it too sensitive politically, do some of those visiting or here in NZ have any connections to our political parties? 

I don’t know these answers, one obvious question is, ‘Is Saudi Arabia involved, or Israel”, selling weapons or defence equipment to them or the US could well be considered a crime against humanity and make our country a war criminal in accord with UN resolutions.
Now these two examples prove at this stage just how much our media has gone downhill over the last ten years. We’ve sunk to an all-time low…I for one would like to see the MSM lift its eyes and target this particular event by doing some in-depth journalism and being prepared to show some guts in doing so.