and!! What ?? does this like mean??

I found this posting from a standards proponent on Kiwiblog. 

If not National Standards then what?? We need something in place to see what state the education levels of our children are! Quite frankly they are alarming and something needs to be done fast. I have a 5 and 8 year old with my 5 year old falling behind! I don’t take offence to the teacher telling me he’s this way, more what can i do as a parent to help him? the National standards are catching these children before they get too far down the track. I agree that a 5 year old shouldn’t be tested and yes some improvements need doing to the policy but I don’t see anyone else with any bright ideas on how to fix the problem. I am at university at present doing year two of my teacher training and believe that teachers also need to be accountable! Its our job! thats what we are getting paid for. Its the whole education system that needs to be looked at and I think with a little time the standards will show this and hopefully something will be done! Or is that what we are all afraid of??? Quite frankly i don”t think someone with a one-sided opinion like Martin Thrupp should be leading an investigation in the first place!

My response is.... firstly try to read the above out aloud to yourself then read on.

Are you really a university student training to be a teacher? If you are a teacher in training you are indeed a living example of the need for national standards. A quick reading of your post shows me that you are well below the expected standard for writing. Your strangulation of punctuation is well below the expected standard for a child leaving the primary system. Sections of your posting are very hard to comprehend because of your poor writing skills.
I am a school principal waiting for the extreme language on both sides of the debate to die down. There are some significant flaws in the standards and these flaws need some expert attention. Until the expert attention is applied to them my school will not be fully compliant with the national standards regime. This does not mean I am a rampant anti standards campaigner, it means that I am taking a considered professional stance.

My main concern is with the standards for mathematics. The rushed implementation has left teachers with some very inconsistent measures to use when making their standards judgments for reporting to parents. I long for a well reasoned professional debate about the content and detail of the standards. Sadly this will not happen while people are forced into camps for or against the standards.
Until the minster, the unions and NZPF get together and work these issues out I remain in state of limbo. I am a civil servant and I am required to implement the will of the current government. I am also a trained professional and I am ethically required to use my professional knowledge for the benefit of the students in my school. Cool heads need to prevail in this debate, sadly this has not happened yet.
Surprisingly, only the parents of the school concerned will know that one of the leaders of the ‘anti standards’ coalition of schools has a long history of giving his parents a written report which tells the hard truth about where their child is in relation to national expectations. My own school adopted his school's report format just as national standards arrived on the scene.
Let’s get this clear, the leader of the anti standards coalition reports, in writing, to parents in the way that national standards require (and has done so for many years). This shows that the problem is with the national standards not the concept of reporting to parents on how their child is progressing.
Until the debate on the real issues with the national standards starts to happen I remain uncertain about the outcome. The one certainty I do have is that rach88 has no chance of getting a teaching job unless he/she lifts his/her standard of literacy so that he/she can teach children to meet the required writing standard.

Can you run my business for me in your school?

My February resolution was to crank my blog posts back up to a regular level again. Four days after my last post the earthquake put that plan to an end. But I am ready to roll again now.

Here is a letter I am composing to schools. I want to make lots of money with  little quality control.

Dear School Principal,

Today for some reason I am thinking about starting a business. A business run for profit. A business that retails goods and makes a profit for me.

One barrier to me starting my business is the cost of buying or leasing retail premises, a place to show off and sell my products. To avoid this cost I will run a mail order business. But the problem still is the cost of direct mail or circular delivery of my monthly catalogue to home letterboxes.

Hmmm, you could help me out here by giving my promotional materials and order forms to children at your school? I will save on lots of advertising and delivery costs.

The next problem I face is order processing. If you get your teachers to give out my promotional materials, catalogues and order forms to your pupils can you also save me lots of money by collecting the orders, counting the money and sending it off to me. It would really reduce my overhead costs.

Distribution of the ordered product is also a hassle (cost) for me so I propose that you get your teachers to do this for me as well. They can also follow up missed and incorrect orders for me.

I like the idea of your teachers giving my promotional materials to their children. If it comes from a teacher and the teacher spends some class time talking with the kids about what is great, exciting and really worth buying this month, the children will unquestioningly believe I am offering good products. If I offer the class some incentives based on their total order value then there will also be some good peer pressure to keep up the class ethos and buy from me. My customers (children) wont want to let the class down by not pressuring their parents to buy this month's quota.

What could I sell in my mail order business?

An art kit (crayons, felt tip pens etc.)
A battery powered game console
A crystal growing kit
A battery powered safe
A T-shirt embroidery kit
A bedroom burglar alarm
A plastic bead-making machine
A plastic stencil set
A solar powered calculator
A battery sudoko machine
A set of board games

or basically any cheap stuff you could buy at the Warehouse. Why would parents buy this from me? Because it had tacit endorsement from their child's school and therefore must be good for learning.

I need to avoid hassles with tricky questions from school principals and boards of trustees. I will do this  by orienting my website to recruit individual teachers directly to sign up to run my business for me in their own class. My other idea is to get some parent volunteer labour to work for me.

By doing this it is unlikely that the things I say to parents in my catalogues e.g. "Parents: Ordering from me earns your school valuable FREE resources! or Parents: Every Item Ordered Earns Your Child’s Classroom FREE Books!" will ever show up for scrutiny or audit on the school accounts or on school library book asset registers. Principals will be left guessing what is received and where these resources end up. There will be no required approval of school management for teachers to join up and help me run my business for me. My website will help this process by recruiting them directly.

Now all I need is a catchy name for my global multi-millon dollar business. A name which projects the feeling that what I sell is somehow educationally valid: Academicastic, Learnastic, Growbrainastic?

Please support me with my new business plan.


PS Don't knock those teachers who already like my business plan, they do so because they like to support literacy and reading in their classes. And NZ parents have a belief that what they got sold as kids is also still good. But let's question any new sign-ups. If you would not to open the gates to any other mail order company using teachers as commissioned sales people why would you open the gates for one that has been around for a while?