Will you be there? The Dominion, Hartevelt, and league tables

We said national standards would harm children’s learning.

They wouldn’t listen.

Or didn’t care.

John Key said let them eat national standards.

That will be better for them than decent wages, housing, health.

National standards as a cure for poverty.

We’ll do nothing, or worse – meanwhile

Let them do national standards.

And now it has come to this.

Primary school education shifted on its axis.

A great harm inflicted

League tables yellow pressed.

We knew it was coming, but of no comfort.

Something like a death.

Tolley promised no league tables.

Key promised any release, if they ever occurred,

Would be surrounded by safeguards.

Not a skerrick prime minister.

While you Laurel and jape

A bloody slather.

None of the safeguards occurring in Australia

Mind you, not that these really matter:

But reveals the nature of you and your heartless government.

John Hartevelt of the Dominion sets out to justify:

Led by journalists from the beginning.

He lies.

The real beginning?

The editor of course.

Prose of mouth-frothing contempt for public schools.

On the morning after National’s re-election

The editor mocked,

Then, in effect, said bear the pain you losers.

Hartevelt is right, though, not a business decision,

But neither is it one of freedom

As he claims.

It is an ideological one taken above the journalists.

Harm the teachers.

Harm public schools.

And Hartevelt’s justification for publishing: ‘We cannot lose faith in our readers so much that we feel we have to censor them from information just because it is challenging.’

A Dominion journalist concerned with censoring education information.

Is this a tragic, cosmic joke?

A journalist expressing trust in readers’ judgement.

God in heaven above!

Newspapers, themselves, have behaved like bloody idiots

Pigs in muck

In just the one day.

And who is taking the burden of the risk in the trusting?

The primary school children of New Zealand.

177 academic researchers declared league tables harmful to children’s learning.

But Hartevelt declares it a matter of freedom.

One community institution intruding exploitively into another: the media into public schools.

If it was royal breasts, an outcry;

For public schools and children, it is freedom.

The exercise of freedom at the cost of innocent others.

I saw the picture and the list:

A white flight school lording it,

The unfairly fled school hurting, diminished.

Dog eat dog.

Education for the 21st century.

What is best for children?

Ever asked?

No – just a resort to a spurious (in the context) abstract concept.

It was teachers he was after.

Damaging them.

The children contingent.

Will you be there to enrich the withered curriculum?

Will you be there to prevent an education

For the less able, devoid of heart and cognitive challenge?

Drill and kill?

Will you be there to engage the disengaged?

Will you be there to protect the low decile school?

(A high price for a Maori girl’s trip to Waitangi, wouldn’t you say?)

Will you be there to receive the unwanted?

Will you be there to provide hope for the failure at six?

Will you be there to reduce the ghetto?

Will you be there to take the children in your arms?

In publishing league tables, the medium is the message.

Curriculum areas selected for attention.

Learning is that which is measurable.

Forget creativity, imagination, and cognitive flexibility

Children’s learning expressed in the labelling of children.

It doesn’t matter if the labelling is inaccurate (which it is)

Labelling is the message.

Labelling set out for school comparison.

Relationship between teacher and child as something rawly public.

Teacher motivation compulsion, competition, and fear.

Power to the politicians and the bureaucrats.

This is education for the 21st century.

Before the reading

The key messages have already been communicated by the medium.

How noble of Hartevelt to declare trust in the reader.

No cost to him,

Or risk of it.

In complete denial of historical experience.

Perpetrates the dreadful act,

Then tries to out the spot.

It won’t be outed: bear the shame.

Intrusion between teacher and child.

The struggling child to struggle more.

The brilliant child blighted in the act.

Alien concept

On the indigenous and beautiful.

Public education reduced

In the name of freedom.

But you won’t be there.


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