By: Larry Williams | Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The new Education Minister Hekia Parata is getting on with the job and the teacher unions, as usual, don't like it.
They are livid at the very thought of bigger class sizes and performance pay.
Education union NZEI said increased class sizes would have a ''severe impact'' on the quality of education in primary schools.
''It is outrageous that the government talks about improving education quality, especially for those in the bottom 20 per cent, while at the same time adopting policies that will do the exact opposite,'' president Ian Leckie said.
Green Party education spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty agreed the changes would ''hit struggling kids the worst''.
''Research shows that class size matters most to those who struggle most,'' Delahunty said.
Labour's Nanaia Mahuta says the rationale is being driven by Treasury rather than quality evidence-based policy.
Can I be blunt?
These people are talking crap.
First, the class size that has been struck is lower than the maximum which exists now, 1:27.5 instead of between 1:23-1:29. That is what the funding is based on: 1:27.5.
Second, some class sizes actually reduce.
Third, there are many experts who say that class size is irrelevant.
The critical factor is the quality of the teacher.
Today's issue of the Herald gives some support to the Prime Ministers argument that it had become more tabloid.
The headline of “We're paying for flash hotels and laundry”, “Ministers high life” can only be described as a beat up.
Apparently the Ministers are getting their laundry done by the hotel when overseas. It costs like $56 and $89 to get your clothes cleaned. It’s hardly shock and awe stuff let me tell you.
Do they expect the Ministers to go to the laundry down the road and stay at youth hostels?
The IRB is slowly moving into the modern age. Mind you they are trialling something that doesn't actually need a trial. So it’s slow going with the IRB.
They have approved a trial to extend the jurisdiction of the TMO to incidents within the field of play that have led to the scoring of a try.
There is no need for a trial. It works. League has been doing it for years.
Forward passes, foot into touch (as happened in the Hurricanes game at the weekend), foul play, it's just basic stuff that should have been embraced long ago.
The Facebook IPO is this week and it looks like the price of the shares will be above what was initially thought.
It’s looking like US$34-US$38 a share.
I suspect that there will be a rush to get these. The hype around Facebook will see to that but the price is clearly inflated.
A Bloomberg Global poll of 1250 traders, investors and analysts said that Facebook did not deserve such a high valuation.
Facebook is a punt.
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