Tolley’s Work Junked

Education Expert will ‘Junk”

"By golly Ms Tolley"

Ms Tolley’s Homework

February 20  2010

A well-respected Kapiti teacher says she gives Education Minister Ann Tolley low marks for her reading and writing skills.

Fran Hunia, a writer on education and former Education College lecturer, says Ann Tolley’s work is not up to national standards and she will junk any of it which is sent to her mail box in Raumati.

Mrs Hunia says Tolley, unlike the Maori Party leader Pita Sharples, is still trailing well below the requirements of the national standard.

“Contrary to the advice of experts, Ms Tolley is squandering millions of our dollars on forcing the introduction of her ill-considered policy,” says Mrs Hunia.

“If she were to pour even a fraction of that money into additional help for the children who struggle to keep up in literacy and numeracy, the so-called tail would shorten.”

Taught in Te Reo

Fran Hunia initially taught reading and Maori language, and later specialised in second-language methods of teaching.

Among her 40 publications and stories, she was one of the authors of “An Introduction to Te Reo Maori.”

She says: “I say with absolute conviction that one of the reasons for educational failure is NOT that failing students have never been told they are below standard.

“If Anne Tolley has read her NZ Education history, she will be aware that NZ did, indeed, have national standards back in the bad old days.

“After three to four years in the primers, the average NZ child went into Standard One and, on meeting the required standard, graduated to Standard Two and so on.”

She says: “Children were all well aware which classmates had failed to meet a standard and been kept back to repeat a year while the rest moved on.

“I clearly remember one unfortunate hairy-legged, deep-voiced and fuzzy-chinned youth who repeatedly failed the standards and remained at our primary school until, at the age of 15 he was old enough to leave and enter the workforce.”

Fran Hunia asks: “Oh golly, Ms Tolley, is this you have in mind for today’s students who do not measure up to your standards?”

“We’ve been subjected to Anne Tolley’s rhetoric for months, but still she feels the need to spend $200,000 trying to glean support for her personal hobbyhorse.” she says.

“When the propaganda package thuds into my letterbox I will take it in my hands for as long as it takes to write ‘Junk mail.  Please return to sender’ on it “

I have been misquoted! I didn’t comment on Anne Tolley’s reading and writing skills, or lack thereof. What I did do was set down four criteria that I suggested as the Level One Standard for MPs, namely: and I now quote from my original article…
The MP demonstrates ability to:
• Listen to the advice of experts in the relevant field and weigh up the evidence before reaching a decision on a proposed policy,
• Read and analyse relevant New Zealand and international research,
• Assess the risk to New Zealand and New Zealanders if ill-judged changes are introduced,
• Show courage to front up to the public and state grounds for his/her decision.
I commented that Pita Sharples has reached this standard, while Anne Tolley, on the other hand, is still trailing well below the requirements of this standard.

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