Hekia Parata speaks a foreign language…or maybe that’s all politicians?

Hekia Parata was on the show this morning and I decided I needed a translator to help me decipher the answers given.

Question – There is a potential for class sizes to increase, is that correct?
Answer – There is a potential for that and we’ve made a conscience decision that one or two extra students in the middle year classes are acceptable if we can, at the same time, raise the quality of teaching across all of the classrooms.
Translation – Yes!

Question – If you’re going to raise the quality of teaching it’s not going to happen by the beginning of next year but class sizes may increase there seems to be a bit of a gap in the logic there.
Answer – Well, we have for the last ten years been raising the number of teachers we have in the NZ education system and in fact the number of teachers have increased at the rate of five times the rate of the number of students and we haven’t had five times the rate in the list of achievements so what we’re saying is we think we’ve got the quantity of teachers about right but now we need to make sure we raise the quality generally across the system.
Translation – Yes

Question – How is the performance pay going to work? Who is going to assess it? How are you going to judge if a teacher is performing well?
Answer – This is a part of a two year work programme which I announced yesterday, the appraisal system if a part of it, our proposal is to collaborate with the sector in the design of it, therefore both the process and features of it are yet to be determined.
Translation – We don’t know.

Question – So we don’t know how we are going to assess them yet, but we have announced that there is going to be an assessment where some of their pay will be based on it.
Answer – So we’re going to collaborate with the sector, the very sector you are referring to in the design of those features.
Translation – That is correct, we don’t know

Question – So we don’t know that answer yet we don’t know how they are going to be assessed?
Answer – Because it is a two year work programme that I announced yesterday.
Translation – That is correct, we don’t know yet.

And it went on….

Question – What education system in the world that you guys have looked at, that has the potential of having fewer teachers and more students, has actually worked for a better outcome for the students?
Answer – Well that’s the point we have to design a system that is particular to NZ so we’re not proposing to adopt any one system, but we’ve certainly been looking at all 65 of the countries with whom we participate both within the OECD, but also in the PISA process, so we would look to see what particular features work in what contect, whether or not they would be appropriate for NZ, but in the end those would only be advice and we would design what would fit the purpose for our country
Translation – ??????????

Question – Are there any examples at all with a government purposely applying a system where numbers of students go up and numbers of teachers come down, potentially, and that improves the outcomes for students, are there any examples of that in the world anywhere?
Answer – Well with respect, education has many dynamic moving parts, our system doesn’t perfectly match anybody elses, our system has a number of features…..[losing interest]…blah, blah, blah…..snoring noises…
Translation – No there are not any examples anywhere in the world.

So here are my main concerns.

Again we have a National government tinkering with an education system, using untested, unproven methods and holding them up as the answer.

Nobody would disagree that there are some people in teaching who shouldn’t be there, but to attack the problem with what is obviously a Treasury based solution, rather than an education based one is nonsense.

To announce a system that is going to grade (some say degrade) our teachers and base their pay on it, to commit to it for next week’s budget, and introduce it as of the start of next year…when you don’t know how you are going to assess the teachers…isn’t only poor politics, it down right criminal

You can listen to the whole interview here, just have you’re translator ready :o)

Has the NZ Herald ripped off The Daily Show?

I see one of the cartoons in this morning’s NZ Herald has raised a few chuckles

John Key breast feeds John Banks…shudder!!!

Quite funny ah? A piss take of the now infamous Time Magazine cover article of a mother breast feeding a nearly 4 year old child.

But I thought that I had seen it before…two conservative politicians in a take-off of that time magazine cover, then it came to me.

Exactly one week ago on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

John Boehner nursing Harry Reid.

Has the herald ripped off The Daily Show…you decide.

See the full The Daily Show segment here

Sensitive Comedians…now there’s an irony

Ok so let’s start this off by saying I am not that proud of this episode, and I was being a bit of a dick to the comedian Bill Dawes who is currently in the country for the Comedy Festival, but I have had an interaction so incredibly weird that I just wanted to share it with you all.

So I saw Bill Dawes last night hosting the RAW Comedy Quest, where amateur comedians have a crack at this imposing genre of comedy. The group of new comedians were really enjoyable, some a little gun shy, some a little possum-in-the-headlights…but overall good and I have nothing but admiration for their efforts. Bill Dawes, the professional amongst the group, was okay too…not amazing, but okay, and I spent the first few minutes trying to figure out who he reminded me of…then it dawned on me…Daniel Tosh. I swear that the intination, style of joke, way he interacted with the audience was very ‘Tosh-esque

Anyways, so this is the moment when I acknowledge I was a little dick-ish but I got home and tweeted these out.

Followed by this one

To which I received this series of tweets back from the man himself

I’ve been in the ‘media game‘ for 15 years give or take, and this kind of bravado has never really bothered me, in fact I can genuinely say that now one has ever offended me with personal attacks, I’ve had it all right up to and including death threats, however I am surprised some jibing of such a minor style bothered Bill Dawes.

Anyways I followed his ‘challenge’ with this one.

And then thought I’d better let the poor lad get back to his bottle of whatever he had crawled into ;o)

And then sadly found that the Comedian who is touted as one of the rawest, rudest, filthiest around had then blocked me from his twitter account. Maybe I touched a nerve.

Luckily in Echophone you can still connect with people when they block you and I found after he blocked me he sent out this tweet

I was confused as to whom he was talking about…but apparently it was me! I was the troll!

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: “That was an excellent troll you posted.”

Weird…I am the troll ;o)

Still wasn’t really sure why the comedian couldn’t take a jibe or two but after a quick Google I think I know now why..

From 2008 to Bill Dawes “Daniel Tosh called, he wants his punchlines back.”

From 2011 to Bill Dawes “Bill Dawes is too old for this at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, CA. On another note, this guy’s style kind of reminds me of Daniel Tosh.”

And they go on.

I actually really, really like Daniel Tosh and his comedy…so right back at the start my jibe could have been taken as more of a compliment…but I concur in a dick-ish way.

So officially I guess I’d like to say sorry for touching your ‘Tosh-nerve‘ Bill, I always understood many comedians to be insecure behind all their bravado and I guess this has confirmed that for me…well in your case at least and I will now do my penance for teasing you so badly. I’ll just head off to my office and write 100 times “I must not tease the comedians”

Ken Ring does it again!

We had Ken Ring on air this morning to have a chat about the ‘Supermoon’ last night, I mean who else would you have other than the ‘Moonman’ himself.

The aim of the conversation was to chat about why the moon was so large, although I was thinking about the subject matter around his ‘predictions’ and the hot water they landed him in last year. Didn’t know if I was going to go there or not.

Well I needn’t had worried about it, as Ken went there himself.

We first chatted about what a ‘perigee’ was

Ken then went on to make a prediction about when chances of earthquakes were more likely

Anybody who’s living in the Christchurch area you can relax after tomorrow but then around the 11th you should be mindful that this is a risky period” says Ken Ring.

I was a tad taken aback as last year my understanding was that Mr. Ring needed to go into hiding after death threats around his predictions…and today he does it again.

We phone him back to see if he’d spoken to any other media outlet about this prediction and as of 11.30am he had not. So if you are part of the media world, and you use this audio, please remember it’s Pat Brittenden Mornings, on New Zealand’s Rhema ;o)

Pat Brittenden Mornings Audio

We had in studio today Dale Campbell who is a Pastor from Auckland’s North Shore, and Dr Graeme Finlay who is a senior lecturer in Scientific Pathology at Auckland University speaking about their belief that biological evolution is the way by which life developed.

Graeme and Dale are convinced that life has evolved and that the human species has an evolutionary history, The are both Christians and believe that God is sovereign over the process of evolution and that He upholds it.

Dale Campbell and Dr Graeme Finlay Part 1

Dale Campbell and Dr Graeme Finlay Part 2

Dale Campbell and Dr Graeme Finlay Part 3

Dale Campbell and Dr Graeme Finlay Part 4

Pat Brittenden Mornings Audio

David Shearer on John Banks

Immigration Minister Nathan Guy on new legislation around asylum seekers

Gary Poole from the Refugee Council of NZ on proposed legislation around asylum seekers

The Panel with David Slack and Bob McCoskrie