Wednesday, August 1, 2012

But How can I colour co-ordnate if dey dont let me----

I got my new blu registraun disk in the male tiday and I'm wissed off. They ddidunt let me know what color--they shud have eh cause i care what I looks like donwe at the bay-- Ilike my yellow one--now i hv to be noice to ZNeil so he gets me a blu colar. He wont buy me b,ling bling. I am a color and fashin conshus gilr---oh by the way--- Im also a lkitle dog so why cant ehy have litil disks (oopsm I nealrty got that wroing) for litle dogs like me
Dont yus piclk on my typing--- its bluddy hard with my paws.
so there u hav it

wooooooof wooof--- wers my dinner bnoss I(he thinks)

by Perdy -- 'Star of 'Talk To Me'

Charter Schools----A POLITICAL SOP!

I’m a little tin soldier beating my drum, over and over but the only people listening are those who like the sound of my drum; the ones who recognise the beat---about Charter Schools.
What don’t they get it? The Government simply turns its face on facts. It is going to waste millions of dollars based on spurious research. Don’t they understand that teachers cannot produce miracles with every student that comes through the school gates? God knows, they try. They give, they cajole, they go the extra mile, and they go home tired and emotionally drained.
I am not being dramatic. I see teachers, day after day and wonder what they are taking home with them. They too have families, but the energy levels they take home probably equate to having little left for their loved ones. Knowing these hard-working teachers like I do, I suspect that they pick themselves up and get through the week, the term and then get sick in the holidays. Does that scenario sound familiar?
Teachers have little influence on what happens in the homes. They have no sway on the current economic status of the families they teach; what they do offer is hope for the future; that they can give the student the gift of education--- that represents an enhanced future.
If a student arrives at school hungry, tired and angry, then they start way behind their cohorts in other more affluent schools. That is a socio-economic fact. If a student comes from a home where parents care about their children but do not have the tools to do more than encourage (a high ideal in itself) then again the student is at a disadvantage. Understanding how to support along with being able to provide the necessities, and yes, the extras (like access to computers and a place to study) for their children, goes a long way to achieving meaningful goals in education. That then has a higher correlation for success in other areas of life’s journey.
Take another simple measure of being ‘connected’ with education. Try driving past a high decile school at the end of the day and take a note of what the students are carrying---yes large bags, full of books, texts and possibly ‘notepads,’ I pads and various other techno stuff. Do it in the morning if you wish. On the next day do the same thing at a low decile school and compare results. Don’t be surprised of you see kids coming and going, who carry absolutely nothing. What does that tell you? Don’t put down the lower decile school--- what you are seeing is a reflection of what life is like for many of our students---possibly the one in five who are failing and that figure is spread across all schools, so if you take that measure in some of our lower decile schools, then you see the figures even more highly skewered to ‘failure.’
Schools have many programmes and initiatives to try and address these dismal figures, including: literacy programmes, student-teacher engagement training (Te Kotahitanga Programme) and well-resourced student pastoral care departments. These are not enough if we want to make a real difference.
Unless educational initiatives and student support resourcing are backed up with stronger family support schemes, based in the communities that ‘feed’ the school, then we will only ever be playing around the fringes. What I am proposing is not new. PPTA and many other social support commentators have been saying this for years, but the political will is lacking, mainly because of a lack of real commitment and an unwillingness to fund such support. Instead we constantly hear from those espousing ‘self-help’ and standing on one’s own feet.
We even have a crown minister who received such help when she was a single parent, and then became part of a Government that took away that scheme—one that allowed her to rise above her tenuous financial position.
So---- before the Government pours millions into a scheme that will benefit very few and take away from existing successful programmes--- they should take a break and seek advice from those other than National Party cronies.

Utter chaos is Syria---stop the killing

It comes as no surprize that we are now hearing reports of possible executions committed by the opposition rebels in Syria. The citizens of Aleppo are virtually prisoners in their own city as the two forces fight to wrest control from the other. The rebels now have tanks while the Government forces use jets and other heavy artillery to force the rebels back.
It is clear where all this will end---yet more innocent civilians killed and maimed. It is clear also that what comes next will do Syria’s image little good. Neither side is willing to sit down and talk; trying to arrive at a ‘government of unity’ is something neither will consider.
Have the two sides arrived at a position where, they can no longer give in to the other because they fear the reprisals that may occur once the step away. We have seen it before in so many countries.  I have no respect for the incumbent regime, but the unknown forces behind the rebel cause do not leave me feeling any confidence in what is about to follow.
Unless the UN steps in (and that means China and Russia too) then Syria faces a sad and terrible short term future. In the end, only Syrians can decide the form and makeup of their government, but in the meantime they need ‘launching-pad’ to achieve this. History tells us that in this region, that is nigh on impossible.

New Cover for Roskill

Charter Schools--I have tried to see the good---but

No one can accuse me of not trying to see the ‘good points’ in Charter schools. I did my best to look at the issue in a neutral manner, but in the face of research from here in NZ and from overseas studies, which nearly all say that at best, the charter schools experiment will do little or nothing to consistently raise standards and in many cases just acts as a diversion of assets that would be better placed in existing schools.
In light of this and surely the Government have read these reports--- why do they proceed? Is it that they just don’t want to know or is it a sign of sheer desperation, to delude the public into thinking that the Government ‘knows what it is doing.’
I say that the Government is trying to placate its mates in the private sector or at the very least attempting to take the limelight off real issues. That they are once again facing defeat in the ‘great debate’ around education is probably the driving factor for their stubborn and ignorant approach. Can they not accept the vast majority of ‘informed’ advice they no doubt receive from these sources and shove to the back burner?
In the meantime, state schools will receive dwindling funding support while the misinformed and stupid Government continues on this ‘no-exit’ road. Wake-up and see the possibilities if only you would listen!

Roskill is now availablle again!--order now

Finally---The new version of Roskill is available again, at firstly through me direct and then through my website, which should be up in the weekend---- 
Feel free to contact me on if you want to do it that way.
It has been a long haul, getting set up again, with more control via me. I have a great printer, (‘The Colour Guy’) in Wellington and excellent support from my website designers (Derek and Alex Allinson).  I only have to sort out a few more images and bits and pieces and the website will provide information about my books and blogs.
Now all I need is for the 25,000 hits to trans morph into solid orders and I can retrieve all the huge losses I made from my previous pathway to publishing.
Thanks for all the kind support I have received.
Watch out for:
re-launch of-----Coastal Yarns
                          new book----'Talk To Me'
and upcoming series-----'Sons Of Orpheus'