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Bill English's 2005 Annual Awards

16 December 2005

2005 Annual Awards

Biggest Winners NZUSA scooped the pool with interest-free loans. Now there's no money for anyone. So much for Labour's commitment to quality education.

Most Altruistic Voters Teachers and lecturers had most to gain from tax cuts and generally voted against them.

Most Selfish Voters Teachers and lecturers who voted for interest-free loans - when they said they wanted more money for better tertiary pay and better schools.

Biggest Mystery Of The Election Why the ECE establishment steeped in kindergarten tradition aggressively promoted Labour's ECE policy which was always going to seriously damage the ECE icon of kindergarten.

Smartest Government Policy The new ECE funding system (without 20 hours free). The world's most advanced education voucher - adjusted by the hour according to qualifications of the adults physically present. Based on the radical idea that the Government should pay for what it wants.

Best Teachers Meeting Half a dozen Tamaki Decile One principals - committed, no nonsense, getting somewhere and proud of it.

Most Impressive Curriculum Idea Onehunga High's business course.

Tidiest School Grounds Hastings Boys' High School.

Toughest Turnaround Job Hornby High School.

Best School Choir Con Anima St Patrick's Wellington - again.

Happiest Children Most children in every primary school.

Best Campus Visit Victoria University, during the election campaign, the day of the staff strike and the day after interest-free students loans announced.

Best Staff Room Discussion Cashmere High School - about the issues not the ideology.

Best Minister Trevor Mallard beats Maharey and Benson-Pope (yes he was a Minister of Education). Cullen needs to beat all of them.

Most Likely To Lose Member Support PPTA on NCEA. Head office has forgotten the election is over. They are still towing the line for Steve Maharey, warning its NCEA marker members they can be sued by NZQA for breaching confidentiality agreements. The rank and file want it sorted, not excused.

Toughest Dilemma NZEI on kindergartens. Their membership is opposed to change in kindergarten but if they don't change they will lose their jobs. And the vocal public will be against change.

Most Expensive Waste Of Time The bureaucracy running tertiary education cost $141m last year. There is no evidence of any benefit for anyone and plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Most Likely Cause Of Education Controversy Steve Maharey - The Wananga, NCEA and TVNZ all on the front pages this month capping off two years of front page stories about whatever he is in charge of. Early Childhood Education is next as he tries to implement the impossible.

Best Headline "Magnum backfires on Dirty Harry". The NZ Herald tells it like it is during Mallard's scholarship debacle.

Most optimistic Public Servant Karen van Rooyen. Attending an Institute of Director's course at the taxpayers expense, while serving out garden leave for the embattled NZQA.

Most Punches And Still Standing Howard Fancy, Secretary for Education, had to take the blame for NCEA and the tertiary mess in heavyweight reports from the State Services Commission.

Jonah Lomu Impact Player Award Helen subs on Michael Cullen to sort out the polytechs going broke, unhappy university staff, expensive and useless bureaucracy, dodgy courses and dropping rolls.

Government Agency Most Likely To Get The Chop TAMU, they oversaw the wananga mess for almost five years, had no problem with CPIT's phantom computer course, whispered encouragement from the sidelines while polytechnics ratcheted up dubious courses and have failed to engage with Cullen.

Most Ineffective Lobby Group Universities, watched mouths agog as the Government threw hundreds of millions at a student loan promise that will wipe out any chance of universities getting a fairer share of the tertiary funding pie.

Robbing Peter To Pay Paul Award Labour promised students interest-free loans and now watch with vague detachment while universities push up fees.

Most Easily Influenced Students who think they will be better off next year because of interest-free loans - they won't be.

Weirdest New Idea NCEA "Voids" which is not a Not Achieved and doesn't matter because neither are recorded anyway.

Best School And Parent Fightback Otamatea College turned the government round on direct resourcing for buses.

Best Education Reporter Keith Ng Salient broke some stories with confidence and courage.

Best Education Speech Bill English Chapman Memorial Lecture on Educators and the Treaty !!

Merry Christmas to all readers and their loved ones.


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