Thursday, April 30, 2009

At Random

So Michael Cullen’s gone as well. It is indeed an end of an era. A striking thing about the Clark/Cullen government was its tight ship nature. I’m sure that both of them with memories of the dysfunctional Lange/Douglas years were determined not to repeat the mistakes of that government.

In three days Wellington has gone from having a very low April rainfall to well exceed the monthly average. Our climate while temperate is very unpredictable.

I understand the severity of the recession but I wonder sometimes about the remedial actions. The Commerce Commission is considering shedding some jobs. If people lose income they will spend less. Likewise, the Reserve Bank announcement of official interests rates lowered to 2.5%. I appreciate it helps people with mortgages. But for many like myself the slashing of interest rates lowers income. Again, we will spend less.

An American education researcher called to ask about my perceptions of the Tomorrow’s Schools reforms. Talking to him brought back memories. The reforms were based on a premise of trust. David Lange kept talking about a covenant in a legal sense, the community should be able to know that the school had the necessary resources and teachers to deliver the required education. The State had that responsibility. It was a clear vision - underpinned no doubt by his Methodist upbringing. He saw it as a three-way partnership, school, community and government. He wanted to ensure that the changeover disrupted young people’s schooling as little as possible. The process was like outfitting a ship while it was sailing. To this end he appointed four well-known educators and charged them with making sure the outfit did not disadvantage students. It seemed to me then and now that this is a good consultative model. It worked well.

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