I am writing to express my disappointment in the new Porirua City councillors.
We are ‘five minutes’ into a new local government term and the councillors (bar two) have already started to go beyond their role by debating central government policy issues, with respect to National Standards.
This council has enough on its own plate with the challenges ahead of making the city more attractive to live, work and play in. I call upon this council over the next three years to stick to its own knitting and make sure what they have been voted in to do is achieved.
- SIMON CALVERT, Executive director, Porirua
Chamber of Commerce. teachers are highly sought after. Despite this, however, many of our children are failing to achieve.
The solution to this issue will not be gained by implementing National Standards, because teachers already have many assessment tools that accurately indicate student performance.
The issue is one of equity, not quality, which is clearly demonstrated by the fact that underachieving students are predominantly of a specific socioeconomic demographic.
National Standards were rushed through, against expert advice and with no trialling to ensure that they will actually improve achievement.
Wouldn’t the hundreds of trained teachers and principals with professional experience, who know and care about their students, be better placed to say what is needed to address the shortcomings in education than vote-hungry politicians and brown-nosing bureaucrats?
Show me the evidence that National Standards will address equity issues in education, and raise the achievement of all New Zealand children, and I will gladly eat my words. - WENDY BARRY,
Titahi Bay. concentrate on highways and light rail.
Professor of Management at the University of Sydney, David Henshaw, supports several options, including a rapid bus transport system, as being more flexible and less costly than light rail.
A bus rapid transport service would run on dedicated bus lanes. Such a service would look like a train and operate like a train, and therefore be more appealing than the buses we know.
With a loading of up to 120 people, passenger movement would be greater than any conventional road transport method.
He also promotes the idea of road pricing through GPS. Some people may be horrified at such a suggestion, but there are benefits. The biggest one is that the road tax we pay through vehicle registration, charged at the same rate for all cars, could be varied according to vehicle type. A small, economical car could be charged a lesser rate than, say, a large, heavy SUV. Congestion charges could also be set to operate at different times, to encourage a spread of traffic volume in congested areas.
David Henshaw’s well-argued case, well worth listening to, can be heard in an interview that took place at 9.29am on December 2 on Nine to Noon and is recorded on the National Radio Audio Archive. It can be downloaded from radionz.co.nz/national/ programmes/ninetonoon/ 20101202. - BRYAN HELM,