Nearly a third of the schools that said they had no confidence in National Standards have told the Ministry of Education they do in fact plan to implement the controversial scheme.
A group called Boards Taking Action Coalition said last week that the trustees from 225 schools around the country had issued a vote of no confidence in National Standards. As a result those schools would refuse to set student achievements targets for next year until the system was reviewed.
The next day the ministry starting contacting all of the protesting schools' boards of trustees to check the claim.
The Herald has learned 66 of the 225 coalition boards indicated their schools planned to implement the standards in full. A further 109 said they would take some form of action or were yet to decide if they would implement the standards in full. Fifty schools are yet to be contacted.
Oh dear; oh dear; oh dear. The likes of Perry Rush, Jane Forrest, Simon Mitchell and Marlene Campbell will be gutted. Schools are breaking ranks with the rebels, and all the tough talking of last week is coming to nowt. The plan by principals and teacher unions to hijack Boards of Trustees is out in the open.
Yes indeed; this is the result of the kind of planning and plotting at which the left excels. But on this occasion, there are too many people involved and not enough solidarity, and there have been leaks aplenty. The Dom-Post has one - read on:
A group of rebel principals plotted to "quietly take over" an association representing 90 per cent of school boards in an effort to overwhelm the national standards debate, leaked emails suggest.
An email exchange shows principals involved in a boycott of the standards discussed "dealing with" the New Zealand School Trustees Association.
"The easiest way is for us to quietly take over regional organisations of NZSTA ... Just imagine NZSTA run by principals!" an email written by Hora Hora School principal Pat Newman states.
Mr Newman is former president of the Principals' Federation and the immediate past president of the Tai Tokerau Principals Association.
He is one of two Labour Party members vying for selection to stand as the Labour candidate in Whangarei next year.
His email was sent to, among others, Denise Torrey, president of the Canterbury Primary Principals Association; Frances Nelson, president of the national primary teachers' union; Iain Taylor, president of the Auckland Primary Principals Association, and Perry Rush, Island Bay School principal.
Marlene Campbell, principal of Invercargill's Salford School and a member of the Southland Primary Principals Association executive, which this week called Education Minister Anne Tolley "Minister Hitler", was also a recipient. All have been vocal critics of the national standards.
Mr Taylor responded to Mr Newman's August 20 email with: "Oh that the go!! Great thinking ... loved ya email to her too ... man she awful!!" Mr Taylor was referring to NZSTA president Lorraine Kerr, who has refused to criticise or fully endorse the standards.
The NZSTA is the national organisation for school boards.
So that's how it was going to work, dear readers. Of course, it won't happen now because the insidious nature of the plot is now out in the open, which is a darned good thing in our always-humble opinion.
But what saddens us the most is that the image of school principals, most of whom care deeply about the education and welfare of the children at their schools, has been tarnished by the actions of a few. The political game-playing is not what principals are employed to do. It's sad that some have shown far more loyalty to organisations such as the NZEI and the NZPF that to their employers and to the children entrusted to them. That's a crying shame.