web analytics
The Standard

Class sizes: show National you care

Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, June 5th, 2012 - 23 comments
Categories: education, schools - Tags: ,

I’ve had a petition sent to me with this message:

a lovely woman in Johnsonville has just started a petition against increasing class sizes! That includes the education spokesperson at Federated Farmers, who has agreed to circulate it. So that’s my challenge to you – if FF is doing it, surely the rest of us can get just 10 signatures (that’s one page) from the people we know...

And I think that’s a challenge we should all take up. Download

Various education groups and unions are uniting against this change. We need to back them.

So get out there and get signatures and send them in. You might combine it with the Asset Sales Petition.

And you could also email Hekia Parata directly. While you’re telling Craig Foss not to shut TVNZ7. Or while you’re emailing John Key about everything…

Hekia Parata may remember her class sizes looking like the below, but that doesn’t make it the right environment to get the most out of kids with modern teaching techniques…

Check out the Herald on Sunday editorial‘s stinging critique of the class size changes and National’s spin around them. As Grant Robertson points out, the Nats just don’t get how many people this affects, and how negatively they see this change (correctly…). Simple cost cutting, this ain’t.

23 comments on “Class sizes: show National you care”

  1. Dr Terry 1

    Hekia might have brains, but that does not imply good sense. One has encountered ever so many stupid brainy people! For a start, does she know a thing about education? I very much doubt, given her history, that she ever sat in a class of this size! Brains are no guarantee against memory loss either!

    • North 1.1

      There are brains and brains……..some people have brains less directed to a broad common good than to (1) self-promotion, and (2) belief in personal superiority, and (3) disingenuous expressions of care for those perceived as worker bees, and (4) saying whatever “needs” to be said to advance (1)-(3) above, and (5) fashioning a sense of oneself as a little bit of a princess in the court of King John.

      Going by the repute she seems to have earned (suffers) amongst many Maori in the North she’s a very bright lady in respect of (1) to (5) above but does not enjoy alot of trust or respect.

      The appellation “Heki Pirau” Parata (“rotten egg”), quietly voiced with mischievous giggles, seems to confirm that.

    • Morrissey 1.2

      Hekia might have brains…

      What evidence do you have to back up that statement? Everything in her career so far points to the opposite.

  2. Dr Terry 2

    I meant to add, I did email Foss and you should have seen the reply – I deleted it promptly!

  3. freedom 3

    some motivation/amusement
    if it has not already been posted

  4. ianmac 4

    As a reprint of data pinched from posts on the Standard my letter to the Marlborough Express was printed today. (Thanks Fabregas4 and DV)

    Please remember that the impact on the raising class sizes is not limited to Intermediates.
    Here is an example of the reality for one 5 teacher Primary School:

    Now 5 teachers
    Year 1: 18 children (recommended 15) 18
    Year 2: 22 children

    Year 3: 22 children(Beginning Teacher)

    Year 4/5: 26 children

    Year 6: 28 children.

    Will have 123 children by the end of the year.

    Will get the next teacher (6th) when we reach 126.

    But the New teacher/pupil ratio will do this:
    After changes we will be funded for teacher 4 at 97.5 – the 5th at 125 – the 6th at 153.5.’

    So if we hit 123 children at years end we still would not qualify to be fully funded for teacher 5, meaning classes like this:

    Year 1: 18 children

    Year 2: 24 (can’t in all conscience go higher for 6 year olds)

    Year 3: 40 children
    Year 4/5: 41 children.

    Example 2 showing the effect of the new staffing formula: Decile 1 School 88% Maori
    At year end there are 120 children.
    Year 1: 15 children
    Year 2: 24 children
    Remaining two classes 40 children each.

    A fair Go?

  5. Vicky32 5

    In heard Mathew Hooten today on RNZ, banging on about how after his mother’s death, he had done some ‘original research’ on his school photos he found amongst her effects. He went to ‘Kings Prep’, the poshest and most elite primary school in the world, he said, and counting heads in the school photos showed they had class sizes of 30! So, if the elite of the elite have class sizes of 30…
    If ancient (he didn’t say when from) school photos really do reflect class size*, then he might have a point, maybe, but what was it exactly? He didn’t actually say.. 
    * They may well not – I remember my little sister’s primary school photo, 60 children photographed with the sun in their eyes, up against an evergreen hedge in 1966. That doesn’t mean there were 60 children in her primary class, but that several classes were photographed together!

    • ianmac 5.1

      That was my thought too Vicky. An elite school would rank all the kids together who were in say, Std 2, so that when our little Matthew was ranked 1st in Std 2, it was from two classes of say 18 kids. Parata did the same thing in misrepresenting class sizes though what would it prove anyway?

    • Logie97 6.1

      Don’t suppose you have the figures to tell us how long the “tail” was in day joe.
      Nah, you just remember them as the golden days …

    • joe90 6.2

      Don’t suppose you have the figures to tell us how long the “tail” was in day joe.
      Nah, you just remember them as the golden days …

      Primary actually was a golden time during the sixties where in the first photo there’s actually two primer classes and standards two and three in the second. About 15-20 in a class. Intermediate was a breeze too.

      But then I attended the zoo that was a boys high school where being a skinny withdrawn uncoordinated kid was a target that in no particular order drew the attention of the bullies, thugs and sadistic teachers.

      By the fourth form I’d graduated to the bottom stream with the other forty or so kids who weren’t doing so well and I spent my fifth form year in the same stream too and left school before I turned 16.

      So nah, I don’t know how big the tail was sport but I was part of it and I’d have at a guess it was the majority of the bottom stream.

      But thanks for asking….

  6. bbfloyd 7

    I remember fondly the time i spent in primary school in east tamaki(tucked in behind otara)…. the class sizes there, and the large proportion of polynesian students with little, or no english speaking/reading skills meant that i was able to get away with having no exercise books for the first two terms of my last year at the school(dad got a state house in remuera, yes i know, how lucky can one get)….

    i suspect my teacher knew i had no books, but as i was already miles ahead of the rest of the class, it was overlooked until a review was done, and the school produced the requisite books for me… this was convenient at the time as, there being no dpb at the time, my mother was feeding, and clothing us from part time work, and charities…. so money for books just wasn’t there….

    I credit my time at primary/intermediate/secondary schools in remuera/eastern suburbs with my getting a decent level of education… and being able to to enjoy the experience rather than just “getting through” in one piece….

    I do wonder just how many “bright” children’s lives went unfulfilled as a result of being left to sink, or swim just because the teachers they had were at full stretch just keeping order in classrooms packed like sardine tins full of children….And how many potential movers and shakers ended up in jail instead of being the innovators and creators of the next generation of homegrown business successes…

    It beggars belief that we have a government that wants to go back to what amounted to an appalling waste of human resources for no better reason than to cover the cost of paying off it’s support base….. For shame johnny sparkles….. the glitter seems to be falling off …

  7. Pascal's bookie 8

    Colmar Brunton polled on it, results said to be “as one sided as a Blues match”


  8. felix 9

    Hoots was spinning like a top on Nine to Noon today. Reckons he went to posh private schools as a kid and the classes were bigger than what National proposes so everything’s sweet.

    Sadly there was no-one from the left to point out that the class sizes in state schools in those days were even bigger.

    Oh well.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  9. Mel 10

    I have downloaded the petition and will gather signatures. 
    National has gutted public education (loss of  up to 2 teachers per school and possibly many more after 3  years), but there is no subsequent cut to private school funding nor teacher ratios.
    There were $57 million dollars of tax payer money given to private schools in the last year. 
    Cuts to public school funding are meant to save $43 million? But after having to quickly back track – the figure is now more like $23 million.
    To add insult to injury – the government is trying to ‘sell’ these cuts to public education as part of a ‘raising achievement’ package.


  10. Anne 11

    On this occasion I think Josie Pagani stood up to Hooten quite well. She didn’t allow him to get away with much, and she did make the observation re-class sizes… what a shame you didn’t have smaller classes Matthew. Think how much better you would have done. He had no answer to that.

    Oops:reply to felix

    • felix 11.1

      Yeah but that answer didn’t address his obvious fallacy at all. She might as well have blown a rasberry.

      • Anne 11.1.1

        There’s some truth there. It’s as if she’s scared he may start shouting at her. When she gets older she’ll discover the wise old meme… who cares!!

        • felix

          I find it annoying, I think, because she seems very smart – smart enough that she ought to be able to refute anything he comes up with.

  11. Frankie and Benjy 12

    Found a pdf here that may be of interest (and illuminating as to the messages given to treasury).

    I find it annoying that slide 19 is headed up “Let’s have them..” (rank 49 up to 40) as if the previous effects on “achievement” can be dismissed.

    It shows me (amongst many things) that educationalists have tried (and tested) many strategies to improve “achievement” and most have some positive effect.
    There seems to be a search to find the “golden bullet” and ignore the rest.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere