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Herding Cats: Leadership, authoritarianism and Nationals “education”? policy

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 pm, February 14th, 2014 - 79 comments
Categories: child welfare, education, Privatisation, schools, Unions - Tags:

“Rewarding excellent Teachers”, on the face of it looks like a good idea. Who doesn’t think those who achieve results at a higher level, take on more responsibility or go the “extra mile” should not be paid more.

Unfortunately,  performance pay, and rewarding the “top” does not even work effectively in business.

When we think about it a little more, the concept, as embodied in Nationals education policy is not as simple or as useful as it may seem. it is simply performance pay and “running schools like a business” in disguise.
Individual performance pay has been abandoned in top performing business, because it doesn’t work in anything more complex than a direct sales role.
Solid Energy is a recent local example of the “success” of individual performance pay.

National is continuing the idea that success, in education, business, or Government, is dependant on a very few “high performing” individuals. An idea which authoritarians are happy to have persist.
The idea that things work because of a very few “talents”, “wealth creators” or exceptional individuals  justifies both the obscenely high salaries for “exceptional” managers and authoritarian styles of leadership.
The idea that society depends on a few individual supermen, suits those who want to justify excessive wealth/pay. It gives those responsible a moral justification for million dollar executive salaries, and authoritarians for abrogating co-operative work and/or democracy.

If you watch the movies, in military units, merchant ships and on civil aircraft, the “boss” is shown as this gung ho authoritarian, barking orders.

In reality, at least in the top/elite end, this is far from true.

A ships Captain who needed to reinforce his ego in this way would be regarded with contempt. In the military they are likely to get a bullet in the back, before they get everyone killed. Plane crash investigations show how many “pilot error” crashes are due to overly authoritarian and overly confident pilots, who don’t listen to their co-pilot, or ground staff..

High performing units where failure means immediate life or death, work as highly trained professional teams where the leader trains, co-ordinates and facilitates, not controls.

Managing, committed, qualified and competent professionals is often likened to “herding cats”.

It is noticeably easier to manage a bunch of people who prefer to “park” their brains at the door and leave the difficult task of thinking to others. Authoritarian followers.
However, if you want to have the best people, doing their best, to ensure a really high performing business you have to learn to, “herd cats”. Which means you have to give up some of your own power to facilitate and empower the “cats” to do their best.
You ensure that your staff are trained to the level of professionalism where orders, micro-management and authority are unnecessary.

Mediocre Authoritarians, obviously, would rather accept mediocrity than lose power or have to extend themselves to lead caring, thinking and competent people.
Hence the pressing need National have to corporatise, manage and dumb down “mass” education.

Anyone who has spent any time on a Marae knows that the power really lies with the “Aunties”, who keep everyone working together, not with the bloke with the big walking stick.
In business, the old guy in the workshop or the person typing in the back office, usually a middle aged woman, is the one who really runs the place.

Not the bright young man who has to be paid a million dollars to come to work. The new broom,  who fixes what ain’t broke, cost cuts, asset strips, takes his share options, and leaves.
Just what schools, and the country,  need. More of this approach.

Since tomorrows schools we have had a business model of authoritarian leadership. The “great man” idea.
We have seen how well this works, in reality. Schools broken because too much power and control rests on the principal.

Nationals education policy extends this idea.

BUT. In reality, there has never been a “great Captain”,  without a “great crew”.

79 comments on “Herding Cats: Leadership, authoritarianism and Nationals “education”? policy”

  1. shorts 1

    I believe the ultimate weakness in performance pay is it demotivates many (all them cats) and is underscored with the odd notion that money is the sole motivator for most people – which is simply not true.

    Not everyone thrives on competition. not everyone wants to compete – that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable or great at what they do, just that these simplistic mechanisms are anathema to them

    • Olwyn 1.1

      I would guess that part of the intention, whether conscious or unconscious, is to ensure that money is the prime motivator. That is more or less what TINA means. The idea that virtue is its own reward only applies in the neo-liberal world if acquisitiveness counts as the sole virtue.

  2. Nice post. I think we are forcefed this idea of the great authoritarian leader, it certainly fits with the neo-lib ethos and i think it is also seen in the inertia we have towards the big stuff we face – many believe the white knight will ride in a fix everything – it’s just a matter of time… and that is just not going to happen imo.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      many believe the white knight will ride in a fix everything – it’s just a matter of time…

      And his name is Jesus.

      and that is just not going to happen imo.

      Correct and we have to accept and fix our fuckups communally or they won’t get fixed at all as the people presently profiting from those fuckups will work to keep them in place.

  3. Bill 3

    I broadly agree with the authoritarian/authoritarian followers take of the post.

    But with teachers, is it really performance pay in the way you suggest? Looks to me like ‘compliance pay’ alongside a license to make others comply. You know, spin the numbers, teach to the test and help ready schools for the intrusion of profit taking businesses that need measurable criteria to hang a profit making regime on.

    Also not too sure about your ‘herding cats’ analogy. We tend to be cooperative when just left to it. The problem is that we are taught, trained and rewarded for embracing a culture of competition. Competition has its place, but it’s become an all pervasive, fucked up habit that’s constantly reinforced through reward….conferred prestige, money etc.

    edit – when I say competition has its place, I’m referring to positive competition and not the negative ‘eat your neighbour’ competition we’re trained in.

    • karol 3.1

      Well, I think it’s a kind of performance pay, which very often acts as compliance pay. This time the performance element is even more selective than usual, enabling a tilt towards more of a compliance pay.

      In my experience of teaching, teachers do tend toward more of a cooperative approach.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Thank god you weren’t responding to any of those numerous and late edits ;-)

        Yes, it’s a ‘sort of’ performance pay. But an actual performance pay based on the ability to inspire children and teach them well, (surely, what education is all about) would see none of those currently in the pipeline to receive such pay, receiving it.

    • KJT 3.2

      In this case I agree. It is compliance pay.

      I think it is actually projection in the part of the NACT types.

      They, themselves, will only work well when either a carrot or a stick is involved.

      That the majority work well out of job satisfaction, to help people, or to contribute, is foreign to their understanding.

      Though, they are happy to take advantage of it.

      • Bill 3.2.1

        The authoritarian mindset goes way to the left of ‘Nact types’.

        Also, due to the nature of most jobs, most people get precisely 5/8ths of fuck all job satisfaction. They simply endure…often heroically. For most, when redundancy or retirement comes around, they might miss their workmates, and they might be ‘all at sea’ and not know what to do with their time, but generally speaking, they don’t miss the job.

        • KJT 3.2.1.1

          Yep. Sadly, the pathological need to dominate, is also apparent in many on the left wing.

          • Bill 3.2.1.1.1

            Thing is, anyone can have all the pathological drive to dominate that they care to have. Doesn’t mean a thing though, unless they find people willing to be dominated. And it’s that category of people, those who are willing to be subjugated, that are the real problem.

            • Zorr 3.2.1.1.1.1

              So we should all desire to dominate? Or just consistently be willing to stand up to authority without ever toppling over to the dark side?

              I think what you are proposing here is ignoring all those ways that communities work cooperatively and that those that dominate us do so through manipulation of this community spirit. Your viewpoint that those that are subjugated are the problem is as anathema to me as the idea of me wanting to be one of the dominating class.

              • Bill

                So we should all desire to dominate? Or just consistently be willing to stand up to authority without ever toppling over to the dark side?

                No, to the first question. As for the second, it’s not so much a case of ‘standing up to’ so much as withdrawing consent. If your game plan is to ‘stand up to’ – ie, challenge or contest, then what makes your position so different to theirs? You are totally within their frame of reference at that point.

                btw – you do understand the importance of the word willing in my comment, yes?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.1.1.2

              I agree with Zorr. Standing up to bullies is at least as draining as putting up with them. Not everyone has the energy or the skills.

              • Bill

                So you can’t be bothered with the hassle of not being under some-one else’s control?!

                Also – see above on the ‘standing up to’ bullshit. Wrong game plan. If you challenge and are beaten back or down, then their position is bolstered. If you challenge and win then…haven’t you just become them? Maybe you’d be more benign (big deal). Meanwhile, you’ll have done nothing to challenge the supposed legitimacy of anyone assuming a position of ‘power over’ – which is the crux of the matter.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Yes Bill, of course your false dichotomy is exactly what I meant. Of course the only way to stand up is to become a bully. Of course your victim-blaming is justified.

                  • Bill

                    Victim blaming? Are you being fucking serious?! How’s about a read of what I actually said? Here it is, with a kind of important wee word highlighted –


                    unless they find people willing to be dominated…

                    But, what you’re telling me that it’s absolutely okay to not seek justification from some fucker who comes up with some wonderful scenario of how they’ll make sure everyone is just dinky by exercising power over all and sundry?! Better… that to call people on their willful enabling behaviour and moral equivalence is ‘victim blaming’?!!

                    So, we’ll just ignore the fact that exercising ‘power over’ entails having a willing squad of wee toadies to act as enforcers and/or enablers and/or a source of legitimacy through, for example, their sheer numbers …the poor mites that they are. Not their fault – they’re just victims, don’t you know.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Bill, I like the general thrust of what you’re saying, but I think you’re going too far when you say that people who are willing to be subjugated are the real problem. It struck me as victim blaming.

                      Now you’re talking about toadies and enforcers and/or enablers and sure, I agree, but most of the subjugated are not among their number.

    • Mike S 3.3

      Yes, competition is extremely damaging. You hear some commentators saying that it is human nature to be competitive. This is complete bullshit and blaming it on human nature is simply used as an excuse, mainly by those in positions of power, wealth and influence, to justify immoral behavior..

      It’s been proven that competition hinders progress, in many areas of society, but especially in regards to the education of secondary school pupils. A prime example is the USA, where getting good grades is out on it’s own above all else as the achievement students are forced to compete for. Studies found that when getting a good grade is the prime motivator, then it led to students not challenging themselves and essentially to a ‘dumbing’ down. For example, students doing say a book review choose the easiest book possible in order to give themselves the best chance of getting an A. You can’t blame the students, they are just maximizing their chances of a high grade. When grades were removed, students tended to choose far more difficult and varied books to do their assignments on. Remove competition and watch our students flourish.

      And before anyone brings out the old “but you can’t have sports without competition!”. Sports are designed as a competition, with winners and losers. That’s fine, but education is not about winners and losers, it is about realizing and releasing the potential of all students.

      “The problem is that we are taught, trained and rewarded for embracing a culture of competition.”

      Yes definitely and I also think the way we’re pushed to conform or be ‘normal’ is damaging to human potential. Think about it, from the day you’re born you hear “do as your told!”. When you start school, you’re essentially taught not to really think but instead to “do as your told!” Your first job, “do as your told!”. Police, politicians, etc essentially say the same thing. The system is set up to grow people who “do as they’re told” and pay their taxes and don’t rock the boat. The powers that be don’t like people who think, especially those who think outside the square because those people are dangerous to the system status quo.

  4. tricledrown 4

    National education policy is to demoralize what was the worlfs fourtj best education system Now 14th to 18th in less than 5 years.

  5. JanM 5

    Great article, Kit – I really enjoy reading intelligent arguments that challenge the authoritarian mediocrity that holds sway at this time.
    There is an inherent idiocy in encouraging competitive behavior in education as it definitely works best as a collegial profession ,a fact by the way, that the PPTA seems to be losing sight of.
    The other aspect that concerns me is who will make the decisions on who these ‘high performing’ individuals are going to be, and what criteria will be used as a guide? The possibilities are enough to make one’s blood run cold!

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      The other aspect that concerns me is who will make the decisions on who these ‘high performing’ individuals are going to be, and what criteria will be used as a guide?

      Well, obviously, it will be other “high-performing individuals” and there will be some sort of formal criteria but the actual criteria will be if the person making the decisions is friends with the person being promoted.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      It strikes me that there are two possible explanations: idiocy or greed.

      If the recent finding that stupidity is a right-wing trait survives extended peer-review, then perhaps idiocy is to blame, but it’s a coordinated idiocy that, by an amazing coincidence, transfers public funds into private hands.

  6. tricledrown 6

    National want to break the teachers union so they can pay teachets less
    That’s the policy

    • Bill 6.1

      Nope. The breaking of the union is incidental. The policy is to introduce measurable criteria that profit taking scenarios can be pinned to.

    • just saying 6.2

      Let’s face it, these changes are a stone that kills a number of birds. And clears a path for even more.
      Makes you wonder at what point the opposition is going to dissent, and if it doesn’t actually get harder the more ground is conceded.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1

        “The purpose of this Bill is to abolish partnership schools kura hourua (“charter schools”) in New Zealand.”

        “Under this Bill, charter schools will first undergo a disestablishment period before being completely abolished from 1 January 2016.”

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2

        Just remember, it was the “opposition” that implemented these types of policies in the first place.

      • Bill 6.2.3

        Yup. Many birds, one stone. I guess my gripe, if you can call it that, is that busting a union doesn’t in and of itself entail privatisation. Privatisation, on the other hand, does, as a matter of course, involve busting unions.

        So to then say the policy is all about busting unions is to miss the point or intent of the policy.

  7. just saying 7

    Great post, KJT.

  8. Flip 8

    the idea that success, in education, business, or Government, is dependant on a very few “high performing” individuals. An idea which authoritarians are happy to have persist…

    Now that is truth. These “high performers” are just not that good or make that much difference. Really. The difference between them and the next person is marginal and dependent on circumstances and environment. It is ridiculous how many people buy into this elitism and authoritarianism.

    Education is needed to counter these lies rather than promote them or be prepared for greater inequality.

  9. ianmac 9

    A flat management structure is much more successful in developing innovative teaching (or business.)
    Job satisfaction is the greatest driver. Pay increases euphoria lasts about 3 days then fades. Recognition helps develop job satisfaction whereas being ignored by management and being told what to do rather than developing and sharing innovation.
    And the National Rewarding the Chosen Ones is going to cause resentment and derision depending on who chooses the Chosen Ones.

    Job Satisfaction. Flat management structure. Cooperation. Acknowledgement. These are the real drivers.

  10. ianmac 10

    Oh and great post KJT. About time someone raised the question.

  11. Herodotus 11

    Rewarding excellent teachers – many are currently being underpaid for their efforts.
    We already have a multi tier pay system within the MOE/ union awards depending upon qualifications, instead of all being paid equally for the same commitment and work load.
    Should bulk funding return there is scope for boards to ” save” money by paying less for teachers.
    http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEducation/EducationPolicies/SchoolEmployment/TopicsOfInterest/BaseSalaryandAllowances.aspx

  12. TightyRighty 12

    the most amazing thing is that you believe the bollocks that pours from your mouth! quoting solid energy as an example where individual performance pay doesn’t work? shall we ignore trademe’s performance pay model that actively encourages business growth?

    lets not the pay the exceptionally skilled workers more, lets pay everyone the same. great idea. lets pay the guy who delivers 2 million a year in sales the same as the guy who cleans the office toilet that the sales guy never actually visits. that’ll work.

    it’s almost like you want this country to be overcome by is it’s own indolence. i suspect the truth is a lot more prosaic, you’ve never succeeded at jack shit and hate those people that did because they were bettter than you, or did because they were better at playing the game than you.

    • McFlock 12.1

      From the post:

      Individual performance pay has been abandoned in top performing business, because it doesn’t work in anything more complex than a direct sales role.

      Your response was:

      lets pay the guy who delivers 2 million a year in sales the same as the guy who cleans the office toilet

      You fucking idiot.

      • TightyRighty 12.1.1

        what about that guys sales manager, who motivates, directs and gives the resources to enable the sales guy to perform? should his input not be recognised as being a top manager? and that sales manager who made the spectacular hire? should his ability at hiring not be recognised also?

        nope lets pay high performers nothing more than what a company bonus could dictate.

        ever been part of an organisation that doesn’t recognise individual talent and only pays bonuses when the company meets it’s target? even though you’ve provided 160% of your expected contribution and the company still won’t pay you a dime as they missed by 1%? i have, I was that guy. I walked. and they fucking hated it. they still struggle to retain top performers, and they still wonder why.

        • McFlock 12.1.1.1

          Well, your initial assumption is that the sales manager was not an incompetent who did nothing, but hire the outstanding seller by accident, or because the seller’s hairstyle was pretty.

          Your second assumption is that the sales manager was able to function as a competent manager without support, yet the sales manager possibly avoided work-hampering dysentery because of the diligent cleaner who cleaned the office toilet thoroughly and regularly.

          Your third assumption is that keeping the top performers is the role of the manager, whereas a true manager enables employees to be top performers. Maybe your former workplace was shit and is still struggling. Fair enough. That doesn’t mean a competent manager would have tolerated a prima donna – it just means that every employee would have been motivated to be as good as you believe you were.

          Oh, and I’ve worked with that guy – we did much better as a team without his bitching and politicking.

        • McFlock 12.1.1.2

          fuck, and actually, you again missed the bit where performance pay can work in places like sales. Just not teaching (or even sales management) where the metrics are less reliable (read “utter bullshit”).

        • Hayden 12.1.1.3

          Maybe you should have done 165%, everyone could have had a bonus, and you’d have been a hero. Besides, why are you complaining after the fact about a policy that you should have known about when you signed on?

          Conversely, I’ve left a job where the sales people got away with (figurative) murder, while being rewarded considerably more than the people who were providing that service. They’d sell a rental contract, promise a three-day turnaround (which they weren’t allow to do), then load it in the system without said three-day turnaround (because they weren’t supposed to be doing it); inevitably the on-call technician would get a call, usually about 6pm on a Friday, wondering where the hell his vital equipment was as his store was opening the next day, and by the way he’s in Twizel and the tech’s in Wellington. Complaining to the sales manager would get you nothing more than shrugged shoulders, followed by the same thing happening a few months later.

      • Bill 12.1.2

        I’d pay the toilet cleaner more on the basis that the guy delivering $2 million is probably doing a job that they find quite empowering and enjoyable/rewarding. Actually, in a sane world, the guy delivering the $2 million would also be cleaning toilets a part of the time and the guy cleaning the toilets doing something rewarding and empowering a part of the time. In the end, a balance gets created and everyone gets paid more or less the same….unless they work longer in the more onerous job positions.

        • srylands 12.1.2.1

          Were you one of Pol Pot’s assistants? Or are you winding us up?

        • srylands 12.1.2.2

          The guy cleaning toilets is cleaning toilets because he has no skills to do anything else.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.2.2.1

            And yet performs a vital function, given the apparent inability of some executive types to clean up after themselves.

            In fact, cleaning a toilet requires certain skills. Patience. Attention to detail. Diligence. The restraint to not shove the toilet brush down the throats of the selfish pricks who don’t clean up after themselves.

            Before you leap to conclusions, I’ve never cleaned a toilet other than those I’ve owned or used.

            PS: as for your assertion, [citation needed]

            • Hayden 12.1.2.2.1.1

              I’ve never cleaned a toilet other than those I’ve owned or used.

              I have, for 3 years at high school and then as a Johnny-no-stars at the country’s (then) biggest KFC. It’s quite amazing what can happen to a busy central-city restaurant’s toilet at 3am on a Saturday.

          • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.2.2

            Cleaners perform an absolutely vital societal role in terms of sanitation and hygiene.

            And I guess the Indian optometrist who drove my taxi from the airport in December didn’t have skills to do anything else either.

            You fucking ignorant idiot.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.2.2.2.1

              Ignorance is a condition we all share. S Rylands is that very special kind of idiot: a corporatist.

    • ianmac 12.2

      Within the context of teacher Performance Pay just how will you select those deserving of that pay TightyMighty? There are no numbers to measure by. Is a teacher of 30 New Entrants introducing them to 6-7 subject areas more or less deserving of a teacher with 30 Year 6 students also teaching 6-7 subject areas. There have been a variety of research projects that find that there is little to distinguish good/bad teachers. Nothing to do with strict/liberal, male/female though one commonality emerged and that was the degree of enthusiasm of the teacher.

      Well Tighty Mighty. Can you tell us just how teachers can be measured for Performance Pay? Do tell because it is almost impossible for researchers to do so.

      • framu 12.2.1

        just a small point – teachers already have performance pay – just like every other employee – whats nob ends like tight pants is angling for is politicised pay

      • TightyRighty 12.2.2

        haha researchers.

        there is a huge amount of evidence that suggests top teachers are attracted by top salaries and top learning environments, while being led by top principals.

        How else do you explain top grammar schools in all our major cities? including the very real rise of schools such as MAGS in auckland and Rongatai College / WEGC in wellington?

        top teachers, paid top salaries, motivating all the teachers around them. Top teachers are identifiable over a period of years. they can teach the test, but if there students fail the next year it’s pretty obvious. good teachers embed knowledge and the curriculum. poor teachers embed nothing except the curriculum. thats why it’s great the performance pay can be removed. should a teacher be found to cheating their way to the top, they’ll get found out and it’ll be stripped.

        • srylands 12.2.2.1

          “there is a huge amount of evidence that suggests top teachers are attracted by top salaries and top learning environments, while being led by top principals.”

          Yes exactly. I can’t believe the desirability of rewarding higher performing teachers is even an issue for debate. There is no alternative.

          • KJT 12.2.2.1.1

            Thanks Srylands. You have just put up an excellent argument for increasing ‘all’ Teachers pay.

            We do want to attract “the best” people to the profession don’t we?

            What you, and TR, haven’t done is put up any arguments against the content of my post.

            No wonder why you are against Teachers, with that degree of reading comprehension, it is obvious that you belong to “the tail” of low achievement.

            At one stage I thought that paying Teachers in low decile schools more would be a good idea. As the job is noticeably harder.

            Until I taught in one, and realised the excellent, committed, Teachers were already there.
            Paying extra would have just attracted the time servers, who are teaching because they can’t earn more elsewhere and whose lack of ability is concealed by the less disadvantaged students they have in higher decile and private schools.

            Better to pay all Teachers, and support staff, well, (it is not an easy job), and spend some money on sabbaticals, career changes or the Teacher equivalent of PERFing, to allow those who have burnt out, had enough, are hanging in there for retirement, or find it too hard, to move on.

            I am not philosophically opposed to performance pay. When it works.

            It works only when you have a clearly defined and measurable individual contribution.

            Performance measurement systems for Teaching, like most that have been tried in business, are notoriously inconsistent, subjective and unreliable.

            Like teaching to the test, performance measurement, and rewards, often has unintended consequences.
            ENRON and Solid Energy are excellent examples.

            I remember clearly being rated below a fellow manager.
            The management was impressed by his 16 hours a day at work. The fact that he couldn’t manage his time, or that of his staffs, organise his work, or delegate properly, and micro-managed to the point where good staff were leaving, seemed to escape them. But, he had gone to uni, with the boss.

            When Teaching, some of the heads seemed most impressed with those who kept their classes quiet. No allowances for a class that was making a noise because the kids were buzzing and engaged. Or the class that was so bullied into being quiet, they were engaging in silent civil disobedience, and learning nothing.

        • Draco T Bastard 12.2.2.2

          there is a huge amount of evidence that suggests top teachers are attracted by top salaries and top learning environments, while being led by top principals.

          [citation needed]

          How else do you explain top grammar schools in all our major cities? including the very real rise of schools such as MAGS in auckland and Rongatai College / WEGC in wellington?

          Perceived elitism. They’re not actually any better but a lot of people believe them to be better.

          • McFlock 12.2.2.2.1

            actually, there’s not really much argument with the idea that if everyone has a chance to be paid well and has excellent conditions and good managers, they go there.

            But charter schools and national standards have nothing to do with improving the pay, conditions and management of all our teachers.

            The charter schools get more government money and use government school resources, and the latest scab-bonus simply rewards the teachers who are best at juking their stats.

            • KJT 12.2.2.2.1.1

              Charter schools are all about paying Teachers less, and costing taxpayers more, so the ticket clippers in the middle can make more profit.

          • KJT 12.2.2.2.2

            In the decile one school, the children from families with enough time, money and ability to support them, did just as well, if not better, than they would have in a high decile, or private school.

            What was noticeable to me, was the number of “bright” kids who got frustrated with the bullying, over control and rote lessons, of the decile 6 school, who left at 16. Half their top class.

            I will leave you to guess which school got the most glowing ERO reports.

            Our education system caters very well for the 80%, in the middle.

            There is room for improvement at the ends.

            Something Teachers are very well aware of.

            It is politicians who block attempts to improve this. Either by wasting money, which could be put to better use, on ill considered idealogical experiments, and/or “micro-managing” Teaching. Because they think that Teachers are as incompetent as they are.

        • Murray Olsen 12.2.2.3

          MAGS? Haha. They specialise in turning out mediocre authoritarians, overpaid accountants, and coppers who are a wee bit free with their fists. Anything good coming from there comes despite the management of the shit hole, not because of it.

          They regularly cheated their way to somewhere a bit below the top in the academic tables, especially when UE could be accredited. They’d accredit all the moronic right wing prefects and sports stars, while they made guys they knew would pass actually sit it. I doubt if much has changed.

          • lprent 12.2.2.3.1

            MAGS…while they made guys they knew would pass actually sit it.

            Not all of us. No-one told me what I should do. It was pretty obvious. I sat it because I could do a small fraction of the work doing exams rather than doing the laborious assignments and tests. I think that I did about 3-4 weeks actual work throughout the 6th form, just before UE. School was a nice place to read. In the 7th form I had a 45% attendance rate – the university library and night shift at a local factory were better.

            There were more interesting places to learn from.

            • Murray Olsen 12.2.2.3.1.1

              I learned one thing painting houses. When you paint with a broad brush, you miss a few bits in the corners. Looks like you were hiding in one of those corners.

              My 7th form was largely spent in the snooker rooms on Dominion Rd, or meeting up with girls from the Convent across the road, always hoping for a different outcome this time :-) They should have expelled me, but they thought I’d get them a scholarship. They went ballistic when I didn’t even bother sitting it.

        • karol 12.2.2.4

          but if there students fail the next year it’s pretty obvious.

          And you would know…..?

    • framu 12.3

      whats really amazing is your entire pile of turd thats coming out of your mouth has zero to do wtih the post

      nothing you claim is actually being said by anyone – what is it with you and reading?

      Did a book beat you up for your lunch money or something?

    • Hayden 12.4

      You must be in sales!

      There’s a particular type of salesman who seems to think that the success of the company depends entirely on them, and has nothing to do with the product or service they’re selling, the people who provide the after-sales support, the people who physically deliver the product to the customer, hell, even the people who handle accounts receivable. They’re good at delivering morning teas and boxes of beer, some of them are even good at their jobs (and know what they’re talking about) but they’re in no way solely responsible for the success of the company.

      Fortunately, that sort aren’t as ubiquitous as they used to be.

      • TightyRighty 12.4.1

        what happens if you’ve got all those other things, but the sales people are rubbish? do companies still perform well hayden? everyone has to pull together and all staff deserve to be rewarded if the company does well. but if you have one excellent back office support person carrying two clock watchers, do the clockwatchers get a share?

        • Hayden 12.4.1.1

          Well, that’s not optimal either, obviously. Plenty of companies, though, do well without any sales staff at all, which is probably easier than 100% sales staff but no-one to deliver that service.

        • McFlock 12.4.1.2

          If a single person is carrying two clockwatchers, you’re also forgetting about the incompetent manager.

          Ideally, all staff get the reward, but the clockwatchers get performance management. And ship out if they don’t measure up.

          So as well as sales staff, a firm needs managers, admins, techs, and cleaners. If any of them drop the ball, it hurts the company

        • Hayden 12.4.1.3

          I was right though, you are in sales.

          • McFlock 12.4.1.3.1

            One of the top performers, apparently.

            Probably the sort of slimy fuck who misleads old ladies.

    • KJT 12.5

      Really struck a nerve there, did I, TR?

      Mediocre Authoritarian sound like someone you know intimately?

      LOL.

    • Mike S 12.6

      I was going to post a carefully thought out response to your post tightyrighty. But I realized that I would be wasting my time completely. So instead I’m going to lower myself to simple verbal abuse.

      Fuckwit…

  13. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 13

    I find it ironic that National consistently accuse Labour of ‘throwing money at a problem’ omitting to note that how money is spent is the pivotal point for assessment.

    They then pull this stunt – which is most definitely ‘throwing money at a problem’ in the exact manner in which they accuse Labour.

    Labour puts money into things in a manner that bears fruit for the future.
    National throws money at things in a manner that solely ‘bears the fruit’ of increasing wealth disparity.

    I do not like National’s approach to education – they are removing opportunities for many people; those who have already been failed by our education system (the community education funds cut), making it harder to get financial assistance for higher education (or removing it completely for some) , their approach toward degenerating the higher education system by turning it into a business, taking informative TV channels off the air, and this piece of elite-producing crap in schools.

    I am of the understanding that having an informed public that participates in society is not where National wants us to be.

  14. KiwiGunner 14

    Well I am a Principal. My experience is that schools work best when everyone works together in the best interests of the children and the community. Someone has to be the leader though and, when shit hits the fan as it does sometimes, the principal is often the one left with the problem – often isolated and quite alone actually.

    When I was a teacher I thought being a principal would be easy but of course all jobs have their problems, stresses and strains. There are days I earn too much but plenty too when I don’t earn enough for what I do.

    It is easy I guess to forget about the problems encountered by schools pre self governing schools – I wasn’t in education then but stories abound of sillyness and crazy bureaucracy.

    I want teachers at my school, and in general I guess, to simply work hard, thought, skill, and with care – almost all do though some are more skilled than others as is the case in every walk of life – my job (in terms of the management of staff is to get the best from everyone and my belief is that this happens when relationships are right).

    If I’m being honest I know that the community, in the main, see me as someone who has helped make big improvements in our school but I for one spend a lot of time thanking, acknowledging and supporting the teachers and staff who do the day to work whilst my work is not often acknowledged within the school at all.

    I’ve got off track except to say Principals are part of the system too- I don’t in any way support Nationals policy ideas and can only see disaster should they come to fruition – my guess is that they won’t but sadly the Principals Associations and the PPTA have started their opposition quite poorly – it is up to all educators to put them right – send an email today.

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  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04