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Isolating change: the poverty of education

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, January 24th, 2014 - 59 comments
Categories: child welfare, class war, david cunliffe, education, election 2014, equality, greens, Hekia parata, john key, labour, Metiria Turei, same old national - Tags:

John Key has presented one great idea instead of a full election agenda: he has latched on to one aspect of education in isolation from the wider context.  This policy announcement is a desperate attempt to stop the decline in his government’s popularity and related growing discontents.  First he spoke a lot of untruths and mis-directions in dismissing opposition concerns with poverty and the increase in income inequalities.  (Polity exposes the lies.) Then he tried to paper over the election risk posed by his government’s failing education (and other) policies, by narrowing the focus of his election agenda onto one isolated aspect of education.

Key is aiming to parachute a very limited policy from above, into a complex situation.  There have been some very good responses to Key’s policy.  Most agree with supporting good teachers.  Most critics point to the ways in which poverty and inequalities impact on children’s learning.

University of Canterbury College of Education pro-vice chancellor, Prof Gail Gillon makes some comments at the beginning of an RNZ audio clip from this morning’s Morning Report. She says that for education and teaching to improve, social situations also need attending.  She is especially concerned about the impact on a child’s education, of poverty and related problems of health and housing.

The majority of the audio clip is an interview with Principal Ian Leckie, of Tahatai Coast School. He is concerned that the policy has been dropped on schools without warning. He welcomes some positive aspects of Key’s policy.  However, he is concerned it cuts across the work schools have been doing with the Ministry of Education and school trustees, over the last 10 years, to build a good teacher career structure and to ensure good teaching.

Leckie says Key’s policy misses the mark in raising student achievement.  It fails to deal with the main underlying societal issues.  He says that potentially, “the devil’s in the detail”, and there’s no indication of the detail for Key’s policy. The government has got the whole thing arse backwards – imposing the scheme from above, then planning to consult with schools, unions, etc.  They should have begun with consultations.

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.

David Cunliffe, also on Morning Report today, says that Key’s policy is “underwhelming”, and is a “six page apology for five years of Hekia Parata”.  Cunliffe says that, “at it’s very best, is a partial solution to how to make our schools perform better.” He says National is responding to a real risk for them in election year, because New Zealand is tumbling down the international education rankings.

Cunliffe is critical of the way National is suddenly jumping on board with something the opposition have been saying for years: that collaboration is important.  Meanwhile all the things that the National-led government has been doing have been taking education in the opposite direction, towards more competition: national standards, league tables, charter schools, cutting  professional development, increasing class sizes, etc.

Cunliffe says Labour wants to take a whole family view, taking into account socio-economic background.  Cunliffe says that Key focused his “State of the Nation” speech on one narrow policy, one idea, and failed to provide a full Statement by setting out his whole agenda for the year.  Cunliffe said he will be doing a true State of the Nation speech, giving an outline of Labour’s wider agenda.

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Metiria Turei is also critical of Key’s education policy because it does not tackle the underlying problem of poverty and inequality.

“The OECD PISA report at the end of last year showed embarrassingly large differences between our children’s socioeconomic status and worsening educational achievement,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Growing inequality in New Zealand is negatively impacting on our kids learning. Sick and hungry kids can’t learn. This policy does nothing for kids and families living in poverty.

“The best teachers and principals in the world can’t feed or heal the hungry and sick kids that show up to school each day.

“This real problem in our kids’ education achievement is not addressed by National’s proposal.

“This poorly thought out policy assumes that a possible improvement in teaching practice will address the driver of declining standards, inequality. It won’t.

Turei stressed the importance of tackling poverty and inequality on Newstalk ZB this morning:

“Unless kids come to school with enough food and are well and are well cared well [sic], they are not ready to learn. It doesn’t matter what the best teacher does. If they are hungry or they’re sick, they are not going to work.”

This transcript may have lost something in the translation from the spoken word – but the idea is clear.

Gordon Campbell has also published his usual quality analysis of Key’s education policy:

Even so, these matters are of less concern than how the changes are intended to fit within the government’s overall strategy for education.

To date, and as the charter schools experiment has shown, the government appears to have an ideologically-driven readiness to monetise and to atomise aspects of the existing state education system. In similar vein, yesterday’s changes can validly be seen as a performance pay scheme disguised as a rescue package for schools in need.

59 comments on “Isolating change: the poverty of education”

  1. geoff 1

    grammar nazi (sorry)

    right at the start
    “John Key’s has…”

    A few lines from top
    “The he tried ”

    also Ian leckie paragraph
    “He welcome’s…”

    • karol 1.1

      Thanks. Are the audio clips working for you? They just keep buffering for me and not playing.

    • Mel 1.2

      Exactly.

      I view this as part of National’s election year lolly scramble. Dropping in ‘change agents’ (Hate these business terms for human endeavours) has been shown again and again either to not work, or to fade over time.

      Politicians need to stop meddling in education, realise the pervasive effect of poverty on people, put in place steps to alleviate this, begin working together with each other (across party accords) and with teachers, if we want to make improvements.

      • aerobubble 1.2.1

        Isn’t it obvious it won’t work, I mean what principal of a school would seek to advertize their problems by having a ‘expert’ principal look over their shoulder. Sure where boards are at odds with their principal…

        …look its pretty clear National Standards means, for National, declaring which schools are bad and which are good. And so giving parents the choice of school, if they are wealthy enough to take their kids to the other side of town. Now why should this shock you, well clearly the underlying theme of us and them, of climbing zombie like over your neighbors, having status of better class of people who send their kids to a better school, all feed into the narrative, that
        profit at any cost. Its pure ideology, and Key admits as much by bringing up ideology as not the reason, because he knows the point hits home.

        Key does not want a efficient economy, because you see there’s a divergence between those
        who build the economy (who worry about the shrinking income tax base as boomer retire) who want more choice of employees (all better educated) and Key who need inequality.

        What is the Auckland school zone but another National party base ideological agenda, to make money out of schools. The whole point of measuring schools is to profit from them. But again the future needs a broader pool of varied skills and experience, so how is forcing everyone to pass the same metrics going to produce them. Its a one box mentality.

  2. Pasupial 2

    Thanks for this post Karol – illuminating as ever. I’ve been commenting in a similar vein over on Open Mike, but it’s starting to make my hand ache countering that PR campaign (a minor cut that has slowed my typing this week).

  3. Zorr 3

    The last thing the education system needs right now is more money at the wrong end. I can’t understand those who see a policy such as this and, because it’s a lolly scramble in their direction, can’t see past the sweets.

    What point is there to paying our educators more if:

    a) They’re teaching to the test – get rid of National Standards already

    b) They’re not getting paid – fix payroll already and get rid of Talentless2

    c) They’re not socially respected – our neo-lib masters have been deriding the teaching profession for decades now as they are a bastion of organized, educated unions and this has resulted in a community that is divided over our education system

    d) We have not yet returned to evidence-based education policy – we previously listened to our experts, can we have this back before we throw more money in a pit?

    e) Stop out-sourcing schooling – if we are to be paying teachers for performing, then they should all be required to be meeting the same goals (I smell a potential rort right here for state-integrated and charter schools)

    The list could continue ad infinitum – the amount of damage done to the education system is almost beyond measure these days. We need to reset the broken bone and put it in a splint while we heal, not this sticking plaster. Without comprehensive policy changes to back this up, this is nothing but flash and sizzle.

    • Chooky 3.1

      Good Post karol and Zorr +100

      Keys changes for education are most underwhelming…apart from the other factors which drive educational excellence and which the National govt has consistently undermined ….this is a USA Neo liberal inspired attack on teachers( it is being done in the USA)…blaming teachers by implication for for our unravelling international education quality and laying the ground for privatising and charter schools

      …..why not just bring back the old school inspectorate to advise schools and teachers? ( this inspectorate was made of very experienced older teachers nearing retirement and deemed excellent at their jobs and they didnt cost much more!)

      …. this would be without the huge cronyist monetary incentivist bribes to those Principals the Nact govt deems as ‘excellent’ to advise everyone else especially ‘under performing’ schools from low socio economic areas ( irony irony)

      …..the potential for a cronyist fascist top down education is here imo….….ie you are only an excellent Principal deserving of tens of thousands more in your pay packet if you are a Nact supporter and do not criticise the Nact govt ( and for God’s sake don’t even think about teaching critical thinking!)

      • aerobubble 3.1.1

        ACC Doctors. The pattern. Doctors chosen for their past results at getting ACC claims denied.

        Now the principals union welcomes the same practice of ‘experts’.

        Expects who will be selected on their ability to impose National Standards.

        Invariably impose upon schools who are at odds with their boards, or have fail to impose National standards….

        ..and then there’s the joke, that National will claim victory when they don’t spend all 300 million.

        Its just politics wrap in ideology wrap in politics.

    • Anne 3.2

      +1 Zorr

      Is it true that John Key used the term “the teacher industry”? If it is true then that says it all. It’s no longer a profession run by the government for the education of all children regardless of their background? It’s now an industry based on market-led ideology and the teachers are the human component in that market place bidding for the top paid jobs? So, what’s the price they must pay? Join the Neo Lib movement and pray openly to the NL god – money?

      And what of the children? Well, it looks like they are just the assembly line bits on the factory floor. The teachers will be competing with one another (instead of working together) to see who can push these ‘bits’ through to the other end in the quickest time possible. The winners get to be CEOs and Executive members of the “teaching industry”.

      And all this is disguised as a supposed upgrade to our system of education. Will there be a board of directors made up of NACT business tycoons and a few token educators known by the govt. to have right wing sympathies?

      That the teacher unions and related bodies have apparently fallen for it – blindsided by the offer of bonus salaries that most of them will never actually see? – just beggars belief.

      • karol 3.2.1

        Anne, it looks more like the secondary teachers’ union have gone for it, but the union for primary/early childhood teachers is less supportive of Key’ policy.

        • Anne 3.2.1.1

          Thanks karol. Doesn’t say much for the secondary teachers union. In some ways it doesn’t surprise me. Many of them do see themselves as a cut above their counterparts in the primary and early childhood sectors.

          I have a close relative in the early childhood sector. She’s not a political animal by any means but there’s no way she will have fallen for it!

      • Chooky 3.2.2

        +100 Anne

      • Hami Shearlie 3.2.3

        Yes he did call it the “teaching industry” Anne – that should have sent warning bells to all parents and teachers!

        • Will@Welly 3.2.3.1

          Then we are in trouble. Peter Marshall also referred to the Police as a “business”. Money, not justice.
          The teaching profession has been in trouble for a number of years. I personally have had 5 relatives leave the industry – one a very well paid, high flying principal, and off-hand, I know of around 6 – 7 trained teachers who have left the profession as well, citing stress and disenchantment. Too often today, teaching is an extension of the MSD, not education.

  4. Fisiani 4

    David Farrar puts it well. The response to John Key was overwhelmingly supportive but there were a few naysayers

    “The most negative of all was the Green Party:

    National’s announcement of four additional teacher roles won’t address the key reason for our decline in education performance, growing inequality, says the Green Party.

    “Growing inequality in New Zealand is negatively impacting on our kids learning. Sick and hungry kids can’t learn. This policy does nothing for kids and families living in poverty.

    Let’s put this one to bed. Even if this was true (it is not), this is an announcement on education, not welfare. Turei seems to say we should do nothing to improve the education system while some families are poorer than others. How depressing. I want to see more families doing better, but there is no magic wand. Getting people out of poverty is often a generational thing as you have to confront parenting skills, welfare dependency, employment, drug and alcohol issues, and oh yeah education.

    But let’s deal with the big lie. I call it a lie, because the amount of research on what influences educational outcomes is massive. There have been over 50,000 studies. Over 800 meta-analysis done involving 200 million students. Professor John Hattie has done a meta meta analysis of all these studies and identified 138 factors that influence educational outcomes. Not one factor, but 138. Greens think there is just one.

    Now socio-economic status is important. It definitely is an influence. There have been 499 studies that looked at its effect. But is it the biggest influence. No. Is it second? No. Third? No. Top 10? Still no. Top 20? Still a no. It is No 32 and home environment by the way is No 31.

    So the next time the Greens say the key reason for educational decline is poverty or income inequality, don’t beat around the bush. Call them a liar.”

    [karol: do you have your own views, Fisiani? Reposting an entire Farrar post, without any links to the original is not an acceptable comment. Are you capable of making your own argument, rather than just being a Farrar echo-chamber? Any further attempts at such parroting will be deleted. I will say that geoff’s recommended spell & grammar check extension is working. DPF also needs an editor.]

    • Hayden 4.1

      Greens think there is just one.

      Lie.

      For reference:

      National’s announcement of four additional teacher roles won’t address the key reason(1) for our decline in education performance(2), growing inequality, says the Green Party.

      1: “the key reason” necessarily implies that there are other reasons

      2: causing the decline in performance, not the overall performance

      On the other hand, maybe David Farrar is psychic, in which case I bow to his superior knowledge of what the Greens think.

      Edited: No [sup] tags.

    • Molly 4.2

      If you are going to refer to Hattie as not finding poverty a criteria in raising performance – you’d better have a look at the book.

      Very little searching can find a review with pertinent points:

      The commentary raises a number of concerns, including the fact that social effects and background context are ruled out.

      “(This) is not a book about what cannot be influenced in schools – thus critical discussions about class, poverty, resource in families, health in families and nutrition are not included – but this is NOT because they are unimportant, indeed they may be more important than many of the issues discussed in this book. It is just that I have not included these topics in my orbit,” Hattie says.

      The commentators however are very concerned about this attitude.

      “Hattie acknowledges the important role of socio-economic status and home background… but chooses to ignore it. That is his choice: but it is easy for those seeking to make policy decisions to forget this significant qualification,” they say.

      Professor Snook hoped the commentary would prompt John Hattie to discuss the issues it raised.

      “I would like to see a good debate on these issues,” he said.

      • Hayden 4.2.1

        You can see the full list here:

        http://visible-learning.org/hattie-ranking-influences-effect-sizes-learning-achievement/

        “Quality of Teaching” is #56 (assuming I can count, they’re not numbered), well behind “Pre-term birth weight” at #38. Can I assume that National will prioritise fatter (or skinnier, who would know?) babies before worrying about teacher quality? “Principals/school leaders” is at #74, so better ignore those, too.

        Other influences are listed as “Science”, “Mathematics”, “Whole Language” and “Drugs”; how the hell are those supposed to be compared by their position in the list?

    • Chooky 4.3

      @ Fisiani…you and Farrar are Key and Joyce are full of bullshit!

      …you are representatives and spinners of a most INEGALITARIAN right wing force originating in the USA which seeks to commercialise New Zealand education and turn it into a business.

      ….this is why John Key’s Nact govt and Ministry of Education and Treasury keep taking advice from private consultants with no education background but who are influenced by USA Neo Liberal private education buinesses eg USA Charter School businesses

      ….We dont need this commercial business model of education in New Zealand!

      Labour and the teacher unions should be listening to our own professors and lecturers in Education without a commercial axe to grind and who have years of international educational research annalysis under their belts

      ….what Nact is proposing, in paying certain selected ( Nact amenable) ‘excellent ‘ Principals tens of thousands of dollars more than their hard working peers….. will undermine our egalitarian education system…. into a fascist cronyist right wing commercial top down education system

      Hekia Parata is just a pawn in the game for these ideas and spinners …she is not the originator

      USA Professor Diane Ravitch is explicit on the strategy of undermining State education and Unions by blaming teachers for poor educational outcomes, while at the same time starving State Schools of funding and ignoring the fact that it is poverty which has the most major effect on educational outcome.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Ravitch

      The National Party is following this agenda towards undermining quality NZ State Education and turning New Zealand education into a business for their mates.

      Lets hope a Labour /Green/Mana/NZF/Dotcom(?) 2014 Govt exposes John Key’s Nact lies about wanting an egalitarian education!

      …..and pours the money into upgrading NZ State Schools ( which have been starved of funds for the terms of Key’s Nact govt)…….and works towards providing a free high quality tertiary education( university , polytech, apprenticeships, internships) for all New Zealanders ….right up to and including PhD level

    • Hayden 4.4

      Also, since when is John Hattie the sole arbiter of truth? Is merely disagreeing with Hattie’s findings from his “meta-meta” studies, the methodology of which we don’t know, “lying” now?

      Anyway, I doubt Fisiani’s going to come back to defend Farrar’s lying about Turei’s lying, so it’s a bit of a moot point.

  5. Tombstone 5

    Key’s speech was complete and utter bullshit. If that’s an inspired leader then fuck me … we’re doomed! RE: Education – I’ll give you a sweetie if you give me your vote. BRIBE! I’m a Cantabrian – I’ll never forget what they did to our schools and the heartache they caused so many kids, families and dedicated, hard working teachers. I’d rather chew broken glass than give that knob my vote. Time for change. PS I grew up in a poor neighborhood – Key wouldn’t know the first thing about poverty and how it effects kids because if he did he wouldn’t be running the country as he is now and rewarding his fat little buddies at every given turn while screwing over everyone else to pay for it. The guy is a wanker. Pure and simple. Bring on the election!

    • Saarbo 5.1

      Nicely put.

    • Mainlander 5.2

      Speaking of bullshit nice rant, im impressed you never let the facts get in the way once

    • Tim 5.3

      +1.
      I’m also a Cantabrian (by birth). I’ll never forget what Brownlee and Co did to my city by way of his scorched Earth policy.
      A bit of a sidebar …. but Natzi’s are not only seeing it as a ‘tunety’ for soshul spearimentashun including edge ikayshun polsee, but since the damaging quakes, the ENTIRE recovery process is based on a ‘market rulz OK?’
      When New Zulluniz wake the fuck up (as they surely will) – some from the trauma of ongoing shaking, others from the anaesthetic of marketised esprayshnull hope and spin that comes to NO THING, I hope I’ve left the country because they’ll be looking for people to blame – and there are some pretty obvious candidates. (They’ll prolly be in some gated community somewhere with privatised skewer tee agents with Glocks at the ready)

      Interesting discussion on Natrad this AM with the most regular Gal interviewing Heck Yea, followed by an American guest (who to my mind, succesfully burst her Buble).

      Just as ChCh EQC recovery is an example to the world on how NOT to do things, so too will Heck Yea’s initiatives (pardon the abuse of the word) be an example with education.

      Never mind though aye? I gotta go aye! I think American Idol is on sumwhere on TV – and if not I’ve got a ‘choice’ of shopping channels to aspire over.
      GOD STREWTH …. I’m really going to get off my butt cos I want one of those new Plesma TVs – Rawdon and those sidekicks get my vote! (Aye!)

  6. captain hook 6

    so how much did donkeyote pay hooton for that little gem?

  7. Bill 7

    I can’t understand why no-one is calling this for what it is – there’s a goon squad about to set loose on the education system.

    National’s education policy has been about making education measurable in order to smooth the process of privatisation. And the teaching profession has resisted the whole shebang. So now, for rather more than a mere 30 pieces of silver, those within education who support the National party programme or those who can be bought, get to be enforcers.

    That’s all National’s policy is. The creation of an expensive corporate bureaucracy intended to enforce a measurable education system that can then be privatised.

    Yes, there is poverty and a whole raft of phenomena that impact on education. But for fucks sake, surely in terms of a reaction to National, there is a need to focus mercilessly on exactly what National are doing and call a spade a spade, no?

    • Chooky 7.1

      @ Bill

      the Teachers Unions have been bought or they are politically naive…..this sharing of expertise could have been done by bringing back the old School Inspectorate …without the cronyist tens of thousands of dollars rewards for so called ‘excellent’ Nact compliant Principals

      …it will not solve the decline of State Education in New Zealand …which has been starved of finance and support from this Nact Govt which is intent on rewarding privatisation of education

      Teachers unions should be listening to NZ University research education academic experts or overseas ones such as Diane Ravitch

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-ravitch/obamas-race-to-the-top-wi_b_666598.html

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Ravitch

      ‘The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Undermine Education’ by Professor Diane Ravitch

    • karol 7.2

      Partly I think that the opposition parties don’t want to buy into the Nat’s framing – Key would like nothing more than for the election agenda to focus on their narrow education policy. Cunliffe is positioning himself for a much broader political agenda – setting his own agenda, and the Greens want to work with a wider framing around poverty.

      Other critics have commented on the corporatisation of education – see Gordon Campbell for instance on how Key’s education policy fits the National Party’s agenda for education (as linked in my post.

      • Bill 7.2.1

        Yeah, I’m not suggesting that opposition parties or anyone else ‘buy into’ National’s framing. I’m suggesting that in the narrow context of a response to this policy, that it’s simply ‘called out’ for what it is. Then let the Nats defend themselves against the accusation…the reality, if they want to.

        That doesn’t prevent more progressive or holistic approaches being put out there by who-ever. But it does kill Nationals b/s dead, as opposed to leaving it to swirl around in the general debate/discussion.

        edit – and should National persist, then every time they bring it up, instantly dismiss it as ‘the Goon Squad policy’ – or whatever other catchy, short and to the point phrase anyone cares to come up with.

      • KJT 7.2.2

        Couldn’t get it dumbed down and corporatised through the front door, so now we have stealth and bribery.

        More high paying jobs for the old boys club, and conformists, though, so all good!

      • BLiP 7.2.3

        Yep. John Key’s speech is the initial soft-sell approach to running education as if it were a business. As you (and Cunliffe) point out, this so-called “State of the Nation” speech was an opportunity for National Ltd™ to set the agenda for the coming year and outline its broad approach to delivering positive outcomes to society as a whole. Instead, there is a preamble of lies and platitudes concerning those broader issues before John Key goes into detail about how he is going to atomise education by “incentivising” component parts which are not, according to National Ltd’s own inadequate measures, delivering. Rather than a Prime Minister’s message, we had an incompetent and myopic CEO’s media-friendly end-of-financial year hip hip hooray with notification that management of the company’s Education outlet was being reorganised.

        The introduction of charter schools reflects the breakup of the electricity supply infrastructure with the creation of a “market” filled with competing units. The reality of the electrcity supply reforms, as it turns out, is that it allowed the private sector to move in and pluck jewels from the crown while also receiving massive tax-payer largesse. Expect the same in education.

        What makes John Key’s announced plans for education worse is that individual teachers and administrators have also been reduced to units of competition rather than a united whole cooperating to provide education. Its dehumanisation on an industrial scale in pursuit of neo-conservative outcomes based entirely on ideological magic-think. It makes me shudder to consider what the end product of this might be when children educated in such an environment filter out into wider society.

        • emergency mike 7.2.3.1

          +1 Bill and BLiP.

          After years of education cock ups and failures that have angered teachers NAct comes up with a brillaint idea – bribe them. “Lead teachers’, ‘executive principals’, ‘expert teachers’, ‘change principals’ who get $xxxxx mo money. Problem solved! Bearucratic corporate BS.

          These people are going to swan into low decile schools and turn them around with their awesomeness? On planet Key I’m sure that’s how it would work.

          Like Bill I’m a bit confused as to why more people aren’t calling this what it is: a clueless insult to our intelligence.

          And that the media it lapping it up as an ‘election year winner’ is sickening me more than usual.

          • Will@Welly 7.2.3.1.1

            When I heard this “announcement” was coming, I expected something along the lines of more Charter Schools. I tend to agree with most of the above comments in this panel (7). By paying some staff extra, is this the “old tory” trick of divide and rule in the education sector – whereby we’ll see the majority of those employed “chasing” the few positions that pay the extra. Will this “extra” pay be the “incentive” National uses later as part of it’s Trojan Horse to fully implement Charter Schools across the land? Part of the softening up process.

  8. KJT 8

    Because the corporate management model works so well………………………

    If it doesn’t work, add some more overpaid managers…………….?

  9. Tautoko Viper 9

    I recall in the 90s during the Bulk Funding trials (in which bulk funded schools were given a more generous allowance to make sure they were successful) being at a school at which the Principal and Board were pro-bulk funding. I have a paper with extracts from the SSC to the Schools Consultative Group titled Furthering Education Reforms. dated 1993 Subheadings were:
    “On the purpose of bulk funding as a cost-reduction mechanism”
    “On the intention to replace a national contract with locally negotiated site contracts.”
    “On the contractual model of education delivery” –tendering and bulk funding
    “On the purpose of advancing IT in schools.” ..”an alternative to books, equipment, buildings and teachers for the achievement of knowledge and skills.”
    I have no doubt that the agenda is the same, but couched in different language and using a different technique by using “change agents”. Did John Key say anything about more teachers, smaller class sizes, more teacher aides, more assistance for students with behavioural needs? The closures of the Christchurch schools were just a prelude to the main agenda of dismantling our state school system and kneecapping the Teacher Unions.

  10. chris73 10

    I think Keys got more up his sleeve that’ll catch Labour on the hop (again), I doubt many parents will think paying teachers more is a bad idea and the teaching unions seem to like it so its a slam dunk to Key and all the left can do is wail about poverty (which is more about welfare than education anyway)

  11. RedBaronCV 11

    Well I agree with those who see it as a useless level of overpaid corporate management as far as the kids are concerned. Once they have several schools under a group then they will pay their way by agreeing to bulk funding of salaries over the trustees heads (bye bye Parent boards) and then they will start cutting teacher wages. That’s how your average company works. FFS attack- go onto the front foot

    Why are the teacher unions so unable to see the end game?. And nobody on the left should say anything positive about this little lot. Ask JK why they don’t use the funds to lower class size & employ more teachers and bring back the specialist teaching they got rid of.

  12. Pasupial 12

    A fine piece of writing by Diane Khan (would quote, but don’t want to spoil):

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/01/25/the-bully-needs-to-go/

  13. captain hook 13

    from what I hear on the public radio money is not the overwhelming consederation for teachers with satisfaction being tops.
    Typical of National that they think everything can be bought and paid for.
    Especially when they sold the countrys wealth producing assets in a one off to pay for this policy dreamed up by hooton and co.

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    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    3 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    3 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    3 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    3 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    4 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    4 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    5 days ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    6 days ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    6 days ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    1 week ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    1 week ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    2 weeks ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    2 weeks ago

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