A repost from Local Bodies about Hekia Parata attempting to sneak some fake ‘consultation’ on the changes to the way that schools are run. bsprout is both a teacher and list candidate for the Greens.
Classroom teachers, the New Zealand Educational Institute, the New Zealand Principal’s Federation and education academics have all strongly rejected the Government’s proposed $359 million Investment into Education Success (IES). All believe that this substantial amount of money will not produce the results that the Education Minister claims and would be better spent elsewhere.
At a recent meeting of primary classroom teachers in Invercargill, one teacher was particularly upset. She had shifted to New Zealand to escape the failing English schooling system only to find the same changes are about to be implemented here.
Respected US academic David Berliner happened to be in New Zealand when the Prime Minister first announced the new spending and he strongly rejected the claim that teachers make the biggest difference to child achievement. He claimed that the socio-economic background of the child has the largest influence on education outcomes (according to all research) and he accused our Prime Minister of lying for stating otherwise.
Prof Martin Thrupp has made a number of useful points in a recent article on the IES. He voices concern at the lack of media engagement with these major changes to school management and questions the evidence for them. Few New Zealand academics have been consulted despite the fact we are internationally regarded for our education research and any changes should be based on our own contexts. Prof Thrupp is concerned that the government is using a management centered approach to lifting children’s achievement rather than a child centered one and we are losing the professional culture that made our education system so successful in the past.
NZEI has listed a number of alternatives where the funding would be better used. Rather than removing successful principals and teachers from their schools and classrooms for several days a week NZEI suggests the funding would provide better outcomes if we:
- Increased funding for our Special Education Service so that 20,000 more kids could get specialist support.
- Worked towards having 100% of our early childhood teachers being qualified and registered.
- Reduced class sizes so that all children can benefit from more individualized learning.
- Provide sustainable funding for teacher aids so that children and teachers can get consistent support.