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Polity: A clear choice on education

Written By: - Date published: 12:33 pm, July 7th, 2014 - 144 comments
Categories: education, election funding, labour, national, schools - Tags:

polity_square_for_lynnReposted from Polity.

One of the most prominent battlegrounds in this election campaign will be education. Both large parties know our kids deserve better than the two-tier education system we currently have. Both have clear, costed plans they think can help. And now the public can choose.

On one side, Labour wants to give each child more of their teachers’ attention with smaller class sizes, allow schools get rid of the stigmatising influence of “voluntary” donations, and help ensure every kid is learning for the 21st century on a portable digital device. These are practical, at-the-coal-face ideas that are both sound and popular.

National’s idea is really very different. They believe that allowing top Principals to become roaming regional uber-Principals, and doing the same with teachers, will solve the issues.1 They seem to believe that whatever works for decile 10 Taradale School near Napier will be just as effective at decile 1 Te Awa school a few kilometres down the road, as if kids leave their lives at the school gate. Theirs is a one-size-fits-all delusion.

Actions, of course, speak louder than words. Both John Key and Bill English have chosen to send their own kids to private schools. In 2005, the Listener asked John Key why that was:

Mostly for educational reasons. Their schools have smaller class sizes and are better resourced than most state schools.

There you have it. Smaller class sizes are better for kids. The Prime Minister’s actions show that even he believes it. But he is not offering smaller classes for all Kiwi kids. Labour is. The choice is clear.

  1. As long like anoraks may know, my broad view on performance pay for teachers differs from most within Labour. I think there is a real place for it. But, unlike Hekia Parata, I do not think it is a panacea.

144 comments on “Polity: A clear choice on education”

  1. Chrissy 1

    The 2000 teachers policy is a beaut! making sure they and their colleagues are top quality teachers is absolutely crucial too: decent pay, professional respect, attracting the best people and keeping them there have got to be part of this, but making a few of them into consultant teachers or heads roaming around away from their schools and classes seems counter-productive. Great teachers should be teaching!

  2. Lanthanide 2

    “As long like anoraks may know, my broad view on performance pay for teachers differs from most within Labour. I think there is a real place for it.”

    Certainly there is. In the sense that all of our teachers need to be paid 50% more than they currently are, and they need to perform much better than they currently are.

    When the job of a teacher is as respected and rewarded by society as being an engineer, doctor or lawyer is, we will finally have an education system that is capable of doing its best by all its pupils.

    • Tracey 2.1

      the “market” worshippers tell us we have to pay gross salaries to ceos to get the bestones in public and private sector BUT are incredibly silent about applying that to teachers?

      Sart by paying them to train, nurses too, just as we do the Police.

    • Northshoreguynz 2.2

      There was a time, not that long ago, when teachers were paid the same as a back bench MP.

  3. Herodotus 3

    Great to see education taking a leading roll in the election.
    Just a note after labour reduced the class sizes for new entrant classes in their last time in office, this did have the unforeseen implication of some schools were required to build additional classes. With many of our local schools being under pressure for space. how will these great policies be implemented with the additional cost for additional classes to be built with the decline of outdoor areas .But I do accept that I maybe jumping the gun and such details are planned in the future for release. Great start to the campaign :-)

    • James Thrace 3.1

      We need to start building our schools UP, not out.

      I sometimes marvel at the two storey schools sometimes seen on American docos/ TVs.

      I don’t like the block look, but having two rooms on top of one another (like a house) could be a real possibility.

      Downside would be the extra cost of making all classes accessible, especially if school was built on flat land (elevators etc). On sloping land about 30degrees and up (not an engineer!) , I’d imagine it’d be easy enough to have both up and down rooms accessible without need for elevators through cutting into the hillside or whatever.

      • Herodotus 3.1.1

        Ther are already a few schools out botany ( south East Auckland – was previously part of manukau ) that are multi storey, unfortunately a few have weather tight issues that have or are currently being remediated at some substantial cost.Due to pressure on min of ed budgets many new schools that were built since the turn of the century are on the minimum land area just over 2 ha. Which places great stain on both future expansion and playgrounds..

  4. fisiani 4

    So 2000 extra currently unemployed teachers or 0.9 teacher/school will somehow magically fix education. These people are either inexperienced, incompetent or unfit if they don’t have a job. Forget hiring talented immigrants because Labour’s ban on immigrants blocks that. So just 2,000 extra unionists making compulsory payments to the Labour Party. BTW Will the male teachers have to apologise for being male?
    Or have a merit based system where teacher quality is enhanced given it is the single most important factor.
    This is indeed a defining election issue . Quantity versus Quality.
    Lanthanide is correct. We need to pay the best teachers to stay in the classroom and impart their excellence to others. The National argument is better understood by parents. It will be a vote winner.

    • stevo 4.1

      ‘We need to pay the best teachers to stay in the classroom ‘

      Yet Nationals policy is to do exactly the opposite.?
      back to school Fisi .

      • fisiani 4.1.1

        No, you are wrong. National’s policy is to take teachers to several classrooms to pass on their knowledge

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          And while they’re in between classrooms they’re not teaching and most of their time will actually be spent between classrooms. National’s policy suck for our children and our country but it will be great for a few – which is true of National’s policies in general.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      Don’t forget National’s-Standards-which-are-neither are going to consigned to the dustbin of history, and Charter schools are going to close (I hope in such a way that the investors vandals lose 400% of their blood-money) and we’ll have an education minister who isn’t a brainless right wing gimp.

      All these things will make a positive difference too, and don’t forget the most important thing:

      The most influential factor in educational achievement is household income, so destroying the National Party’s anti-Kiwi employment ‘laws’ will help too, not to mention the minimum wage rises and living wage.

      Choke on it, trash.

      • yossarian 4.2.1

        Nice one mods, deleting my comment. No doubt you will delete this one too, remarking on just how positive idiots like one anonymous bloke are. And by the way I support Labour, but not mindless comments like “choke on it, trash”. How come that kind of stupidity gets through the mod process?

        [lprent: When we are looking at first comments, we use a different criteria to normal moderation. Some sign of intelligence and thought is required to get through the hurdle.

        Fortunately attacking others, whining about mods, and making statements that look like a concern troll really don’t qualify. Attempting an argument on policy or the news does. Being a supporter of a political party isn’t the criteria. Being able to contribute to the debate is. It does appear to be something you aren’t good at.

        Basically you look like just another dumb troll who would have problems finding your arse if it was pointed out to you.. Adding you to autospam. ]

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.1

          Yossarian, what makes you think I’m somehow representative of ‘Labour’? I’ll be voting Green on Saturday September 20th, but I’m nobody’s good little party member.

          Good of you to stand up for Fisiani. Altruistic even. Perhaps one day they’ll return the favour.

          I have terrible manners. Sorry about that.

    • dv 4.3

      We need to pay the best teachers to stay in the classroom and impart their excellence to others.

      But the Nat scheme does the opposite. It takes the better teachers OUT of their class rooms for 2 days a week.
      Who replaces them when the are out?- relief teachers?

      Fisiani you are right in the extent that just getting more teachers with not fix the problem.
      Quality is important

      Here are the top 10 effects on learning from Hatties research
      Self report grades
      Piagetian programs
      Formative evaluation
      Micro teaching
      Acceleration
      Class behaviour intervention
      Comprehensive intervention for learning disabled
      Teacher clarity
      Reciprocal teaching
      Feed back
      and
      teacher student relationships

      Smaller class sizes will help in several of those facts to give extra help and attention where needed.

      • ianmac 4.3.1

        Exactly dv. I think that Hattie qualified the ranking of class size. One was that class size in isolation did not make much difference but it did open up all the possibilities of activating most of those items on your list. The Private School and Charter School less than 18 per class promotes effective feedback, self reporting grades, Hands-on activity (Piagetian) and so on.
        Another was the way that “difficult” kids could get better access to targeted help.

    • Te Reo Putake 4.4

      Poor ol’ Fisi. The sudden thought that National might lose the election has scrambled his brains.

      “So 2000 extra currently unemployed teachers or 0.9 teacher/school will somehow magically fix education. ”

      Nobody is saying that, but you. Labour’s plan is to employ currently available teachers and add in new graduates over 4 years to improve education. But, feel free to tell Parata how you think education needs fixing next time you are within crawling distance of her.

      “So just 2,000 extra unionists making compulsory payments to the Labour Party.”

      No teacher union is a NZLP affiliate. In fact no state sector union is an affiliate.

      “Or have a merit based system where teacher quality is enhanced given it is the single most important factor.”

      Quality is clearly important, but, as Prime Minister Key says, class size is actually the decisive factor. Labour is also committed to improving teacher quality. It’s in the policy and is backed up by their commitment to training new teachers.

    • mpledger 4.5

      There are plenty of unemployed newly graduated teachers. The universities can never predict what government policy will be in 3 years hence so they either enroll too many or not not enough.

    • fisiani 4.6

      “And on Saturday they claimed they would provide every student between years five and 13 with a digital device worth $600 by providing a $100 subsidy and having parents pay $3.50 a week for 18 months. This will be news to Labour, but this adds up to only $373 per device.

      [lprent: Where is your link. Oh I see – Stephen Joyce making shit up.

      1. There is nothing in the policy about the devices costing $600.
      2. No link.
      3. Banned for 4 weeks for trying to start a moronic flamewar with some unattributed lying from Stephen Joyce. ]

      • Te Reo Putake 4.6.1

        Muckspreading’s Fisiani is too dishonest to say where that quote came from, so I’ll do it for him. It’s Stephen Joyce making shit up. His bullshit strawman talking point was repeated ad nauseum in the various righty effluent outflows yesterday and now fisi wants us to treat it as if it were true.

        However, Fisi, you dimwitted, desperate doofus, try doing your thinking for yourself and you might not look so stoopid. Ponder on whether buying tens of thousands of tablets in bulk might just lead to significant discounts on the retail price. Under $400 per item seems perfectly reasonable and not just because Harvey Norman has specials like that every second fucken weekend.

      • jester 4.6.2

        I believe it was mentioned in the 21st Century Policy.

        “The Manaiakalani model involves a digital device package (including hardshell carry-case, insurance and manufacturers warrantee) costing around $600. This is paid off (with no kickstart) at $3.50 a week. We will aim to bring costs down below this level, through economies of scale and falling technology costs, and that saving will be passed on to families through a lower weekly payment.”

        • lprent 4.6.2.1

          So not talking about what labour was planning on doing at all? How surprisingly unexpected. So it appears that Fis missed the bit you quote that says…

          We will aim to bring costs down below this level, through economies of scale and falling technology costs…

          That seems like a pretty unsubtle hint to me that Labour are using that project as an example. They aren’t planning to replicate it in a countrywide clone.

          Just to give an idea of differences even with a tablet. My nexus7 7″ tablet with a clamshell bluetooth keyboard with insurance was about $460 this year.

    • Macro 4.7

      “These people are either inexperienced, incompetent or unfit if they don’t have a job”
      You can of course back up this absurd statement with facts. Or is it just your arse speaking again?

  5. Bazar 5

    So in a nutshell
    Labour believe in throwing money and toys at schools in the hope that things improve.

    National believe in challenging the leadership to perform with results, paying the best teachers more money, and forcing competition with the private sector.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      No. Those are just your dishonest talking points and vacuity. John Key wants smaller class sizes for his kids, not yours. Now open wide, here comes the drill.

    • Tony P 5.2

      So in a nutshell
      Labour believe in putting resources into children first.

      Nact believe in putting money into more management layers, private/charter schools and constant testing.

      Fixed it for you.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1

        In a nutshell, Labour have evidence that putting more resources into children will improve education outcomes…

        Overseas evidence proves that the National Party’s policies deliberate vandalism will lead to worse outcomes…

        FIFY.

    • freedom 5.3

      This the same private sector who are receiving, from taxpayers, over twice the per child funding of public schools?

      Or the same private sector who have had two of the five new partnerships school threatened with closure due to irregularities in planning implementation and resourcing?

      Or the same private sector that has attempted to pressure the Ministry to supply teachers from existing public schools because they are unable to attract the necessary quality of staff to operate as per the Ministry’s somewhat flexible criteria ?

      The private sector you seem so fond of seems incapable of tying shoelaces let alone teaching others to.

      • fisiani 5.3.1

        can I see a citation for that appalling lie re private sector school funding

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3.1.1

          Can I see a citation for your deliberate cynical lie that teacher unions are affiliated to the Labour Party?

          Didn’t think so, trash.

        • freedom 5.3.1.2

          I am only replying because I made a small error and did not catch it before the edit function lapsed, otherwise I am sticking to what I said to you yesterday, ” I wipe my hands of you ”

          This line: “This the same private sector who are receiving, from taxpayers, over twice the per child funding of public schools?”
          should have been written thus:
          “This the same private sector, some of whom are receiving, from taxpayers, over twice the per child funding of public schools?”

          As requested fisiani here is your citation. It is one of many references to the topic. Do you want the Hansard as well from when Hipkins questioned the Minister ? I am guessing not, because it did not show the ministry in a good light at all and we all know you don’t like seeing the National government shown up for the ignorant and callous policies they enact.

          http://www.eduvac.co.nz/news/2014/02/12/government-spending-nearly-twice-much-student-charter-school

          if any are wondering why I finally gave up on fisiani, it was this: http://thestandard.org.nz/labour-plans-to-win/#comment-845097
          Call me arrogant or overly sensitive, but I see no reason to engage with someone who in order to avoid answering a simple question accuses me of playing politics with the victims of crime when they are aware of my relationship to the topic.

          • Tracey 5.3.1.2.1

            fisiani is a caricature. There are a few here abouts.

          • fisiani 5.3.1.2.2

            Partnership schools are not private schools. You have again failed. Your citation is about partnership schools aka charter schools and not about private schools which receive miniscule public funding.

            • framu 5.3.1.2.2.1

              ahh – but the term was private SECTOR fisty – sector

              not private school

            • KJT 5.3.1.2.2.2

              “Private schools receive minuscule public funding”.

              Missed this did you Mr education expert Fizzer?

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503426&objectid=11064839

              “Wanganui City College principal Peter Kaua agreed, saying the figure of $3 million was triple his annual operational budget”.

              Not to mention the 30 million National gave private schools. It seems, in reality, they actually cost the tax payer overall, more, per student, than State schools. For similar outcomes. “In fact as private schools can pick the students who are capable of doing well, regardless of the school they attend, it is debatable that they add anything, apart from the plug in to the old boy network.

              Plus the rough figure of around 35k a year they take out of the economy per pupil, in addition, in fees from parents.

              None of them have managed to compete with State schools without costing a hell of a lot more.

              Private schools are very poor value.

        • dv 5.3.1.3

          http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1402/S00121/charter-school-students-funded-up-to-5x-more.htm

          The average per pupil for charter schools is $ 20k cf $6k for state schools

          • fisiani 5.3.1.3.1

            What have partnership schools funding got to do with private schools?

            • dv 5.3.1.3.1.1

              Charter schools ARE not public schools.

              • fisiani

                Nor are they PRIVATE schools

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  In that case they must be ‘Unregistered Right-Wing Fundamentalist Ticket-Clipper Sucking On The Public Teat Schools’.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    +1111

                    The Right-wing continually prove that they cannot make a profit without government funding and assistance in clipping the ticket.

                  • RedLogix

                    I’ve been away for months stuck in a place with no net access, and the very first thing I click on is a reply from OAB to fisi – and surely I’m not dissapointed.

                    Marvellous! The Standard still lives !

                • Tracey

                  how are you going proving that nzei and ppta are affiliated to Labour?

                • dv

                  OK they are private sector schools then.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Nor are they PRIVATE schools

                  Quite right. They are PRIVATISED schools.

      • Bazar 5.3.2

        If the charter schools can’t perform with the same funding as state schools, then yes they should fail.
        I’d be unhappy in any other case.

        I don’t expect all charter schools to succeed, i expect some to fail, most will simply coexist with the state schools, and a small few will excel far beyond expectations.

        But by creating competition, i expect the performance of most state schools to improve.
        Competition fosters improvement and innovation, Those in a monopoly are oft mired in stagnation.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3.2.1

          Ideological drivel.

          $19,664 per student.

          Gone. By. Lunchtime.

          • Weepu's beard 5.3.2.1.1

            Looks to me like unacceptable inefficiency. The current govt. is all about wasteful spending on pet projects. Our kids education is no different.

        • Tracey 5.3.2.2

          can you cite proof of examples where schools are in competition and it creates an improvement in education delivery?

          We already deliver high quality education witthout h some mythical competitive model

          I have a cellphone but dont consider that makes me an expert in telecommunication delivery

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3.2.2.1

            Every wingnut is an expert on everything. The problem is personal responsibility, the solution is tax cuts.

        • Tracey 5.3.2.3

          citation for schools “mired in stagnation” required.

          • KJT 5.3.2.3.1

            A consequence of National’s Standards.

            No innovative or original Teaching allowed.

            Even if you can find time after all the form filling, box ticking, performance appraisal, translating Parata speak and Government buck passing.

        • ianmac 5.3.2.4

          Bazar. You do know that classes in Charter Schools are usually between 10 and 20 kids. Wonder why the bother?

    • Tracey 5.4

      no other profession i know of requires employees to go to a minimum of one session, outside classroom time, a week on prof development, a new something or other, which every teacher has to attend… Often from month to month these sessions have contradictory ideas.report every minutiae of what they do

      Quality teachers, and its most of them, are struggling, and looking to leave the classrooms.

      I know of no other profession so constantly vilified and under public scrutiny as teaching. Where parents, by virtue of having children, think they know all about teaching.

      National has successfully conned parents into thinking their children are suffering at the hand of incompetent teachers to achieve their ideological ends. Now parents seem to believe teaching quality is in the gutter BUT no one is banging down nationals door demanding a better quality recruit. In other professions you atract such people with great conditions, high pay and you value them. Not in education.

      Have you ever been a victim of crime?
      I

    • mpledger 5.5

      And National believe in adding more bureaucracy with all their special principals and special teachers. They are really just a layer that distances the MinofEd from schools. It just means the special principals get to cop the flak when new policies from National are implemented rather than the MinofEd.

  6. Lorraine 6

    Smaller classes give all kids a better opportunity to learn. All the information over decades have pointed to this. National’s dog eat dog policy challenging the leadership to perform with results, paying the best teachers more money, and forcing competition with the private sector will not make any difference to the majority of under performing kids. It is all just right wing propaganda. The ratio of teachers per child has the most positive effect on the widest range and number of children. Most teachers are likely giving it their very best now and a not motivated by money in their occupation. Paying principals more and a few teachers more is not going to make a huge difference. Maybe National should look at the negative effect Novapay has had on teachers performance as not getting paid is a huge stress on people’s lives. GO #LABOUR

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Paying principals more and a few teachers more is not going to make a huge difference.

      I think it will make a huge difference. It will cause more teachers to leave the profession and decreasing standards resulting in worse outcomes for our children.

  7. Jester 7

    I couldn’t find it in the policy release but how many years will the extra 2000 teachers be phased in over?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Google is your friend. Try the Labour Party website, under the “policy” link. Basic stuff I know, but you seem to require assistance all the same.

      • Jester 7.1.1

        Wasn’t noted on the original factsheet but I see the media reporting it as phased in by 2018.

        I’m just curious if this takes into account immigration or population increase?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1

          Can’t you find any detail of that in the policy documents? They’re on Labour’s website under “policy”. Seriously, have you mistaken me for your research assistant or something?

          • Tracey 7.1.1.1.1

            curiousity is a funny thing… On the right they are rarely curious about this govt and just accept what they are told.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I think they had a bad experience with fact-checking once and are too afraid to ever do it again.

              • Tracey

                I have noticed that when challenged to supply proof or references, they usualluy abandon a thread. To the credit of many regulars here, queries for csources usually result in a link. Freedom is an example of that today over taxpayer funding for charter schools.

          • Jester 7.1.1.1.2

            That’s all very nice but if you release policy it must surely be questioned.

            • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Well, yeah, but surely you can come up with an interesting or relevant question to make it worthwhile finding the answer. Given that population increase is going to be negligible in 4 years, the answer to your question is mostly irrelevant. Perhaps if you explained your thinking in asking the question we could get to the heart of the matter.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Dig away, then: read the policy, and then you’ll be in a position to question it. Just think, you could rise triumphantly from three minutes of reading clutching a great victory.

              Or, take no personal responsibility whatsoever and simply behave like a right wing tr*ll.

              A quick look at your comment history tells me you’ll go with option two.

              Keep acting in bad faith, clown. Your bad choices.

              • jester

                Thanks for the advice OAB. Spent 3 minutes reading the policy as you suggested.

                Perhaps it could be humbly suggested that you do the same. Then we will be both be fully conversant with what’s in the actual policy documents.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  And what’s more, we’ll be able to compare it with National Party education policy: all five lines of it with no costings whatsoever.

            • Tracey 7.1.1.1.2.3

              nobody here released any policy.

        • Francis 7.1.1.2

          The teacher:child ration is fixed. Labour has also promised to add an additional $1 billion to health and education spending per year to keep up with population and cost increases, which will presumably cater for additional teachers where needed for population growth.

  8. kiwigunner 8

    In my school a policy such as Labours would enable me to have a teacher working with small groups of children who need extra assistance in a particular area and with those at the either end of the spectrum who need extension work. Right now I have excellent teacher aides doing this and they do a great job but not as good as a teacher would. I can’t be sure of course but I’d expect that this wold make a large hole in the group of children who find school difficult at present – the oft quoted 1 in 5.

    I hate the governments proposed policy because it simply doesn’t get to the children rather it will disrupt classrooms and the very important relationships within them that I believe are the core of successful schools. As a principal I don’t know how anyone could rationally think that I would have two days free from my school to look after others when I already work from dawn to dusk each day and actually find it quite insulting that anyone would think that I could. In reality the govts proposal is designed to put the squeeze on schools who can see through and are resisting the hair brained policies such as National Standards, the gutting of Professional Development and Special Education. Will this do anything for kids?

    Bottom line is teachers and principals are as greedy as anyone else (maybe a little less) but when they are saying no to the possible pay increase of $40k you have to think that the policy is not on the right lines.

    • Tracey 8.1

      the “expert” principals will delegate more to dp’s, who wont get any pay increase.

      It will be intersting to see how many decile 7-10 principals will be preaching to deciles 1-6?

      John graham was so successful at southern cross he left to start parnell college!

    • Chooky 8.2

      +100 kiwigunner ..from the coal face!

      …my Mother was a teacher and she worked enormously hard ( often still working after mid-night)…she was a dedicated professional and there for the children and not the money ( although the money was necessary)

  9. DH 9

    I’m not going to argue over the merits of smaller classes but I will say there is one simple thing Labour can do to improve teaching. That’s to start holding the heads of schools properly accountable for the performance of their staff.

    There’s nothing complicated or unusual about a school, they can be compared directly to any medium size business. Teachers are employees, the head & deputy head(s) are management. It’s a manager’s job to manage the staff, if teaching quality is low in a school that’s 100% the fault of management.

    Talk with any competent teacher and they’ll tell you who the poor performers are in their school, it’s not exactly a secret among any of them. And often they’ll tell you how they get away with it, which is usually along the lines of brown nosing the boss or other such wiles.

    With few exceptions there’s no such thing as a bad worker. There’s only bad managers. If people really do believe teaching needs to be improved stop blaming teachers, instead start demanding the managers earn their generous salaries. Heads are paid well these days, IMO they need to justify it.

    Remember Ike… the buck stops there.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      What a fools errand that would be with 20% of kids experiencing the ill-effects of income inequality. Still, blame and punishment is all part of personal responsibility, isn’t it.

      Not that teachers have any sort of performance assessment now or anything. Not that it relies on a national strategy or anything. Let’s throw all that out and replace it with punishment and blame. Yay! Authority!

      • DH 9.1.1

        Try reading what I wrote which is the exact opposite of what you’re saying. I said stop blaming teachers.

        Try talking to teachers sometime. They’re seriously pissed off with being made the whipping boy all the time. It’s for management to create and provide the working environment that brings out the best in teachers and, believe me, we’ve got good teachers in this country. There’s perhaps a very small number who are really in the wrong job but IMO the rest just need good management.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1

          I was being sarcastic: teachers already have performance assessments. You’re assuming that the right wing narrative that schools were broken so they’re fixing them has some sort of ground. It didn’t, although they’re doing their best to make it so.

          The problem is the application of ‘managerial’ right wing dogma where pedagogy belongs. More managerial ‘public utilities are just like businesses’ ideology is not the answer.

          Focusing on ‘good and bad teachers’ is just horseshit dressed up as policy.

        • Tracey 9.1.1.2

          how many businesses do you know where the ceo is bound by a board, a tier above the board and another person above that.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.2.1

            Business values include knowing nothing about businesses or schools.

    • Tracey 9.2

      Hi DH

      What do heads of pri ary, intermediate and secondaty schools receive? iI genuinely dont know and am interested in how their salaries would compare to businesses with similar staff numbers.

      • DH 9.2.1

        Can only report what my teacher friends have told me and IIRC it’s well over $100k for local secondary. I expect it would vary around the country & depend on school size & type but I don’t think many heads are complaining about their pay.

        HODs on the other hand don’t get much… an extra $5k from memory.

        • Tracey 9.2.1.1

          Ok. LEts examine your proposition to hold heads of school accountable as we would a business.

          A business with over 177 employees would pay under 150k to its CEO?( local high school)

          A business with over 150 employees (local primary school) would pay Ceo only 120k!?

          A CEO of a school has a Board, the ministry of education, the minister, a business employing 177 people has a board, full stop. You, imo, under estimate the constraints this places.

          • DH 9.2.1.1.1

            Sorry Tracey, was called away. I won’t continue. The anonymous bloke above might think he’s being smart but his motives are transparent and I can’t be bothered with overbearing bullies. Busting in on an established forum & trawling threads that might criticise his precious party is a bit of a giveaway as to who he might be or why.

            I should feel insulted but it’s just a big yawn. It’s a funny thing about learning the hard way how to deal with bullies. Once you’re comfortable in your ability to handle them you no longer feel the urge to do so. I find myself being more affronted when I see others being bullied, don’t know why. For me this forum is merely for exchanging thoughts & ideas and debating among like minded people. With it being flooded with patronising party rhetoric that treats us like children I think it’s time for a 3 month hiatus.

            If you’re really interested in the education system try getting to know a few teachers. Win their trust & get them to open up a bit. Ask them about their jobs; what they enjoy & what they dislike.

            Bye for now!

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.1.1.1

              I don’t know if the Greens will be very happy to hear themselves described as OAB’s precious; I’m nobody’s good little party member, chum.

              What I don’t like is the way this government treats teachers. I especially don’t like them importing failed right wing policies that hurt children’s chances of self-reliance.

              So mind your manners.

      • tinfoilhat 9.2.2

        Hi Tracey

        Award salary information as below

        http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEducation/EducationPolicies/SchoolEmployment/TopicsOfInterest/PrincipalPayandAllowances.aspx

        Average primary principal these days would be around the 120,000 up level.
        Average secondary principal these days would be around the 150,000 up level.

  10. Wreckingball 10

    Besides the debate over whether quality or quantity is better, the costings are all wrong.

    Where are all of the new classrooms going to come from?

    2000 new prefab classrooms at $100k a pop costs $200 million. Ignoring all the other costs of training, equipping, and managing teachers, that leaves $200 million over 4 years, equals $50 million a year. Divided by 2000, that means $25k per teacher.

    The amount of the costs of this new investment adds another 50% to the bill. Shockingly misleading.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Please describe for us how you determined that 2000 new class rooms would have to be built.

      • Wreckingball 10.1.1

        By 2018 there will be 2000 more full-time teachers in NZ schools. Unless you propose having multiple classes in one classroom then you will need to build a new classroom for each teacher. It may not be quite 2000 new classrooms if you account for slightly more efficient use of office space but the capital investment will be massive.

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          Nah.
          They can just reverse the process of closing and amalgamating schools. I’m sure a lot of those properties haven’t been disposed of yet.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.2

          Oh noes, Labour policy means more resources for schools! Calamity! Desperation! Woe!

          I’d drive the wingnuts before me but all they do is weep and wail.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.3

          Wrecking ball. Did you bother to first check how many unused classrooms currently exist in active open schools, before jumping to conclusions as to what new needs to be built.

          • Herodotus 10.1.1.3.1

            CV in our local school there are none. When the good policy of lower class size for new entrants was introduced about 10 years ago necessitated an addition classroom to be built? So there is some validity to the comment but there is also validity in questioning what the underlying intentions of the comment, and in our local case where the additional classes are to be financed from and located. With many schools in my local area struggling to even to provided in their playing field the ability to play inter school cricket ground with 25m boundaries. Let alone to be able to provide space for any additional classrooms.

            • Francis 10.1.1.3.1.1

              There are plans for the upgrade of school buildings over the next 15 years, presumably this would include building new classrooms (where necessary).

    • ianmac 10.2

      You do realise Wrecker that the National Plan is to turn all schools into 1980s style Open Plan buildings. That would cost millions as most schools are built in cellular form. Mr Hooton even this morning was applauding the National plan for 75 kids in a classroom with 2 or 3 teachers. Open Plan Schools largely faded from the 80s onwards but hey. Mz Parata thinks she has discovered something new!

      • Tracey 10.2.1

        does mr hooton have children? Public or private education?

        • felix 10.2.1.1

          Private of course. Just like him.

        • Matthew Hooton 10.2.1.2

          Two girls. State school.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2.1.2.1

            The most influential factor in academic achievement is household income, Matthew. Just a little reminder to disrupt the received dogma.

            • Paul 10.2.1.2.1.1

              It would be interesting however to see the Cabinet member’s ( and all leading politicians of all political stripes) choices of school for their kids.
              Helps to see their vested interests.

              • Colonial Viper

                Now that’s a worthy survey to do and put up on the ‘net…of all MPs across all parties…and also candidates.

            • Matthew Hooton 10.2.1.2.1.2

              That’s not right actually. The main factor, as I recall it from when I used to study this stuff for work, is the educational environment within the home, including the number of books (and these do correlate to some extent to household income, of course).

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Mother’s education level is also important, and the point is that current government incompetent flailing makes no allowance for any of it, eh.

                But you knew that.

          • Tracey 10.2.1.2.2

            thanks matthew. I obviously dont want to ask you to divulge anything about them but can you divulge the decile number? There is, imo, as big a difference between a decile 8-10 school and a decile 1-6 and between public and private.

            • karol 10.2.1.2.2.1

              I’d guess decile 9-10.

              But then, I’d guess the secondary school I went to was in that bracket.

              Edit: It probably is 9-10 now. But may not have been if those classifications were used back then. The area I lived in was quite mixed – gone more upmarket since.

            • Anne 10.2.1.2.2.2

              Hazard a guess its either Remuera Primary School or Epsom Normal Primary School since he lives in that part of town. Both decile 10 schools and handy to St Cuthbert’s College or Diocesan School for Girls when they are older.

              Edit oops, Epsom Normal is only 9. Could be Ellerslie Primary then.

              • Matthew Hooton

                Why would you pay for St Cuth’s or Dio when EGGS is free (and one of its old girls became PM and may be UNSG)? I much prefer to waste money into overseas holidays than private schools.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Having lived in that part of town, I can assure you that plenty of moderately to very well-off parents see good value for money in Dio.

                • karol

                  I was at EGGs, back in the day (probably with your parents’ generation) where my best mates were from working class backgrounds – different times.

            • Matthew Hooton 10.2.1.2.2.3

              10 so deliberately underfunded by the government (but we make up for that by raising over $100k from our annual fair). I wrote about all this in the July/August edition of Metro (the annual school’s edition). Will be on line in a month or so I expect.

    • Wreckingball 10.3

      So you agree that Labour has deliberately lied about the cost of the policy?

      I am all for spending money on education. In fact, educating the population is one of the most important government functions. However, the investment needs to be in the right areas (quality of teachers not quantity) and the politicians need to be upfront about the costs involved.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.3.1

        Read the fully costed policy have you?

        Doubt it, you’re just another lazy tr*ll, and if quantity of teachers isn’t the problem take it up with your dear ‘smaller class sizes’ leader.

        • Wreckingball 10.3.1.1

          Yes I have read the whole policy. The $350m is for the teacher’s salaries and some administration?

          Wouldn’t be the first time that the pricing had been wrong. The laptop for every kid policy for instance. The forecasted cost for the digital device plan only amounts to $373 for a $600 device after factoring in the $100 subsidy and $3.50 a week over 18 months…

          • One Anonymous Bloke 10.3.1.1.1

            Almost as though someone making a bulk purchase gets a reduced price or something. Remedial Economics 101 perhaps?

            Your trite vacuities about extra classrooms have been addressed by McFlock up-thread.

            I like hearing your wails, can I get some running and screaming too?

          • lprent 10.3.1.1.2

            $600? Where did you get that inflated price from. For that matter how many years have you been getting ripped off through your own inability to shop wisely.

            Look at PB Tech’s normal retail prices. At present, you can get a Chromebook for $416 including GST. A Windows 7 15″ laptop for $459 inc GST. These are all that are required for the policy.

            I’ll take a bet that when the government starts issuing purchase orders for tens of thousands of these direct from the manufacturers, that they can easily halve those landed costs.

            Hell PB Tech usually managed to drop then by more than a quarter when school starts up each year.

            So your dumbass argument collapses under your inability to look on google. Just another pathetic moran waving the sign displaying their level of ignorance.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.3.1.1.3

            The forecasted cost for the digital device plan only amounts to $373 for a $600 device

            There’s this concept called bulk buying – perhaps you’ve heard of it?

            Just think what a good deal we’d get if the government went to Samsung and bought enough S5s for the entire country. I suspect we could get them for more than 50% off the retail price but, noooo, people need to have choice – fucken morons.

            • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.1.3.1

              Cunliffe has the Right Wing running scared. I’m going to suggest now that Labour need to fire another lot of its big guns in the next 2 weeks. Get all the big policy out before the TV debates.

            • KJT 10.3.1.1.3.2

              Just been offered a brand new 10inch name brand tablet with windows 8, quad core and 64 Gb for $280.

          • freedom 10.3.1.1.4

            Cool, you’ve read the whole policy. So you can easily supply the link to the source you used.
            So we can make sure we are all working off the same information you understand.

            Whilst doing that can you show us the link for the same level of detail in National’s policy?
            Naturally you have compared the two to come to such comprehensive conclusions.

            I am sure many would love to see where and how National have budgeted the relief staff, travel and accommodation and meals and training facilities and all the other equipment costs of these super human wonder teachers who will travel the country regularly abandoning the complex schedules of various projects that make schools function, let alone how they plan to offer a stable teaching environment for the kids they leave behind, the kids they ask to trust them.

            look forward to the links.

  11. greywarbler 11

    I put this on Open Mike this morning. It is an important education point dealing with the ‘tail’ that is the reason (excuse) for much of the meddling and changes to the education system. When it is being dealt-to so extremely well with a program that is stopped, then carried on in diminished form by dropping it into a stew of others, then I think we ought to ask what is the point of all this change in education really??

    What is the hidden agenda? Is it just to make NACTs seem as if they care about the broader public while they just go on with BAU for the wealthy and the schools where our future politicians are being trained?

    So I think this should not just stay in Open Mike for the cursory glance and then disappear. This info and news report from TNZ should go into the Education archives:

    On education. A rivetting item on Radionz on the Te Kotahitanga program as followed in Northland’s Kerikeri High School which last month was awarded the Prime Minister’s
    award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon
    The successful Te Kotahitanga programme ( 27′ 9″ ) 09:08

    This month the teaching system has been wiped as a stand alone practice system and incorporated into another system one with an upbeat name. In fact it has been watered down, various aspects such as roaming teachers acting as monitors and coaches have been removed. This is strange as they were doing very similar work to that proposed by this new $300 million NACT idea involving leading principals and teachers.

    (I think many of the principals like the new proposed programme as it will do some good for the schools involved, and a lot of good to their mana and salary, good on their CV etc. And many secondary principals are strongly into the business model of education and most principals at any level are becoming managers first and would conservatively follow all Ed Dept direction.)

    But the Te Kotahitanga program pilot carried out in 12 schools, Kerikeri HS amongst them, really gives ‘the tail’ what it needs to succeed. It goes well away from what is called ‘the banking system’ of education (information is deposited and accumulates, through the portals of the mind) rather like posting a letter. Instead it looks to working with pupils, getting them into small teams, and facilitating the learning to suit them.

    Eureka at Kerikeri HS! After a period of settling in and getting accustomed to the new learning, the pass rate – I think this is correct – for Level 2 NCEA for the group used as a base standard, has gone from 28% to 82% e&oe.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • ianmac 11.1

      Yes heard that. And didn’t Keri Keri High get the PM Award a month after Government cancelled the special funding?

  12. Tracey 12

    thanks

  13. Dan1 13

    The latest wisdom from the Ministry provides one football field for 1000 boys. In a sports mad, catch all provincial school, the proposal to merge the two Blenheim Colleges on the one MGC site leaves very little space for 12- 18 year olds.
    Education is not just NCEA pass rates!

    • Tracey 13.1

      A drive past epsom girls or diocesan in auckland shows how little grass they have.

      Physical and health education remain under used in all our schools. Not compulsory for many years. What you describe has been the case for many girls schools for over a century. Its appalling.

  14. dimebag russell 14

    Education is about to make a great leap forward shortly in the field of on line lessons and learning.
    Labour will lead the new direction that will mean substantial and permanent rises in rates of achievemennt.

  15. feijoa 15

    Yes, my daughters college has one sports field for 1300 girls. Her primary school of 400 had a small astroturf about the size of a basketball court. I doubt the state has invested any money in LAND for education, for quite some time.

  16. Education certainly seems to be what the voters – including the undecideds – are interested in (see the tables below the poll results).

    • miravox 16.1

      Interesting to see how Key has his finger on the pulse of the nation with the flag debate.

  17. Lorraine 17

    The National government are so fixated on their obsession with greed for money they think everyone else is motivated by the same narrow rewards. They fail to recognise that teacher and nurses are not motivated by money like a stock broker is. They are generally people that are motivated by the outcome that their work has on the people’s lives they effect in a positive way. It must be hard for the money obsessed to understand how so many other people can get job satisfaction from non monitory outcomes and be satisfied to be equal with their peers financially. Foreign thinking to the #Team Key lot.

    • Tautoko Viper 17.1

      +1000, Lorraine. The concept of genuine team work in the business world is not often understood where a team building exercise is just a once a year weekend activity.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        Ahem, that’s in addition to monthly to weekly team building drinks and dinner and more drinks at a flash Ponsonby restaurant/bar, subsidised by the tax payer as a business expense.

  18. Paul 18

    Herald bias watch.
    Their editorial today….Tuesday.
    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11289243

    “Labour subscribes to the unions’ dogma that every trained teacher is as good as the next and all that pupils need is more of them so that classes can be smaller. ”

    Note the choice of emotive language…’dogma’ to turn the reader against Labour’s ideas. And of course, the link to the Unions. In another section, the anonymous editor writes “Oddly, teacher unions continue to press….”, linking the word oddly to the Unions.
    No mention by contrast of any link of National to big multinational corporations.
    And then of course misinformation. Labour is making more plans to raise quality than the Nat’s executive teacher idea. That, according to the anonymous editor, is “having a bob each way”. I imagine Roughan, who wrote Key’s biography, would have described Labour’s policy differently had his icon been the architect.
    Either Murphy and Roughan haven’t read Labour’s plans or they have wilfully ignored them.
    Either way the Labour Party should sue them for misrepresentation.
    Another smear by this disgraceful rag.
    This is the problem that happens when large foreign corporates own the media.

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  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago

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