Some random observations on Key’s Education proposals
Written By: - Date published: 1:38 pm, January 24th, 2014 - 64 comments
Categories: child welfare, education, john key, national, schools -
Following on from Karol’s post I thought I should offer a few random observations on National’s announced education reforms:
- At a political level the proposals are good, they combine an impression of action man, concern for children and a desire to improve education. Who could possibly complain?
- National is obviously weak on education and needed to do something. The recent drop in PISA results coupled with the Novopay fiasco and growing concern with National Standards has obviously opened a vulnerability for them. Writing a big fat cheque is a good way to address this weakness but I wonder if there is any evidence to show that the proposal is good value for money?
- John Key is moving back to the conciliatory Key that we saw in 2008. His performance on Morning Report this morning was quite good. Expect to hear a lot more from him this year on Radio New Zealand.
- The teachers are being bought off and marginalised with the promise of more money. Essentially this is performance pay for teachers. What has been a cooperative and egalitarian profession will now become more competitive.
- The proposals continue the theme that the worsening of our eduction standards is the fault
flat of teachers. Paying more money for these so called super teachers suggests that the solution lies with them, not elsewhere.
- The reforms are expensive. $395 million worth of funding could pay for four years of Hone Harawira’s breakfast and lunch in decile one and two schools programme.
- The reforms are untested. Key said this morning they are based on a Singaporean program. New Zealand has had a world beating education system for decades and why do we have to try overseas models untested in New Zealand?
- The extra money could be used to significantly increase teachers’ salaries. In Finland, which has a world beating education system, teachers are paid well and this attracts the best candidates to the profession.
- The reforms are full
folk of management speak. Phrases such as “executive principals, “change principals”, “lead teachers” and “expert teachers” makes you think that you are dealing with IBM. And the system will create a more rigid hierarchy where the “elite” are well paid but ordinary teachers will receive improvement.
- Bureaucracy and red tape will be increased, not decreased.
- Poverty is the real reason for declining education standards. And Key’s proposal does nothing whatsoever to address this.