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Class sizes vox pop

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, June 7th, 2012 - 14 comments
Categories: education, national, schools - Tags: , , ,

More grim reading for the Nats in The Herald this morning:

NZ says no to larger schoolrooms

A nationwide survey has given a strong indication that New Zealanders don’t want larger class sizes. The street survey conducted by APN newspapers from Whangarei to Dunedin showed most people stood alongside education groups in their opposition to controversial ratio changes announced as part of the Budget.

Savings from class size changes are to be used to develop an appraisal system to help lift and reward teacher performance, with the aim of lifting student achievement. Some of the more than 70 people questioned in the national snapshot slammed the measure as “rubbish” and “bloody ridiculous”. Only a handful supported the move. …

The street poll comes after a One News-Colmar Brunton poll on Monday showed overwhelming opposition to the Goverrnment’s education reforms, with 79 per cent against and only 17 per cent in favour of the plan.

Ian Leckie, of the NZ Educational Alliance Institute, which has united with several other groups to fight the plan, was not surprised by the results. “What we are saying – and this survey backs it up – is that there is a very high level of support for the stand that the sector group has taken,” he said. “The message for the Government is that this does not have broad public support and doesn’t have any sector support.”

Actual quotes from the 70 participants in the vox pop are here – some interesting reading. Another related column in The Herald chimes in, concluding:

Arguing that class size won’t affect teaching quality is ‘utter rot’

…To argue black is white, that large class sizes won’t impact the quality of education children receive, is utter rot. The constant tinkering and messing with our current system is a disgrace, and will do nothing to improve the “tail” of underachievement, which probably needs more, better-focused resourcing. Again, one has to wonder when education will ever get a minister with better ideas than ‘break union’ and ‘slash budget’. Certainly not for the next few years, anyhow.

When 50,000 people marched down Queen St the Nats dropped plans to mine conservation land. Time for another show of people power. Set a date, and let’s march.

14 comments on “Class sizes vox pop ”

  1. mike e 1

    Radio NZ cathryn ryan this morning interviewed Massey universty professor of education.
    Oecd average of 22 or less.
    Those affected by these crude cuts will be Maori pacific Islanders and poor.
    Govt is fudging figures those who need more one on one time won,t get it.

    • ianmac 1.1

      Mike that interview on Morning Report:
      Interview with John Key this morning on Morning Report. A very vague response.
      Then an interview with Professor John O’Neal Education, who quietly explains the implications of larger class sizes. John points out that the teacher numbers have grown in an effort to catch up on other countries. The OECD average is about 1:22 so Parata’s 1:27 is pretty grim.
      [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20120607-0822-education_professor_says_small_classes_improve_teaching-048.mp3" /]

  2. irascible 2

    Here’s a US story on the same issue that identifies the depth of “research” done to support the policies followed by Republicans, Conservatives and NACTs where-ever they’re in power.
    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_20720013/education-experts-disagree-importance-school-class-size

  3. Mel 3

    This government has misled the public. They had this policy in mind before the election and didn’t make anything public until after the election.

    What really angers the public through is the choices the government is making.

    $57 million for private schools
    $ ?? million to establish ‘charter’ aka private schools (that may not need to follow the NZ curriculum nor hire trained teachers).

    Now wait for it

    an announcement about to be made on class sizes?

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/1824829244-Announcement-to-be-made-over-class-sizes

    • Dv 4.1

      Not only Parata
      Key and cabinet too.

      Excellent BUT watch the fine print.

      • mac1 4.1.1

        And hear the trumpeting, “We are listening to the people.”

        Reminds me of the ACT bus that toured the hinterland some few elections ago which sported a pair of loudspeakers and a sign which said something akin to “ACT. Listening to you!”

        Listen also to the distractive noise put up by Bennett and others to pull attention away from Parata’s backdown.

  4. Mel 5

    Yes indeed.

    Fabulous news. We always knew the policy was totally flawed – you cannot increase teacher workload as well as improve teaching quality!!!

    We will watch the fine print!!!

  5. red blooded 6

    So, people power still works once in a while. They’ll still push the whole ‘performance’ pay thing, though, and I don’t see them cutting any support for charter schools or public funding of private schools.

    Still, I’m going to enjoy seeing Hekia (and/orJK) swallowing a whole lotta pride on the news tonight.

  6. ianmac 7

    Parata will still mouth her slogan “We are committed to improving the quality of teachers.”
    And I still don’t know what that means!

    • Pete 7.1

      It means breaking the teachers’ unions and introducing individual contracts.

      • KJT 7.1.1

        Pity we do not have the same emphasis on improving the quality of politicians.

        Note; Pete George on another thread admitting to a lack of knowledge.

        They should at least know what a modern school does.

  7. KJT 8

    SOP for NACT.

    Advance a more extreme than usual policy, using an expendable dupe, then sneak in whatever shitty things they were going to do anyway, under cover of the noise.

    While the public are left believing NACT have been listening.

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

    They are still going to eviscerate State education.

  8. Anne 9

    It beggars belief. Parata is almost being hailed as a heroine. She blabbers on about listening to the parents (yeah the Nat. member/voting parents who have been madly emailing the PM’s office – hence the conference call with Key in the the middle of a European night) yet never mentions listening to the actual experts in this sorry saga – the teachers.

    Yep. All those evil, blood-sucking, useless teachers are going to cop it alright – just in a different way. Just wait and see.

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