web analytics

Competition, cooperation, schools

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, June 27th, 2012 - 12 comments
Categories: class war, education, national, schools - Tags: , , ,

Conservative political types, like our Nats, have an essentially competitive model of the world. Willfully ignoring the massive generational continuity of wealth and power, they ascribe all success to “hard work” and inherent virtue, which “justifies” their indifference towards (or contempt for) those less fortunate than themselves. Although most of them don’t know the term, their belief system has its roots in social Darwinism, an ideology which at its most virulent has “motivated ideas of eugenics, scientific racism, imperialism, fascism, Nazism and struggle between national or racial groups”.

Competition is not the answer to all questions. Even in evolutionary theory cooperation has a major role. Not even the most basic primate grouping, let alone our current human society, would be possible without the unifying, moderating and civilising force of cooperation.

Blah blah blah, sorry, just background ruminations as I ponder the Nats’ bull-in-a-china-shop need to break systems that work perfectly well by trying to make them competitive. Case in point, the education system, where the Nats would dearly love to turn the cooperative profession of teaching into something competitive and broken.

Competition between schools already causes enough problems. “Tomorrow’s schools”, introduced under the badge of Lange’s Labour government (by the neoliberal ideologues who went on to found the ACT Party), initiated the competitive process. Popular high-decile schools grew fast, while enrollments at less popular low-decile schools fell. Because popular schools could cherry-pick, local students could be excluded. This was the problem that the school zoning system, introduced by the last Labour government in 2000, was designed to fix. But even that system is being perverted by competitive forces:

Principals and the Green Party are calling for a review of the Tomorrow’s Schools model which they say has caused secondary schools to adjust school zones and cherry pick students.

Concern has mounted after a report by a visiting US scholar found most Auckland secondary schools are zone-fixing – intentionally skewing their enrolment zones to improve their decile rating. Principals say zone-fixing is nothing new and competition between schools has grown since the Tomorrow’s Schools model was introduced under David Lange in 1989.

Fulbright scholar and Associate Professor from the University of Illinois Chris Lubienski looked at 49 secondary schools, comparing surrounding areas with the areas actually included within the zones the schools have drawn. Professor Lubienski said that in 36 cases, the enrolment zones did not match the surrounding population. He said he could only infer there was an intention by schools to distort their decile rating, although he said in the qualitative part of the study, principals talked about intentionally drawing up zones to enhance their school’s market position. … “We found in a vast majority of cases that the schools were serving students who were more affluent,” he said. …

Head of the Secondary Principals’ Council Allan Vester said the issue of schools selectively setting their school zones was not new. … “Unfortunately the market type model also encourages behaviours which, while advantageous for an individual school, can actually reduce the quality of the educational experience overall for the community.”

This problem is going to get even worse with the Nats’ introduction of “league tables” (based on nonsense data). Competition is simply the wrong model for education, and it is going to break a system which is working perfectly well, and very cost effectively in this country.

12 comments on “Competition, cooperation, schools ”

  1. Kotahi Tane Huna 1

    NZ’s position in the OECD PISA tests needs to be kept firmly front and centre in contrast to the Nats’ repetition of the lie that schools are failing.

    Or watch them point to whatever the 2013 PISA scores are and then claim credit for “improved performance”.

    Or am I being too cynical?

    • mike e 1.1

      KTH ConmanKey is saying 1 in 5 pupils are failing ,that is a blatant lie using outdated statistics its now closer to 1 in 10 most of that improvement was made under a previous govt.
      What was found during the 1990’s govts own research through Otago university that money ended up being spent on schools and tertiary institutes promoting themselves at the expense of education .
      If one school uni or polytechnic spend some money another would spend more ending up in a viscous cycle of increasing amounts being spent on promotion at the expense of education .
      The outcome we see being repeated on TV every day more promotion.
      Funny that our universities are now slipping out of the top 100 internationally since Nactuf has come to power.
      Dumbing down education again no surprises.

      • Bunji 1.1.1

        The figure of 20% illiterate (“leave school unable to read and write”) was never true (at least not for a century or so…), but was based on 1 in 5 leaving school without qualifications. That was an old number rounded up at the height of a boom and the lowest unemployment in the OECD. It did not mean anything like illiterate (except for perhaps the people who came up with the statistic…).

        The same measure now – with ongoing economic hardship, and National’s high unemployment meaning people stay in school – is about 5%. So 1 in 20, not 20% – and the number of illiterate is still less than that…

        4th best education system in the world, on one of the smallest budgets per pupil in the OECD, trying to improve by copying from much more expensive systems with much worse results… National Standards, gotta love ’em…

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1.2

        All that’s true, but anyone who has swallowed John Key’s deliberate lies (why isn’t a lying Prime Minister guilty of treason?) will likely also swallow the line that a good PISA score in 2013 means the government has turned the situation around.

      • Vicky32 1.1.3

        being spent on schools and tertiary institutes promoting themselves at the expense of education

        Yes, very true!

  2. BernyD 2

    I can’t see the “League Table” being accurate anyway.
    As curriculums change and the marks get scaled anyway, how can you compare them ?
    Any parent using them as a sole source of information about a school, would never happen.

    Which makes the desire to “Publish” them a reactionary response to the perceived Parents wishes.

    If they do the homework, they’d realise it can only hurt the students and wouldn’t be useful to parents.

    • Descendant Of Smith 2.1

      Yeah well the league tables should also include clear progress from entry in school to exit tables to indicate improvement by pupils while at school so it can be seen which schools have the cherry picked students and which ones don’t and which schools actually make a diffence to achievement, and another table which shows the $ spent from all funding sources per student so it can be seen which schools are the most cost effective and whether $spend per pupil makes a difference.

      There’s a world of difference between a school like New Plymouth Boys High School who owns the race course, the land the polytechnic is on, the land NPGHS is on and has an extensive old boys network and PTA vs a low socioeconomic school who has none of those things and has actually lost funding under this government and has lots of unemployed parents who can’ pay the school fees.

  3. Ed 3

    To a certain extent the confused thinking and rush indicate the theme of another recent thread – that of an attempted distraction from the failure of this government to meet any economic targets – or indeed any major target other than that of reducing the top tax rate.

  4. My daughter has for a number of years taught, referenced from Winz, people to help to get a driving licence – why ? – because they cannot read well enough to get a driving licence for a job.

  5. Blue 5

    Society doesn’t teach people to read, parents and schools do. Or they did in my day.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Welcome for Afghan human rights defenders, Government House Auckland
    As-salamu alaykum, Tena tatou katoa, Thank you all for being here today. To the Afghan human rights defenders and your family members, welcome to Aotearoa. And thank you Your Excellency for hosting us all here at Government House. We have with us today from Afghanistan, human rights advocates, journalists, judges, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech on tax changes for Build-to-Rent sector
    It’s my great pleasure to be able to speak with you about a really positive move for the Build-to-Rent sector. As you know, we announced changes last year to help steer property investors way from the existing pool of housing and toward solving New Zealand’s grave housing shortage - by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax incentives to boost long-term rental supply
    ·      Tax changes aimed at growing quality, secure rental supply ·      New and existing build-to-rent developments exempt from interest limitation rules in perpetuity, when offering ten-year  tenancies ·      Exemption to apply from 1 October 2021. The Government is encouraging more long-term rental options by giving developers tax incentives for as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt marks 350th tower in push for improved rural connectivity
    The Government has marked another milestone in its push for better rural connectivity, welcoming the delivery of Rural Connectivity Group’s (RCG) 350th tower. Waikato’s Te Ākau, which sits roughly 50 kilometres out of Hamilton is home to the new tower. “The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the ever-increasing importance of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint Press Release: Trans-Tasman agriculture ministers discuss biosecurity co-operation
    Biosecurity co-operation topped the agenda when Australia and New Zealand’s agriculture ministers met yesterday. Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Murray Watt met with his New Zealand counterpart, Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture, Biosecurity, and Rural Communities in a conference call, which had particular focus on foot and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Remote monitoring could give patients better care at home
    People could spend less time in hospital, thanks to a smart new remote device that lets patients be monitored at home, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Technology has the potential to really change the way we do things – to do things that are  better for patients and at the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supporting kids’ learning success
    Concrete steps to clarify inclusive, evidence-informed teaching practices Strengthen capability supports along the professional pathway  Enhance partnerships between the education system and whānau, iwi, communities Embed equitable additional learning supports and assessment tools that help teachers effectively notice and respond to the needs of students Improved student achievement is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting prevention, preparedness and response to global pandemics
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to strengthen global prevention, preparedness and responses to future pandemics with seed funding for a new World Bank initiative, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “We cannot afford to wait until the next pandemic. We must all play our part to support developing countries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Overseas investors converting farms to forests must show benefit to New Zealand
    A law change to ensure that forestry conversions by overseas investors benefit New Zealand has passed its final reading in Parliament. Previously, overseas investors wishing to convert land, such as farm land, into forestry only needed to meet the “special forestry test”. This is a streamlined test, designed to encourage ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International visitors boosting economic recovery
    International tourism recovery well underway with higher level of overseas visitor arrivals than previously expected UK and US card spend already back at pre-COVID levels Visitors staying in New Zealand longer and spending more compared to 2019 Govt support throughout pandemic helped tourism sector prepare for return of international ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Ministry’s inaugural Strategy paves way for ethnic communities
    The Ministry for Ethnic Communities has released its first strategy, setting out the actions it will take over the next few years to achieve better wellbeing outcomes for ethnic communities Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. “The Strategy that has been released today sets out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • World class aquatic centre opened in Hawke’s Bay
    The Prime Minister has officially opened the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre today saying it is a huge asset to the region and to the country. “This is a world class facility which will be able to host national and international events including the world championships. With a 10-lane Olympic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tulī Takes Flight winners take to the wing
    The Associate Minister of Education, Aupito William Sio, has today announced the recipients of the Tulī Takes Flight scholarships which were a key part of last year’s Dawn Raids apology. The scholarships are a part of the goodwill gesture of reconciliation to mark the apology by the New Zealand Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt supports free period products in over 2000 schools within one year
    96% of estimated menstruating students receive free period products 2085 schools involved 1200 dispensers installed Supports cost of living, combats child poverty, helps increase attendance Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti today hailed the free period products in schools, Ikura | Manaakitia te whare tangata, a huge success, acknowledging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt boosts tourism transformation to strengthen workforce and improve outcomes
    The Tourism Industry Transformation Plan outlines key actions to improve the sector This includes a Tourism and Hospitality Accord to set employment standards Developing cultural competency within the workforce Improving the education and training system for tourism Equipping business owners and operators with better tools and enabling better work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Google Cloud’s decision to make New Zealand a cloud region. “This is another major vote of confidence for New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and our economic recovery from COVID 19,” David Clark said. “Becoming a cloud region will mean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Changes to NCEA & University Entrance in response to COVID-19 disruptions
    A package of changes to NCEA and University Entrance announced today recognise the impact COVID-19 has had on senior secondary students’ assessment towards NCEA in 2022, says Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti. “We have heard from schools how significant absences of students and teachers, as a result of COVID-19, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Samoa- “Lifelong Fri...
    Te Reo Māori tauparapara… Tapatapa tū ki te Rangi! Ki te Whei-ao! Ki te Ao-mārama Tihei mauri ora! Stand at the edge of the universe! of the spiritual world! of the physical world! It is the breath of creation Formal acknowledgments… [Your Highness Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II and Masiofo] ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New law passed to reduce gun harm
    The Government’s commitment to combatting firearms violence has reached another significant milestone today with the passage of the Firearms Prohibition Order Legislation Bill, Police Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new law helps to reduce firearm-related crime by targeting possession, use, or carriage of firearms by people whose actions and behaviours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister sends condolences as last Battle for Crete veteran passes away
    Minister for Veterans, Hon Meka Whaitiri sends her condolences to the last Battle for Crete veteran. “I am saddened today to learn of the passing of Cyril Henry Robinson known as Brant Robinson, who is believed to be the last surviving New Zealand veteran of the Battle for Crete, Meka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill passes third reading
    Legislation to repeal the ‘Three Strikes’ law has passed its third reading in Parliament. “The Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill ends an anomaly in New Zealand’s justice system that dictates what sentence judges must hand down irrespective of relevant factors,” Justice Minister Kiri Allan said. “The three strikes law was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government working on preliminary steps to improve support for abuse survivors
    Work is under way on preliminary steps to improve the Government’s support for survivors of abuse in care while a new, independent redress system is designed, Public Service Minister Chris Hipkins says. These steps – recommended by the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry – include rapid payments for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Remarks upon 77th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki Online Forum 77 years ago today, an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Three days earlier, on the 6th of August 1945, the same fate had befallen the people of Hiroshima.  Tens of thousands died instantly. In the years that followed 340,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt signs NZ–USA agreement launching new opportunities for space sector
    An agreement signed today between the New Zealand and United States governments will provide new opportunities for our space sector and closer collaboration with NASA, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said. Stuart Nash signed the Framework Agreement with United States Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman. The signing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt strengthens emergency management cooperation between NZ and the US
    An agreement signed today between New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the United States’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will strengthen global emergency management capability, says Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty. “The Government is committed to continually strengthening our emergency management system, and this Memorandum of Cooperation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand to stay at Orange as winter continues
    New Zealand will remain at the Orange traffic light setting, while hospitalisations remain elevated and pressure on the health system continues through winter. “There’s still significant pressure on hospitals from winter illnesses, so our current measures have an ongoing role to play in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Path paved for communities to reshape streets
    Streets will soon be able to be transformed from unsafe and inaccessible corridors to vibrant places for all transport modes thanks to new legislation proposed today, announced Transport Minister Michael Wood. “We need to make it safe, quicker and more attractive for people to walk, ride and take public transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Boost for agricultural and horticultural science in schools
    More young minds eyeing food and fibre careers is the aim of new Government support for agricultural and horticultural science teachers in secondary schools, Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Government is committing $1.6 million over five years to the initiative through the Ministry for Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bumper breeding season boosts Kākāpō population
    Kākāpō numbers have increased from 197 to 252 in the 2022 breeding season, and there are now more of the endangered parrots than there have been for almost 50 years, Conservation Minister Poto Williams announced today. The flightless, nocturnal parrot is a taonga of Ngāi Tahu and a species unique ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Relationship with Malaysia to be elevated to Strategic Partnership
    The relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Malaysia is to be elevated to the status of a Strategic Partnership, to open up opportunities for greater co-operation and connections in areas like regional security and economic development. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta met her Malaysian counterpart Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah today during a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Call for New Zealanders to get on-board with rail safety
    With additional trains operating across the network, powered by the Government’s investment in rail, there is need for a renewed focus on rail safety, Transport Minister Michael Wood emphasised at the launch of Rail Safety Week 2022. “Over the last five years the Government has invested significantly to improve level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Regional approach the focus at ASEAN and East Asia Summit talks
    The Foreign Minister has wrapped up a series of meetings with Indo-Pacific partners in Cambodia which reinforced the need for the region to work collectively to deal with security and economic challenges. Nanaia Mahuta travelled to Phnom Penh for a bilateral meeting between ASEAN foreign ministers and Aotearoa New Zealand, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Criminal Bar Association
    Kia ora koutou Firstly, thank you to the President of the Criminal Bar Association, Fiona Guy Kidd QC, for her invitation to attend the annual conference this weekend albeit unfortunately she is unable to attend, I’m grateful to the warm welcome both Chris Wilkinson-Smith (Vice-President, Whanganui) and Adam Simperingham (Vice-President, Gisborne) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • The beat goes on as Government renews support for musicians
    Extension of Aotearoa Touring Programme supporting domestic musicians The Programme has supported more than 1,700 shows and over 250 artists New Zealand Music Commission estimates that around 200,000 Kiwis have been able to attend shows as a result of the programme The Government is hitting a high note, with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to attend Guadalcanal Commemorations in the Solomon Islands
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare will depart tomorrow for Solomon Islands to attend events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal. While in Solomon Islands, Minister Henare will also meet with Solomon Islands Minister of National Security, Correctional Services and Police Anthony Veke to continue cooperation on security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New programme to provide insights into regenerative dairy farming 
    The Government is partnering with Ngāi Tahu Farming Limited and Ngāi Tūāhuriri on a whole-farm scale study in North Canterbury to validate the science of regenerative farming, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.   The programme aims to scientifically evaluate the financial, social and environmental differences between regenerative and conventional practices. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More women on public boards than ever before
    52.5% of people on public boards are women Greatest ever percentage of women Improved collection of ethnicity data “Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees is now 52.5 percent, the highest ever level. The facts prove that diverse boards bring a wider range of knowledge, expertise and skill. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Awards support Pacific women
    I am honoured to support the 2022 Women in Governance Awards, celebrating governance leaders, directors, change-makers, and rising stars in the community, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. For the second consecutive year, MPP is proudly sponsoring the Pacific Governance Leader category, recognising Pacific women in governance and presented to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt investment into Whakatāne regeneration reaches new milestones
    Today Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash turned the sod for the new Whakatāne Commercial Boat Harbour, cut the ribbon for the revitalised Whakatāne Wharf, and inspected work underway to develop the old Whakatāne Army Hall into a visitor centre, all of which are part of the $36.8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government determined to get a better deal for consumers
    New Zealanders are not getting a fair deal on some key residential building supplies and while the Government has already driven improvements in the sector, a Commerce Commission review finds that  changes are needed to make it more competitive. “New Zealand is facing the same global cost of living and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago