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Nats attack education at every level

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 am, May 28th, 2012 - 109 comments
Categories: education - Tags:

If you were a rightwinger, who believed the route to a prosperous society (for the elite, at least) was through private endeavor, wouldn’t the way to help that along be to invest heavily in education? Then, people would be equipped to work out the rest themselves, without the State. So, why is National attacking education at every level? Do they see education as a threat?

Check it out.

In early childhood education, they first got rid of the ‘free’ in 20 Hours’ Free ECE, and the cost of ECE jumped 20% as a result. Then, they removed the funding for fully-qualified staff, so if all the educators are qualified, you pay extra. Because, you know, why would we want people with qualifications delivering education? Now, they’ve frozen the funding rates, so that all inflation will have to be picked up by the portion funded by parents and wages will probably be forced even lower by cash-strapped ECE centres, driving more good people from the sector.

In primary and secondary education, teachers report they have less and less time to teach because they’re constantly having to assess whether their pupils can jump over arbitrary bars for the national standards. They’re a useless, binary measure of knowledge that tells us nothing that existing assessment didn’t already. But, they produce metrics that can be used for performance pay, which is their entire purpose. Now, class sizes are being increased. Hekia Parata – who likes to claim that a class of 42 when she was at primary school did her no harm, despite the evidence to the contrary – admitted last week that the increased teacher ratios would mean 1,000 fewer teachers. And that was without including the surprise wiping out of special additional funding for technology teachers, which will cost intermediate schools a further 1,000 teachers and mean class sizes in the mid-30s if technology courses are preserved.

In the last year, New Zealand went from being a net importer of teachers to a net exporter – 2,351 teachers left for overseas. And it’s not hard to see why. National’s practically forcing them out the door.

It’s no better in tertiary. Frozen or near frozen funding is forcing up staff to student ratios and causing universities to slide on the international rankings. Restrictions on student loans, student allowances, and a loan faster repayment rate will make it harder to get an advanced education. Preventing post-grads from getting an allowance at all is a particularly galling and nonsensical move. This government is always saying they want more bright, innovative people, and here they are saying ‘if you want to do a masters or doctorate, fuck off to Australia and don’t come back’.

While education is under attack at every level tax cuts for the rich, the pension for 66 year olds, subsidies for greenhouse polluters, and highways to nowhere are held sacrosanct. Those are some warped priorities.

This is the anti-education government. And I can’t, for the life of me, work it out. Even if you view yourself as the boss and everyone else as just part of your workforce, you’re going to be richer with a better educated, more productive workforce. Or, perhaps the problem is that a workforce that can think starts to question the fairness of the status quo.

Are they really so afraid that well-educated people don’t vote National?

109 comments on “Nats attack education at every level ”

  1. felix 1

    Not to mention lowering the level of teaching qualification required in primary schools.

  2. muzza 2

    “And I can’t, for the life of me, work it out. Even if you view yourself as the boss and everyone else as just part of your workforce, you’re going to be richer with a better educated, more productive workforce.”

    —Of course people can’t work it out, because they are not able to accept the answer that stares them in the face via this issue alone. Most people are not going to be part of the workforce, that is not the intention, this is not some randon NACT driven initiative, this is very dark foreign directives seeking control in future of sovereign nations.

    It is not about party politics, and retaining the status quo, its time people grew up and realised that there is much more to these issues than face value. Only when this happens can there be any chance to stop the rot in our country. By ignoring, denying, calling conspiracy theory etc, people are all complicit to the ensuring their offspirng are going to havea grim existence, if they have one at all!

    • KJT 2.1

      Yes, but you want your workers to have a purely functional education. The 3 R’s. Not enough knowledge to question your cheating them of pay, hours or conditions.

      Hence the two tier education system in the USA and UK. Only the children of the wealthy get a varied and comprehensive education. State schools are only to provide unthinking cannon fodder for industry.

      That is the same failed system National are attempting to force on us.

  3. Carol 3

    And then there’s charter schools, designed to undermine and undercut teacher unions, thereby lowering wages, but also lowering education standards.

    This is the project of Mr Gradgrind Banks, who has joined in promoting Hard Times education for the less well-off, while private schools still get their government hand-outs and low class sizes.

    in 2009 the government subsidy to private schools was increased:


    Over the next four years private schools in New Zealand are to receive $35 million extra from an already stretched education budget.

    Meanwhile, adult community night class funding has been slashed by $54 million, enviro school funding has been cut and low decile state schools are seeing serious reductions.

    • I blogged on this in 2009.  It was recommended to Tolley that she grant $17.5 million as a “catch up” to private schools.  She doubled the figure.
      This was at the same time that very successful professional development for teachers was being cut and night school funding disappeared.
      It is clear where this Government’s priorities lie …

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Yep, this governments priorities lie solely in giving as much of wealth to the rich as possible making sure that they have all the advantages of belonging to our society and that no one else gets any benefit at all.

        • KJT

          Private schools should not exist.

          George Monbiot gives the reasons better than I can.


          I would add that private schooling is also used by those who, for religious or political reasons, do not want to have their children exposed to a variety of opinions. Another form of child abuse.

          It is notable that the most successful school systems in the world are all State run.
          The best, including ours until recently, are controlled by expert educators who have managed to minimise interference by RWNJ politicians..

        • Vicky32

          much of wealth to the rich as possible making sure that they have all the advantages of belonging to our society

          That’s exactly it! The idea is to make sure that society continues to be run by those who have always run it… the ideal would be if they could make sure that it was here as it was in the UK in the 1930s, when my father had to give up all his hopes of becoming a teacher and go to work as a labourer at 14 years old, as his family could not afford secondary education…

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    The Nats are doing it because its wedge issue they can score votes on. Of course it relies on their mis- information about unions, and what public schools are doing.

    • mac1 4.1

      It’s a wedge issue which involves dislike of ‘liberal’ teachers (used to be ‘communist’ in earlier decades), dislike of strong and independent unions, I believe too a dislike of teachers in part because of some early education experience and because teachers are in the helping/caring/nurturing field which is unknown territory for some people who see other drivers of human activity such as competition, getting ahead, making money, gaining social success as more important.

      Add to that the belief in many that they know about education just because they have been taught. Some also believe that business models would be successful because their primary motivations or personal drivers – money, competition, social success- have been successful in that field of business.

      There is a strong belief in the Right that teachers are about social engineering when these people really mean that teachers are about engineering the kind of social control that they do not want.

      Much of this attack upon teachers (and I’ve seen nearly five decades of it) is based upon social control, upon the type of product required from schools and the type of society which this product is designed to serve.

      It’s an attack which politicians can easily link into for their purposes since they will probably believe the same anyway.

      • KJT 4.1.1

        The right objects to students being taught to question and use evidence.

        They know they would never be voted into power.

        • KJT

          Hell. People may even demand a say in their Government. Real democracy instead of our fake version.

  5. Dv 5



    “The Government has agreed to set up a working party to look at the effect of new class ratio formulas on intermediate and middle schools – effectively an admission it blundered on that aspect of the policy.”

    “What has become really clear in that is that the Year 7 and 8 have had a 10-year provision for technology, the provision of which was not fully modelled,” Ms Parata said.”

    The numbers seemed really dodgy from the start.

    • In other words Parata dropped the ball big time.
      Intermediate schools are up in arms on this.  If you are going to make such a significant change the least you could do is consult with the schools first.
      Good to see the Teachers Unions are going to fight this.

  6. Carol 6

    Well let’s hope some good comes from this “rethink” and that it’s not just a superficial PR exercise to attempt to muffle the critics:


    The Government has agreed to set up a working party to look at the effect of new class ratio formulas on intermediate and middle schools – effectively an admission it blundered on that aspect of the policy.
    Yesterday the union gave notice that it wants to put a reduction of class sizes on the table in its collective agreement negotiations in August after holding what it called an emergency summit at the weekend.

    But senior government sources are pointing the finger at the Ministry of Education for advising Ms Parata wrongly on the effect on schools with a large number of Year 7 and 8 pupils (form one and two).

    Oh…. and it seems it’s the Ministry of Education that’s at fault, not Ms Parata and co…. yeah right.

    Edit: hah! snap, Dv… though we do each highlight a different aspect of this article.

  7. KJT 7

    Monbiot describes the reasons for the process, and the solution rather well.


    “”it is remarkable how many of the positions of wealth, influence, celebrity and power in our society are held by individuals who were privately educated.”

    “3. It would ensure that, rather than opting out of the state education system, they would be obliged to fight for its improvement and better funding. As it is, the dominant class has no qualms about cutting a service upon which it does not depend, and in whose improvement it has no stake”.

    Removing the option of private schools would soon have the wealthy demanding more resources for State schools and the end of attempts to have a two tier system.
    Well resourced schools with a wide subject range for the wealthy and limited education for everyone else.

  8. Roy 8

    Ignorant people are easier to lie to, so right-wingers like to keep people ignorant.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Ignorant people also don’t show up the right-wingers own ignorance and so they find it easier to believe that they’re a Randian hero.

      • Reagan Cline 8.1.1

        If you look at influential NZ politicians, most don’t fit the bill.

        H Clark – female (grey blue eyes though)

        R Seddon, D Lange, R Muldoon (all short and fat)

        Shipley (short and used to be fat)

        Holyoake, Frazer, Coates, Palmer – maybe

        Randian Heroes abound in the Forces and Business though – all those INDIVIDUALISTS playing by the rules. right ?

    • mike e 8.2


  9. Sam Hall 9

    Read SHORE research into the VALUES of New Zealand people research.

    Values that are held strongly are being utilised against them for political polarization and entrenchment of the status quo. Particularly as concerns
    Economy, Welfare, Entitlements (at both ends of the income continuum) and Political Action.

    Following people addicted to drugs, New Zealanders would least like to live next door to Political Extremists.

    American research finds that people FEAR atheism more than many other demographic categories..

    From Scientific Development Concept to Philosophical Development Concept.

  10. Gosman 10

    The article assumes that extra spending automatically means better outcomes and ignores concepts such as diminishing returns.

    Tertiary education spending is a good exanmple of this. Having a bunch of liberal arts and law graduates might not be incredibly beneficial to the economy overall. All you might end up with is a better educated unemployed person like you have in places like Spain.

    Targetting funding is a better idea and the best bang for your buck would be to focus it on younger Children. If you want to better yourself via a Tertiary education you should take greater responsibility for this yourself.

    • Bored 10.1

      I am with you that extra spending does not automatically mean better incomes. I would prefer that “meal ticket” degrees that are basically mechanistic (such as accounting, computer science) or some exaggerated baseless construct on materialist thought (such as economics) be taught at Technical Institutes.

      I strongly believe that the emphasis upon specialization has had a highly negative impact upon our societies ability (or lack thereof) to judge the breadth of our issues. Our “specialists know more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing and nothing else. That is where the Sciences and Humanities come to our rescue, and they don’t need many people to churn out sufficient “leaders” for public service and commerce who can make out the patterns in the shades of grey.

      • Gosman 10.1.1

        Reads like social engineering from an ideological bias to me. Highly improbable you will get that policy through with a massive fight from the right.

        • Carol

          T’is more like the way unis used to be, with a breadth of education and inquiry, before the social engineering that went with the neoliberal shift.

          • Gosman

            Where is the evidence that Universities have changed dramatically in how they are educating Students over the past 30 odd years due to the influence of neo-liberal ideas?

            If anything Post-modernist nonsense has captured the liberal arts departments in many western countries. This is almost the polar opposite to neo-liberalism.

            • dave brownz

              Well Gossman you first need to understand post-modernism.
              It’s actually an intellectual rationalisation of neo-liberalism in culture and the arts. The individual is supreme and devoid of external (other than information) determination.
              Of course is an oxymoron to call a cultural development of late modernism, post-modernism. But don’t let that confuse you.
               So post-modernism and neo-liberalism arose at the same time in the universities. The individual rules, anything goes, and isn’t it exciting.

              • Bored

                Nicely put Dave, I never cease to amazed at how people like Gos fail to identify their true targets because they are ideologically blinded by their particular persuasion.

                • Gosman


                  Can you guy’s explain the significance of these last two statements please?

                  • Bored

                    Gos you poor dear, don’t tell me that you have not read widely enough or been educated broadly enough to understand Dave’s comments? It is a little bit of a leap from applying statistics to tea leaf reading I admit, but there is the value of a liberal broad based education in the humanities. QED.

                  • mike e

                    goose you stay wi

              • Tiger Mountain

                Burn Shipley Burn! The old spirit (and action) is back.

                Dead right Dave about post modernism in i.m.o. Does social being determine people’s consciousness or vice versa. Heh.

            • Sam Hall

              Lifestyle is marketed as autonomy and self-actualisation. LIFESTYLE POLITICS.

            • mike e

              Grosman this government of your ilk is chasing the best students and their professors overseas our universities have slid down the ladder rapidly under right wing bean brained bean counters

          • Bored

            Quite right Carol. I expected a howl of disapproval from Gos as he is a “specialist”, therefore like the rest of us an “interested party”. What he fails to understand is that specialisation is as much a form of social engineering as what I describe. That is what education is all about: fitting the person to the society and to the economy, one reflects the other. This is the nature of education in all societies.

            My contention is that education has become misaligned with society, the market bias has shown a typical market dynamic of under supply being followed by too much supply (for example lawyers, economists). This is as bad as “command and planned supply”. No easy answers but we have definitely allowed the market and user pays to warp educational outputs for our economy and society.

      • higherstandard 10.1.2

        I’m pretty much in agreement with you on that bored. I’d heard from a friend that Auckland University now has over 30,000 students do you know if that’s an accurate figure ?

        I’ve always believed that we should put the majority of state funding into primary and secondary schooling sort it out once and for all and then sort out ECE and tertiary education.

        • Bored

          We agree, I always thought higher education the preserve of the best academic minds and not a free for all. We have mistaken the purpose of degrees by making them available to everybody and every subject, whilst at the same time diminishing the respect for and utility of trade certification, apprenticeships and real world useful disciplines. And those subjects such as woodwork, tech drawing etc etc which lead to useful hands on careers are woefully underfunded at secondary level.

        • Carol

          T’is what the uni says on the “About” page of their website:


          Founded in 1883, Auckland is now the country’s largest university with 38,500 students, nearly 10,000 of whom graduate annually.

          • higherstandard

            Seems like a very large number to me I wonder how the numbers compare to the overseas universities that are known as centres of excellence.

            • Carol

              I’m a bit curious as to why only one third of the student body graduate each year? Is that because there’s been a sudden influx of undergrads in the last year or so? High drop-out rates? Or are there some non-degree courses in the mix?

              • higherstandard

                You’re right, it does seem a bit odd. Might have something to do with the growing roles ?

              • Carol

                Argh. Slow today. One third of the total intake each year will be in their final year & graduate.

            • Fortran

              Figures were in the Herald, recently but basically say Harvard, Oxford etc were very much less in numbers of students.

              • Carol

                Probably those unis have smaller classes, providing higher quality education, or they may focus more on graduate students. Meanwhile NZ goes for an assembly line of large classes of undergrad students?

                • Slap Shot

                  Oxford and Cambridge run on a tutorial system where students have weekly meetings in very small groups with their tutor. That’s why they have a relatively small student body at undergraduate level. The Harvard is small because they don’t need a lot of students, and keeping numbers down improves the exclusivity of a Harvard degree. These are private institutions that have massive endowments and don’t need to increase enrolments to fund themselves.

                  Interestingly, the value of undergraduate education they provide is not much different to other universities. What these universities are good at is picking out the sort of people who will succeed. I’ve seen research that shows that people who went to Ivies and people who were accepted to Ivies, but went elsewhere, have more or less identical records of achievement.

                  New Zealand used to have pretty decent undergraduate education. When I was in grad school, many of my fellow grad students had done their undergraduate degrees at Oxford and Cambridge, and I was surprised to discover that they had no great advantage in terms of what they had learned.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      Better educated people, no matter the course, are always better for democracy than most people being uneducated.

    • henry olongo 10.3

      Utter bullshit. Empty words from someone out of touch… how many kids do you have at school?

  11. Brian 11

    How many of the cabinet members received a free tertiary education? Perhaps they know how to spell hypocrisy as a result.

    • Gosman 11.1

      That’s a stupid argument. It would be like trying to state Angela Merkel should be supportive of a central planned economy because she was brought up in one or that Nelson Mandela should be supportive of Apartheid education policy because he managed to get a law degree and become successful under that system.

      • Deano 11.1.1

        you’re really comparing free tertiary to apartheid?


        • Gosman

          No, I’m highlighting how trying to defend a system simply because someone gained something out of it in the past is hardly an effective argument.

          • Colonial Viper

            Key Joyce English

            Winners with no fees

            Make the young pay, today.

      • Jackal 11.1.2

        What utter rubbish Gosman. The difference is that apartheid was wrong because it was racist and had to change. Education for everybody irrespective of their socio economic position is not wrong. Such things are based on equality, which is the opposite of apartheid.

        The sad fact of the matter is that elitist prejudices have caused our education system to become less accessible to the poor, which will be detrimental to society by creating segregation. It will cause more long term intergenerational dependency on welfare for starters. Is that something you want to see more of Gosman?

        • Gosman

          Interestingly you didn’t pick up on the Angela Merkel reference there. I wonder why.

          • Jackal

            It’s just as ridiculous as the apartheid reference… happy now Gosman?

            • Gosman

              So the fact that Angela Merkel benefitted from a system of State provided free education is ridiculous is it Jackal?

        • Gosman

          Since the introduction of some forms of user paid Tertiary education in the late 1980’s has participation rates gone up or down amongst the low income demographic groups?

          • KJT

            Actually participation rates for tertiary, bums on seats education went up for all groups, but more for the well off.

            Rich students who could not get in with the academic criteria, used before the 80’s, can now buy their way into courses.

            Participation rates for trade and technical courses have gone down.

            I had the references. I will see if I can find them again.

          • mike e

            Goose so you got a free eduction at Victoria university no doubt being the branch office of the chicago school of economics

      • bbfloyd 11.1.3

        way to completely miss the point gossy… shame, you’d done reasonably well up to this point….for you that is.. although demanding evidence that you know can’t be quantified in one or two paragraphs is just more silly stuff… but then, you knew that didn’t you……

        • Tiger Mountain

          Gozzie is ‘already gone’ today it would seem…

        • Gosman

          I don’t care how it is quantified. I just want to see some evidence supporting some of the asertions being made here.

      • Galeandra 11.1.4

        Or that Joyce should allow students to continue to have extended periods to achieve degrees because he took about nine years to graduate.

      • Murray Olsen 11.1.5

        Gosman defines being a prisoner on Robben Island as successful. Jesus H Christ!!

      • mike e 11.1.6

        Well Goosestepman Angela merkel has adopted a lot of the social democrat policies for Germany but demands the countries that were loan sharked by your goldman sachs and other corrupt banks pay up and shut up.

      • mike e 11.1.7

        Germany still plans its economy. Unlike Conmankey and the neolunies.

  12. ianmac 12

    Parata says, “Quality, not Quantity.” Lets get this straight. Next year larger classes. Fewer teachers. And next year “better quality” teachers? Swap do you think? Maybe they could work this miracle over 3 or 4 years and then increase class sizes.
    Actually how could you possibly measure what and when “better quality” teachers are in place?

  13. Broad agreement with the post, esp. re the war against the teacher unions. Two disagreements though:

    1. ECE. The funding for all-qualified staff was gold-plating by Labour to support the NZEI’s aims in improving the professionalism and therefore the pay and status of the ECE sector. It was never about education and was obviously doomed the moment a National govt came to power. The ECE centres that took advantage of the funding were just buying themselves trouble further down the track.

    There’s certainly nothing to suggest National is anti-education or has harmed the education system in scrapping the all-qualified funding – the core purpose of professional childcare is childcare, not education, and you don’t need a full complement of professional ECE staff to run a childcare centre, especially on the under-twos side.

    2. University education. The govt has to be cut some slack here. An economic downturn hands a govt an increase in the number of people wanting to study while at the same time reducing its ability to fund that study. The options other than restricting entry or raising fees weren’t numerous.

    • ianmac 13.1

      Students who gained their degrees on a Student Loan became eligible for the Student Allowance once they became 25+ years old. But now Student Allowances are no longer available for those who are working on their Masters or Doctorates. What do you think of that Psycho?

      • Psycho Milt 13.1.1

        Doesn’t seem to make sense for them to encourage universities to get students into postgrad study while at the same time discouraging students from doing postgrad study, but then a lot of things the govt does make no sense to me at all. If I was tertiary ed minister I’d have gone for restricting entry as the least-worst option, but of course Joyce might have proposed that and been shouted down on the basis it would make unemployment worse. Like I said, the good options were pretty much non-existent.

    • Lanthanide 13.2

      Re: 1, I really don’t know much about the education sector at all, but this matches my impression of the situation.

      I understand that Labour took the existing 80% qualification funding level and stretched it out to 100%, and National cut it back down to the 80% level? It is difficult to see that as anything more than a nice-to-have gold-plating.

  14. prism 14

    And don’t forget the night class cuts. People who left school in the 1960’s have big gaps in their knowledge and understanding. Others want to learn new skills and new understandings. They have minds open to new knowledge but this great use of resource, the community’s schools paid for by taxes can’t be used by those bright and busy types most likely to be taxpayers, doers, and innovators.

    We had an artificial boost in the past widening our scope of education. NZ actually profited from WW2 when profit isn’t money but a wealth of experience and wider knowledge from people coming here from overseas, such as the stateless and dispossessed people who had a new more cultured background and ways of thinking that enriched our rather staid, constrained and unimaginative world. Then our own troops returned with wider horizons with their sad kind of OE.

    Then Maori really pushed us into learning their culture and language which we had cherry-picked with haka and singing songs like Pokarekare ana not knowing the meaning of the words. All very lazy, limited and racist in our thinking.

    I suggest that the mindset of these neo libs and general white society at the upper income level is quite prepared to sink the country into the same dour, boring and conservative society by cutting funding and limiting ideas and imaginative thinking in education, to just concentrate on the basics. The hierarchy of the churches used to preach to a congregation who chanted Latin and couldn’t understand it, and couldn’t read their own language. They could be told anything was gospel and they had to believe it. That’s actually the approach that NACTs are taking. They themselves don’t want to learn widely and be Renaissance people, they want to earn and pass the exams that will advance them and to hell with the rest of the plebs.

  15. Augustus 15

    This is an article that shows where the Nats policy is headed. “No-child-left-behind” being Bush’s excuse for Charter Schools, the real reason behind them seems pretty obvious: The quest for profit.

  16. prism 16

    From Augustus link – sounds like a nightmare treadmill for teachers that only a depersonalised, industrial-minded, time-and-motion addicted, demanding and outcome-dominant (the ends justify the means) society would choose. Are we just like the USA?

    President George W. Bush signed No Child Left Behind in 2002, spelling out a reform movement blueprint and unleashing an escalating set of benchmarks compelling teachers to deliver ever-better student scores. NCLB mandates high-stakes standardized testing to monitor student achievement and aggressive intervention into schools that fall short: making Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, became a matter of a school’s — and increasingly teacher’s — survival.

    If the name of charts was changed to measure Yearly Adequate Progress or YAP the acronym would be more fitting. It sounds as if there is more talk and box-ticking than actual valuable and inspirational teaching. Is it a choice – inspirational or aspirational?

    • I can give first hand experience of what the US public school experience is like – dreadful. My children are in a school that has learned how to game the NCLB system. Parents are chided if homework isn’t done and the learning isn’t effective, just rote rubbish.


      • OneTrack 16.1.1

        Shocking. Homework being done. What about the children. And rote learning. Say it isn’t so. They had rote learning when I went through school and I didn’t remember any of it. Oh wait, that’s right I still do remember it. Maybe those older teachers did have some things not completely wrong after all.

        • Vicky32

          And rote learning. Say it isn’t so. They had rote learning when I went through school and I didn’t remember any of it

          You must be older than I am then! The only rote learning we had was the multiplication table – and do I remember it? No, not above the 9s, and then only because my father taught me tricks to do with adding nines… 🙂

          • Psycho Milt

            I was in primary school 1967-72 and yes, we had rote learning for multiplication tables and to a great extent for spelling. I still get the answer for anything in the 12×12 table pop into my head without even thinking about it and don’t need a spellchecker on my computer. There are some things rote learning is tops for.

        • Monique Watson

          And you excel how?
          Given that we don’t expect adults to have homework, in pursuit of work/life balance, why on earth do we expect kids to do homework? Do you actually, use your primary school homework in your everyday life or work life today? That’s astonishing if so.
          I don’t swallow that crap that your generation fed mine, or wants to feed my children. I want then to actually learn.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Actually, a number of jobs do expect you to do homework.

          • ianmac

            Homework at Primary level is only perhaps valid if:
            1. It is relevant to the current classroom program
            2. It is appropriate in difficulty for each child.
            3. It is marked/acknowledged.

            There is no research which shows Homework is beneficial for Primary age children.
            Random worksheets are counterproductive. Too easy for bright kids and a nightmare for slower kids. And not likely for 1&2 above.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      Are we just like the USA?

      If we leave it to the NACTs we will be. We’ll follow right along in their failure.

  17. Lanthanide 17

    I’ve skimmed the above comments but didn’t see this covered anywhere.

    Hekia Parata – who likes to claim that a class of 42 when she was at primary school did her no harm, despite the evidence to the contrary – admitted last week that the increased teacher ratios would mean 1,000 fewer teachers.

    Can you please provide the evidence for this admission? When I heard her on Radio NZ being interviewed on the subject, she absolutely refused to give any sort of statement like this, multiple times, and even said a couple of times “some teachers lose their jobs every year, it’s normal” as if that somehow addressed the point the interviewer was asking (and Mary didn’t let her get away with it either).

    • Dv 17.1

      Arithmetic Lanth
      Say average Salary 50k

      Saving 43M

      = 860 teachers

      But the Ministry didn’t have their ss correct and hadnt factored in Manual teachers at Intermediates as well.

      Not an admission, but she didn’t know her numbers either.

      • Lanthanide 17.1.1

        So she didn’t “[admit] last week” then, did she?

        Hence why I wanted the evidence of this.

        • Dv

          No I have not seen any where the numbers by Parata, all I have seen is a lot of ducking and diving.

          She said the saving was 43M
          That was going to come from teacher nos,by adjustment of class sizes

          She said the average salary was 47k

          She didn’t do the math

          If that is not an admission what is?

    • ianmac 17.2

      She has claimed 42 in her Primary School class but that is extremely unlikely as rural schools were staffed on 1:24 and in practice usually less than 24. (Prehaps she read 24 as 42? Dyslexic?)

    • Carol 17.3


      Hon Hekia Parata
      Minister of Education

      16 May 2012
      Speech Notes
      My primary school teacher tells me that my class numbered 42! The important point here is that all the evidence tells us that it is the quality of teaching that makes the difference to learning and achievement, not one or two extra students in a class.

      • Kiwi Pete 17.3.1

        I thought all the evidence showed smaller class sizes get better outcomes. That’s been the mantra ever since I can remember and it does intuitively make sense. Now, all of a sudden, all the evidence shows the opposite. Hard to believe. Where is this evidence?

  18. Wayne 18

    Dv, you are repeating the same incorrect average. You can’t become a teacher without at least a 3 year degree or a 3 year degree and a diploma. That means a starting salary of either $45,000 or $47,000. Annual increments are at least $2,000. In fact half of all teachers have 1 or more management units. Interesting article in the Dom Post today.

  19. There’s a reason education sucks according to George Carlin

  20. Wayne 20

    Article is by Prof Rob Strathdee on B5, maybe not on the website, mind you the Stuff site is not really complete. The scale does go lower, presumably reflecting when a 2 year teaching diploma existed. But it is now many years since you could get one of those. I imagine anyone under 30 could have only become registered if they had a degree.

  21. LoveIT 21

    The sooner the government loses its monopoly on education, the better for us all.

  22. Draco T Bastard 22

    Or, perhaps the problem is that a workforce that can think starts to question the fairness of the status quo.

    That one. NACT want a populace that will do as it’s told without asking questions, people who will swallow the BS that NACT spew and the only people who will do that is the uneducated and the mis-educated (people educated through wrote learning and taught how to think which will be another feature of National Standards).

  23. dan1 23

    I think one of the news items tonight nailed the issue. There is no-one in senior government circles with experience in education. It reminds me of the time when I was fortunate to sit in a day of negotiation between a teacher union and the Ministry. A 25 year old hot shot promoted from the ranks of a producer organisation was condescendingly asking the teacher reps “can you run that past me again” on a very basic educational issue.
    It was cringeworthy.

    The NACTS are all in agreement that unions are full of self-serving greedies but even just a small investigation would show that the reason NZ’s education system rates in the top four world-wide is due to the commitment of most staff.

    Many NACTs are self-made, and so their lack of education is worn as a badge of pride.

    An issue with performance pay is that it is being teed up for education yet its results in the private sector are full of stories of unfairness and rorts. There is already a fair degree of performance pay in teaching. The progression through steps of pay is still dependent on competency. That progression only lasts eight years, and thereafter ones salary only improves with promotion, which is dependent on performance and competitive application. Mrs Parata seems unaware1

    I am appalled that education is hammered. I am appalled that our newspaper boys are being taxed by Double Dipton who sent his kids to private schools in Wellington while pretending he lived in Southland so he could claim his rort.

  24. Ed 24

    An excellent presentation :

  25. Maui 25


    “In South Carolina, Democrat Robert Ford has made school reform his marquee issue in preparing to run for governor next year. ‘This past year Ford offered a bill in the General Assembly that would make uttering profanity in public – whether in writing or orally – a felony and another bill that would require South Carolina cities and counties to give their workers a paid day off for Confederate Memorial Day or lose millions of state funds. Now he’s pushing charter schools although it is unclear what his plan is or if he has one. Many believe he’s in it for the money. He’s allied with Al Sharpton who jumped aboard the corporate education reform gravy train after receiving a half million dollars last year for his National Action Network, reportedly brokered by New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein through a right-wing non-profit agency that promotes charter schools. I mentioned the president’s friend and fellow Chicagoan, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who tried out his experiments in reform first on public school students in Chicago, where he was a CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Duncan militarized and corporatized the third largest school system in the nation, vastly expanded draconian student expulsions, instituted sweeping surveillance practices, advocated a growing police presence in the schools, arbitrarily shut down entire schools and fired entire school staffs. As a result Chicago’s public schools are now being sued by black teachers for racial discrimination over the dismissal of hundreds of qualified black teachers, replaced with younger, cheaper, less experienced and mostly whiter ones. And, some suggest that his charter schools plan has led to a spike in violence. Yet the Obama administration is withholding federal education funds from states and school districts to force nationwide implementation of Duncan’s charter school model.”

    “The audience nodded approval when I warned them to be on the lookout for politicians who could make things worse by offering nothing but a flimsy promise of something better ..”

    Excerpt from ‘The Novocaine Presidency’ by Kevin Alexander Gray – a chapter in

    Hopeless – Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion , p.93-4, edited by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Black, AK Press, May 2012. Ask for it at your local library.

  26. Maui 26

    Charter school evaluations in the US.


  27. kapil 27

    Thank You

    The given information is very effective
    i will keep updated with the same

    seo training in noida

  28. Maui 28

    no probs ..

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