NZ has best value for money education in the world

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, January 11th, 2012 - 65 comments
Categories: education - Tags:

Generating a false crisis to justify their ideological policies is a classic rightwing tactic. Key gravely pronounces the system is ‘broken’ and their policy is the solution. Education has been victim to this bullshit. But OECD stats show that we have the best value for money education in the world. How will National justify their ideological assault on teachers now?

Danyl at Dimpost first posted this graph comparing the educational achievement to teachers’ salaries.

The broader lesson of the graph is that societies that value teaching (as reflected by teachers’ pay) have better educational outcomes. Better salaries attract more and better candidates, and better salaries indicates a better funded system overall where teachers have the resources they need to teach.

But when we look at New Zealand in particular, we see it is an extraordinary outlier. We have the 15th highest teacher salaries and get the 3rd best results. If you want to see this in value for money terms, we have the best in the world, right along side Finland, which is regarded as the model educational system by all but rightwing ideologues. Either we just happen to have extraordinarily good teachers compared to the rest of the world or (more likely) we have a very good system.

Both our countries have achieved this success with ‘bottom-up’ models where teachers have a large degree of freedom over what they teach and successful practices spread by emulation rather than teachers being forced to ‘teach to the test’ – 19th century-style rote learning.

But National is attempting to change that. It’s National Standards is a copy of the system that sees the US and the UK spend more on teaching to get far worse results. National scoring coupled with league tables and performance pay, the next phases in National’s education agenda, have broken the cooperative model of teaching in those countries, which works so well here. They have replaced it with a model where teachers and schools are financially incentivised to compete rather than cooperate and to make sure that their students can jump through the hoops for the standards, even if their wider education suffers.

Why would we want to shed our successful system and imitate failure? Because, for National, this isn’t about education. It’s about attacking teachers and teaching.

Why are National so intent on attacking the profession that educates our children (who also happen to be the next generation of the workforce)? Is it a crude anti-intellectualism? Is it that they just want to break the union? I reckon its all part of the Right’s long game. Much more than the Left, the Right excels at breaking the bases of the Left’s support. They did it to the unions and now they’re trying to do it to the teaching profession. They want to corporatise the system and disempower teachers so that the profession is no longer a source of Leftwing thinkers, activists, and future leaders.

Wait, you didn’t think this actually had anything to do with improving education, did you? We’ve already got the best bang for buck education system in the world.

65 comments on “NZ has best value for money education in the world ”

  1. shorts 1

    I think our teachers and those that support them do a wonderful job… bout time the politicans and pundits celebrated how wonderful they are

    our teachers rock 

          

       

     

  2. Brett 2

    They want to corporatise the system and disempower teachers so that the profession is no longer a source of Leftwing thinkers, activists.

    Why should teaching be a source of leftwing thinkers and activists?, I would expect it to be a totally neutral organization, let the kids make up their own mind etc.
     

    • infused 2.1

      Yes – what a retarded comment.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Instilling an understanding of social co-operation, interdependence and community is absolutely required as a part of every child’s education.

      Neutrality = weakness and naivity, leaving the field open for the corporates to run their PR agendas.

      • John D 2.2.1

        Instilling an understanding of social co-operation, interdependence and community is absolutely required as a part of every child’s education.

        In other words, teaching them that collectivism is the only valid world view

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          Reality is that collectivism is the only valid world view. The massive over use of resources resulting in pollution and climate change that individualism has produced is proof of that.

          • Populuxe1 2.2.1.1.1

            Name one significant philosopher, author, artist produced by a collectivised society that wasn’t at the same time persecuted by that society. And while your at it, you might want to compare the rate of technological progress of collectivised societies vs small groups and individuals. And then there is that rather unfortunate side-effect of collectivised farming: famine. Collectivism is always, and without variation, a colossal bastard of a failure. The most successful societies on the planet, like the Scandinavians, are a balance of shared social responsibility and healthy competition.  

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Collectivism is always, and without variation, a colossal bastard of a failure.

              Nope. Without collectivism society collapses – just like it’s doing ATM due to the greed and corruption that rises in a few (Bankers, stock traders, money traders etc, etc).

              The most successful societies on the planet, like the Scandinavians, are a balance of shared social responsibility and healthy competition.

              Which is endemic to a collectivist society (everybody is looked after and there is no poverty while resources are made available so that people can do as they wish within economic and social limits) and is discouraged in a capitalist/individualist society (Individuals only look after themselves, deny their responsibility to the society and, through the profit driven free-market, push the society beyond those hard economic and social limits).

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.2

          Strangely enough, organisations like the business round table, central banking and the chamber of commerce all strongly encourage collectivism. Of the 1%.

          • John D 2.2.1.2.1

            Very astute CV. Collectivism is the only world view, at least as endorsed by the so-called “left” and “right”.

            Individualism should be crushed at all costs. We are all pawns in the big game.

            • felix 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Bit of a red herring, this whole “collectivism vs individualism” bit.

              Anyone who’s ever done anything intrinsically understands that a bit of both is required most of the time.

              A false dichotomy pushed by the Randians to give some meaning to their sad little cult.

    • felix 2.3

      “Why should teaching be a source of leftwing thinkers and activists?”

      It’s not a matter of “should”, it just happens to be a byproduct of learning, reading, and being exposed to a wide range of ideas and thoughts.

      The only way around that (i.e. to achieve the ideologically motivated intellectual vacuum you suggest) is to have less educated, less experienced, less intelligent teachers. And the way to achieve that is to cut wages/budgets.

      See ECE for an example. Next up, primary schools.

    • Nick Taylor 2.4

      Because reality has a left-wing bias. The Truth has a left-wing bias.

      What corporatism actually does, is try to paint the middle as “left”… it tries to paint “facts” as left… so if a teacher tries to tell a class the origins of the 40 hour week… well, that’s left-wing because unions did it. If a teacher tries to point out where our labour rights, education rights, health, employment, voting etc etc etc rights actually came from – they were fought for and won by liberals and unions, and conservatives fought against them every single step of the way.

      And then there’s empathy. And then there’s the environment. And then there’s The Media.

      And so on.

      So in a nutshell… you can’t teach “the truth” and not be left-wing…. or at least be labeled by right-wingers as “left wing”. In my day, it was just called “teaching the truth”.

      • Brett 2.4.1

        So you wouldn’t have a problem with someone like Brian Tamaki coming into a school and teaching life skills?.
        I am all for teaching kids communism,socialism,capitalism,liberalism etc along as it is done in  a neutral way.
        If as a teacher you lack the ability to be able to teach in an impartial manner you really shouldn’t be involved in teaching.
         

        • felix 2.4.1.1

          You didn’t really understand that at all, did you Brett?

          What you call “neutral” means “ignoring the facts”.

          You’re the one trying to insert ideology into this discussion mate.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1.2

          So you wouldn’t have a problem with someone like Brian Tamaki coming into a school and teaching life skills?

          I would have a problem because Brain Tamaki would be teaching his beliefs and not the truth and his beliefs aren’t connected to reality. Neither are the teachings of National, Act or economists.

      • John D 2.4.2

        So in a nutshell… you can’t teach “the truth” and not be left-wing
        Sounds like George Orwell to me.

        I guess the 15-20 million or so people that perished under communism were “victims” of right wing ideologies?

        • Draco T Bastard 2.4.2.1

          George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth taught lies. If it had been the truth then the society that he described would have been social democratic and not capitalist/authoritarian – which is what we have today.

        • KJT 2.4.2.2

          Definitely not communism.

          Russia and China turned into an authoritarian dictatorship of those with money, not unlike we have today, a few weeks after their revolutions.

          The only placed I know of that tried real communism, some Israeli Kibbutzes, did fine.

          Of course no one died in Iraq, Afghanistan, Columbia, Chile, and the third world for capitalism, did they?
          http://www.democracynow.org/2010/7/16/the_food_bubble_how_wall_street

          Not to forget NZ children dying now of third world disease, for capitalism.

          • John D 2.4.2.2.1

            OK, so if it is a fair and just society, then it is left wing.
            If it is unfair and unjust, it is right wing.

            Is that the definition we are using round here?

            In addition, are you suggesting that left wing governments are not authoritarian and in favour of big government and high regulation? It seems quite a different image to mine.

          • Populuxe1 2.4.2.2.2

            Really KJT? Are you saying that the terrible famines caused by collectivised farming in the USSR were not ultimately the product of Communist ideology put into operation. And if, as you suggest, post-Revolutionary Russia was effectively Capitalist, which I would dispute, why the incessant New Economic Policies that followed. Don’t shift the blame, Communism has been responsible for as much misery in the world as Capitalism, it just did it backwards and in heels because it was a late starter. And as for the Kibbutzes, unless you really want to be living in everybody else’s back pocket, they are not that much fun.
            I don’t think either extreme is particularly conducive to human dignity.

            • KJT 2.4.2.2.2.1

              I didn’t say I was in favour of communism. Just that Russia is not a good example.

              And Capitalism is as responsible for deaths and misery as any so called communist country.

              If you have been reading my posts you would know that I am in favour of a fully democratic mixed economy.

              Things like education are too important to be left in the hands of those whose only goal is immediate profit.

              Many past capitalists would be as horrified as I am with Present day neo-liberal capitalism.

            • RedLogix 2.4.2.2.2.2

              Are you saying that the terrible famines caused by collectivised farming in the USSR were not ultimately the product of Communist ideology put into operation.

              They were the consequence of totalitarianism. Really pop, when you only have one hammer…

              Or do we want to count the 63m deaths in WW2 alone fought between a whole bunch of mostly non-communist nations… but some of which were totalitarian also…just by happenstance.

              Both ecapitalism and communism have failure modes. Both have their strengths as well, but these endless binary arguments are really awfully tedious and so last century.

              I don’t think either extreme is particularly conducive to human dignity.

              Great….do you think we might move onto something more interesting now. Please?

    • Blighty 2.5

      It’s not a matter of the ‘organisation’ not being neutral or you accusation that teachers are indoctrinating kids to be Leftwing. Its a simple fact that left-leaning people tend to be more likely to choose teaching as a vocation. It’s a way to realise a whole of left-wing values: sharing, community, personal growth – and it’s a work environment that’s not all about making money for some faceless bosses.

      • KJT 2.5.1

        It is that reality has a left wing bias.

        • John D 2.5.1.1

          Which part of quantum physics is left wing? The wave bit, or the particle bit?

          • Draco T Bastard 2.5.1.1.1

            The bit that requires us to live within our means (Within the environments natural limits) while ensuring that nobody lives in poverty.

            • Populuxe1 2.5.1.1.1.1

              That’s not ideology, that’s just common sense.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yes but the RWNJs deny that common sense. This government seeks to increase farming even though the pollution in our rivers and lakes show that, if we want to live within those hard limits that I mentioned, we should actually be decreasing the amount of farming in the country. Labour are just as bad – they too think that farming should remain as our major economic activity.

  3. tc 3

    ‘How will National justify their ideological assault on teachers now? ‘

    Same way Key justifies most of the crap they get up to, by rolling out other experts who say what they want them to say. I hear Doug Graham’s not too busy aside from some annoying fraudy stuff, maybe he’ll help.

  4. Tony P 4

    Of course the other piece of NACT’s education”reform” is the whole charter school movement which will allow organisations such as Destiny to build and run schools on the public dime using inexperienced teachers that can not belong to a union and get paid a lesser rate while having to teach larger classes.
    This site has some good but disturbing articles about the whole charter school thing in the states and highlights the profit motive behind a lot of the organisations running charter schools.

    http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2012/01/guest-post-nclbs-faith-based-reforms.html

  5. Roy 5

    I think a major goal of the Right is to generate uneducated workers who haven’t read enough, and don’t know enough history, to question their lot or to doubt right wing propaganda, but who will meekly work for a pittance in order to keep the 1% wealthy.

  6. randal 6

    the thing is the system isn’t broken but kweewee and the nashnil gubmint is ‘bent’.

  7. Huh? 7

    Really Eddie? You must be so brainwashed because my experience of 3 kids who went through the system in the last 12 years is totally different from the glory you want to emblazon the NZ Educational standard with. To be the least unflattering, it is plainly just sub-standard, and that was a decile 1 school, so I shudder to think what it’s like at a decile 10 school.

    You can argue all you want, but we need some national standards set, what we have now at the moment at primary school level does NOT work when teachers decide to set the levels. Opting for the easy way out and “Let’s do some Art” when the students struggle with the 3 R’s is not the solution to educating children.

    I think the whole resistance to national standards is mainly supported by lazy teachers, they are in a comfort zone and resist change which requires them to pull up their socks. My, how these lazy lot are damaging our future adults and getting away with it, it should be a crime punishable by law and a firable offense. They are stealing the right to a proper education from our kids.

    Anyway, that is my feeling as a parent, not a politician or right winger or anti-unionist, purely as a parent who have to struggle with the aftermath of a broken education system. If you don’t like the facts then don’t shoot the messenger…

    • Well Huh my kids went through the same system and have come out perfectly well thank you very much.
       
      Your comments bear no relationship to any educational reality that I know of.  Are you purporting to describe all schools and all teachers?

    • Shona 7.2

      My three children went through the state system and they can all read ,write comprehend and have 6th or 7th form maths or physics. They can all operate and maintain computers have basic science skills hands on artistic and engineering skills as well as play musical instruments. 2 of them are tertiary educated. Yes there are some crap teachers. Yes there are inadequacies in the system, due to chronic underresourcing and some bad education theories. Whole language is one crap theory. As a parent HUH you have to be on to these issues and if needs be teach them yourself or pay a private tutor.That’s how I became a qualified teacher and why I teach and tutor privately because the system ain’t perfect. It’s only when we kiwis work overseas that we realise just how good our public education system is . Instead of attacking the education system you should be attacking the government that is undermining it.

      • tc 7.2.1

        Given it’s a decile 1 school I think what your saying is more about you, your kids and your involvement in the outcomes more than the system. One of mine didn’t make it through and it was his own fault, not the systems despite everyones efforts.

        “They are stealing the right to a proper education from our kids..” oh please save the hysteria and maybe take some responsibility.

    • Lanthanide 7.3

      “it is plainly just sub-standard, and that was a decile 1 school, so I shudder to think what it’s like at a decile 10 school.”

      Well decile 1 schools are in poor socio-economic areas. Decile 10 schools are in wealthy socio-economic areas.

    • Blighty 7.4

      Eddie’s not talking about personal experiences but about the facts based on comparative international testing. The facts show that New Zealand teachers are – bang for buck – the best in the world, and that’s more likely to be due to them operating in a good education system than New Zealand just being lucky enough to have all the good teachers.

      You don’t even know that decile 1 is bottom of the socioeconomic ranking and 10 is top, and you don’t give any concrete facts, or even anecdotes, to back up your position. So, I don’t think you’re much of an authority on education.

  8. Karl Sinclair 8

    A fair point about NZ educational system being good value for money but:

    Is it just me, but why is no one comparing Private Schools with Public & Charter Schools?

    Current Private schools not only provide a better education but provide a lovely little agar plate for old boy and girls net works (and mummzies and daddzies as well)…… If for example little Johnny’s Johnny wants a good job in the future he’s well on the way…..(fair enough, what parent wouldn’t).

    (http://privateschool.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=privateschool&cdn=education&tm=90&f=20&tt=13&bt=0&bts=0&zu=http%3A//www.capenet.org/facts.html).

    Is it that the wealthy know only too well the need to operate at the margins? (i.e. no matter what you do in public and charter schools, private schools will always be just ahead in terms of education – the veritable shifting goal posts)

    or could it be even worse than this:

    i.e. just like the financial system (with too much money printed) it cannot tolerate too many well educated people because it devalues the education of those at the top (i.e. squishes the intellectual bell curve for IQ/EQ and pushes IQ/EQ mean up).

    Why is it that the lessons learned, processes and systems from Private Schools magically cannot make their way into the Public schools. Admittedly Private Schools have a great head start purely by the fact of the children’s family environment (go the parents, good on ya).

    Multiple Solutions are out there, they don’t actually have to be that expensive or involve sucking the public purse dry. Just one example: M.I.T. Game-Changer: Free Online Education.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesmarshallcrotty/2011/12/21/m-i-t-game-changer-free-online-education-for-all/

    A media magnate once said: A good news paper is like the sea, always different, yet always the same. Are we going to see the same in the education system? i.e. the margin between Private and Public/Charter schools remaining ever constant with a smattering of delusion that things will get better? Will the introduction of Charter schools mean a greater number of institutions that are on the same level as current Private Schools? Or is it just exploitation? Is a charter school a private school???

    A few refs on Charter Schools (quotes):

    1. http://www.plunderbund.com/2011/04/03/ohios-for-profit-charter-schools-make-great-businesses-crappy-educators/

    Ohio’s for-profit charter schools make great businesses, crappy educators:

    a) Not only do charter schools perform MUCH worse than public schools, they also cost much more per-pupil. And in the case of schools managed by for-profit companies, a huge percentage of the money they receive from the state goes directly to the corporations that manage the schools instead of into the classroom.

    b) As we pointed out last week Ohio’s charter schools actually receive 2.5 times MORE in per-pupil funding than public schools. And a study by Innovation Ohio, charter schools are way less effective at educating students than public schools

    2. http://atlantapost.com/2010/09/24/is-money-and-profit-whats-behind-charter-school-fever/

    Policy analyst and former charter school advocate Dr. Diane Ravitch recently reversed her position on charter schools because of what she describes as an “effort to upend American public education and replace it with something market-based.” In the end, Ravitch concluded that charter schools “were proving to be no better on average than regular schools, but in many cities were bleeding resources from the public system.”

    As Ravitch points out, “nations like Finland and Japan seek out the best college graduates for teaching positions, prepare them well, pay them well and treat them with respect.” To look toward charter schools as the savior of our public school system is absolutely absurd.

    2. http://fcir.org/2011/08/22/florida-charter-schools-spend-public-money-without-public-scrutiny/

    Florida Charter Schools Spend Public Money Without Public Scrutiny.

    Charter Schools USA makes its money by charging a management fee to run the schools. That money is a percentage of the $150 million in tax money that the state pays the company to run its 25 Florida schools. At just one school in Osceola County, Charter Schools USA picked up $822,182 in administrative fees this year. And the tax money seems to be increasing for charter schools even as it decreases for public schools. As state Rep. Dwight Bullard of Orlando pointed out in a letter to Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson, “Adding insult to injury, the Legislature even had the gall to give no money for capital improvements and maintenance to the nearly 3,000 traditional public schools, yet gave the state’s 350 charter schools $55 million.”

    3. http://www.howtodothings.com/education/a4642-how-to-get-funding-for-charter-schools.html So where will the money come from?

    4. http://www.ncsl.org/IssuesResearch/Education/CharterSchoolsProsandCons/tabid/12921/Default.aspx Pros and Cons of charter schools

    • KJT 8.1

      In fact private schools are an example of the success of private sector advertising memes.

      In most cases their superior results are simply a case of being able to choose their students.

      It is very doubtful that a private school, given students from the same socio economic group as a decile one school would do as well as the state school.

      Children with a supportive and prosperous background tend to do as well in any school.

      Of course the advantage of private schools is the network of contacts and the rote learning exams which can be passed by repetitive drilling, without necessarily, understanding.

      It is still a mystery why we try and emulate the US and UK’s failures instead of our own and Finland’s successes.

      • Populuxe1 8.1.1

        So KJT, do you have a problem with religious schools which provide quality educational opportunities for students fro ma diverse range of backgrounds, mostly without significant religious obligations? Do you also have a problem with Te Reo immersion schools affiliated to Iwi? I only ask because they’re essentially the same structure as private schools. And as for the “rote learning exams” – you are very much talking out your arse. You are much more likely to find that in state schools nobbled by stupid Government imposed standardised testing.

        • KJT 8.1.1.1

          Yes I do. Note that Finland does not allow private schools.

          I object to schools that demand a Teacher, follow the “special character of the school” i.e. Belief in cloud fairies when they are effectively State funded.

          I also object to schools that separate kids from reality.

          Private schools also allow the wealthy to demand the State system be dumbed down with things like idiot Government tampering, while they make sure it doesn’t happen to their pampered darlings.

          If their kids went to State schools they would demand that Teaching be well paid, resourced and pass their kids.

          It is patently obvious that private schools love exams, like Cambridge, because they know what is in them, and can rote teach their low achieving rich kids to the test. Ask University Lecturers about the capability to study independently, and with originality, of private school Graduates.

          • Populuxe1 8.1.1.1.1

            Note that we are not Finland, and national models borrowed wholesale are often not one size fits all.
            I’m more atheist than agnostic, but why should I be arrogant about enforcing my worldview on others by denying them the choice – that’s the core of fascism. Besides that, the Bible remains one of the cornerstones of western civilisation whether you like it or not, and an understanding of it (even if you don’t believe in fairytales) underpins almost every aspect of the humanities – literature, law, philosophy, art history, history and so on. Students with no familiarity with it are a pain in the arse to teach because they have too much to catch up on.
            In most cases the religious character of a school is restricted to some sort of one hour a week religious education (my liberal Catholic school was fairly nonjudgmental on it’s presentation of comparative religions, and guess what, they teach the earth is round and that we are the evolutionary cousins of apes). Nor is church attendance (or even religious affiliation) mandatory. They also tend to be subsidised and non-exclusive bar the wackjob ones.
            “Private schools also allow the wealthy to demand the State system be dumbed down with things like idiot Government tampering, while they make sure it doesn’t happen to their pampered darlings.” – Really? I don’t think that kind of stupidity is related to parental income judging from the rather broad range of parents asking for it. It’s moronic, but you can’t just blame the rich (as easy as that might be).
            I have been a university lecturer and I haven’t noticed any difference – they were all fairly uniformly immature, self-entitled and easily distracted. But they grow up eventually, and the class war stays off campus because the educated inevitably form their own elite.

      • prism 8.1.2

        Our politicians are blind to the faults of the USA and UK educational systems. It’s a given that anything that comes out of these English speaking countries that have been great powers all our lives, must be advanced and efficacious. It is true that the Scandinavian and many other countries also speak English as it has become a lingua franca. But research has shown that learning and speaking a second language sharpens up brain function. So the populations of the great powers lose out because they trade on their dominant language status when we all should be learning another as a matter of course. I think it doesn’t matter what is chosen, once any extra language is learned and spoken, further ones are easier. Now this self-satisfied attitude that precludes extra brainwork and extra learning parallels our politicians attitudes. They are no doubt exam and test passers, but don’t seem to be trained in critical thinking and learning other world views.

        And I feel the quality of NZ education my children have received is good. Their teachers have always been devoted to their task. The government were the ones who were prepared to restrict the older child’s education with their insistence on absent parent income declarations before allowing a student living allowance. Without co-operation on these, the road to higher education would have been closed. Nothing to do with what teachers did, purely a moralistic government setting mantraps for the hapless.

        When my second son got a bout of M.E. and found his brain wouldn’t function so he could retain stuff, the secondary school allowed him to go to whatever class he felt he could handle. When he was doing exams we applied for the extra time component that is available for people struggling with some disability. The education system tried to be as helpful as possible to advance his learning and support him. Though I had to employ a tutor to help him through his Calculus which he passed.

        Then I did some retraining and borrowed books from my Polytechnic’s library that were useful to him. He built up his knowledge on languages I think Basic and C and JavaScript etc. He studied at his own pace without outside pressures and using the internet. Now is a computer infrastructure engineer on his own learning. But he had a good start from his teachers. He wouldn’t have been able to handle it all without the grounding from the input of good teachers from earliest school days.

  9. Willie Maley 9

    This is a very interesting piece comparing Finland and the U.S and their approach to education.
    http://tiny.cc/l6qzo
    P.S. I fear that we are following the U.S route.

    • Karl Sinclair 9.1

      Willie, great article… just copying one exert from your link:

      ‘Yet one of the most significant things Sahlberg said passed practically unnoticed. “Oh,” he mentioned at one point, “and there are no private schools in Finland.”

      This notion may seem difficult for an American to digest, but it’s true. Only a small number of independent schools exist in Finland, and even they are all publicly financed. None is allowed to charge tuition fees. There are no private universities, either. This means that practically every person in Finland attends public school, whether for pre-K or a Ph.D.

      The irony of Sahlberg’s making this comment during a talk at the Dwight School seemed obvious. Like many of America’s best schools, Dwight is a private institution that costs high-school students upward of $35,000 a year to attend — not to mention that Dwight, in particular, is run for profit, an increasing trend in the U.S. Yet no one in the room commented on Sahlberg’s statement. I found this surprising. Sahlberg himself did not.’

      So then, is the difference between Private Schools and Public purely manufactured to create an educational GAP that should not exist? and/or is Finland society just a wee bit more equal than America’s or NZ’s

  10. Herodotus 10

    Interesting that we allow a 2 tier pay system for teachers. Those with teaching degrees and those with diplomas. With teacher on diplomas earning more than $10k less than their degree peers- yet both doing the same work, same experiences.
    Now that is off my chest. The term “National Standards” do not mean that their is a national stanradr of achievement country wide. Each school has its own criteria. Had the fortune to review family memebers report cards from 3 towns/Cities in the top North Is. and given the students concerned was greatly alarmed at the varying degree of PCness of those schools embracing the stds. Also amazed at those teacher friends that support Key yet are so adamant of the failings of this system. I have a family memeber who is a senior education ministry official in Scotland and had an interesting discusiion regarding how this system has been dropped in the UK. Must admit and admire how well this Nat Stds was sold to the voting public – a master stroke in marketing and how uninformed some where !!

  11. randal 11

    well if it its not what you know but who you know then ignorance is at a premium here.
    i.e. you dont have to know anything.
    if you know kweewee or one of his his mates then you are okay.
    thats the way THEY like it.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    “The broader lesson of the graph is that societies that value teaching (as reflected by teachers’ pay) have better educational outcomes”

    The graph doesn’t provide very convincing evidence in this respect. Look at the spread of the data around the trend line. I dare say the r squared co-efficient would be very small, suggesting that very little of the educational performance is explained by teachers pay. I suspect that if an additional variable describing the general economic environment, for instance, was included in a multivariate model, the apparent weak correlation would probably disappear altogether.

  13. fabregas4 13

    Must be getting close to school opening again – all the same bullshit every year! ‘Teachers are lazy, good for nothings’ followed up by ‘well not all of them’ in an attempt to paint a picture of reasonableness whilst leaving an idea that most are! Well some are indeed – by my ten years in teaching about 1%. When I was in Banking I’d say about 10% in that industry. Then there is all this ‘I know these kids who haven’t learnt a thing’ – there will always be some but let me give you an example I had – A parent lovely intelligent man with an awesome son bemoaned that his son couldn’t add up in his shop – he says to me “he can’t use the cash register” well never in my experience has it been a schools role to teach this but somehow it was schools fault. This boy is a great mathematician and scored a credit in the NSW maths exams! Then there is decile bashing – see above – decile one bad decile 10 good! What crap. Deciles refer only to the socio economic area that the school is in – nothing more, nothing less! The teachers are no better or worse in whatever decile school. The principals are no better or worse, the kids are no different except the ones from higher decile schools have more cultural (and other) capital in the main. But in case you want facts NZ is rated second only to Canada for schools lifting the achievement for those children who live in poverty.

    I wish that all these experts on school and education had the common decency to simply shut up about something they know nothing about just as I don’t sit on my computer typing about doctors and nurses and road workers and any other area I have no understanding of.

  14. Northshoreguynz 14

    Most schools actually do do testing to a national standard, they’re called Asttle or the good old PATs

  15. fabregas4 15

    And STAR.

  16. Populuxe1 16

    There are two things that could be improved in our education system:
    (1) better resourcing for learning disabilities.
    (2) fostering a culture of literacy and the valuing of education in lower income communities where for a variety of reasons – parents working multiple shifts, alienation from education, economic priorities, poor parental education etc – there are a significant number of homes where it is lacking. That’s not a judgmental thing, it’s the cruelty of Capitalism.
    Not sure how these need to be implemented, but then that’s not my job. Teaching at a tertiary level, I am also very worried about the students I see who have very limited literacy comprehension skills, limited numeracy (engineering students who can’t do multiplication in their head), and have a worryingly limited grasp of geography, history and other kinds of general knowledge – so something is obviously stinky in Elsinore.

    • KJT 16.1

      I too, see many kids in secondary who could have been salvaged, simply by more funding and access, in the first years at school, to our already successful remedial reading and maths programs.

      Unfortunately the funding for them, per child, is restricted, while we waste millions on repeating US and English failures, such as NACT standards.

      • northshoreguynz 16.1.1

        The same can be seen at Intermediate. Level. By then it’s too late. Had money been invested in these students at primary level using reading recovery or Maths time in small groups, they would be at cohort level.

  17. kosh103 17

    So what I want to know (and I raised this over on Whale Oil) why is Labour not shouting this from the rooftops???

    National have been caught out telling out right lies about our education system, so why are Labour not making a very public stand in support of kiwi teachers based on this info??

    As a Labour voter I want to know where is my party??? Why are they giving National a free run on this??

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