Dom Post on teachers

September 2nd, 2009 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

A stinging editorial:

At least one school head has outrageously threatened publicly to undermine the education policies that contributed to National’s election win last year it promised to set literacy and numeracy standards for primary-school kids, and make the results available to parents.

Teachers, afraid that, because such results will be subject to the Official Information Act, the public will be able compile “league tables” that show how each school compares with its fellows, pretend theirs is principled opposition. Rubbish. Their objections are political this Government is not stuffed with former teachers and university lecturers and visceral. …

They fear any weaknesses will be exposed and that parents, some of them able to see for the first time that the empress in front of the class is naked, will opt to send their littlies to a school that does better. …

Though inspirational teachers are integral to the process, at the heart of public education should be the six to 16-year-olds for whom it is compulsory.

And regrettably often, these kids are let down. Last year, research showed that 90 per cent of prisoners are “functionally illiterate” their reading and writing skills are inadequate to cope with the demands of daily life.

Yet most of these inmates passed through a New Zealand primary school. As these kids struggled to read, write and do arithmetic, their teachers happily collected pay rises they saw as entitlements.

How can these teachers live with themselves knowing they have failed so many children? How do they explain the uncomfortably long tail of under-achievement throughout the public education system? How do they rationalise the millions the taxpayer must now spend helping the illiterate and innumerate recover wasted years? …

You know the more some try to suppress information and stop the public knowing how well the school is doing, the more you wonder what they are hiding.

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64 Responses to “Dom Post on teachers”

  1. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    In my view parents come first, not teachers unions but they don’t seem to get it.
    I think it is because they have erroneously bought into the view where they think they are equal partners with parents for their kids education.

    The reality is they are hired help, specialist knowledge for their educational system.
    We are the principals of our children’s lives not them nor their line managers, the schools principals.
    This I think is at the core of their misunderstanding.

    Being required to have to give us all the information we need is a good thing and overdue.
    Principles who don’t do this should be sacked if they won’t resign on principle.

    We are the piper not them.

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  2. MarkMcLT (81 comments) says:

    If the editorial writer is themselves a product of the NZ public educational system, the quality of grammar in that article is evidence enough of the damage the system is doing!

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  3. Bob (497 comments) says:

    Your last sentence is easily explained. What teachers fear is highlighting of their own individual performances. That might lead to performance pay where teachers will have to compete. A bland one standard covers for poor teachers. Unions tend to push for equal pay for all members. Performance pay tends to weaken their positions.

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  4. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Or they might have legitimate concerns that excessive testing to support league tables will be to the detriment of a good education.

    The UK has a lot of comparative testing and their system is roundly criticised for focusing too much on priming kids for what are, by necessity, quite narrow tests. And in the process turning kid off learning.

    I understand the sentiment that teachers might oppose anything which would grade them, but that doesn’t mean that anything they oppose is necessarily a good idea.

    cheers

    Malcolm

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  5. Richard Hurst (859 comments) says:

    Bob (206) September 2nd, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Bob your spot on.

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  6. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “How can these teachers live with themselves knowing they have failed so many children? ”

    Easy.

    They tell themselves its all for the cause.

    Socialism.

    Education in NZ has been deliberately undermined by the teacher’s unions in order to advance the cause of Socialism.

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  7. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    trevor will set you right here david.

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  8. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    RB
    spot on.

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  9. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Richard,

    That should read “Bob; you’re spot on”

    See me after class.

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  10. Maggie (672 comments) says:

    David, do a bit of research FFS before gleefully regurgitating DP rightwing propaganda. Have a look at what is happening with national standards in the UK and the USA where politicians are recognising their mistakes and largely abandoning standards. Reasons include the fact that the standards encourage schools to teach strictly to the requirements of national testing rather than treating kids as individuals and working with their strengths and weaknesses.

    This is poor stuff by your usual standards, David (no pun intended). You don’t get a pass mark, not even close.

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  11. racer1 (352 comments) says:

    There are too many parents shirking their responsibility in playing their part in their children’s education, teachers do make a convenient target to throw blame at though.

    Stop paying peanuts and you might get less socialists also.

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  12. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    How can these teachers live with themselves knowing they have failed so many children? How do they explain the uncomfortably long tail of under-achievement throughout the public education system? How do they rationalise the millions the taxpayer must now spend helping the illiterate and innumerate recover wasted years? …

    Because by and large those ‘failed’ kids are failed by their parents. If this problem was mainly due to poor teachers then you’d expect the illiterate and innumerate to be evenly distributed. But we know that isn’t the case. A chocolate fish to the first person who can name an ethnicity which is over represented in those stats.

    The single biggest factor in how well a kid does with their education is their parents. Pity the poor buggers who don’t really have any.

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  13. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    duplicate deleted.

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  14. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    Teaching is surely the most mollycoddled profession New Zealand has ever had. In no other job do you get automatic pay rises based on seniority with such scant reference to actual performance. In no other profession is there such a complete lack of incentive to perform.

    The teachers’ unions have had the Labour Party in their pocket for decades and have gotten every bit of featherbedding they want (although possibly at the expense of better pay). MikeNZ and Bob are spot on. Teachers utter selfishness (and the self-delusion that they are doing this all for the kids) makes me very cross.

    Teachers are public servants. As such, their duty is to implement the policies of the elected Government. Most other people who made such threats as they have would risk instant dismissal, and would certainly be dismissed if they carried out the threat.

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  15. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Because by and large those ‘failed’ kids are failed by their parents.”

    True, but those parents are failures because the left, desperate for political power, have promoted a culture of welfarism.

    And the teacher’s unions have always been a big part of the left.

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  16. bobux (349 comments) says:

    Malcolm

    Fair point. However, another way to look at it is that many kids are ‘carried’ by their parents. If the guy in front of the blackboard isn’t up to the task, the parents get an older sibling to tutor, send the kid to an after-hour lessons or whatever. When highlighting the variable results of NZ schools, the PPTA always mentions the ‘drag’ exerted by poor parents, but neglects to mention the ‘push’ from those who put time/money into ensuring their kids do well.

    Teachers have do do the best possible with the kids that walk in the door, and the long ‘tail’ of achievement (compared to the OECD average) suggests we could do better.

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  17. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    Remember last century when, we the pupils, were threatened with, the “inspector is coming”. We had no idea that it was a ploy to ensure that discipline was looking good when the truth was that the teacher was being assessed. Of course the visit was well flagged and best foot forward was the response.
    In the late 60’s I, as committee chairman finished up dealing with a male infant teacher, sent to us by the education board, who quite clearly after one week was never going to be a teacher. We could not get him out unless he committed a serious crime and with a 4 teacher staff were faced with a serious problem. An inquiry to his previous school (large urban) resulted in the verbal reply, well we put him in the library to repair and sort books and did not have him in a classroom.
    Bring on performance pay and league tables, whatever it takes. It will never be a perfect world but that prison stat is appalling particularly when not all the failures go to jail. However they still have had their potential stolen and sacrificed on the alters of socialism and mediocrity.

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  18. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Teachers train for years to manage the vastly different abilities in a classroom. Then socialism takes over and they forget all their training and start chanting ‘we are all equal’. Of course we need to measure the teachers performance, if we can’t measure it we can’t manage it.

    Various comments have hit the nail on the head, socialism puts the teachers first – big problem.

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  19. bobux (349 comments) says:

    I have several family members who teach, and don’t want to issue any blanket condemnation of the profession. But it is hard not to be stuck by the sheer self-importance shown in public statements from the union and its spokespeople.

    As a public servant, if I issued a press release or made statements to the media announcing I would actively work to undermine government policies, there would be immediate concequences. When I got to work the next day, I would be met by my manager and someone from HR. They would hand me a copy of the SSC Code of Conduct with the sections on professionalism and impartiality highlighted. They would set up a meeting with a senior manager, where I would be expected to discuss what I had done, and how I planned to make amends. If I didn’t appear to have got the point, I would probably be issued with a written warning, and informally advised to consider a career change.

    And I would expect all of this to happen irrespective of what government was in power. Despite what many posters here think, government departments that wish to maintain their credibity are pretty hard on anyone seen to bring politics into the office. It am unclear whether the Ministry of Education isn’t troubled by this concern, or whether teachers don’t consider themselves to be bound by the public service code of conduct.

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  20. scanner (340 comments) says:

    If ever a profession begged for a good huck out it’s the education industry, from the top to the bottom it’s full of self promoting empire building little people who just yearn to be bigger.
    As an industry it has allowed itself to be infiltrated by every loony fringe group imaginable (maori, gay, green, politico) these wankas have been calling the shots, or did until the pinkos got the bif last year, up till that point the nutcases were running the funny farm.
    I recently glanced at a reading book my daughter bought home from school, stunned is the only word, just rubbish, no wonder huge numbers of kids can’t read or write.
    For too long we have listened to halfwits and instead of helping kids learn to get over the bar we have just kept lowering the bar, large parts of the education industry have been criminally negligent, and if Anne Tolley wants to kick some ass she gets my vote.

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  21. Razork (375 comments) says:

    A few years ago i was on the board at my kid’s school and head of the personnel committee.
    The school had been losing some real good teachers and no one knew why.

    I took 3 of them out for lunch after they had finished at the school and after a few wines did an in formal group exit interview

    All 3 were really good people and had been outstanding teachers and their reasons for leaving broke my heart.
    They couldn’t see the value anymore in doing an exeptional job and receiving no more credit, recognition or opportunity than the useless and poor performing teachers.

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  22. joe90 (273 comments) says:

    And then you have parents undermining schools with shit like this.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/college-bans-balls-after-boozy-party-2959189

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  23. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    Its also partly because it is going to negatively effect lower social economic schools who are going to get lower marks, and so even less teachers are going to want to go and teach there due to the perceived lower standards when generally they work a shit load harder than those at higher social economic schools who have kids turning up being at the level they are actually supposedly meant to be at.

    Also it is based on overseas studies that the above testing does nothing to improve education standards.

    If you want to improve schools you need to a) improve the quality of the board. The importance of the board in overseeing a school is redicolous, including checking their principle is doing a good job. If you have an incompentant board, and a corrupt principle (know of two which I cant disclose because of the way I have obtained the information) then the school is fucked. If you have a good principle they will ensure incompetant teachers get the heat put on them. What you do need after the above two steps are put in is additoinal ability to get rid of incomptetant teachers.

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  24. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    Razork. The importance of people like you getting involved in boards is unstateable. If one really wants to make a difference, and is competetant, has time, and skills, getting involved can make a redicolous difference. Things like exit interviews, and interviews of current staff both are great starting points. One of the things you first need to establish if you think the school is going in a wrong direction is whether the principal is at fault, if they are the only people who can make a difference is the board. ERO wont do it, and the auditor that the principle hires to check on them (fail in the system there) is generally wrung around the prinipal as well.

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  25. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    “Reasons include the fact that the standards encourage schools to teach strictly to the requirements of national testing rather than treating kids as individuals and working with their strengths and weaknesses.”

    This is a valid point, but not really that important. It is definitely not enough of a reason to free the primary and secondary education industry in this country from scrutiny. And there are probably more reasons for the US and UK abandoning standards (think about that phrase for a second), such as Democrats having a ton of power in the US and Labour desperate to hold on to power in the UK.

    The need to have national standards in teaching stems from the fact that teaching has been centralised. It is run by the government down in Wellington. The government has assumed responsibility for teaching and therefore it is the government who has to track the quality of what it is paying for. It is logical (and true) that any and all quality control is going to be centralised as well.

    Teachers want to have it both ways. They want the government to be responsible for education, as this would mean that their Union would only have one entity on the other side of the negotiating table. This is good when they have the party they finance in power, and even the times when National is in charge they arent likely to change the status quo.

    They also want to be free of centralised QA. They could live with it if Labour did it, quid pro quo, because they know that Labour would be doing it just for appearances sake. But they live in fear of National, who might actually take education seriously as a social good rather than as a political power base.

    No wonder alot of people view teachers as one of the more selfish sectors of the public service (and thats really saying something!).

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  26. scanner (340 comments) says:

    Jeff83 the board role is governance, the principals role is management, two distinctly different functions.
    Having sat in a school board chair I can tell you when the time comes to discipline a teacher at the mention of the all powerful union most principals will evacuate their bowels at high speed.
    But if all your ducks are in a row and you use the support systems available eve the toughest nut can be forced to shape up or ship out.
    By and large the union is losing it’s grip and it’s power base and the many of the deadshits are moving out, mostly to parliament by the looks of it.

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  27. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    “Also it is based on overseas studies that the above testing does nothing to improve education standards.”

    Durrrr. How do they know that education standards havent improved? Maybe they tested for it? So all they can say is that all the other stuff they tried didnt do shit. Which is what you would expect as teaching is a profession that gets caught up in fads every few years.

    Who is saying that testing alone will improve standards? Testing is just a way to find out what the current standard is and whether other actions change it.

    Without the testing you don’t know whether the change made to the structure of school management has had the desired effect.

    Without testing you dont know whether the change to the curriculum has improved literacy or numeracy.

    Without testing you are blind to all this and will flail around adopting faddish techniques and ridiculous methods without any idea about (or concern with) the impacts of your flailing.

    LDO

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  28. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Jeff83

    Encouraging the best teachers into low decile schools would not be a problem if the union (read: dumb ass socialist) mentality wasn’t saying that all teachers had to be paid the same. If schools were allowed to set the pay the teachers receive then the schools would be able to address the issues themselves. I know it’s not a one size fits all system that makes central administration simple, but it’s not about ease of administration it’s about achieving better outcomes for the students.

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  29. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    Scanner I understand that but some boards do not have the ability to exercise their governance role, which in part is to ensure the Principal is doing their role of management which was essentially the point of my post.

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  30. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    “Encouraging the best teachers into low decile schools would not a problem if the union (read: dumb ass socialist) mentality wasn’t saying that all teachers had to be paid the same.”

    Burt I completely agree, however bulk funding, which is what you are proposing, isnt really the answer either. The answer would more be an allowance set to attact teachers to less desirable schools.

    I am no pro PPTA flag waiver, but I see the fight over testing should be so far down the list of fights. The only reason National are doing it is they see it as an easy way to show they are doing something positive, the other stuff which would make serious differences is so much harder.

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  31. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    For the record I think teachers are underpaid. I’m absolutely ashamed at the previous govt (and probably will be by the current one over time) where the MP’s were denying teachers pay rises in excess of CPI while they themselves (the MP’s) were receiving circa 9% every year they were in office.

    Now I know the MP’s don’t set their own salaries so we can’t blame them for the pay they receive BUT they are responsible for setting teachers salaries and here they have failed. Failed the teachers, the students, the parents and the economy as a whole.

    What I though was indicative of Labour losing the plot completely was when 75% of high school teachers were classified as rich by Labour’s tax policy. How could Labour get it so wrong that teachers (the bastion of socialist support) were in a position where to be able to afford to raise a family they required welfare… how completely stupid was that…

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  32. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Jeff83

    The teaching business is no different to any other business in terms of supply and demand for skilled workers. If I ran a nationwide business and had trouble attracting staff to ‘less desirable’ regions then I would need to pay more in said regions to attract staff. The problem here is the national award system, which it is worth noting is a consequence of dumb ass union mentality that won’t allow people to be recognised for their efforts above and beyond turning up at the workplace everyday.

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  33. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    Burt not disagreeing with you, would likely prefer a different method of administering it than you, but overall I completely agree with your viewpoint.

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  34. big bruv (13,906 comments) says:

    I left college in the early 80’s, the great teachers I had during my time have either left NZ to continue their trade or they have left teaching altogether.

    The crap ones are still there.

    You simply have to let the good ones earn what they are worth, the left just refuse to admit that this is the major problem we have in our education system, Razork’s excellent post highlights the frustration great teachers have with the current situation.

    The answer is NOT to increase wages for all teachers, it is to increase wages substantially for the good ones.

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  35. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Kimble wrote:

    “Also it is based on overseas studies that the above testing does nothing to improve education standards.”

    Durrrr. How do they know that education standards havent improved? Maybe they tested for it? So all they can say is that all the other stuff they tried didnt do shit. Which is what you would expect as teaching is a profession that gets caught up in fads every few years.

    Quite the opposite. In the UK there has been substantial grade inflation (i.e. kids getting better and better at doing the tests). Much of the criticism for over-emphasis on testing is coming from the universities. They’re getting A-grade students who are far less capable than in the past. Basically the kids have been coached to get good marks, but at the expense of a proper education.

    I don’t think this is a system we should emulate.

    Bring on the vouchers. Then everyone can make their own judgement.

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  36. Richard Hurst (859 comments) says:

    slightlyrighty (1255) Vote: 5 0 Says:

    September 2nd, 2009 at 9:34 am
    Richard,

    That should read “Bob; you’re spot on”

    See me after class.

    Nah, Techer, cuz i parst NCEA inglish so i dont ned to see uz.,?!?.,”

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  37. TCrwdb (242 comments) says:

    @Maggie:
    “Reasons include the fact that the standards encourage schools to teach strictly to the requirements of national testing rather than treating kids as individuals and working with their strengths and weaknesses.”

    What left-wing nonsense, so it’s OK that Sione from Manurewa doesn’t learn to read and write because he’s an individual and we were working with his strengths?

    The useful idiots become less useful and more idiot by the day.

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  38. Neil (586 comments) says:

    As a retired teacher I read with sadness many of the comments.
    I agree that some of the teachers have lost the plot with their efforts to undercut the governments efforts to lift standards by reporting results etc. That is not professional.
    I also say that the teachers unions, NZEI and PPTA have a shocking attitude and have lost the plot as well.
    However I have to say that teaching today is not an occupation for anyone solely interested in imparting a love of learning and knowledge.
    School principals have become detectives,lawyers,fund raisers,welfare workers,you name it they are doing it.
    Coupled with the fact that crime and society are intruding into schools – the violence of schools is prevalent, bullying(cellphones etc)home dysfunctionality etc.
    I taught from 1962 until the 1990’s. The golden years for schools to my way of thinking was during the 1970’s when there still was respect for the teaching profession and the kids respected you if you helped them with sport, drama,music etc.
    What some people say about the profession is continually undercutting the desire of many students to enter teaching.
    Probably the greatest impediment to quality teaching is the fact that every child who enters school at five has such a variation in ability. Of course the population demands they learn to read,write and be numerically literate.
    A start by re-establishing some kind of behaviour standard and entry behaviour is needed. School is about learning how to learn not wet nursing kids who have no inclination to learn.
    My heart goes out to many teachers who have to put up with ****. My heart goes out to good parents with good kids who have to bear the agony of being in a class with dysfunctional kids disarupting the good efforts of good teachers. Such a class sees a teacher being like a fire engine trying to dampen down the embers of a fire before exploding again.

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  39. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Neil
    So why is it so hard to set a standard of behaviour and when a child won’t behave send them elsewhere?
    putting the onus on the parents to conform for all the other kids learning environment.

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  40. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Razork (236)
    when I was on the local school board we had a wine evening with the staff and I listened to a group behind me discuss the sickies from flu that week, it became clear that
    1. less kids more teaching.
    2. the lack of the disrupters who were sick meant even more learning happened.
    3. they relished not having to deal with the shitbags
    I doubt I would have heard that if I had been part of their group but had my back to them.

    Incidentally, One of them was on the union and part of the national negotiating team and she told me straight they were helping Labour as they preferred them over National, as they would get more of what they wanted for their members.
    I asked so what about the kids, didn’t their needs come first and she said if the teachers are happy the learning environment is happy.
    She was and still is considered one of the stars marked for great things.

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  41. TCrwdb (242 comments) says:

    @Chris_C – so just because someone might game the system means that we shouldn’t attempt to measure? Why is the left so opposed to accountability? You say that measuring something doesn’t necessarily solve the problem, no it won’t necessarily solve the problem, but at least it will provide some indication as to the seriousness of the problem and provide a starting point to solving the problem.

    If your car stops working, it’s pretty handy to have few gauges (measures) to indicate the possible nature of the problem, be it fuel, oil or water.

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  42. Bogusnews (474 comments) says:

    In my view the education system needs a jolt to wake it from its lethargy.

    For example, in the 1980’s they brought in the whole word or look and guess reading system. This system has been rejected by Australia, banned in more than half the states in the US, and led to a disastrous reduction in general reading standards over here. (For example, in 2000, nearly 90% of an intake of trainee lawyers had to be given remedial reading lessons).

    Kudos to the ACT party in this regard. They forced the teachers to review this when it was shown that over 30% of kids coming out of school were functionally illiterate and to bring back in phonics. My point is however, how bad is it when teachers have to be virtually strong armed before they’ll do anything about such a shoddy state of affairs. A senior member of the education board (forgot her name sorry) made the extraordinary statement recently that “the role of schools in New Zealand is no longer to teach children to read and write, but to “socialise” them.”

    I firmly believe the lack of competition is the primary reason this sort of clap trap can flourish. The moment parents can see which schools are teaching kids effectively the days of social engineering are numbered.

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  43. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    The teaching unions seem to want to run education. the PPTA is telling the Government that it does not any more independent schools to integrate (it has no idea what the Government would do if some closed up shop – if Dio closed up shop, the Education Ministry would be up to it to the neck – it would have to lease the buildings at whatever the trustees demanded and urgently set up a new state school or ask EGGS to run it – no just dish out education vouchers so Dio can keep going – note I am merely using Dio as an example). Now the NZEI is telling the Families Commission to but out of school affairs – I beg your pardon, but is not education affairs and childrens’ behaviour a core Families Commission matter?

    A few years ago principals and school boards got all uppity when parents started bringing lawyers along to disciplinary hearings – I would do to if my kid was in danger of exclusion or expulsion. They and the School Trustees Association showed they were totally pig ignorant of the law – courts will not allow themselves to be ousted – the basic legal principles are not that complicated. IMO there should be an appeal authority – it is too big a jump between a School Board and the High Court. If Justice Patrick Keane had not been promoted to the High Court he would have been ideal, Judge (to be) Peter Spiller would be a good choice IMO..

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  44. Red Sam (122 comments) says:

    “Most other people who made such threats as they have would risk instant dismissal, and would certainly be dismissed if they carried out the threat.”

    However, I doubt the government will dismiss around 27,000 primary teachers. Have you questioned why your dear Minister Tolley has moved to slightly delay National Standards and formal reporting to the Ministry of Education?

    There are many good reasons why most teachers pay their $20 fortnightly sub to the NZEI Union. As the mantra goes, teachers’ working conditions are childrens’ learning conditions!

    I have taught in both low and high decile primary schools. National Standards won’t do a dot of difference to increase the achievement of students in low decile schools. From my experience, the vast differences in academic achievement when making comparisons between most students in low and high decile schools is to do with a range of factors, and seldom the quality of teaching. As one poster stated, teachers are an easy target.

    Explain why a group of teachers in a high decile school, all teaching classes of 7 year olds, will have students on similar numeracy and literacy levels, but then a group of teachers in a low decile schools, also teaching classes of 7 year olds, will also have students on similar numeracy and literacy levels, but much lower (generally) than those in the high decile school.

    I doubt this editorial writer or many of you have even worked in the classroom as a teacher.

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  45. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “As the mantra goes, teachers’ working conditions are childrens’ learning conditions!”

    Well then, going by the standard of education in NZ today, your working conditions must be atrocious. Actually you are one of the brain damaged commie swine who should not be within a light year of anybody’s children.

    “National Standards won’t do a dot of difference to increase the achievement of students in low decile schools.”

    The decision is not yours to make. You are (unfortunately) a teacher. You’re not a manager. Just do as your employers instruct you to do or fuck off and work somewhere else.

    “I doubt this editorial writer or many of you have even worked in the classroom as a teacher.”

    We do not need to, we see what a farce you and your self interested commie ilk have made of education in so many other places. If you had the slightest degree of morality you would hang your head in shame for the utter disgraceful disaster you have made of NZ’s once excellent education system. You don’t have that morality of course. You’re happy to sacrifice NZ children’s education at the altar of socialism. Political power is your first priority, and if it takes a nation of half educated knuckle draggers to obtain that power, that’s what you will deliver.

    If the government wants to sack everyone of you and make you reapply I’m fine with that. I detest you for what you have done to NZ children.

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  46. Flashman (184 comments) says:

    Neil [271] nails it for me.

    I’ve seen too many damn fine educators give up on teaching and find better careers as an alternative to a thankless job in demotivational and physically threatening classroom environments. In my experience, the teachers that seem to most enjoy their jobs are in schools that put high standards on their pupils in terms of comportment and class room behaviour: addressing pupil behaviour on chin and without all the usual NZ softcock PC bollocks fixes probably 60% of the educational problem as it clears the decks for teachers to do their jobs with focus and lack of distraction.

    Next I suggest regarding teaching in the same way most blokes regard a stint in the armed services. One is young, keen and with a hankering to serve – so you sign up for five years. At the end of that, you either bail or reup for another five years. And if you want to be a 20-year lifer – then by all means – but the expectations become more stringent.

    Applying a similar format to teaching would mean that there is a stream of young energetic teachers coming in. A stable core of experienced “NCOs” and a cadre of senior leaders. This model would, I believe, do a lot to negate the burned out, no other career to go to middle aged dropkicks that are bane of the teaching profession.

    In sum: class room discipline, introduce 5 contracts, set in place operational performance standards and step up pay and conditions to match.

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  47. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    That should read “Bob; you’re spot on”

    Er no, slightlyrighty, it should read, “Bob: you’re spot on.” (Note the : and the .)

    But you needn’t feel too ashamed in this company. Despite being on the more intelligent side of the spectrum, the 47 commenters on this post (before I started writing this) made – wait for it – 58 spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors.

    Some of the more noteworthy included:

    teachers unions
    teacher’s unions
    teachers performance
    kids education
    schools principals
    principals role
    Principles who
    their principle is doing a good job
    the principle hires
    corrupt principle
    good principle
    prinipal
    its all for the cause
    Its also
    cant
    arent
    thats
    havent
    didnt
    isnt
    for appearances sake
    60’s
    1970’s
    your spot on
    an in formal group
    alot of people
    anymore
    exeptional
    redicolous
    negatively effect
    even less teachers
    higher social economic schools
    competetant
    incompetant
    incompentant
    incomptetant
    additoinal
    unstateable
    flag waiver
    MP’s were denying
    the MP’s don’t
    turning up at the workplace everyday
    disarupting
    the other kids learning environment
    but out
    losing it’s grip and it’s power base
    i was

    Need we say more about the New Zealand education system?

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  48. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    yeah 20% of kids are substandard by the time they get to high school.
    so what must change John Ansell?

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  49. Red Sam (122 comments) says:

    “The decision is not yours to make. You are (unfortunately) a teacher. You’re not a manager. Just do as your employers instruct you to do or fuck off and work somewhere else.”

    Thankfully most worksites/schools are far more democratic and have a flatter management structure than what you may have experienced you nasty right wing twit.

    “If you had the slightest degree of morality you would hang your head in shame for the utter disgraceful disaster you have made of NZ’s once excellent education system.”

    And you believe in myths too. Tell me when and how the New Zealand education system was “once an excellent education system.”

    If you scratch the surface, you’ll find that your golden years were riddled with monumental failures, right from the way children were bullied and belittled to uninspiring twaddle coming from the throne at the front of the class and endless copying from the board.

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  50. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Thankfully most worksites/schools are far more democratic”

    That’s funny. A communist who attempts to use democracy as a means to justify his sabotage of the education system.

    You are not part of the management structure. You are a link in chain. One link, not any more. You do your job while wiser heads make the decisions. You do not have the training, the aptitude or the intellect to contribute to management, otherwise you would be there.

    “Thankfully???” Not many people I know are thankful that the schools are run for politically fixated unions and not children.

    “Tell me when and how the New Zealand education system was “once an excellent education system.” ”

    You see, this is why you generate such contempt. You know it was done better, and you know the destruction you have wrought, and you know how your deceitful socialist colleagues have doctored every survey to camouflage your failures, you know all this, and yet you lie deliberately and without the slightest compunction. You lie pathologically to conceal the truth and then have the nerve to be outraged that you are held in contempt.

    “If you scratch the surface, you’ll find that your golden years were riddled with monumental failures,”

    Just communist propaganda. Stop manipulating NZ’s children for political gain. Stop perverting our education system for the sake of your sick, cruel and tyrannical objectives.

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  51. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    NZ education levels falling behind other OECD countries 03.05.2002- Education levels in New Zealand have been outstripped by other countries in the past three decades, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said today. In 1970, the average number of years of education for the working-age population was among the highest in the 30-member OECD, the report said. But New Zealand had since been left behind. “Significant gains in education levels elsewhere have not been matched to the same degree in New Zealand, except very recently. “As a consequence, younger New Zealanders (aged 15-35) are now in the middle of the pack.” While older New Zealanders were fairly well educated by OECD standards, adult literacy was a concern, with document and quantitative literacy on the “low side”, especially for ethnic minorities.

    ——————————-

    Only half of year 11 students passing first stage of NCEA 10.05.2004- Only about half of year 11 students are passing the first stage of the Government’s main secondary school qualification — the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), a new website profiling the nation’s secondary schools shows. The website, launched today by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), contains profiles of each of the country’s secondary schools, as well as a detailed overview of national figures and trends. The website shows that just 52.9 per cent of year 11 (5th form) students last year passed level one of the NCEA, which replaced the former school certificate in 2002. Of year 12 (6th form) students only 48 per cent passed level two, which replaced the former sixth form certificate last year.

    ———————————-

    from The Laissez Faire City Times , Vol 3, No 9, March 1, 1999

    From the ever popular icon of American culture, The Tonight Show , host Jay Leno occasionally walks the streets outside the NBC studio in Burbank California polling people with a live camera crew. On August 8, 1995, he displayed pictures to teen-agers he stopped at random.

    Shoving his wireless microphone up in their faces, he showed the likeness of Joe Stalin next to the fictional cigarette advertisement cartoon character Joe Camel. None of the young adults could identify the man who Solzhenitsyn says was responsible for the deaths of 60 million who resisted “mental healing,” but everyone recognized Joe Camel.

    Leno then displayed Caesar Augustus and the Little Caesar’s pizza chain cartoon character. The results were the same. He went on with Napoleon Bonaparte and Captain Crunch, then Colonel Qadaffi and Colonel Sanders, and finally former president Jimmy Carter and Mr. Peanut.

    No one could identify even one of the real historic characters, including a recent president of the United States. Virtually everyone knew the advertising characters. The audience was hysterical. Young adults all know peanuts, pizza, and the mechanics of sodomy, but only 41 percent can identify their own Bill of Rights.

    What’s the matter, man? Can’t you take a joke? We’re the new barbarians, and damn proud of it! We love them dumb. That way they yield themselves with perfect docility. You understand what I’m talkin’ about, dude ?

    I’m talking about a culture war over a sovereign political prize that may already be lost. And if it is, I’m talking about kissing the traditional American concept of liberty goodbye. I’m talking about the possibility that the Fascists may have won without firing a shot, aided and abetted by the arrogant, vapid cretins on the intellectual American Left. And I’m talking about our morally bankrupt system of education at the very heart of this tragedy. I’m talking about the Fifth Estate .

    ————————–

    Auckland private school Carey College today announced that it was abandoning the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA). Announcing the change Principal Michael Drake said “NCEA is a cumbersome monolith, a vast under-fuelled malfunctioning meat plant with missing parts, confused operators, and an obscure instruction manual that is being changed on the hop. Unstopped, it will turn a generation of New Zealand youth into shrink-wrapped experimental sausages, uniformly cloned in the experience of ignorance and narrow ‘formative activities’, and branded with the NCEA trademark of mediocrity. Every sausage processed gets certificated, not because it has quality, but because it’s been processed. The process, the product and the certification are all wrong.”

    —————————————-

    Excerpt, from Education – What Went Wrong? Agnes-Mary Brooke, July 3, 2002.

    There are still those who claim that standards haven’t dropped, that the thousands of poorly-spoken, ill-prepared university students, without even basic literacy skills, are there only as a result of entry criteria being relaxed. It is true that the universities have also become dumbed -down, with trivialised and over-commercialised courses. But a Professor of Law at Otago has verified what others echo – that the very best of his students have absymal literacy skills. I recall, too, the Professor of Zoology at Canterbury University writing to support a column of mine in The Press, and saying that what upset him as an examiner in scholarship biology was having to fail students who weren’t able to use their first language well enough to show what they knew. Then there was the surreptitious letter of support I received from a senior English lecturer at Canterbury University, noting that even her very left-wing colleagues were sobered by the ignorance of their English students. What was most worrying, she said, was that the very worst were going back into the schools as teachers…

    ————————

    Professor regrets ‘dumbing down’ of standards Tuesday, 11 November 2003 – Victoria University Professor fears the tertiary education sector may lose its best teachers because of its worst students. Frustrated teachers plus low-quality students equals money down the drain. Victoria University Associate Accountancy Professor Don Trow fears the tertiary education sector may lose its best teachers because of its worst students. He says there are those who passionately want to learn and excel. But he says the bottom half of the student body struggles with basic literacy and maths. Professor Trow says teachers get frustrated and exhausted from spending all their time on lower level students. He says it is also done at a huge cost to the taxpayer as millions of dollars are spent on people who will never graduate. He believes a relaxed culture in primary and secondary schools is contributing to the ‘dumbing down’ of standards.

    ———————————-

    18.06.2003 – New Zealand risks creating an angry underclass of uneducated minority groups unless the school curriculum is revised, says an education analyst. Lester Flockton, co-director of the Educational Assessment Research Unit at Otago University, is part of a group studying the curriculum overhaul which has taken place in every school over the past decade. Mr Flockton is concerned the new curriculum is increasing the number of educational underachievers leaving our schools.

    ————————

    15.01.2003-
    Worried secondary school principals say up to half the teachers recently appointed for the coming school year are not of a high enough calibre in a year where teacher shortages are the worst on record. The Principals also felt the quality of applicants for English, maths, science and technology positions in particular had declined and that teachers applying for heads of department jobs had fallen to critically low levels.

    ———————–

    Allan Peachey, principal of New Zealand’s biggest school, Rangitoto College, said yesterday some graduates applying for teaching positions were sending in CVs so badly written pupils would be failed for presenting them.

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  52. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    And you believe in myths too. Tell me when and how the New Zealand education system was “once an excellent education system.”

    They used to have bullrush, now they don’t. Case proved.

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  53. Cerium (23,578 comments) says:

    Are all parents a part of the communist plot? Controlled by some subliminal Marxist message.

    Like everything education evolves. Some things change for the better, some don’t work out so well. But I think most people in education mean well, try to make a difference. Society dishes them up a fair bit of crap.

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  54. Willie_Escaped (29 comments) says:

    Ranking misses the point. Both Tories and Lefties miss the point.

    Schools shouldn’t be factories, whether or not they are quality controlled.

    Humans aren’t economic units that need “optimizing”.

    Schools ought to be places where people are taught the power of their mind and its utility in their pursuit of happiness for the short time they are here on earth.

    In order to pursue happiness, each individual needs to be given the opportunity to capitalize on whatever their natural talents or innate desires and objectives are. You don’t get that at school. You get taught “subjects”.

    Even kids that come out with straight As have little or no idea of the creative power they have. Nor any idea of the potential for that creative power to be turned towards self destruction or the destruction of those around them.

    It’s simply not possible to focus on the pursuit of happiness with a state controlled system.

    In a state controlled system schools are factories producing economic producers.

    Who cares if they are efficient factories or not.

    So, this debate is largely irrelevant. Either release education from the state, or cope with factories.

    That’s the real issue.

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  55. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Both Tories and Lefties miss the point.”

    Are you nuts???

    The whole fucking point of the argument is state control of childen. The left fight to impose it, the right fight to free children from state control. In NZ, the left are winning by a huge margin. The right are losing.

    What planet in what galaxy did you just time warp in from? Idiot.

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  56. Maggie (672 comments) says:

    Quote from Tolley biography:

    “Anne lives in Gisborne with her husband, and has three adult children. Anne is a former Hawkes Bay Regional Councillor, a Napier City Councillor and was the Deputy Mayor of Napier City. Before entering parliament Anne was an active Rotarian, served on the Napier Girls’ High Board of Trustees, and was a Trustee of the Hawkes Bay Community Law Centre.”

    So the Education Minister has never had a real job and has never stood up in front of a class to do any teaching. Yet the Dominion Post expects us to bow to her superior knowledge of education?????

    DP editorials read increasingly as if they were written by Winston Peters. Deliberately provocative, totally misleading and generally a crock of rightwing reactionary shit.

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  57. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “So the Education Minister has never had a real job”

    So raising three kids to adulthood is just a walk in the park??

    How many kids have you raised?

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  58. Willie_Escaped (29 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter

    1. Name a NZ Tory that advocates:

    (a) removal of compulsory attendance
    (b) removal of state funding of education
    (c) on a more pragmatic level, advocating a lightly regulated voucher system (i think there are a couple that do, albeit quietly) and
    (d) on an even more pragmatic level, complete abolition of school zoning.

    2. Explain exactly how imposing a ranking system on all schools is removal of state control of children?

    I see ranking 100% of schools, according to a single set of ranking criteria, governed by the state agency of the ministry of education, according to politically set objectives, as an increase in centralization and state control, what do you see? I’m interested.

    Maybe we’re on the same level here @Redbaiter, maybe we’re not.

    But I see the Tories as wanting *different* control than the lefties. It’s control nonetheless.

    And this is not to say that the Tories are evil and don’t care about kids. Nor do I believe that is the case with teachers. Even the unionized lefty ones.

    The overwhelming majority of people involved in this want the best for kids, in fact I’ve never met a *single* teacher that doesn’t *care deeply* about helping their students to “succeed”.

    They are just operating on incorrect premises, thats all.

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  59. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “1. Name a NZ Tory that advocates”

    As I said, what galaxy did you time warp in from? To my unending disappointment, there are no Tories in NZ, and anyone who thinks there are is either from another galaxy or suffering some kind of derangement. If there were a few Tories, we wouldn’t be anywhere near as far up shit creek without a paddle.

    “But I see the Tories as wanting *different* control than the lefties.”

    Of course you do, because you’re a blind half educated bigot without a skerrick of historical political understanding. It is not the authentic right who have laboured for decades to gradually make government bigger, taxes higher and liberty less. It is not the right who have control of government and all public institutions including education.

    All the growth of government and decrease in liberty that has come about since the thirties and fourties of last century has occurred because the left have been winning and the right have been losing. I want to reverse that circumstance.

    “They are just operating on incorrect premises, thats all.”

    More bullshit. They’re operating to the socialist master plan, the long march through the institutions, even if many of them are too stupid to know it themselves.

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  60. Maggie (672 comments) says:

    Redbaiter I raised two kids. One ended up a lawyer the other a psychologist.

    I have never taught in a school and don’t claim any expertise in the area. I stack up Tolley’s total ignorance of education and of Irish poets and find it falls a bit short of the expertise of teachers who stand up in classrooms every day.

    By the bye, in case your mother didn’t tell you, you’re a total idiot.

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  61. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter I raised two kids. One ended up a lawyer the other a psychologist.”

    Well that’s OK, no real need to apologise. Not all kids can turn out good I suppose.

    BTW, was Helen Klark a good Prime Minister?

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