Labour supports bulk funding

September 3rd, 2010 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

But sadly it is Labor, not Labour that does. Just another example of how ideologically rigid and captured by the unions NZ Labour is.

In the excitement of the aussie campaign, I o overlooked this story:

JULIA Gillard yesterday promised parents and principals greater control over their schools as she turned to her policy strength of education.

In two major policy moves, as she attempts to regain political momentum, the Prime Minister yesterday outlined a $484 million plan over six years to give parents and principals greater autonomy from education bureaucracies and a $668m boost in family payments to 16 to 18-year-olds to keep them in school.

Under the schools plan, principals and school boards would be able to hire teachers and control their own school budget, directing resources to their students’ specific needs.

Superb. The NZ counterpart won’t even support better reporting of student achievement to parents, let alone .

At the next election, National should campaign to implement Julia Gillard’s education reforms.

PM gives principals control

JULIA Gillard yesterday promised parents and principals greater control over their schools as she turned to her policy strength of education.

In two major policy moves, as she attempts to regain political momentum, the Prime Minister yesterday outlined a $484 million plan over six years to give parents and principals greater autonomy from education bureaucracies and a $668m boost in family payments to 16 to 18-year-olds to keep them in school.

Under the schools plan, principals and school boards would be able to hire teachers and control their own school budget, directing resources to their students’ specific needs.

Tags: ,

34 Responses to “Labour supports bulk funding”

  1. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Phil Goff of course would likely rubbish anything ALP did in any event. He is just programmed to be negative.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Gwilly (158 comments) says:

    Current ACT policy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Viking2 (11,416 comments) says:

    National should campaign to implement Julia Gillard’s education reforms.

    Really David.
    You can do better. (school report on David Farrar).

    Given that the Labour Party was the first to implement such a policyin NZ and the Nats. were the weak knee ed socialists who caved in and reversed it, hell will freeze over before this lot advocate such policy.

    Policy that has been ACT policy forever.
    Sir Roger has been championing this all that time but Mr Key just won’t have this very right wing man in his cabinet.

    Now if you could change that then we could see the policy in place next week.
    Until then its tooooo right wing. Easier to rescue clapped out finance companies with tax payers money than deal with the problems afflicted on society by poor education. (Much of which was evident in that same companies dealings).

    [DPF: What are you on about? National intrdouced bulk funding in the 1990s, and Labour has always fought against it]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. peterwn (3,246 comments) says:

    Viking2 – one cannot use brute force in such cases. The useless Business Round Table lobbied the Government to streamline the fire service and recommended just the guy for the job. He thought he could do it by brute force but was totally outgunned on the PR front by the union. Jim Bolger or was it Jenny Shipley then had to step in, kick the guy out and appoint someone to do damage control.

    Arising from this and BRT’s head in the clouds on electricity reform, I just have no time for that outfit and would advise any Minister to give Roger Kerr no more than two minutes then hit the buzzer to have him politely shown out.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    At the next election, National should campaign to implement Julia Gillard’s education reforms.

    What, like wasting Billions on building stimulus programs, that deliver schools with crappy new buildings that cost them 4x what they should have?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    Indeed DPF, and the war by the union morons goes on. My six-year-old daughter has been sent home with a notice that says: Parents are invited to a presentation on National Standards with John Faire, Principal, Mt Eden Normal School Auckland. John Will be demonstrating why the National Standards are unworkable and why this will impact on your child’s education.

    For goodness sakes, it’s not the introduction of sharia law into schools! Unworkable? Lots of room for negotiation there.

    IDIOTS!!

    (I’m glad this was my 500th post – nothing gets up my skirt quite so much as this country’s appalling teacher unions)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. CJD (333 comments) says:

    ACT opened the debate on more parental control in education prior to the 2008 election. We presented a workable mechanism to boot. This is something that the major parties often fail to do. There is often idealogical rhetoric but very seldom any real solutions.
    Obviously control of eduction equates to control of young minds and so is a priotiry for Labour’s extreme left wind agenda. If you think about it they have a wide array of unfair advantages pretty well sewn up. Education including tertiary is riddled with lefties: the state sector (although pretending to be neutral) is essentially sympathetic to Labour, the Media loves Labour and you have the unions acting as a promotianal wing for the Left.
    It is thus little wonder that the good ideas that flood out of ACT go unnoticed amid the Media eagerness to overemphasise leadership woes and minor idealogical difference within the Party. It is time we wake up in New Zealand and support the parties with the ideas, not just those that are able to generate the most hot air and noise.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. alex Masterley (1,510 comments) says:

    Ah, thats why Mt Eden Normal is going to the dogs.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. CJD (333 comments) says:

    @ Mysef: middle-age has a lot to answer for, including sight loss. In my last post I said “Labour’s extreme left wind agenda.” I obviously meant “wing.” However “wind” is strangely appropriate. Think “windbags”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Vinick (214 comments) says:

    Come on DPF, the National Party opposed this very measure when it came up for a vote just a month or so ago.

    National voting against Sir Roger’s Bill (when even the Maori Party supported it) showed that John Key is to the left of Julia Gillard. And we wonder why we are falling so far behind our trans-tasman neighbour.

    Grow some balls.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. s.russell (1,620 comments) says:

    No wonder Australia does better than NZ on so many measures: even their Labour/Labor Party is more sensible than ours.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Viking2 (11,416 comments) says:

    peterwn; this has nothiong to do with the BRT. One of the few good things Lange did was attack the education institution and had they carried on NZ would have been much better but the socialists and the unions frightened the Nats. into reversing the policy for the sake of the ballot box. (as they always do.)

    Lack of clear principles and failure to take note of their own founding document. Ha, a bit like the Treay I suppose.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    I wonder what New Zealand would be like today if Mike Moore became PM in 1993?
    Certainly Helen wouldn’t have been PM in 1999?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. CJD (333 comments) says:

    @ s.russell “even their Labour/Labor Party is more sensible than ours”
    Isn’t everyone else’s?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. dave (988 comments) says:

    National introduced bulk funding in the 1990s

    And realised that was a mistake so voted against it this year.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    David, this isn’t all that it seems.

    Firstly, federal government has little control over schools, school education is a state responsibility. The feds can promise much but deliver little without the states explicit support. Federal government funding for schools is delivered via National Partnerships. These intergovernmental agreements, many multilateral but some bilateral, provide access to federal funds in return for specific outputs and reforms. Gillard would need to negotiate to implement this and she’d find it difficult in several states, NSW included.

    Secondly, should she form the next government, she’ll need the Greens support for this reform and I think that will be difficult to get.

    Thirdly, NZ schools have significantly more autonomy that most Australian schools. Financial, managerial autonomy I mean even allowing for the fact that NZ schools staff salaries are bulk funded. Also, NZ are significantly more locally accountable – to local boards and through the ERO. Until the advent of MySchool, Australia school reporting was very limited.

    It may be this combination of factors that allows NZ schools to do better, marginally, than Australian ones (as measured by PISA and TIMMS).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. burt (8,239 comments) says:

    Well that’s another nail in the coffin for catching Aussie. Once the teacher salaries for ‘in demand’ teachers start to lift in Aussie they will lure our best teachers away from the one size fits all union we seem to have in charge in NZ.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. burt (8,239 comments) says:

    Paul Williams

    Given that there is no uniform measurement system in use in NZ and given that use of any of the optional measurement system is not standardised it seem like complete BS to try and compare the outcomes of NZ schools using any other measure than the vitality of our economy. We fail…. Blame the unions, their one size fits all approach works to maintain their union membership numbers and apparently that’s the most important role of schools here in NZ.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    David- did you realise that School Education is a State Government responsibility? Its in the Australian Constitution.

    NZ schools already have way more autonomy to those in Australia though if you hand over more moeny to them I’m sure they will be grateful.

    Given this government’s love of centralisation of power and funding in Wellington I wouldn’t be holding my breath.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. burt (8,239 comments) says:

    bchapman

    Given this government’s love of centralisation of power and funding in Wellington …

    So how would you describe the previous govt’s relationship with centralisation of power and funding in Wellington ? Perhaps “suicidal obsession” would be appropriate.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Given that there is no uniform measurement system in use in NZ and given that use of any of the optional measurement system is not standardised it seem like complete BS to try and compare the outcomes of NZ schools using any other measure than the vitality of our economy.

    Burt, there’s a number of international measures of the comparative performance of OECD schools and NZ does well in them. To argue against this is to argue about the methodology used in the comparison. I’m policy egg-head but a generalist one. You might be more able to critique this but you haven’t so I’m inclined to think your’s is a idelogical not substantive point.

    The simple fact is that NZ schools are far more autonomous and accountable than most Australian ones and, in recent studies at least, they perform a little better.

    What exactly is your beef?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. burt (8,239 comments) says:

    My beef is simple. All teachers are not equal. There is no way to directly encourage the good ones to stay in the classroom and to discourage the bad ones out. Teachers are trained to manage the disparity of aptitude and attitude in a single class of circa 30 kids yet apparently the thousands of teachers we have all contribute equally. Total bollox, what we have serves the best interests of union membership numbers before it serves the best interest of education.

    Tell me again how when we don’t have a single measurement system in place in NZ and how when the application of the various measurement systems we have is not standardised how we can compare with other countries – I really want to know how we do that given at best we take a very small sample of “selected” schools to compare.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    There is no way to directly encourage the good ones to stay in the classroom and to discourage the bad ones out. Teachers are trained to manage the disparity of aptitude and attitude in a single class of circa 30 kids yet apparently the thousands of teachers we have all contribute equally. Total bollox, what we have serves the best interests of union membership numbers before it serves the best interest of education.

    I don’t agree. Pay is a device, and an important one, but it’s not the only one but for the moment, you should know that federal Labor’s policy favours some merit-based pay arrangements. This is pretty radical for Labor but it’s largely down to the fact that Andrew Leigh, an economist from ANU, was a candidate at the last election (and was elected) and has done a lot of good research on this very issue. Their policy is here, http://alp.org.au/agenda/school-reform/performance-pay/, information on Leigh is here http://andrewleigh.com/

    Tell me again how when we don’t have a single measurement system in place in NZ and how when the application of the various measurement systems we have is not standardised how we can compare with other countries

    I don’t quite understand your point but my answer is NZ has the NZCEA, a standard measure, and participates in international comparative research, PISA and TIMMS, benchmarking our kids performance against other OECD nations. In these, we have done well, in fact improving since the last exercise, and have done slightly better than Australia.

    Save for salaries for teachers, NZ schools have far more autonomy and accountability than Australia schools. Not least of all, Principals can hire and fire… I think you’re ignoring this information and focusing on only one element of the total picture.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Trevor Mallard (247 comments) says:

    Surprised you missed it DPF – your teams paid liars spun it pretty hard and was picked up by a number of repeaters. Important part of story you didn’t hightlight.

    “Schools will also be able to hire specialist teachers and support officers for areas of need identified by school communities and determine the appropriate staffing mix, recruit staff, manage leave and manage the performance of teachers within existing enterprise bargaining arrangements.”

    Sound familiar – it is the system I voted for and support. And we have been doing it for twenty years. Methinks the penguin has been hibernating.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. thedavincimode (6,711 comments) says:

    Mallard

    Whilst we’re on the subject of bulk funding, what about that bulk funding of labour’s election campaign to the tune of $1m stolen from NZ taxpayers?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Red Sam (122 comments) says:

    “principals and school boards would be able to hire teachers and control their own school budget”

    This seems exactly what New Zealand has been doing since Langes Tomorrow’s Schools reforms in 1989. They moved away from local education boards having a role in appointing teachers to schools, resouces, property, etc, as well as away from the inspectorate monitoring teacher performance.

    Haven’t you been to a school’ Board of Trustees meeting, DPF, and observed how much control NZ boards have over school governance and finance? If you read any education policy literature, you’ll find that New Zealand is held up as an example that took self-managing schools to the neo-liberal extreme. It worries me that boards of trustees have so much decision making power over what is spent in schools and creating learning environments (bricks and mortar), yet those of us at the chalk face with the expertise actually have very little autonomy about how our work places operate.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    @Red Sam – A school that has hopeless, average and star teachers is forced to pay the same for each. Are you ok with this? If yes why? If not, what do you propose as a solution?

    @thedavincimode – Nice try. The shot gauge was about right, but the bird got away

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Clint Heine (1,570 comments) says:

    Just to remind you of every stage of the John Key National Government backing down on bulk funding:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_hdLkYFoRQ Sir Roger’s first speech

    Next the Maori Party supporting it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYMAzoKbqe0

    And then Nationals absolutely outrageous climb down betraying parents and children in order to keep the unions happy.
    And the response by Sir Roger http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIJXUlb_4qg

    Mallard can pull his head in too. He is a member of a party that created even more power for the teachers unions to dumb down our education system. Teachers unions are not known for creative innovation – they fight at every stage whenever new ideas are introduced if it means parents and children have more power. Screw the consumers who pay for this is the motto of the Labour Party and soon to be the one for the Nats too.

    Ask your National MP what benefit they got for opposing this bill. I’d love to hear this as not one has bothered to front up about this. Thanks again to ACT for doing the right thing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Clint, what problem with the NZ school system do you feel so desparately can only be solved by bulk funding? This passionate dispute seems to lack only one element, a point.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Bulk funding alone isn’t enough. It need to be coupled with a teacher performance assessment mechanism that allows the stars to be rewarded, and the hopeless to be exited.

    The unions are working hard to prevent this, and seemingly spend their time promoting teaching mediocrity.

    Power to them today is the future denied to our kids tomorrow

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Red Sam (122 comments) says:

    “@Red Sam – A school that has hopeless, average and star teachers is forced to pay the same for each. Are you ok with this? If yes why? If not, what do you propose as a solution?”

    krazykiwi, state schools don’t pay teacher salaries, therefore they are not ‘forced’ to pay teachers at all. Thankfully schools can focus on spending taxpayer money on the students and learning resources, not teacher salaries and massive building projects. A school’s current appraisal system identifies strengths and weaknesses in the performance of teachers. Planning, assessment and other documentation is submitted and teachers are observed. If teachers are not meeting the criteria set by the Teachers’ Council (have you read it? could you meet it?) then appropriate steps are taken to improve the teaher’s practice. Failing that, they may be put through a competency review.

    How much professional development dosh is Tolley putting up to improve the practice of teachers? It’s rather concerning that her working party, who wrote “A Vision for the Teaching Profession”, has recommending limiting all primary teacher training to a one year post graduate qualification. Having worked in a normal school with trainee teachers for a few years now, I believe it’s those student teachers completing a one year teaching qualification that are severely unprepared for the classroom upon graduation. In many instances their first degree has no relevance to working with children.

    And not all teachers are currently paid the same. Those with strengths and skills in particular areas (eg, lead teachers of maths, literacy, assistant and deputy principals, heads of performing arts, other curriculum leaders, etc) are numerated with units and rise above the top of their basic scale. The top of the basic scale being step 10 (non-degree – unfair in my view), step 13 (teaching degree) or step 14 (four year tertiary qualification or more).

    In my view it is impossible to identify “average” and “star” teachers. The workings of schools are far more complex than that. Do you propose the same for nurses, doctors, dentists, fire fighters, ambulance officers? You can keep wasting your time with your teacher bashing, but at the end of the day, it’s all very boring, ho hum and being said before, and does nothing to improve children’s experiences and achievements at school. Despite all the teacher bashing that takes place at times on this blog and in other media fora, I’ve never had one parent tell me that I’m a piss poor teacher.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. thedavincimode (6,711 comments) says:

    Red Sam

    “I’ve never had one parent tell me that I’m a piss poor teacher.”

    Sam, it doesn’t follow that there aren’t piss poor teachers or those that use the classroom as a forum for their own agendas and that is what has been getting people cranky. You are right in that there has been a lot of “teacher-bashing” by way of uninformed and gratuitous throw-away lines, but the core concern of most commentators has been the lack of transparency surrounding teacher performance and implausible excuses and criticisms of NES by teacher unionists.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Clint Heine (1,570 comments) says:

    Paul, schools need bulk funding, achievement tables and performance based pay – which is measured by the school and not by bureaucrats and state planners in Wellington.

    Bulk funding gives schools flexibility that isn’t currently allowed at the moment. You wonder why teachers unions are so against these options and then you realise it’s because unions will defend even the worst teachers if it means keeping control of a school. Unions don’t want to change, and the world is a different place than it was when unions had their hands around the neck of NZ.

    I’d rather trust parents and other teachers over the running of a school than politicians. It isn’t difficult Paul. Why are unions resisting parent power? Why do unions forget that schools for for children and not the PPTA?

    Red Sam… ha ha ha. The reason why you (or other teachers) may have not been told you are piss poor (or not) is because your teachers union, along with the Labour Party have been fighting tooth and nail to prevent any public analysis on the quality of teachers, or allowing publically visible results tables showing where some have succeeded and where others fail. Of course parents won’t say anything – they are blindly sending their kids to school HOPING you do your job but not really knowing if you do.

    So your flippant remark is really just another pro union taunt based on absolutely no research and wild speculation. Typical.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Paul, schools need bulk funding, achievement tables and performance based pay – which is measured by the school and not by bureaucrats and state planners in Wellington.

    Bulk funding gives schools flexibility that isn’t currently allowed at the moment. You wonder why teachers unions are so against these options and then you realise it’s because unions will defend even the worst teachers if it means keeping control of a school. Unions don’t want to change, and the world is a different place than it was when unions had their hands around the neck of NZ.

    Clint, we simply disagree on this. NZ schools have enourmous financial and management flexibility, autonomy and local accountability by comparison with many many other nations including Australia and they’re doing pretty well. Nothing I’ve heard about bulk funding tells me it’ll make the huge difference you hope for. Incidentally, your claim about the “unions” lacks any evidence.

    I’ve commented on performance pay upthread, I’ll only add that I think any scheme would need to be rigourously tested to avoid teachers being made accountable for a kid missing breakfast or watching too much TV at night… why should teachers be solely responsible for a kids performance at school, there’s lots of exogenous factors unrelated to an individual teacher.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.