NZ Herald on performance pay

May 5th, 2012 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

Not many professions are held in such high regard as teaching. People, by and large, recognise that few jobs are so demanding and offer so relatively little in financial reward. All the more surprise, therefore, that a Herald-Digipoll survey this week revealed that a clear majority are now happy to disregard the adamant view of the teachers’ unions and support for the profession.

Making it the rare combination of both right and popular.

Fortunately, MPs on Britain’s education select committee are less timid. In a report released this week, they said teachers’ pay should be more closely tied to the value they add to pupils’ performance, so the best were rewarded while the weakest were discouraged from staying in the profession. They urged the Cameron Government to develop proposals for a pay system that rewarded teachers who added the “greatest value” to pupil performance. Whatever the practical and political difficulties in this, they said, the value of an outstanding teacher was so great that these must be overcome.

Exactly. Of course there are practical challenges. But that is no reason not to try. The evidence is clear that the ability of a teacher to connect with their students has more influence on educational outcomes than any other factor such as class size, school, poverty etc.

There is no doubt that agreement on measures of excellence presents an obstacle to pay on merit, probably an insuperable one for national negotiations. But it would provide little difficulty if left to school principals and their boards. The boards become well acquainted with the work of individual teachers, while principals must know which of their teachers are doing the most to improve the achievements of their pupils.

This is absolutely right, and why the teacher unions are so against. To make performance pay work, you need to decentralise salaries.

Throughout its first term, the Government showed little interest in challenging teachers’ national pay negotiating system. The new minister’s statement offers little hope of change, and little encouragement to excellent teachers who continue to feel undervalued. Paradoxically, Labour Party leader David Shearer may have given a stronger signal when he talked earlier this year of acting against the “bad teachers in our classrooms”. The findings of the Herald-Digipoll survey should provide the requisite backbone for politicians of all shades. As should the way in which education will suffer until excellence in teaching is recognised.

It is a battle worth fighting.

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115 Responses to “NZ Herald on performance pay”

  1. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    It’s always amuses me that a profession, that sets such high store on itself and always attempts to claim the moral high ground in any argument with their employer, seems to be controlled by a load of leftie losers and resorts to wharfie tactics when it is challenged.

    You can only assume that teachers have no real faith in their own abilities and require the protection afforded them by the same system used by unskilled labourers. Sad really.

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  2. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    Cue bleats on how it is impossible to measure teachers ………

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  3. kino flo (82 comments) says:

    “The evidence is clear that the ability of a teacher to connect with their students has more influence on educational outcomes than any other factor such as class size, school, poverty etc.”

    Source?

    [DPF: Hattie did a meta-analysis of around 10,000 other surveys. No one bar Luc seriously doubts the research. There have also been dozens of stories of other research backing it up.]

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  4. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I bet he tries to say Hattie is the source, kino flo, but that’s just bullshit.

    Whenever DPF quotes a source, by the way, which he rarely does, one must always check the context, at the source.

    And DPF has a real blind spot when it comes to examining actual empirical data. Like, our world ratings compared to the pathetic poms, for example.

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  5. Yvette (2,761 comments) says:

    It will be interesting to see someone suggest a fair, standardised and impartial way of implementing performance pay – how performance is measured, and how enhanced pay is administered, by a central body, Boards of Trustees. or Principals [who aren't lesser teachers sidelined into paperwork]

    Where do you want to start?
    “PRP will create even more difficulties for schools facing the most challenges because teachers will realise that they will get no thanks for teaching their students but will get more money by going elsewhere.”
    The MPs’ report also calls for candidates for the teaching profession to be observed in the classroom before they are offered a training place to check their suitability for the job. The MPs say that allowing young people to try out teaching could improve the quality of applicants and lead to a lower drop-out rate.
    The government should consider developing a formal “internship” system, similar to one run in Singapore, to allow youngsters to experience the “content, benefits and career potential” of teaching before committing to it, the report says.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/may/01/pay-teachers-according-to-performance

    [inspiration for the Herald editorial?]

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  6. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    So we are fucked then Lance? :)

    http://www.homesworldwide.co.uk/lifenz/470-new-zealand-schools-want-british-teachers.html

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  7. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Furthermore, (while relaxing at Deep Creek Brewing bar in Browns Bay) principals already are empowered with the ability to pay for performance. It called management units. If DPF was serious in empowering principals to reward the best teachers (they do exist and the are recognized for their ability, if not in reward) then the government needs to fund that.

    It’s that simple, DPF.

    Even you should be able to understand that.

    And certainly, at secondary level, advancement to the top level of pay is determined on performance, by senior management. And it’s a stringent process, subject to ERO review.

    Sheesh, if ignorance is bliss, DPF must be a very happy chappy :-)

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  8. PaulP (144 comments) says:

    Kinoflo and Luc

    Try http://obs.rc.fas.harvard.edu/chetty/value_added.html
    Link on left to the full report

    and the article that went with it http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/opinion/kristof-the-value-of-teachers.html?_r=2

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  9. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    JB

    Times have changed since 2008.

    The GFC pass you by?

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  10. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Just checking that you now answer to your new name!

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  11. david c (254 comments) says:

    This is so obviously flawed thinking I don’t know where to begin. Mr Farrar I expect better from you… you’d have a million and one teachers applying for jobs at schools like Marsden, and very few applying for jobs at say Wainuiomata College. So the good schools keep getting better and the worse keep getting worse. Wrong wrong wrong on so many levels.

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  12. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Phil answers to Magpie as well.

    All my plans are coming along! :)

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  13. PaulP (144 comments) says:

    Luc, promotion is great but the perception is that some teachers that seem to be underperforming don’t get the message and leave the profession. They simply stay at the level they are at and teach our kids.

    Mediocre people staying at their level happens in all professions but in teaching the research seems to indicate it can have a serious negative impact on the students they teach.

    And, no, I don’t have a source, it is just my perception.

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  14. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Teachers should be forced to work at say Wainui instead of say Marsden david c.

    We could call it say “The ten year plan” or “The great leap forward in education plan” or somesuch eh! :)

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  15. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Well, if it’s just your perception, as opposed to what actually happens, then you’ll be all for lining up with DPF for performance pay, whatever that means and how it might be implemented.

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  16. david c (254 comments) says:

    No Johnboy, don’t put words in my mouth. Teachers shouldn’t be penalised for working at a school that performs poorly if there are natural disadvantages.

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  17. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Under a proper collective system where teachers devolve decisions to the leaders of their unions they should of course be required to work where the system directs them at the wages agreed by collective bargaining david c.

    Of course they could be a bit more like the rest of us and sell their skills on the open market.

    The choice is theirs, it’s just like they seem to want a dollar each way at the moment! :)

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  18. Simon Lyall (101 comments) says:

    davidc says “you’d have a million and one teachers applying for jobs at schools like Marsden, and very few applying for jobs at say Wainuiomata College”

    Well under the current scheme a teacher gets exactly the same for teaching at both places so I would expect that Marsden gets a million times the number of applications already. I would hope that the government would give out extra money to problem schools so they can pay more to attract the best teachers.

    Someone else mentioned “Management Units” as a way of getting higher pay by taking on more responsibility. I think they are missing the point. I any other profession the top 10% of people are paid way more than the bottom 10% doing *exactly* the same job. The best Maths teacher in New Zealand should be fending off offers of $100k+, not having to decide between a cushy job at a decile 10 school or an extra $4000/year as a Head of Dept.

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  19. PaulP (144 comments) says:

    Yep mikenmild – bring it on

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  20. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Jeeze only a ton for the best mathematical genius in NZ! No wonder anyone with real skill avoids teaching! :)

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  21. Elaycee (4,349 comments) says:

    “I would hope that the government would give out extra money… ”

    Noooooooooooooooo !

    This is the lefty’s answer to everything….. more hits on the taxpayer pocket.

    Jesus wept!

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  22. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Real genius teachers would start their own schools and charge on performance at say NCEA.

    Rolling in it after a few years of payouts from grateful parents! :)

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  23. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    If that were so Johnboy, you would think that the private schools would be booming on their own instead of begging for taxpayer cash…

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  24. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    A question

    In the UK teaching moved from being a pretty professional, reasonably well remunerated and rated vocation to a relatively mediocre one starting in the late 70s early 80s. There were several reasons for this including issues with discipline, relative pay reduction, implementation of the comprehensive system and lowering in the academic requirements to becoming a teacher. Don’t get me wrong there were plenty of awful (and excellent) teachers even then but the perception is the average went downhill. If you weren’t good enough to get to university you went to teacher training college.

    Did anything similar happen here?

    @mm my perception is private schools aren’t booming here as NZ has much less rich people than the UK or US and that kiwis are more egalitarian.

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  25. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Also there is no so much demand for private schooling here when everyone knows that a decent education can be got at the local state school.

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  26. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    MM says

    “Also there is no so much demand for private schooling here when everyone knows that a decent education can be got at the local state school.”

    there is a demand for better schooling though as represented by the effects on house prices around the ‘best’ schools. Would actually be cheaper to send kids privately I reckon.

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  27. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    It’d be pretty silly to waste money on a private school if you can afford to move near to the school you want.

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  28. Mellie (39 comments) says:

    The problem with the Herald’s assertions is that performance pay does not raise student’s achievement.

    NZ currently has a world class education system in the top 4 of the OECD well above the United Kingdom.
    Maybe the English politicians should be investigating how the New Zealand education system produces such results.

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  29. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Mellie
    This is Kiwiblog. Your inconvenient facts will not be welcome.

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  30. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Mrs KK spends quite a bit of time in quite a few schools around NZ. I hear stories of absolute, bloodly heros in the classroom. Teachers taking on incredibly challenging groups of students, being innovative, creative and delivering fantastic results. These teachers change kids’ lives. No question.

    But sadly there is another group of teachers who are completely useless, negative, unprofessional. They are the type of teacher every caring parent would be horrified to know was guiding the learning of their child.

    Where we are today, the first group of teachers is as likely to get financial recognition as the latter group are to be dismissed.

    There is only one word to describe this: Unacceptable.

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  31. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Hell Mellie. If a world class education system like ours produces the sort of 13 year old retards you see wandering through the Naenae shopping centre, puffing on their fags, on the way to world class Naenae College then we, and the world, are fucked! :)

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  32. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Shit Milky. You would be a good man to have in the rearguard when it gets down to the last bullet! :)

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  33. Elaycee (4,349 comments) says:

    Not sure what happened – I’ll try again…

    “NZ currently has a world class education system….”

    Bwahahahaaaaaaaaaaa…

    Only if you think the principle that 20% of our kids leave school lacking basic numeracy and literacy skills, is somehow OK.

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  34. Nick R (504 comments) says:

    Thing is, the likes of DPF don’t support performance pay because it is good for education. They support it because they want to smash teacher unions. It’s an ideological battle on both sides, and the kids are merely collateral damage.

    Huzzah, we’re going to smash to oiks!

    [DPF: Don't be a fuckwit Nick. You can fuck off if you attack my motives]

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  35. Mellie (39 comments) says:

    Further to my earlier comments, this editorial seems to imply that money is the only currency in which teachers of excellence can be valued. This is a sad indication of the depth to which our national values have plummeted. It is also rubbish.

    Teachers have never taught for the money, there are so many less stressful, less time consuming and higher paid occupations. Teaching the adults of our future is about making a difference in our world – and that difference cannot be measured in dollars alone!!

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  36. Mellie (39 comments) says:

    @Elaycee

    “Only if you think the principle that 20% of our kids leave school lacking basic numeracy and literacy skills, is somehow OK”

    The figure of 20% is rubbish. (Make sure you know the source – don’t quote some politician who has misconstrued statistics for their own gain).

    Garbage in, garbage out as they say…..

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  37. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Mellie,

    Further to my earlier comments, this editorial seems to imply that money is the only currency in which teachers of excellence can be valued.

    Perhaps your mght try that line with the NZEI and PPTA. Their actions would seem to reinforce that.

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  38. Mellie (39 comments) says:

    @Johnboy

    Weren’t they your kids in the Naenae shopping centre……?

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  39. Mellie (39 comments) says:

    @bhudson

    That is disingenuous. NZEI and PPTA are the professional bodies that negotiate teachers’ pay. That is actually part of their function.

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  40. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Nah Mellie. My kids are most likely older than you!

    Just saying that based on the idealism oozing from your posts you understand! :)

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  41. Elaycee (4,349 comments) says:

    @Mellie – you need to lift your game – the 20% figure was verified long ago (amongst other poor education stats:

    “A third of New Zealand school leavers fail to gain NCEA Level 2 or higher. Critical to note is that this failing 33 percent are found within and across all state and state-integrated schools, indicating a systemic problem. In other words, the failure
    cannot be attributed as a problem of low-decile schools. Those students who leave school without formal qualifications lack the capacity to read, write or perform arithmetic at the level required in a modern society.”

    http://nationalmps.co.nz/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=aIbTOh5V64M%3D&tabid=232

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  42. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    NZEI and PPTA are the professional bodies that negotiate teachers’ pay

    Ineed they do, and they do this completely blind to the impact of useless teachers. Theirs is not concern for the profession, nor of the welfare of students. It is simply for the betterment of their representative authority. NZEI and PPTA should have been left at door of the 19th century, instead of being taken seriously in the 21st.

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  43. Mellie (39 comments) says:

    @Elaycee

    OMG – You are actuallly quoting a party political document and thinking that I should lift my game….. lol

    Try reading the actual reports – you may find them quite enlightening.

    For example, the PISA report shows fourteen percent of New Zealand students achieve below Level 2 (the OECD benchmark for life success).
    The OECD average is 19%.

    Sixty-six percent of New Zealand students achieve at Level 3 or above.
    The OECD average is around 57%.
    New Zealand has 37% of ‘resilient’ those who overcome disadvantaged backgrounds. The OECD average is 31%.’

    So our system is far better than your propaganda document is telling you.

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  44. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    What an interesting exchange:

    Mellie (14) Says:
    May 5th, 2012 at 7:10 pm
    @Elaycee

    “Only if you think the principle that 20% of our kids leave school lacking basic numeracy and literacy skills, is somehow OK”

    The figure of 20% is rubbish. (Make sure you know the source – don’t quote some politician who has misconstrued statistics for their own gain).

    Garbage in, garbage out as they say…..

    Elaycee’s response:

    http://nationalmps.co.nz/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=aIbTOh5V64M%3D&tabid=232

    …some politician(s)…mwahhhh!!!

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  45. Anthony (789 comments) says:

    No method of measuring performance is perfect but that is no reason not to try! Everyone else in their job has their performance evaluated and linked to pay in some way – why not teachers?

    As I’ve said before, actually what we need is to have teachers on fixed term contracts so schools can get rid of duds altogether because performance pay doesn’t do that – it just leads to lower paid duds!

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  46. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Mellie

    You are going to get banned real quick.

    Facts are evil on DPF’s propaganda pages.

    But it’s been nice knowing you :-)

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  47. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Hekia has to do to the teachers what Ronald Regan did to the American air traffic controllers. Sack the lot and let them reapply for their jobs under individual contracts. Come to think of it the whole bloody civil service could use a dose of the same medicine.

    All problems solved and all those little hitlers in the unions would be looking for gainful employment as janitors or whatever. :)

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  48. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Stop picking on Mellie Lance. We like her! :)

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  49. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    New blood! :)

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  50. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    being too lazy to read through the PISA report – can you confirm it’s not a self determining definition of success e.g. we have X % of students undergoing tertiary education. The reason I ask is that these types of measures are just as good a measure of how easy we make the qualifications rather than a measure of the true learning achievements.

    I employed NZ grads for 20 years having come from UK and NL where I did the same. I must have interviewed several hundred candidates in my time – kiwis with degrees consistently did not have the same level of basic literacy or mathematical skills as UK equivalent – they are as smart and generally better all round and less specialised – and no I am not an arrogant pom before someone goes there. My BS detector is going off.

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  51. Mellie (39 comments) says:

    @Luc

    Your group of politicians (Inter-PartyWorking Group for School Choice) comprised Roger Douglas, Chester Borrows, Hekia Parata, Te Ururoa Flavell and Heather Roy as chair.

    And yes they came up with tired,self-interested cliches about privatisation and choice….. yawn…

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  52. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    That is disingenuous. NZEI and PPTA are the professional bodies that negotiate teachers’ pay. That is actually part of their function.

    Not at all Mellie. If you were correct about it not being all about money for teachers, then their unions would be seeking things other than extra money and cash equivalent benefits. As the representatives of the teachers, their demands must be representative of the things that motivate teachers.

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  53. Anthony (789 comments) says:

    I wonder whether Luc remembers his school days or has any kids. Anyone with half a brain knows there is a minority of dud teachers who shouldn’t be in the profession – and given how important teachers are this is very concerning! One of the laziest teachers I ever came across ended being an MP. Because he couldn’t get to class on time ever, one day I got beaten up because the kids were getting restless.

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  54. Mellie (39 comments) says:

    @bhudson

    That line of thinking is illogical. If you follow that simplistic line of thought – then money is the only motivation for people.

    Watch this wonderful video which reports some findings from the science of motivation.
    Take particular note of the fact that rewards do not increase behaviours except for simple mechanical tasks. Larger rewards led to poorer performance.

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  55. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    I hate to say this guys and dolls but having employed your grads for the last 20 years – they aren’t that well educated – luckilly they are smart and flexible like the average kiwi

    yours sincerley a Pom

    I note my questions on the PISA report were ignored

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  56. Steve (4,538 comments) says:

    Old kid on the block with yet another pseudonym, Mellie.

    It is just Trevor defending the useless Teachers

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  57. rg (203 comments) says:

    Another ACT Party policy being trumpeted here by the Herald and Farrar. And he wants to kill them off? ACT have a lot of very good policies, especially when compared to the National Party’s lack of vision.

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  58. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    But they can spell luckily and do it sincerely slijmbal! :)

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  59. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Mellie,

    Perhaps you might like to show that to the folk at NZEI and PPTA. It might colour their future negotiations. Then again, it might not.

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  60. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    wow johnboy – you answered my argument with a couple of typos

    I am shattered – cue swooning

    how about responding to the statement? Play the ball.

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  61. Anthony (789 comments) says:

    Well Mellie – do you agree with fixed terms for teachers then – getting rid of the duds is the real problem?

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  62. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    I always get a laugh reading crap from posers like you slijmbal berating the standard of the local education when you demonstrate such a lack of ability in that respect yourself.

    Guess it comes with the arrogance born from being a pom despite the fact Britain is a basket case full of losers.

    I could tell you to fuck off back there but I wouldn’t want to appear inhospitable and I guess you came here cause you couldn’t really make it back home. Welcome to Godzone! :)

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  63. HB (301 comments) says:

    I am interested to see the evidence that pay performance for teachers improves student outcomes.
    Can someone please link to this evidence?
    So far I have only seen ideological arguments…. the longer this government is in power the more their policy direction seems influenced by ideology and less by evidence.
    I am sick of NZ being the guinea pig for new things and learning the hard way. Show me where this is working, then lets take it and make it work for here.

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  64. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    Thanks for that Johnboy – you continue to play the man

    Oxford grad myself – successful in business before I came to NZ and more successful here

    I made a lifestyle and not monetary choice – I rate kiwis higher than poms because they are better people

    you just show your own inability to carry an argument by your approach

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  65. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Quite so HB. Out with all this new thinking. Lets get back to the good old days where teachers were accountable only to their union and none of them could be sacked, even if they were useless. …..Wait a minute..!

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  66. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    What college?

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  67. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    New

    and no I am not an upper class twit – I am working class background – Anfield – Liverpool

    looking forward to the FA Cup tonight

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  68. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Aye lad. I’ll believe you. You were too quick to look anything oop.

    Rugby is a far more skilled game though! :)

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  69. HB (301 comments) says:

    thanks for putting words in my mouth Johnboy.
    shame you f’d it up!
    I’m guessing you are a stanine 2 for reading comprehension.

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  70. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    so JB – you obviously play the man

    how about answering an argument rather than standard personal insults

    you do appear to exhibit many trolling characteristics

    doing this while playing a nerd game travian, watching the chiefs and talking to mrs so apologies about any spelling mistakes that you may be forced to latch on to rather than discussing the actual issues

    oop? not perhaps an example of the NZ educational system are you ? lol

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  71. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    @Anthony

    Of course there are dud teachers. It’s the job of the principals to identify them and root them out. Believe me, these teachers are not protected by the law unless they suck the bosses prick (or female equivalent, literally or metaphorically).

    But that has nothing to do with performance pay.

    Performance pay is good, but there are problems implementing the ideal.

    I must say, I thought Hekia Parata sounded very sensible in her musings on that issue, and I’m interested to see what she comes up with.

    If Banks goes, as he should, she may well surprise us all!

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  72. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    Back to the PISA report – did a bit more reading

    It looks like it is a measure of how easy educational qualifications are rather than how well educated we are

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  73. Anthony (789 comments) says:

    Luc, I totally agree it’s the principal’s job to get rid of dud teachers, but it is very difficult under the current rules – a principal I knew told me as much once so it’s not just conjecture on my part.

    I agree with some worker protection but there is whole performance management procedure to go through, and when it’s something as important as teaching I don’t think it’s acceptable to give dud teachers numerous chances to improve. Fixed term contracts seems the easiest cure to the problem.

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  74. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    slijmbal

    You are pulling our tits to suit your ideology, methinks.

    They survey 15 year olds, randomly, across many countries.

    You can go to their website and read their methodology. They do a trial (in progress, currently) before enacting the survey proper.

    I’m interested in a serious critique of their methodology, but it appears to be well respected in all worlds.

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  75. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    @Anthony

    Through a close friend, a person I often refer to as my education advisor, I have seen how easy it is for principals to force teachers out, especially females, and including the good ones who won’t do sycophancy.

    Why fixed term for teachers and not the general population, pray tell?

    Unless you are like DPF and just hate teachers and unions.

    Brrr…my next banning can’t be far away! :-)

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  76. Steve (4,538 comments) says:

    “Through a close friend, a person I often refer to as my education advisor”
    That has to be ‘Mellie’ aka Trevor.
    Full moon is tomorrow night Luc

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  77. Elaycee (4,349 comments) says:

    Jesus wept Mellie – you ignore the findings of an Inter Party Group that had no vested interest apart from identifying the problem so a solution could be found, but instead you parrot the politicised opinions of union based propagandists??

    Oh dear…. [gulp] Best give Luc a call… you can have a meeting in a phone box.

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  78. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Interparty…

    and not an expert in sight.

    Good one, LAC.

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  79. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Mellie sure gave Elaycee a good kicking.

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  80. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I am in awe of this:

    The findings of the Herald-Digipoll survey should provide the requisite backbone for politicians of all shades.

    But when the findings of another Herald-Digipoll survey provides the requisite backbone for politicians of all shades to reject asset sales…

    Oh, hang on…

    God, the public are so fuckin’ dumb!

    Have I got that right, DPF?

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  81. Elaycee (4,349 comments) says:

    milkmilo: “Mellie sure gave Elaycee a good kicking.”

    Bwahahaaaaaaaaaaa… Only in your dreams.

    You blindly support anything spouted by the likes of the PPTA / PSA / NZEI. Clearly you worked within the union ‘brotherhood’ for too long – blind ideology has overtaken pragmatism. Sad really, because you ignore what is best for our kids: a long overdue lift in education standards. Status quo, is not an option.

    Like it or not, performance pay is just one element of the medicine required – poor teachers should be kicked to touch and the best teachers should be rewarded for outstanding contributions. Hiding poor teacher performance behind a union card, is a bloody disgrace. But if you’re a card carrying socialist, the desire to shelter the lowest common denominator / the love of union based collectives and everything bad that hangs off that principle, overrides the logic of doing what is right for our kids.

    Keep taking the pills. I think your blood pressure is soon to take a hit!

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  82. Elaycee (4,349 comments) says:

    Luc: “Interparty… and not an expert in sight.”

    ‘Interparty’ means that there were representatives from various political parties looking at the problems within our education system. Their views (and their Report) is far more balanced than the screeching we hear from the unions and parroted by the blind left on KB.

    Surely you’d have to agree with that…… the unions can hardly be described as ‘expert’ – not even by you!

    Surely not???

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  83. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    The supporters of ‘performance pay’ need to get specific. What is so desperately wrong with NZ’s low-cost, high-performance model of education that requires change? How will ‘performance pay’ make a difference. They need to come up with more than slogans about teacher unions or myths about poor outcomes.

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  84. Ross12 (1,367 comments) says:

    Luc Hansen
    At the top of the thread you refer to Management Units being a form of performance pay. You are right to some extent but the problem is we should not want every very good teacher leaving the classroom ( that’s what happens with promotion to management positions. I know it is not total removal from the classroom , but it is alot less contact time ). So a system needs to be created to incentivise brilliant teachers to stay in the classroom but not be disadvantaged from a financial point of view. I know plenty of teachers that would prefer to stay with the kids instead of taking on “management” admin work.
    It could also be a case that some brilliant teachers are not necessarily good management material.

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  85. Paulus (2,589 comments) says:

    As a Marsden two generation afficionado the answer is that the Quality of teacher is the primary requirement in their selection of teachers.

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  86. bc (1,360 comments) says:

    Elaycee, you can bwhaaaaaa as much as you want (crying?), but you got served!!

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  87. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    What is so desperately wrong with NZ’s low-cost, high-performance model of education that requires change?

    Plenty. For start if we teach kids that the pursuit of excellence is admirable, then the teaching profession should aspire to, and embrace change en route to higher levels of excellece. Secondly, kids will emerge into a world in which they’ll experience rapid and unrelenting change. The school system, and particularly teachers, should model a willingness to accept or create change to offer kids new and different opportunities. Thirdly, and more directly related to your ‘What is so desperately wrong’ question – read my 6:56 post above: Useless teachers should not be paid the same as stars, and vice versa.

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  88. bc (1,360 comments) says:

    The thing is krazykiwi, why would any “bright young thing” want to become a teacher?
    1) Teachers pay in NZ is terrible for the amount of workload and responsibility they have.
    2) Teacher bashing is a national past-time in New Zealand. This blog is a classic example.
    3) Education and learning is not valued in this country. The sole purpose of learning is to get a job, academics are to be feared/mistrusted. Again, case in point is this blog.
    So why would a ‘superstar” graduate even want to contemplate teaching?

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  89. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    bc, I guess because some bright young things love to teach… and as has been pointed out before pay is not the only driver. Mrs KK was a case and point.

    c.f above:.
    1. Do you have any international benchmarking to back this up? I’d be interested to see average teacher salaries as a percentage of average wages across comparable countries. My belief is that NZ teachers are quite well paid on a PPP basis.

    2. I don’t apoligise for sticking the boot into useless teaching or, importantly, the Victorian-era unions who defend those who hold our next generation back. There are plenty of great teachers in our system, and we need mechanisms to reward them just as we need mechanisms to dismiss the useless ones. I have quite a bit of insided knowledge here, so not basing these suggestions on the blog comments of others

    3. In a system where socialised education must be paid for from taxation, and taxation is raised from a productive economy it’s not surprising that a primary focus of eduction is helping the recipient get a job that will in tern help generate tax revenue. If education were entirely privately funded then recipients could choose themselves, instead of having the state do it for them.

    As to your superstar question, I’d suggest that it’s a problem we need really, really to solve. Performance based pay is probably one of the more critical missing elements.

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  90. Psycho Milt (2,401 comments) says:

    The evidence is clear that the ability of a teacher to connect with their students has more influence on educational outcomes than any other factor such as class size, school, poverty etc.

    I see what you did there – very smooth. The evidence does indeed show teacher quality is more important than class sizes or schools, so why not just slip “poverty” in there as well? Maybe no-one will notice. Yeah, except they do. What the evidence actually shows is that socio-economic status is way more important than any of the others in determining educational outcomes – but of course, poverty’s not something the govt even wants to acknowledge exists, let alone be expected to do something about…

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  91. bc (1,360 comments) says:

    krazykiwi
    1) http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/teachers-salaries_teachsal-table-en
    Exactly what you asked for. New Zealand is 24th out of 35 – time to change your beliefs :)
    Mexico is ahead of us for gods sake – Mexico!!
    You will also notice that Australia is number 1. Yep australian teachers are the best paid relative to other countries. So the message is clear to our teaching graduates – you want to be recognised finacially for what you do, then hop across the ditch.
    2) Do you really think the government is going to use performance pay to pay top dollar to our ‘best’ teachers? (however you define those ‘best’ teachers – that’s a whole other can of worms). I’m not a gambling man but I’d happily wager that the government will use performance pay as a cost-cutting measure.
    3) Learning for the sole benefit of getting a jog is short sighted. If we are really serious about increasing productivity and economic growth, we need to encorage university students to do post-graduate study. Not cut off their student loans. And put more money into R & D.

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  92. bc (1,360 comments) says:

    On the positive side Hekia Parata has admitted that performance pay for teachers is not as easy as she first thought. She has even said teachers working under a collaborative rather than a competitive model is in the best interests of students.
    She seems to be at least listening to people that work in the field, and willing to be open to ideas.
    Whether she implements these ideas is another story but it is a pleasing improvement over Tolley who must have been one of the worst Education ministers in some time. You could of excused her ignorance (at first) except that she was unwilling to learn on the job.

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  93. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    just googled teacher pay in NZ

    damn site more than the average grad at starting point but pretty crappy top end pay.

    Weird – trying to work through the consequences of such an approach – implies would not attract high performers unless they are motivated by the social aspect (which should not be underestimated look at nurses as an example) but would attract those looking for a decentish level of pay who aren’t mr or ms overperformer.

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  94. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    “but would attract those looking for a decentish level of pay who aren’t mr or ms overperformer.”

    Ah the glory of an Oxford Edupommimication!!! :)

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  95. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    @JB

    envy is the worst of vices

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  96. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Aye lad. I do envy your lack of communication skills.

    Wish’t I’d been born a Pom. I could have been as dumb and arrogant as you! :)

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  97. Mellie (39 comments) says:

    @Elaycee
    “you ignore the findings of an Inter Party Group that had no vested interest apart from identifying the problem so a solution could be found, but instead you parrot the politicised opinions of union based propagandists??.”

    The research quoted in my reply is from PISA the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, NOT the union.

    Unlike your ‘report’ and I use that term loosely ;), which is the product of a political group made up of only Act, National and Maori party politicians. Even if it included Labour, the Greens and the Mana party it would still be a political document.

    I am wondering what planet you are on if you are truly trying to assert that a political group such as those listed is in any way comparable to the PISA report.

    The PISA report is NOT A UNION document – I’ll repeat that again so that you can be really clear…. despite the fact it makes a farce of your propoganda – it is NOTHING to do with the unions.

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  98. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    The reason teachers aren’t great is not hard to find. Back in the day there weren’t that many jobs that required a tertiary education. The Department of Education had a better pool to pick from. Now that the proportion of NZers in tertiary is much much higher, the better students go elsewhere because the money in teaching is not great and the hassles have increased. In short, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. By all means introduce performance pay, but it will be a waste of time unless sufficient monies are committed so as to attract better students into teacher training.

    But even if you made the teachers better, I doubt that it would fix much. Many secondary students are not educable. They have troubled home lives that better teachers can do nothing about. I have no idea what can be done about this, but I suspect the answer is “nothing”.

    Lastly, much if the whining about education is deluded middle class people who think that better teachers will somehow be able to fix the genetic stupidity of their children. You can hide it, disguise it and avoid it, but you can’t cure stupidity. Vast sums of public and private money are spent on trying to avoid this fact. Case in point: when I was at school the gifted program numbered less than 2% of the student body. Now loads of kids are in it. Not because of an explosion in giftedness, but to assuage ambitious parents.

    Mark my words. We will have performance pay, and it will accomplish very little.

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  99. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/soc_glance-2008-en/05/07/index.html?contentType=&itemId=/content/chapter/soc_glance-2008-15-en&containerItemId=/content/serial/19991290&accessItemIds=/content/book/soc_glance-2008-en&mimeType=text/html

    the implication of this (single report so don’t read too much in to it) is that NZ is a top spender in relation to GDP for educational spend

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  100. bc (1,360 comments) says:

    Tom @ 5.51pm
    I disagree with your first sentence – all my daughters teachers have been wonderful. But the rest of your post I suspect is spot on and closer to the truth than many people would like to admit.
    Especially the last sentence.

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  101. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    bc – thanks for the link. when i open it (iPad), the NZ row has no values. every other country is populated. Odd. I’ll have another look on a ‘real’ computer tomorrow.

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  102. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Tom meet Slime. Slime meet bc. bc meet Tom.

    All together now. Jerk away! :)

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  103. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    “I disagree with your first sentence – all my daughters teachers have been wonderful.”

    I’m not saying that the current lot are horrible. Just that they aren’t as good on average as those in the past due to expanded options. There was an article some years ago on the 7th form class at the local school in my home town. All of them became either doctors, university professors or teachers. Everyone else had already left school.

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  104. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    “Wish’t I’d been born a Pom. I could have been as dumb and arrogant as you!”

    If he’s not posh and got into Oxbridge, he almost certainly cannot be “dumb”, although he might be arrogant (I’m basing this on the many Oxbridge grads I’ve known).

    We don’t have elite universities in New Zealand and we have a very soft admissions regime, so it’s no surprise you missed his point.

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  105. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Never missed a thing old chap.

    Just don’t like the guy! :)

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  106. Elaycee (4,349 comments) says:

    Of course Mellie – you must be right. The massive number of failures as a result of our education system are merely a fiction of my imagination. By the way, would you like to buy a bridge?

    Rather then read the crap circulated by the NZEI et al, I value the opinion of someone who knows what they’re talking about – Massey University College of Education Pro Vice-Chancellor, James Chapman:

    “Young New Zealanders are being failed by the education system with half of school leavers lacking essential literacy skills, a prominent education professor says….. The survey revealed about 45 per cent of New Zealand adults lacked essential reading and writing skills… The youngest adults in the survey, those aged 16 to 24, declined in literacy levels compared to 1996″. He is quoted here:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/4841267/School-leavers-lack-basic-literacy-skills

    Now you may still think that these failure numbers are OK, Mellie, but I think they are a bloody disgrace. And you can cite all the text you want from an OECD report or from NZEI material, but I prefer the opinion of someone who has actually done the digging to find the truth. In fact, Prof Chapman has been pointing out the failures in our education system for nearly a decade – from Scoop (Parliament) back in 2003: “The fact that Massey University reading expert, James Chapman, has described as “disastrous” the plummet in our literacy position – from first in 1970 to 13th out of 36 countries – shows how out of touch Mr Mallard is.”

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0304/S00210.htm

    And are you aware that Professor Chapman writes for the NZ Journal for Educational Studies? And that the teacher unions refer to his work when it suits?

    Nah – thought not.

    Now, isn’t it time you went back to your homework?

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  107. Elaycee (4,349 comments) says:

    Bugger. Edit didn’t work properly… Earlier post (7.55pm) should read: “…are merely a figment of my imagination… ”

    Educated people would recognise this was a typo…. :D

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  108. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Lucky I wasn’t looking then! :)

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  109. Elaycee (4,349 comments) says:

    Did you manage to catch up and have a beer with Quacker at the tavern over the weekend, Johnboy?

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  110. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    Never drink at the “Slashers Arms” Elaycee.

    Specially in the company of low-life shit! :)

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  111. Elaycee (4,349 comments) says:

    Wow. It must have moved ‘up market’. I recall it being called the Flying Jug! :D

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  112. Johnboy (15,876 comments) says:

    That was before the Mongies and the Blackies fronted up to each other and one of them scored an own goal and near chopped his buddies arm off while waving his implement around.

    That was bloody years ago. You’ve been gone a long time!

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  113. Elaycee (4,349 comments) says:

    I have, Johnboy. But it seems like…. just a few years ago. I can actually remember Wainui being referred to as ‘Nappy Valley’…

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  114. slijmbal (1,229 comments) says:

    @TJ -“although he might be arrogant (I’m basing this on the many Oxbridge grads I’ve known)”

    must agree on Oxbridge – the level of general arrogance was pretty impressive

    oddly enough this did not come from Eton, Winchester or similar top public school students as one needed lots of dosh AND to be quite smart to get in to these top public schools. It came generally from the lesser public schools – overcompensation and one of the consequences of a class system that is slowly being eroded. Similarly it did not come from urban students from non public (non private) schools who studied there.

    Most impressive admission was a guy from Kirkby comprehensive – the worst possible area in Liverpool regarding all the standard measures – crime, unemployment etc. Makes the worst of NZ look like a holiday. Shame he was an Everton supporter otherwise we might have got on.

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  115. Joseph Carpenter (213 comments) says:

    Mellie is dishonest. Under the PISA system level-3 (out of 7 levels) is the bottom end of lower average and considered functional literacy, level-2 or lower is classified sub-literate or functional illiteracy. Under the last PISA (2009) for reading in NZ 14% scored level-1B or lower, 34% scored level-2 or lower.

    And don’t forget this NZ’s best PISA subject (and our own Min of Ed “Main Focus”, numeracy and science comprehension being considered “Minor Focus”/”Secondary considerations only”) and tests for reading comprehension only – no other facet of literacy or language at all. And PISA is self selecting – it tests only 15.25-16.25 year olds, who are in school, and who submitted to undergo the testing, and despite all this we had 34% scoring level-2 or lower. The reason our average is so high is because we also have so very many scoring at the top end (level-4+) counteracting the bottom tail (in another words we have an exceptionally wide range of results).

    And to quote the Min of Ed summary itself, it’s true that: “Close to one in six New Zealand students were top performing readers.” It’s also true that: “The proportion of New Zealand students with a low level of reading proficiency was similar to that in two high performing countries, but the other two high performing countries and the four top-performing countries showed much smaller proportions.”. We do have a real problem with the bottom end.

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