So selfish

June 24th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Jody O’Callaghan at Stuff reports:

Meanwhile, teacher unions have launched a campaign to boycott the trial of a computerised assessment tool.

This is a tool designed to mitigate the very issue that some critics of national standards have complained about – inconsistent moderation. A computerised tool to guide teachers (not force, it just suggests where a student is at) seems like a no brainer.

It could be used to introduce that could see teachers paid according to their pupils’ achievement levels.

So this is what is really motivating them? They will boycott a tool that will improve assessment of pupils, purely because it could be used one day to introduce performance pay.

Is that not the most selfish thing you’ve seen?

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26 Responses to “So selfish”

  1. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    Actually a more selfish thing I have seen from them is to undermine pupils’ learning by taking strike/stop work action, but this is a very close second.

    If their rationale is over performance pay, then they are very clearly saying that they see their role as protecting under performers. At the expense of their other members, as well as the students.

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  2. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    Why are you so surprised DPF. For decades the Teachers Unions have been all about the teachers nobody else. As far as they are concerned the students and their parents are just an inconvenience to be tolerated.

    The Unions are all about ensuring the Dismal Desmonds get protected from being found out that they are useless teachers and get paid the same as the Brilliant Brendas.

    They are stuck in the 19th Century and must be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century if the students are to be given the education they and their parents deserve.

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  3. JeffW (303 comments) says:

    In the long term, government needs to get out of the provision of education services (note I did not say out of the funding of education). This is the only long term solution to a monopoly provision and monopoly supply situation that allows unions to retain power.

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  4. YesWeDid (1,003 comments) says:

    The treasury paper linked to from the NZEI site makes it very clear that National Standards and the PaCT assessment tool is about monitoring the performance of teachers with the aim of introducing performance pay.

    The link is here: http://www.nzei.org.nz/documents/email/PaCT-Treasury-Report.pdf

    My view is that done properly National Standards could be good, however they should not be compulsory, if schools think they will add value they will implement them, this should be a decision for individual school boards and should reflect parents wishes.

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  5. dave (985 comments) says:

    Is that not the most selfish thing you’ve seen?

    No, not as bad as the Government deciding to pass the recent law with regards to caregivers, purely because caregivers could one day wish to challenge an unjust law through the courts.

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  6. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    this should be a decision for individual school boards and should reflect parents wishes.

    It is not for Boards of Trustees to determine what should be taught, and how, in our public school system. Nor how it should be measured.

    Not morally, and it certainly isn’t legally.

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  7. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    Is that not the most selfish thing you’ve seen?

    Compared to the way that various people supported the changes to S59, which makes parenting almost impossible within the law, I’d say it barely registers. I note that some of the strongest supporters were people who had already had had their children and were using it to assuage their guilt.

    Oh, and then there’s the “the law is working as intended” line. That one is always a crack-up.

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  8. EmmaChisit (18 comments) says:

    The curse of human nature.
    Generally speaking we humans(yes that includes teachers who are generally lovely people) are cautious of anything that may have an impact on our personal circumstances (read income).
    Therefore it is not surprising at all that their union would want to boycott a system that may well bring a paydrop to a number of their members.
    Dear reader, ask yourself if you be ”on the case” if your income was threatened by some proposal or other.

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  9. dave (985 comments) says:

    They will boycott a tool that *will* improve assessment of pupils

    How will this tool improve assessment of pupils. Do tell.

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  10. Psycho Milt (1,982 comments) says:

    Actually, the most selfish thing I’ve seen to do with schools lately was the report yesterday that people with kids in the fancier private schools are gaming special needs funding to the point where 24% of Kings’ College NCEA students are “special needs.” They’re pretty fucking special alright.

    As to what’s motivating teachers to block the government’s National Standards antics, yes it’s exactly the fact that the government’s aims are union-busting and undermining the public school system. Any selfishness by the teachers on this issue is more than matched by that of the government’s MPs. If the government one day does discover an interest in actually implementing a national standards system, it could always try consulting with the people who do the work as a first step – it’s amazing how much easier it is to make progress if you do that.

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  11. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    “Generally speaking we humans(yes that includes teachers who are generally lovely people) are cautious of anything that may have an impact on our personal circumstances (read income).”

    umm generally lovely people? really?

    “Dear reader, ask yourself if you be ”on the case” if your income was threatened by some proposal or other.”

    you mean imagine if we were to be paid on performance? oh the humanity. I am paid on performance. its called bottom line profit. most people are.

    the fact that we dont rate the people in charge of teaching our kids blows my mind. some of the shittiest jobs in the world come with performance pay, performance reviews.. but the job of teaching our kids doesnt? WTF??

    sit back and think about that for a while.

    and trust me, there are some GARBAGE teachers out there. THOUSANDS of them.

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  12. david (2,482 comments) says:

    And it is only a week since some millions were allocated to performance pay for teachers. I didn’t hear any whingeing about that! Hypocrisy much !!!!!!

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  13. doggone7 (492 comments) says:

    JeffW: “In the long term, government needs to get out of the provision of education services. This is the only long term solution to a monopoly provision and monopoly supply situation that allows unions to retain power.”

    YesWeDid; “… a decision for individual school boards and should reflect parents wishes.”

    So do we get the government out of it and leave it up to communities?

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  14. Samuel Smith (266 comments) says:

    Teacher union or teacher unions?

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  15. Andronicus (185 comments) says:

    Student achievement levels aren’t necessarily a test of teacher performance.

    You can have a class of smart, dedicated, motivated pupils who will produce top results even if their teacher is pretty ordinary.

    On the other hand an outstanding teacher can get below average results from an unmotivated, dull bunch of kids even though she is both able and competent.

    Measuring teacher performance is a mine field and I don’t blame the teachers for not wanting a bar of it.

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  16. JeffW (303 comments) says:

    Doggone 7: “So do we get the government out of it and leave it up to communities?”

    Let the private sector be the provider.

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  17. doggone7 (492 comments) says:

    Andronicus

    Are you suggesting that it’s difficult to work out whether a teacher with a good class who gets the kids’ average marks to move up 1% from 93% is doing a better job than one who gets a slow class to move from 32% to 39%? And how they compare to one whose class moves from 60% to 68 but whose kids also learned to stand in front of a group of adults and articulate their success and what they need to do next and how, to keep progressing? Or the class where the levels did not fall or rise but everyone found out about the two recalcitrant, violent kids in their midst?

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  18. Sidey (231 comments) says:

    Yes Andronicus, brilliant idea. Lets give all teachers guaranteed lifetime tenure with no measuring standards the instant they graduate.

    Wait, hang on… presumably during their training they are assessed by various means? You know, tests, assignments, exams. Measuring performance I guess you call it. Oh the humanity! After all that measuring of performance, it must be hell on earth to expect ongoing measuring!

    Can’t we all just take their word for it that no teacher, anywhere, anytime, has ever had any performance issues? Remember comrades, this is about a job for life, not being accountable. Get with the program, or it’s off to the gulag with you for some re-education (but wait again, wouldn’t that indicate some measuring was done to determine that said enemy of the people needed “realignment of their collective thoughts”?

    If there are any non-teachers here who are against performance measuring for our teachers, please do share your occupation which clearly has no measuring of performance at all. I’m willing to bet there aren’t many jobs like that around, but stand to be corrected.

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  19. dave (985 comments) says:

    I’m willing to bet there aren’t many jobs like that around

    Apart from the public sector, the sex industry, the clergy, local and central govt employees, cleaners etc etc etc … all whom do their jobs and have no performance measures.

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  20. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    “the sex industry” – no performance measures? are you serious?

    maybe the self employed streetwalkers..

    cleaners dont have performance measures??

    “hey look, my workplace is a fucking mess. ah well, better pay that cleaner invoice”

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  21. doggone7 (492 comments) says:

    Sidey

    Go to the school your kids attend and ask the principal if there are performance assessment systems for the teachers and the other staff. Ask her/him how many of the THOUSANDS of GARBAGE teachers they have and what they’re doing about it.

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  22. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    No..selfish was probably not the best choice of word..If Red was around he would be able to come up with a few choice adjectives or perhaps seven or eight of them.

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  23. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    dave, the public sector is obssessed with performance measures. This is not the 1950′s

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  24. Bad__Cat (117 comments) says:

    Imagine any other industry where the employer introduces new software, and the employees say “I’m not going to use that because it might show I’m producing less than my workmates”

    It would be: “Here’s your final pay – do you want a reference with that?”

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  25. lilman (673 comments) says:

    Bulk Fund these Teachers and make them accountable to their communities.
    Cant believe the gaul of this rabble and the Principals need their arses handed to them.
    I work for a boss ,when he askes me to do something ,I DO IT!!!!!
    If I dont want to I can do what ever other worker in New Zealand can do and get another job.
    They bleat on about the kids,what a crock of shit.
    Its about them,it always is and it always will be.

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  26. Andronicus (185 comments) says:

    Yes, doggone7, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting. You would have to know the classes very well AND spend time observing the teachers.

    Sidey, I have no inkling of what you are on about. The only idea I have put forward is how difficult it would be to judge teacher performance.

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