Should deciles go?

September 17th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Parents’ misuse of decile ratings has inflamed racial and social class stigma in schools, sparking a call for a major overhaul of the funding system, a new report claims.

The Post Primary Teachers’ Association () paper, produced for the union’s annual conference next month, outlines several criticisms of the decile system.

It recommends a new model in which each school is funded based on an individual socio-economic profile, rather than a decile number.

That sounds well worth considering. You need a funding formula of some sort, but the have become a simplistic proxy for quality – which they are not.

The different in funding by decile is huge:

The decile funding examples below are based on a secondary school with a roll of 1000.

Decile 1: $979,884.69

Decile 2: $699,354.69

Decile 3: $435,034.69

Decile 4: $266,984.69

Decile 8: $107,354.69

Decile 9: $85,324.69

Decile 10: $52,734.69–

But note that this is only around 13% of their operational funding. However it does mean that a decile 10 school need to fund-raise an additional $920,000 or $920 per pupil to get the same funding as a decile 1 school.

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53 Responses to “Should deciles go?”

  1. Nigel Kearney (747 comments) says:

    They are a simplistic proxy for the values and quality of parenting the kids in each school are likely to be exposed to. The ones your kid will be mixing with and who will inevitably affect the level at which teaching is directed. Though parents can easily work this out in other ways – deciles are just convenient.

    But the extra funding doesn’t enable better education since it can’t be used to pay teachers more and therefore get better ones. An extra $1000 per student per year applied to salaries could really do something.

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  2. swan (651 comments) says:

    This is nonsense. The PPTA is not concerned that the funding formula is wrong, just that it is transparent, and that parents cant be trusted with the information. If parents want to use the decile numbers to infer other things, rightly or wrongly, it is not a reason to change the funding system. It seems that the PPTA just wants something more opaque rather than worrying about an appropriate distribution of funding.

    I think a simple system has merit, as it has less overhead in terms of administration, and it means schools cant/wont try to massage things to get the best outcome (as would inevitably happen with a more complex system).

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  3. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    However it does mean that a decile 10 school need to fund-raise an additional $920,000 or $920 per pupil to get the same funding as a decile 10 school.

    Surly the point is that decile 10 schools don’t need the same level of funding?

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  4. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    “That sounds well worth considering. You need a funding formula of some sort, but the deciles have become a simplistic proxy for quality – which they are not.”

    Im going to go out on a limb here and suggest that a decile 10 school is better than a decile 2…

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  5. flipper (3,266 comments) says:

    …***…But note that this is only around 13% of their operational funding. However it does mean that a decile 10 school need[s] to fund-raise an additional $920,000 or $920 per pupil to get the same funding as a decile 10[1] school. ***

    Small correction of a cat’s paw typo ???

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  6. doggone7 (487 comments) says:

    A funding formula of some sort is needed but there will always be simplistic proxies for quality because people don’t want their kids to mix with the riff-raff. Even if kids are achieving outstandingly in a low decile school some parents blinded by snobbery will not want their kids there.

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  7. doggone7 (487 comments) says:

    dime: “Im going to go out on a limb here and suggest that a decile 10 school is better than a decile 2…”

    In what ways and why?

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  8. Redbaiter (6,464 comments) says:

    Results are not related to dollars spent. The whole thing is ridiculously illogical and the kind of farce that can only happen under the kind of govt/ union alliance that controls schooling in NZ.

    Privatize education and start educating children.

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  9. doggone7 (487 comments) says:

    Redbaiter: Children are being educated.

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  10. leftyliberal (597 comments) says:

    “This is nonsense. The PPTA is not concerned that the funding formula is wrong, just that it is transparent, and that parents cant be trusted with the information. If parents want to use the decile numbers to infer other things, rightly or wrongly, it is not a reason to change the funding system. It seems that the PPTA just wants something more opaque rather than worrying about an appropriate distribution of funding.”

    I don’t see any evidence that the PPTA is concerned that the funding formula is transparent and wanting something more opaque. Rather, they’re concerned that the basis for the funding formula is being interpreted as a measure of quality inappropriately, and are suggesting that an alternate funding formula may not suffer from the same problem.

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  11. Than (368 comments) says:

    Parents very much want to send their children to good schools – any metric that replaced deciles would be misused in exactly the same way. The only way to prevent this from happening is to restrict or remove the right of parents to chose their child’s school, as we already do with zoning.

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  12. chris (460 comments) says:

    @scrubone

    Surly the point is that decile 10 schools don’t need the same level of funding?

    I would think the expenses all school face are relatively similar, no matter what the socio-economic conditions are in the area.

    I’ve always assumed the decile funding system was put in place because the Government thinks it doesn’t need to fund schools in richer areas as well as in poorer area, because the capacity for people to pay additional “donations” and fundraise is greater in richer areas.

    The thing that pisses me off, with my kids at a decile 10 school, is that they don’t get funded as well so we have to fundraise, pay higher school “donations” and the like, all the while paying a lot more taxes than those at the lower decile schools that do get funded better. So we’re hit, as usual, multiple times to get the same service.

    @redbaiter

    Privatize education

    My sister’s kids go to a private school, and not only do they pay through the nose for the school fees alone, they’re always being hit up for more charges here there and everywhere, and expected to fundraise in much the same way we do at our public school.

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  13. peterwn (2,932 comments) says:

    Every year (or more often) a minority of parents moan about school ‘donations’ saying that state education should be free – blah blah blah. Ministry officials and the Minister (either party) make noises that schools must operate within the law, etc and that is far as it goes. This is pretty well forced on to schools by decile based funding and the vast majority of parents of kids at high decile schools just cough up, rather than put in long hours of fund raising.

    So it seems that if an Education Minister wants to get serious about outlawing such ‘donations’ he or she would need to boost funding of decile 10 schools. Even Trevor Mallard was not prepared to go that far.

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  14. swan (651 comments) says:

    leftyliberal,

    What business is it of the PPTA what parents do with such information? The actual methodology used in determining the decile for a school is widely available, so there is no argument that parents are somehow being misinformed.

    You could make similar arguments that, for example, parents should not be told of who the principal or teachers are at a school for fear they may misuse the information.

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  15. Weihana (4,475 comments) says:

    Nigel Kearney (466) Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 9:14 am

    But the extra funding doesn’t enable better education since it can’t be used to pay teachers more and therefore get better ones. An extra $1000 per student per year applied to salaries could really do something.

    While not opposed to performance based incentives, I do note that when I was at school if I brought home a bad report card my parents would not ponder what the teacher was doing wrong, they would question why I was not making enough effort.

    I think better education starts with an individual who is motivated to learn. That may involve having access to the resources and teaching talent that makes learning genuinely interesting, but it may also involve having the parents instill at least a little discipline and expectation on their child.

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  16. Alan Wilkinson (1,798 comments) says:

    “You need a funding formula of some sort, but the deciles have become a simplistic proxy for quality – which they are not.”

    That’s a truly pathetically vacuous argument, David. I presume the PPTA makes some sort of case for a funding change but you certainly haven’t. The decile system is supposed to represent the individual aggregate socio-economic profile of the school. If it doesn’t, we need some evidence first that it doesn’t, and second that some alternative is going to be better. You produce no such evidence.

    Likewise, the fact that the overall profile which generates funding is then assumed by the public to indicate the quality of the school will not change whatever computation is used to generate that profile. Total logic fail on your part.

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  17. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    doggone – decile 10. better facilities/activities. better parents. better behaved kids.

    im sure if we saw test results, better results.

    now off you go.. tell me im wrong. reference “judy the solo mum” who is doing a great job blah blah

    im talking overall.

    decile 10 takapuna has better schools then decile 1 otara.

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  18. SGA (510 comments) says:

    Weihana at 9:45 am
    … but it may also involve having the parents instill at least a little discipline and expectation on their child.

    At one parent/teacher meeting a few years ago, the teacher observed in passing that the parents who turned up for such events were usually the one’s that they needed to talk to the least.

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  19. Flyer (20 comments) says:

    Most of the funding for schools seems unnecessarily complicated – just have a look at the number of factors that go into calculating the school’s operations grant.
    http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEducation/EducationPolicies/Schools/SchoolOperations/Resourcing/ResourcingHandbook/Chapter1/OverviewOperationalFundingComponents.aspx

    It seems to me that there is a correlation between the decile rating and the size of the school – small country schools tend to be a lower decile than large urban schools. Why not use some of the funding to increase the base funding for smaller schools and then allocate the rest based on the needs of specific children? It may increase bureaucracy but a lot of that is already in place for Special Needs, Behavioural grants, English as a Second Language, RTLB and other programs.

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  20. leftyliberal (597 comments) says:

    “What business is it of the PPTA what parents do with such information?”

    If the information is being misused, then arguing for an alternate funding model that may not be misused in the same way seems reasonable. Any such alternate funding model need not be opaque.

    You accused the PPTA of favouring opaqueness. There is no evidence of this.

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  21. doggone7 (487 comments) says:

    dime

    You forgot some bits where the low decile ones are better: Better chance of having kids from very low income homes, better chance of kids coming from homes with dealings with the law, better chance of kids not being tended when ill or injured, better chance of truancy, better chance of having transient kids having been at multiple schools, better chance of having kids who didn’t attend pre-school facilities, better chance of having low academic results, better chance of having kids leaving school without qualifications, better chance of having teachers getting it in the neck with idiotic comments suggesting they start educating children.

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  22. swan (651 comments) says:

    leftyliberal,

    What evidence do they have it is being misused? Information is interpreted in unintended on a daily basis by people. Does that equate to misuse? I am sure the parents themselves believe they are not misusing it. What rationale is there for thinking that a different funding system will be less misused, other than that it wont be easily understood by the populace (I ranking from 1 to 10 is easy to understand you see).

    I dont think changing a system because a third party uses the information to make free choices about their lives that someone else doesnt approve of, is reasonable.

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  23. Camryn (549 comments) says:

    Weihana – As I understand from a teacher in my family, it’s very hard to actually produce a report card that any parent would recognize as “bad”. So, perhaps even some of those parents who would be inclined to take some responsibility for their child’s performance and apply some parenting aren’t getting a clear enough message that they need to do so. My relative receives a language guidance document before she writes her reports and the principal also checks the language and requires correction of anything deemed not to be “positive”. Even comments like “Jimmy has a natural talent for the subject but needs to more consistently pay attention in class and make more effort to contribute to class discussions” are not positive enough. It has to be like “Jimmy’s success in the subject will be driven by both his natural talent and by diligence and hard work”. Basically a platitude spelling out the formula for success. The only way you could get close to what the teacher really wants to say is making the leap to realizing that the teacher wouldn’t need to give you the formula for success if the child was already applying it.

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  24. wreck1080 (3,522 comments) says:

    Much of the school experience is about your peers and role models. Not just the school funding calculations.

    I had a friend who purposefully enrolled their kid to a dec-1 school for philosophical reasons. If you want your kid becoming friends with children of unemployed, criminals, and drug abusers, then, you up the chances of this happening by choosing decile 1 schools.

    My friends decided to the hell with their philosophy and moved their child to another school.

    There you go.

    Decile rating is a major determining factor for most educated people. The poor do not have much choice as school decile rating and house prices are correlated.

    I do see the downside in that we end up with socio-economic segregation and the long term consequences of that are not nice. But, it’s human nature right?

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  25. SGA (510 comments) says:

    @Camryn at 10:21 am
    Actually I’ve received a few of the style “XXX has a natural talent for the subject but needs to more consistently pay attention in class and make more effort to contribute to class discussions” over the years (except for the last bit – usually it’s about getting distracted or distracting others).

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  26. Camryn (549 comments) says:

    Yeah, my relative’s school (well, principal) probably is at an extreme.

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  27. leftyliberal (597 comments) says:

    swan: Now that’s an argument that makes sense. Instead of a strawman, you’re now a little more focused on something that needs expounding upon.

    It is clear that the decile system is used as a proxy for quality, where that is not the designed remit. Would another system also suffer the same fate? Would another system provide a more equitable funding basis? This is what the discussion paper is about.

    It’s available here: http://ppta.org.nz/index.php/annual-conference/conference-papers/doc_download/1669-a-hierarchy-of-inequality–the-decile-divide

    And builds on this one: http://ppta.org.nz/index.php/annual-conference/conference-papers/doc_download/1501-a-level-playing-field-the-importance-of-local-funding-in-financing-secondary-schools-to-meet-

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  28. theothephilosopher (2 comments) says:

    Wouldn’t it be a lot more complicated if schools were funded on socio-economic profile rather than deciles? Isn’t caterogrizing schools into deciles just a easier and simpler way to organise which school needs more funding and attention. Every school has a mixture of children, for example i went to a higher ended decile school but we did have children who had come from rough areas attending our primary school, because if there is a co relation with the area to the deciles of the school, each area has at least one street or state housing. For example Parnell primary or the remuera area, have streets like Kupe street and Hapua street which are state housing streets. This meaning children that would normally be attending low decile schools are attending high decile schools. And this can be vice versa, when there is well off streets or places in rougher areas, for example in Mangere bridge area there are streets there with million dollar houses. The children that live in thoose million dollar houses would probably be attending the closest primary to them which if looking at the co relation of areas and deciles of schools would be low. The decile system i think is working thus far, it is just a way to notify parents, the potential of each school. Some times it doesn’t bother parents because either they previously went there or other family members attend that school, so they know they will be in a safe environment. Esp in primary school, majority of the children are innocent and are all sponges, so it is really based on the teachers at each school and the peers of the children!

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  29. projectman (190 comments) says:

    The decile rating system has always simply been yet another example of indirect taxation – grab from the seemingly wealthy (but remember not all families within the higher decile-rated schools are well-off) – a form of means testing if you like.

    It would be an interesting exercise for someone to add up all the forms of indirect taxation that now exist throughout the economy, and add that to the direct taxation so we get a true picture of the “rob Peter to pay Paul” principle that exists.

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  30. doggone7 (487 comments) says:

    leftyliberal and swan: ” I dont think changing a system because a third party uses the information to make free choices about their lives that someone else doesn’t approve of, is reasonable.”

    You are too reasonable. Changing the system for the reasons promoted is plainly moronic and stupid. The thinking however is symptomatic of the way education is buffeted and being sunk by foul winds and fools.

    wreck1080 writes of a downside ending in socio-economic segregation and the long term consequences of that not being nice. That awareness is not common. Many revile and abhor what they see as characteristics of those in the lower socio-economic groups, they want them to change and be “proper people” like themselves. They sure as hell don’t want that being done by putting extra money into their schools though.

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  31. MickMac (1,091 comments) says:

    Projectman you put it very nicely.
    The decile system is a double taxation sort.

    It costs X amount to educate a child a year.
    That should be the starting point for all schools regardless of their parents means.
    The richer parents have paid their taxes and in the case of those over $120,000pa, most of the decile 1 parents tax as well.
    To charge them more on top of that is obscene and wrong, even theft.

    All of our children are of value not just those at decile 1 schools.

    With private schools, If you factor in the taxes paid by parents and the state funding given for their kids education, it is even more of a rort.

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  32. leftyliberal (597 comments) says:

    @doggone7: “Changing the system for the reasons promoted is plainly moronic and stupid.”

    Are you going to go through the paper point by point? As I’d be interested in which of the points raised by the paper you feel are moronic and stupid.

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  33. swan (651 comments) says:

    leftyliberal,

    “It is clear that the decile system is used as a proxy for quality, where that is not the designed remit. ”

    It may be interpreted by the general public when making desicions about their own lives in this way. It is not being “used” by anyone in authority who needs to be restricted. So it is not being “misused”.

    My point stands – they want a system that is not able to be interpreted in this way. The only way to do this is to make it more opaque.

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  34. doggone7 (487 comments) says:

    leftyliberal:

    What is moronic and stupid is classifying the quality of schools and schooling by dumb people by decile ranking. What is moronic and stupid is getting rid of decile funding because of those calls. I think the report is excellent. The critical, most important point is conclusion 9.5.

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  35. swan (651 comments) says:

    lefty,

    Look at this for further evidence of my point on restricting transparency: (From the PPTA report, a quote from the secondary principals association):

    “…parents were using the decile rating as a “blunt
    instrument” to judge the quality of a school instead of
    objective information …. It is not necessary for the
    Ministry to continue to publish the decile ranking of
    schools … that is an inappropriate way to measure a
    school’s success”

    So its not about the decile rating itself, its just that the public cant be trusted with this factual information.

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  36. Ed Snack (1,535 comments) says:

    It is probably an inescapable truism that Decile 10 schools will produce a better educational outcome than Decile 1 schools. And that is because the outcomes are determined by a number of factors, but one of the most important is the social environment and its appreciation of the value of learning. If a studious child is effectively punished by their peer group for even attempting to study (and by inference, rejecting the commonly held ultimate goal of becoming a “big man” in the local gang), then the chances that anyone but the strongest willed will actually achieve a hell of a lot at that school is minimal.

    That attitude can be influenced a little by the principal and staff, some genuinely inspiring leaders have achieved a lot in some cases, but most of the attitude is a broad social one for the area and the people who’s children attend. Not all decile 1 schools are the same, the communities differ, but for some the antipathy to any form of “book learning” is strong and quite well enforced by social exclusion.

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  37. swan (651 comments) says:

    lefty,

    Just above the quote I gave above was this telling sentence:

    “Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand’s, Patrick Walsh, supported calls to hide decile ratings”

    So fairly obvious they are concerned with too much transparency.

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  38. flipper (3,266 comments) says:

    leftyliberal,…

    The arrogance implicit in all your comments is exceeded only by your stupidity…..

    Deciles can be called that.
    But a more accurate description would be income re-distribution.

    So how much of the extra funding made available to decile 1 schools should be regarded as a tax free allowance in addition to the “minimum” wage?
    If Minus T brings in his $18.40 (which is in fact $20.65 when other compulsory costs are added), what should happen to decile 1?

    When you have worked for yourself, or for a small company, you might have some understanding of the real world. At the moment it seems clear that you are embedded in a tax/rate payer funded existence.

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  39. Albert_Ross (172 comments) says:

    Than at 9.40, are you suggesting that parents’ wish to send their children to good schools is something that should be resisted and opposed? Why?

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  40. Alan Wilkinson (1,798 comments) says:

    The Left spend years telling us that all social problems are the result of income inequality and then complain when parents take them at their word.

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  41. leftyliberal (597 comments) says:

    @flipper: I’m not sure what your point is. I’ve made no defense of the PPTAs claims, other than to state that the arguments made in the discussion paper appear to provide a reasonable argument for reassessing funding formula.

    My main point in this thread was that there was no evidence to the suggestion, given by swan, that the PPTA want a different system due to the current being too transparent and that they would prefer it to be opaque. Rather, they want a new system because they believe there’s flaws in the current funding system, one of which is that the decile system is being used as a proxy for quality, as is quite adequately pointed out in the report to which I linked.

    @swan: As you point out, Patrick Walsh is not from the PPTA. He’s from the Secondary School’s Principal Association, thus the reason that this was quoted in the report rather than written as a call from the PPTA. I’d also note that this is the 13th and final point under , so clearly they don’t feel it’s particularly important to the arguments in the report.

    I agree that this was a stupid thing to say, and is troublesome: The funding model should clearly be transparent, as should all taxpayer funding.

    However, I’m not aware of the PPTA making comment as to whether they agree with Mr Walsh or not. I can’t see how this provides evidence that the PPTA is anti-transparency.

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  42. Bob R (1,250 comments) says:

    ***That sounds well worth considering. You need a funding formula of some sort, but the deciles have become a simplistic proxy for quality – which they are not.***

    As Robert Weissberg explains in “Bad Students, Not Bad Schools”, it is student quality that largely determines whether a school is good or not. In the case of lower decile you’re invariably going to get a higher proportion of disruptive children.

    Accordingly, it makes sense to buy in an area where you get a higher decile school and better quality peers for your children.

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  43. doggone7 (487 comments) says:

    Don’t panic, charter schools are here, so everything is going to be all right!

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  44. Bob R (1,250 comments) says:

    @ doggone7,

    Haha, they may improve things for those in low decile areas that are motivated to get some qualifications. It isn’t a fix all by any means.

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  45. lazza (296 comments) says:

    “On Yer” Swan … Deciles “aint broke” … so don’t meddle … or worse, pander to the PPTA and their commitment to “Opaque”.

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  46. mereb123 (1 comment) says:

    @theothephilosopher Don’t you think that if the funding was based on socio-economic profile rather than decile, then schools that actually needed the funding will benefit more from it?? So if a decile 4 school actually has a good range of families/children with a good socio economic profile and gets the same amount of money compared to another decile 4 school that has a lower socio economic profile and is based in a rougher area who actually needs that little bit more of money. Do you understand where im going with this??

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  47. Akld Commercial Lawyer (138 comments) says:

    Surprisingly, the Stuff headline is more than a little misleading. A glance at the paper shows that the “misuse” of decile ratings as a proxy for quality is only one factor cited in a paper calling for a better system to target the funding issues that the decile system was designed to address.

    However, the decile rankings were only ever a proxy for the funding issue – and I am not sure that a more complex (and intrusive) inquiry into the individual socio-economic profile of the parent population of a school will necessarily generate a better funding outcome. As a BoT member for a decile 10 secondary school, I can certainly identify with some of the comments about the loading that a high-decile label puts onto the school and its parents to raise funds for matters outside the Ops grant.

    However, I have also had a look at what life is like for a lower-decile school and whilst I would agree that the rating system is a bit of a blunt instrument – I can see that the Ministry is getter a bit more scientific about application of some of the targeted types of support needed in a poorly-performing school. And I don’t begrudge that extra funding and support. Yes, our parent network has to work very hard every year – but I think we are lucky to attract a pool of committed people who are prepared to use their skillsets and time to help. If you have families on shiftwork, as is often the case in the lower deciles I have learned about, it is often difficult just to get them to find that time.

    And to take one recent example, one of the schools in the Tamaki transformation project had a catchment that was too low for Decile 1 ranking, so the Ministry had to create a new (1B) ranking just for them – which was followed by more specialist teacher funding and funds for IT support too. Our BoT look at that IT support and compare it with our own (BYOD) set-up and the need to fundraise for new servers and the like, with some envy – but we have a budget and some fundraising goals and we will achieve them. Short of Ministry support or a private sector sponsor, of which I am pleased to see there a growing number, even with the best will in the world – it would take that decile 1B a hell of a lot of sausage sizzles to scrape the funds together.

    Personally, I am quite keen that the system continues to find ways to give those kids a leg up, so that they don’t risk becoming the next wave of shift workers (or worse) don’t even make it to the sort of tertiary education that will give them a fighting chance to have 21st century careers.

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  48. Than (368 comments) says:

    @Albert_Ross – Absolutely not. I oppose even the zoning system we currently have.

    My point was that trying to remove information from parents is pointless. Unless it was deliberately designed to be as opaque as possible (and probably still even then) any replacement to the decile system would be misused in exactly the same way. The only way to get socio-economically and racially homogeneous schools (and I’m unclear why this is even such an important goal) would be to enforce it by law, dictating which schools children attend. And to clear, I would consider that a very bad thing, an utterly unacceptable intrusion on parents rights.

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  49. OneTrack (1,953 comments) says:

    Camryn – “it’s very hard to actually produce a report card that any parent would recognize as “bad”.

    Which drives the need for National Standards.

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  50. theothephilosopher (2 comments) says:

    @mereb123 No sorry i don’t really understand what you are talking about. But i think that the primary teachers association should try and be as transparent as they should be, esp when it comes to showing parent’s information about certain schools. As they need to know all the information they can before sending there children to a certain schools because the primary school days or the earlier days of children is very vital as it is when they are like sponges and learn anything and everything around them

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  51. UrbanNeocolonialist (129 comments) says:

    So a top school should adopt Cambridge exams and then get all students to fail hard at non-cambridge assessment. Drop them way down the rankings and get them way more money.

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  52. itstricky (1,139 comments) says:

    it’s very hard to actually produce a report card that any parent would recognize as “bad”.

    Malakey. I’ve seen bad ones. You’ve grabbed the wrong end of the let’s harass socalist teachers stick. Thing is that a report is *not* just for the parents. The kid reads it too. Imagine how Johnny feels when it says he’s useless. It’s hardly pushing him to greater heights.

    One on one interviews are the real deal when it comes to conveying progress.

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  53. kiwigunner (184 comments) says:

    My school is decile 1. On this blog, in the past, it has been insinuated that this makes the school bad, the teachers useless, and that the children in my school are disruptive and doomed for educational failure. Often comments like “they can get better teachers’ have been linked to decile ratings. This is despite decile ratings measuring nothing more than the socio economic level of the school and wider school community.

    I like the decile system because it acknowledges that children from disadvantaged backgrounds need additional support, the money linked to decile enables me to run several extra assistance programmes, employ extra teacher aides, pay for professional development for teachers, improve resources and more. No one in our school community is stupid enough to think that our school is no good because we live in a low socio economic area but they do know that we have a fantastic school doing great things for kids.

    When people decide to judge schools by decile ranking what they are really saying is that the poor are bad and useless, (often usually because they are are populated by Maori and Pasifika children). These types of assumptions say more about them than the schools.

    For everyones interest take a look at decile 10 Chelsea Schools ERO report and tell me again just how great decile 10 schools are.

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