Educational Reaction

January 24th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Generally excellent reactions to the major educational reforms announced yesterday. First the positives starting with the PPTA (a phrase not uttered often):

Government plans to put resources into teaching and learning rather than finance and administration are being greeted with optimism by PPTA.

President Angela Roberts said Prime Minister John Key’s announcement that $359 million would be invested in teaching and school leadership over the next four years was a positive one.

She praised his commitment to ““support a culture of collaboration within and across schools” and said the creation of principal and teacher positions to provide leadership and support across communities of schools marked the beginning of a collaborative approach long sought by PPTA.

The Principals’ Federation were almost gushing:

Principals’ Federation President Phil Harding said the announcements were significant for both principals and teachers.

“It’s hard for me to say it but I’m pretty damned impressed. It is a huge amount of new money and I have never seen such a transformation of ideas and discussion into policy and money in my life. It has gone from a theoretical discussion about how the system needed to evolve and change just last year to the appropriation of significant resource.”

The Secondary Principals Association were even more positive:

Secondary Principals’ Association president Tom Parsons called it a “wonderful initiative”.

“It’s super, what a game changer, what a tremendous thing.

“They’ve taken the politics out of this and are just looking at the welfare and the benefits for every New Zealander at school now, and in the future.”

Parsons, who is principal of Queen Charlotte College in Picton, has been a critic of many Government policies in the past two years, including the introduction of national standards.

But he joined the PPTA in its view that industry involvement was crucial and the new policies would lift student achievement.

The only union which couldn’t overcome its political antipathy to National was the NZEI:

Creating a new elite group of “change principals” and “expert teachers” misses the biggest reason children do not succeed at school – New Zealand’s high rate of child poverty and deprivation.

With “change principals” the government is again imposing a failed overseas experiment and putting ideology ahead of what will really work for children’s .”

The NZEI couldn’t bring themselves to saying one good thing about the announcement. This speaks volumes about their motivations.

Meanwhile the school Trustees are excited:

It is good to hear the commitment to working through the practicalities through consultation with the sector, and NZSTA is looking forward to playing a constructive part in those discussions. We have all shown a lot of good faith over the last year or so, including principals’ groups and teacher unions, by engaging in open discussions with Minister Parata. The Ministerial Cross-Sector Forum is a good example. It hasn’t always been easy, so it’s good to see that investment in relationship-building bearing fruit.

If we do this right, there is potential for these new positions to make excellence contagious through all our schools. That will be our opportunity for 2014.

I like the phrase “to make excellence contagious”.

Also in support. The NZ Initiative:

The New Zealand Initiative has welcomed the introduction of a four new tiers of teaching positions as a huge step toward lifting the educational performance of New Zealand’s schools.

The think tank has long been a strong advocate for such a policy

The Canterbury Education Pro Vice-Chancellor:

A University of Canterbury (UC) education expert has endorsed the Government’s focus on quality teaching and strong school leadership.

Professor Gail Gillon, UC’s College of Education Pro-Vice Chancellor, says the Government has accurately identified one of the key challenges in the New Zealand schooling system.

“Closing the academic achievement gap between our high achieving students and our struggling learners must be a priority for New Zealand.

“Resourcing Expert and Lead Teachers, as well as Change and Executive Principals to help support a substantial shift in academic achievement in areas such as literacy maths and science education is a very positive step in the right direction.’’

Business NZ:

Targeted investment in principals and teachers is a strategic move that could significantly improve student skill levels, says BusinessNZ.

Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said funding for leadership and expert teaching in schools would be well placed, as research shows the quality of school leaders and teachers has a big impact on student achievement.

An Auckland University Education Professor:

Professor Graeme Aitken, the University of Auckland’s dean of education, said those in and considering the teaching profession had been given an “inspiring message” about career progression. They would be energised because of the prospect of not having to leave the classroom to progress their career.

And high-quality school leavers would have more reason to choose teaching as a career choice, he said.

The NZ Secondary Principals Council:

Allan Vester, chairman of the NZ Secondary Principals Council and head of Edgewater College in Pakuranga, said the sharing of knowledge and ideas between schools was crucial.

Vernon Small:

Ask anyone which party is most likely to boost the pay of more than one in ten of the country’s 50,000 teachers by $10,000 a year, no wage wrangling needed, and it’s a fair bet National would not be top of mind.

But that is exactly what John Key did with his education announcement yesterday in a cheeky foray into Labour’s heartland.

It was the latest example of National’s election year plan to trash suggestions it is inflexible, doctrinaire or plum out of new ideas.

Tracy Watkins:

As Key observed after this morning’s announcement, there wasn’t a parent in New Zealand whose heart would not sink if they found out next week their child’s new teacher was a dud – or in Key’s words, “not that great”.

That is why today’s plan will resonate not just with National’s core constituency but also with Labour’s.

National’s plan is to give teachers a reason to stay in front of the classroom rather than move up into management positions in pursuit of better pay.

The Dom Post editorial:

Debates over education tend to be dust-ups in the desert: hot, dry, and futile. John Key’s new proposals are welcome because they are fresh and do not simply cover old ground. They try to build on the strengths of the system and they offer co-operation with the workforce. These are welcome ideas and worth serious discussion. …

Rewarding teachers and principals for sharing their knowledge fits well into the cooperative style of the workforce. And who could object to the sharing of that talent with the more deprived schools? It is the long tail of underachievement, as everyone knows, that is the weak point of our school system. We need to use our inevitably small pool of talent to help kids in poor areas. The new scheme will help with this.

The NZ Herald editorial:

The Government’s bold overhaul of the teaching system presents a challenge to any opponents. How can you be highly critical of steps to lift schools’ performance that have been recommended by the OECD’s leading educationalist and are backed by a large body of international research?

It’s difficult, but the Greens have managed it! They just ignore the research. I’ll come to them.

The cost will not be cheap. A sum of $359 million will be allocated over four years with an ongoing cost of more than $150 million annually. But astutely targeted investment is always worthwhile. And teachers will not be the only winners. Ultimately, children, and especially those in poor socio-economic areas, will benefit. So, too, as performance lifts, will the reputation of this country’s education system.

A worthwhile investment.

Audrey Young:

Prime Minister John Key is on to a winner with his big plans to financially reward excellent teachers and principals.

Key has identified an age-old problem in schools that really good teachers often leave the classroom to progress their careers.

Credible research over the years has linked good teaching to good results by pupils.

Most of us know that anecdotally because we’ve experienced it.

Indeed we have.

So who is against. Matthew Hooton calls it a bold step left and giving into the unions.

Labour can’t really find anything to attack, so merely say we’ll do something like it also and have the normal blame it all on inequality:

National’s underwhelming announcement fails to address the real cause of poor educational performance, which is growing inequality, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

NZ First is mainly supportive:

New Zealand First has commended the extra $359 million the Government is investing in education, but has pointed out that there is no extra funding to get more teachers in our schools.

The most hysterical (not in a good way) reaction was on Twitter. The level of Key Derangement Syndrome there is so great that National could announce free tertiary education for every New Zealanders and many of the normal suspects will decry it as a right wing policy designed to enrich Merrill Lynch. Bryce Edwards has a summary of the tweets, and it is a good reminder of how deranged so many people there are with one labelling it “corporatisation of the education system” which is hilarious considering it is all about sharing and collaboration.

The most negative of all was the Green Party:

National’s announcement of four additional teacher roles won’t address the key reason for our decline in education performance, growing inequality, says the Green Party.

“Growing inequality in New Zealand is negatively impacting on our kids learning. Sick and hungry kids can’t learn. This policy does nothing for kids and families living in poverty.

Let’s put this one to bed. Even if this was true (it is not), this is an announcement on education, not welfare. Turei seems to say we should do nothing to improve the education system while some families are poorer than others. How depressing. I want to see more families doing better, but there is no magic wand. Getting people out of poverty is often a generational thing as you have to confront parenting skills, welfare dependency, employment, drug and alcohol issues, and oh yeah education.

But let’s deal with the big lie. I call it a lie, because the amount of research on what influences educational outcomes is massive. There have been over 50,000 studies. Over 800 meta-analysis done involving 200 million students. Professor John Hattie has done a meta meta analysis of all these studies and identified 138 factors that influence educational outcomes. Not one factor, but 138. Greens think there is just one.

Now socio-economic status is important. It definitely is an influence. There have been 499 studies that looked at its effect. But is it the biggest influence. No. Is it second? No. Third? No. Top 10? Still no. Top 20? Still a no. It is No 32 and home environment by the way is No 31.

So the next time the Greens say the key reason for educational decline is poverty or income inequality, don’t beat around the bush. Call them a liar.

I’m delighted though the Greens have condemned the plans. Parents deserve a choice about the future for their kids, and it looks like they will get one. Bring on the election.

 

 

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68 Responses to “Educational Reaction”

  1. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    Some principals now get 50K extra to train other principals to get 50k extra…….fuck that…the left are paying each other off with other peoples money. Key’s just the community organiser……for votes!

    Give parents a 10k grant and let them decide who stays and who goes!

    Keys just playing everyone off on this so that he remains PM. Kids don’t come into it. :cool:

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  2. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    harrier: Sound like either a teachers’ union advocate or a radical that lives a life of entitlement. This initiative is a damn good idea which should start weeding leeching unionised incompetent bludgers out of a once respected profession.

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  3. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    You just have to look at the head of the NZEI to know that he would disagree with ANYTHING National comes up with. As for Turei, well I pity the poor people who have to be around her on a regular basis. What a sad bitter person she must be.

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  4. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “Creating a new elite group of “change principals” and “expert teachers” misses the biggest reason children do not succeed at school – New Zealand’s high rate of child poverty and deprivation.”

    Can someone remind them of this next time they demand better pay for teachers.

    “sorry, we gave your pay rise to the poor. you said that works best”

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  5. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    “…..This initiative is a damn good idea which should start weeding leeching unionised incompetent bludgers out of a once respected profession….”

    Bullshit.

    Firing will never come into it…the moneys now in….and it’s ALL GOING ON – education of teachers by teachers!

    $360 million dollars given to fucken union members to educate fellow union members!!!!

    Voters are going to be fucken REAL pissed at National over this! :cool:

    As for the minimum wage….. :cool:

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  6. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    The union assessment of the policy – Has this policy got potential to reduce union membership numbers – Yes – Then it’s bad !

    That’s it folks – the voice of the self serving union caring only for it’s own bottom line ….

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  7. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    Dime.

    Classic!

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  8. Tempist (14 comments) says:

    Tragic when the NZEI’s argument against the announcements boils down to teachers can’t make a difference to education outcomes

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  9. tas (625 comments) says:

    I’m pleasantly surprised. Kudos to the unions for supporting the policy.

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  10. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    Perhaps the teachers union wants Dr Cullen back in charge of the tax rates. Under Cullen 75% of high school teachers were earning enough to be “rich”. The lefties do like to have it both ways don’t they – sadly their supporters are stupid enough to support socialism and therefore too stupid to notice the sligh of hand required to make Labour policies look like they are working.

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  11. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    The NZEI couldn’t bring themselves to saying one good thing about the announcement. This speaks volumes about their motivations.

    Bollocks. The NZEI realises the proposed changes – and they are merely a proposal – will achieve very little if anything. The fact you can’t see that speaks volumes about your blinkered support for this government.

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  12. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    Very well put burt.

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  13. tvb (4,423 comments) says:

    The Greens and Labour focus on poverty misses the point completely and pitches their message away from the majority of parents who have to put up with dud teachers. Key has trumped them both. I hope key can come up with more of this.

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  14. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Tragic when the NZEI’s argument against the announcements boils down to teachers can’t make a difference to education outcomes

    You couldn’t be more wrong. That’s not the NZEI’s argument, and of course teachers do make a significant difference.

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  15. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    The Greens and Labour focus on poverty misses the point completely and pitches their message away from the majority of parents who have to put up with dud teachers.

    Oh so this proposal will remove dud teachers? I’m more concerned with dud politicians. :)

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  16. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    Dime just bowled over to the NZEI site. LMAO.

    Front page – a campaign for the living wage…

    Click on about us, a lecture hall full of adults holding up letters that read “every child is unique. invest in education for everyones needs” (unless youre national, then you can just go die).

    Oh yeah, the people holding the signs look exactly like youd imagine.

    http://www.nzei.org.nz/NZEI/Contact/contact-home.aspx – the national executive. not very balanced. 10 female, 3 male. I think.

    This is from an article written by Comrade Judith Nowotarski (the president).

    “Key components in high-performing systems are the valuing of teaching, high trust in the profession, collaborative learning between schools and individualised learning that meets every child’s unique needs.”

    “As the representative union and professional body of more than 25,000 primary and early childhood teachers, NZEI is totally focused on teacher quality.”

    “We have proposed tougher entry requirements and more practicum for teachers in training. We have suggested reform of the Teachers Council to make it a truly independent statutory body, like the Medical Council, free from the taint of political appointments and able to truly advocate for teachers as a profession.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10879849

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  17. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    But let’s deal with the big lie. I call it a lie, because the amount of research on what influences educational outcomes is massive. There have been over 50,000 studies. Over 800 meta-analysis done involving 200 million students. Professor John Hattie has done a meta meta analysis of all these studies and identified 138 factors that influence educational outcomes. Not one factor, but 138. Greens think there is just one.

    No, they don’t. What the Greens realise is that household income is a very big factor in educational achievement. Tories don’t seem to understand that.

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  18. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    DPF can you link to Hattie’s analysis

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  19. Neil (586 comments) says:

    This policy will take time to work. However we have seen so many “magic bullets” in education and no policy has proved successful.
    I still worry about areas of our country where we have low incomes,low expectations and multicultural populations which are a real problem. That 20 percent of pupil;s who failed 60 years ago and still fail today. Four generations of one family who have lived in a state of poorness both economic and social.
    A point to be made is that the unions don’t help things with their very centralised structure and their political backgrounds.
    Well done National but this is only a first step.A greater sense of community would be a good start.

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  20. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    ross69 I am afraid that you miss the point. Turei implied that income level was the sole determinant, when it is not and indeed wilst a factor is not the primary factor which so many would like to have it be.

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  21. NK (1,244 comments) says:

    No, they don’t. What the Greens realise is that household income is a very big factor in educational achievement. Tories don’t seem to understand that.

    Oh, I think “Tories”understand that 100% which is why they focus on wealth creation and then paying large $$$ to send their kids to private schools.

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  22. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    ross69

    You are talking about a political party that thinks printing money will solve the financial problems of NZ like they are credible.

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  23. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    The frothing at the mouth by the NZEI would appear to suggest that Key has cut the ground from under their feet. Likewise Cunliffe left muttering we will do likewise

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  24. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    What the Greens realise is that household income is a very big factor in educational achievement. Tories don’t seem to understand that.

    Heh, your usual bullshit rosie. The Greens think just giving the parents money is the answer, no need for them to work or be interested in their children’s education, just chuck money at them. “Tories” have always worked and sought to get the best education they could for their kids.

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  25. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    Look….Free Money…join a Union…get the National government to pay you to train eachother….and vote Labour for more of it!

    Is National fucken stupid or what?

    People on the minimum wage will see this as National supporting Unionism and therefor higher wages via publicly funded employment education. Or at least a minimum wage rise.

    A vote for National is a vote for more socialism. Vote for Mr Craig instead. :cool:

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  26. Urban_Redneck (87 comments) says:

    Colour me cynical, but if the education politburo are generally in favour of this policy then they’ve already worked out how to distort it, to get their hands on the additional funding available and then have the status quo continue.

    You can have the best “teachers” on the planet but if the curriculum is a politically correct joke (and it is) then nothing will change.

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  27. NK (1,244 comments) says:

    A vote for National is a vote for more socialism. Vote for Mr Craig instead.

    So he can steal your land in the biggest socialist land grab in NZ’s history?

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  28. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    harrier: You are obviously a disenchanted unionist . . . tough, you are rapidly losing high ground, and not before time!

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  29. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    Very well put redneck.

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  30. Than (473 comments) says:

    Labour and the Greens have clearly been completely blindsided by this announcement. They don’t have anything bad to say about the actual policy, so they just keep stammering “but, but… poverty”. The moderate-left are (sensibly) making little comment, while the far-left are just making themselves look foolish.

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  31. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    There is no poverty, just left-wing, self-entitled losers who should not be breeding, but do so to avoid working and supporting themselves. If these losers were to leech megabucks per week from taxpayers, they still would not get out of bed in the mornings to prepare their children of convenience for a day’s schooling.

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  32. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    NZEI, the Labour Party and the Greens are all singing from the same song-sheet.

    Who’d have ever thunk it?

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  33. Bill Courtney (161 comments) says:

    David Farrar continues to ignore what the OECD itself has acknowledged for years:
    ” “The first and most solidly based finding is that the largest source of variation in student learning is attributable to differences in what students bring to school – their abilities and attitudes, and family and community background.” Source: OECD 2005 Report titled “Teachers matter: Attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers”.

    This is what I detest the most about the right wing view of education that Farrar espouses. Deliberately failing to understand that EVERY leading country in the PISA system shows quite clearly that student achievement goes up lock step with socio-economic status (SES).

    In PISA, the OECD creates its own measurement system for SES and then graphs achievement against this.

    If David Farrar is up to the challenge, I will draft a blog that pulls out these figures and he can publish them for all to see.

    What say you, Mr Farrar?

    By the way, if you’re into quoting John Hattie’s meta-analysis as if it’s gospel, don’t forget to mention that charter schools rank very poorly, with an effect size of 0.2 (below the level Hattie himself views as significant). But, Hattie also said that when the lower quality studies were excluded from his analysis the effect size dropped to zero! Does that mean that David Farrar now accepts that charter schools are poor policy because John Hattie’s meta-analysis says so??

    [DPF: You miss the point. I explicitly said SES is important and significant. But there are 31 things that have a greater influence. Why do you ignore those?]

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  34. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    lol @ the left. Ya just cant win with these people.

    Apparently being “poor” leads to bad outcomes for kids. No shit.

    The question is – why the fuck do they blindly follow an ideology to make everyone poor?

    How can any academic really believe socialism is the way to go?

    Why do they left want to stop economic growth?

    It seems to come down to jealousy.

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  35. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    @Bill Courtney – email DPF (see here http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/dpf ). I’d be interested to see how your arguments stack up.

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  36. southtop (265 comments) says:

    Whilst this move by National looks good on the surface I am concerned about who controls the additional spend. Like all things government outlays it is very difficult to remove once in place.

    I would have liked to have seen the vouchers for parents put in place however this also has potential problems in that, it could easily develop a two speed education system i.e. the parents that lean towards academic success send their kids to schools that promote this whilst others who tend to go for the ‘group hug’ movement send their kids towards those schools. (mind you we seem to have a two speed set up now with 20%ish failing)

    Hattie has determined that there is not one reason for lack of success and therefore it follows that there will not be one simple solution – hopefully the gatekeepers of this new policy understand the rationale for putting it in place and do not get captured by PC BS!

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  37. tvb (4,423 comments) says:

    The Government has got some money in the kitty as this involves new money. That is a whole lot easier politically than having to cut something. There will be some more cleverly targeted money in other hot button areas like health and environmental projects and a few other things that touch voters.

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  38. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    The question is – why the fuck do they blindly follow an ideology to make everyone poor?

    Because according to them, if you tax the rich highly enough even if you cause growth to come to a grinding halt or into reverse, which is a stated objective with socialists of the Watermelon variety. ‘Relative poverty’ will fall and kids will suddenly start learning more.

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  39. NK (1,244 comments) says:

    I agree with Bill that SES is very important.

    So why does Labour & Greens prefer policies that have a detrimental effect on SES?

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  40. beautox (422 comments) says:

    Inequality – what a crock. Seems to be the left’s latest war cry.

    I’ll tell you what mate : we are unequal in years as well. You give me some of your years and I’ll give you some of my money.

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  41. Pete Burdon (19 comments) says:

    John Key’s use of analogies and personal stories after the announcement really highlighted his media skills. See my blog for details http://mediatrainingnz.co.nz/blog/

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  42. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    beautox

    It’s important to remove inequality so that we can achieve the socialist nirvana of one size fits all. Look around you – everyone looks the same, speaks the same, thinks the same and of course – earns the same amount of money… It’s the natural order of humans right ….

    Just shows how fucked up socialist are eh…. They can’t even understand that diversity might not be fair – but it’s the natural order and natural orders shouldn’t be manipulated in some social engineering to be popular for elections.

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  43. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “Inequality – what a crock. Seems to be the left’s latest war cry.”

    Yeah im hearing it multiple times day.

    I say – thank god for inequality! We want kiwis to be getting ahead. It will inspire a lot of people.

    We need a bigger gulf between the dpb and working incomes.

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  44. david (2,557 comments) says:

    LMAO – if you give every person who is defined as “living in poverty” a million bucks, the definition that seems to be most commonly used will automatically create an equal number of new people who are defined as “living in poverty”.

    I really think that a new definition of “poverty” is required. That would serve 2 purposes. The left will argue, squawk and squabble like a bunch of seagulls round fish and chip leftovers about the weighting given to various factors within the definition and secondly we might get a better idea of how many people are really in need of taxpayer assistance to live a basic life-quality existence.

    win-win I’d say

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  45. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    If “the real cause of poor educational performance is growing inequality”, as Cunners says, then why is it that the greatest successes of urban charter schools in New York City are with children from poor households and neighbourhoods? The *most* “unequal”? Answer THAT for me, Cunners!

    The answer is (of course) obvious. Charter schools *work*, and the children who come from the poorest households and neighbourhoods (being the furthest behind) are the ones who are “lifted up the furthest” and gain the *most* from them.
    That is *exactly* what is needed here.
    Cunners (and the left-wing as a whole) simply don’t want to acknowledge the cold hard facts.

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  46. Bill Courtney (161 comments) says:

    DPF, you are the one who is ignoring the OECD observation. You also seem to fail to understand how the two approaches state their conclusions.

    First, what the OECD statement means, is that all of the “out of school” factors are the largest source of variation in student achievement. Some of these relate directly to SES, family incomes, etc. but others may not, including, at the most basic level, differences in intelligence! But in total, they have the greatest aggregate effect and account for more than the “in school” factors.

    Second, you also miss the point about Hattie’s analysis. A meta-analysis like that is highly dependent on what external studies it happened to look at and what/how they evaluated. From memory, the highest effect size Hattie found was in a small study that looked at using Music to help teach students with severe learning disabilities, or something similar. (Although I’m sure someone will correct me on the precise study and its effect).

    Simply saying that there are 31 things that have a greater influence than SES misses the point. In aggregate, student-related factors count for more than in school factors. Got it?

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  47. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    thor42

    Cunners (and the left-wing as a whole) simply don’t want to acknowledge the cold hard facts.

    And when those kids start earning a good income and paying thousands in tax they won’t be voting for higher taxes and more welfare….. The real agenda of the left is revealed – keep the voters poor so they keep voting for more welfare…

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  48. NK (1,244 comments) says:

    Again, I will agree with Bill without demur.

    So why does his beloved Labour Party, supported by the Greens, prefer policies that have a detrimental effect on student-related factors?

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  49. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    Long live inequality! Forever!

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  50. James Stephenson (2,180 comments) says:

    What the Greens realise is that household income is a very big factor in educational achievement. Tories don’t seem to understand that.

    You mean they like to re-spin correlation and causation to suit their own ends. I think you’ll probably find that there’s a pretty big correlation between parents’ educational achievement and that of their children, so it’s hardly surprising that you can correlate household income with educational achievement. It doesn’t imply causation though.

    As to what the “Tories” understand, let’s ask Michael Gove: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/leaguetables/10592960/Michael-Gove-Our-reforms-are-working-schools-have-significantly-improved.html

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  51. mandk (993 comments) says:

    @ Bill Courtney,
    You quote from a report that says attitudes are important, but then you completely ignore them in your argument.
    You could put many families in palaces, provide them with libraries and serve them regular, nutritiously-balanced meals, but the kids would still do badly at school because the parents don’t value education and have low expectations of their kids.

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  52. jaba (2,142 comments) says:

    the Greens continue to give me the shits .. a Gween idiot on Homepaddock slags off anything the Nats do (add in Colin Craig and Act to really get his spittle going).
    Now this clown, a former teacher (may still teach but who cares), gets stuck into Hekia constantly (and yes she has had lots of problems and it maybe time for her to move on) but then I wondered who was the Greens education spokesperson .. he wouldn’t reply so I had a look .. it seems to be Catherine Delahunty .. FFS .. he has the nerve to slag off Parata.

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  53. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    Had a headmaster tell me just days ago, “we still can’t get rid of useless teachers”

    So when is that issue going to be fixed??

    To much employment law and too many employment courts and lawyers.

    Lets have our contracts back.
    Don’t work, can’t do the job. See ya later.

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  54. Kimbo (934 comments) says:

    @ jaba

    “Now this clown, a former teacher (may still teach but who cares), gets stuck into Hekia constantly”
    ———————————————————-

    Don’t worry. You judge the work and effectiveness of a National Minister of Education by the quality of enemies and critics they attract:

    Merv Wellington, Lockwood Smith, Anne Tolley…

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  55. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    I think you’ll probably find that there’s a pretty big correlation between parents’ educational achievement and that of their children, so it’s hardly surprising that you can correlate household income with educational achievement. It doesn’t imply causation though.

    I suggest you do some reading so you can put this idea to bed. There is indeed causation. Certainly, having wealthy parents is likely to ensure that kids don’t suffer from poverty and are likely to be given the best opportunities to learn, whether it be at college or university. I wonder how many minimum wage earners’ kids get scholarships and or go to university.

    http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/dps/pdfs/dp130505.pdf

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  56. James Stephenson (2,180 comments) says:

    Had a headmaster tell me just days ago, “we still can’t get rid of useless teachers”

    Anecdotally, the new Principal at a local intermediate with a reputation as a school to avoid if you could (no names, no pack drill) solved this problem by chopping all out-of zone students, thereby allowing him to shrink the staff roll by chopping the dead wood and is now building back up initially placing new staff on 1-year contracts.

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  57. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    John Key’s use of analogies and personal stories after the announcement really highlighted his media skills. See my blog for details

    Pete I didn’t realise you advertise on behalf of the National Party. I hope they pay you well.

    You forgot to mention John Key begun his speech by saying to the punters that he hoped they’d had as good a Xmas as him…playing golf! Nah I don’t think any of the punters (who had to pay more than $100 to hear him waffle) got the opportunity to go to Hawaii to play golf with the Obama. :) If Key wanted to show he was completely out of touch with workers, he did a bang-up job.

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  58. Jim (398 comments) says:

    @billcourtney, @ross69 and others who think great teachers can’t overcome socio-economic status:

    “Paloma received the highest math score in the country, but the other students weren’t far behind. Ten got math scores that placed them in the 99.99th percentile. Three of them placed at the same high level in Spanish.”

    http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/free-thinkers

    This achievement from a school in grinding poverty:

    “José Urbina López Primary School sits next to a dump just across the US border in Mexico. The school serves residents of Matamoros, a dusty, sunbaked city of 489,000 that is a flash point in the war on drugs. There are regular shoot-outs, and it’s not uncommon for locals to find bodies scattered in the street in the morning. To get to the school, students walk along a white dirt road that parallels a fetid canal. On a recent morning there was a 1940s-era tractor, a decaying boat in a ditch, and a herd of goats nibbling gray strands of grass. A cinder-block barrier separates the school from a wasteland—the far end of which is a mound of trash that grew so big, it was finally closed down. On most days, a rotten smell drifts through the cement-walled classrooms. Some people here call the school un lugar de castigo—“a place of punishment.”

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  59. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Jim

    You must have missed my earlier comment when I said that good teachers can make a “significant difference”.

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  60. Jim (398 comments) says:

    @ross69, great. Sorry I missed that.

    The whole socio-economic-status problem is a cycle. $300m thrown into the redistribution/welfare engine isn’t really join to make a jot of difference to breaking that cycle. Parents uninterested in their children’s education will remain so.

    However identifying some outstanding teaching talent and attracting it to schools that need it seems like not such a bad idea. If some inspirational teachers can lift the achievement of students that would not otherwise have benefited – then perhaps their SES won’t be as miserable as their parents.

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  61. Dave_1924 (116 comments) says:

    What a smart policy announcement:

    1 – great to see genuine excellence in teaching recognised by creating roles that command higher remuneration thereby rewarding good work but more importantly keeping great teachers in the classroom not chasing the dollars in to Admin roles. the impact of that on students over time should be excellent and will be interesting to see if we get an observable improvement

    2 – great politics. knee capped the Greens and Labour in one of their favourite policy target areas. The reaction from Cunnliffe and Turei clearly show a hit by Key. Cunnliffes “we will do more” comment was genuinely poor and reflected a poorly prepared leader. Its all fine having a glib tongue but no substances sure sticks out – why didn’t he respond with this is Labours policy and provide detail???

    First runs on the board to National in

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  62. freemark (580 comments) says:

    Ross69 “Oh so this proposal will remove dud teachers? I’m more concerned with dud politicians. :)”
    Ross69’s partner is a dud politician.

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  63. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    I feel the need to bore you with my personal experience

    Born and bred in Anfield Liverpool – very poor and crime ridden area – All the previous generation of our family left school at 15 and went in to factories, army etc

    Our local school had a good reputation and we had the 11 plus system in the UK where they streamed kids off to secondary schools by ability – they tested our class to death and at the age of 9 and something like 20% had a reading age of 15 (as high as the test they had for our age). We had really good teachers and succeeded despite the school getting burned down by an arsonist and having to be bussed out to other schools. The majority of the kids in our class went to the better schools.

    I know of at least 10 of that class who went to the top British universities (Oxbridge, Bristol, Durham, Imperial College etc) when not a single one of their parents had gone to university.

    I also have literally 40 odd 1st cousins (Catholics breed don’t you know). Their parents worked really hard at getting their kids in to better schools often at great effort or expense. This worked as almost all got degrees (before it became easier) and ended up as professionals or in decent paying jobs.

    Further to this I was crap at languages at school and our language teachers were awful. However, we had excellent maths and science teachers and our school produced many a good science degree student.

    I saw mates with awful parents ranging from outright crooks to alcoholics or thugs who beat the wife and kids and the kids pretty much give in and many ended up like their dads. There were many kids with parents who decided that education did not matter and effectively blocked their own children from educational success.

    At university I also saw lots of well off students who had gone to public (ie private) school and how they got access to the better schools, better teachers, better organised, better connected etc.

    To me all of this suggests that the right schools make a difference and the wrong parents a bigger one. However, bad parents are not caused by being poorer they tend to be poorer because they are bad parents. This is confusing correlation with cause and effect.

    I do agree with ross69 in that socio economic status matters but firmly believe it’s not the fundamental driver the left like to push. You can make every lower economic status family rich tomorrow, leave their children in the wrong schools with the wrong teachers and with the same parents and they will fail.

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  64. tvb (4,423 comments) says:

    Do the majority of voters really care about poverty. These education reforms will help ALL parents who use the state system. The greens and Labour want to focus on poverty which only affects a small minority of voters. And the poverty issue is being tackled elsewhere. Let the Labour Party and the Greens bat on about poverty and sure some middle income and higher income voters will care about poverty. But that message only appeals to a small group.

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  65. MH (757 comments) says:

    perhaps apply this regime to parliamentarians? I then like the idea of larger rotten boroughs. with fewer lead MP’s (CIR< 100).

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  66. deadrightkev (469 comments) says:

    Harriet

    You are so right. Give parents $10K each and let the private sector fight it out with the state on a level playing field.

    National is so scared of the unions and benign when it comes to change they just cant bring themselves to do anything with an element of vision.

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  67. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    I particularly like this quote from here –
    http://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/what-works-in-education-hatties-list-of-the-greatest-effects-and-why-it-matters/

    Quote – “It is thus high time that we call teacher fatalism about their ability to achieve gains with poor or unmotivated students what it is: **unprofessional, passive, and cynical thinking that has no place in school**. It is a form of prejudice that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

    Hear, hear!

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  68. itstricky (1,832 comments) says:

    By the way, if you’re into quoting John Hattie’s meta-analysis as if it’s gospel, don’t forget to mention that charter schools rank very poorly, with an effect size of 0.2 (below the level Hattie himself views as significant). But, Hattie also said that when the lower quality studies were excluded from his analysis the effect size dropped to zero! Does that mean that David Farrar now accepts that charter schools are poor policy because John Hattie’s meta-analysis says so??

    Ho de ho ho ho. Where’s the response?

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