Parents blast teachers union

January 21st, 2010 at 6:54 pm by David Farrar

The NZ School Trustees Assn (effectively the voice for parents) is getting sick of the union tactics:

The continued “shotgun approach” by the primary teachers union (NZEI) and the Principals Federation (NZPF) to the Nationals Standards issue is not helpful to anyone says the New Zealand School Trustees Association.

President Lorraine Kerr says the constant shifting of the ground, and arguments, hoping that one of the approaches will score a response with the school community, Boards of Trustees, and others, does not strengthen the unions’ case at all. Indeed, if they are not careful, there is a risk they may end up shooting themselves in the foot by way of an ever increasing credibility gap.

In other words, stop scaremongering.

The concerns appear to shift constantly, so it’s no surprise that many people find the whole debate somewhat confusing, and, in fact it is rapidly becoming quite tiresome, she says.

“I have every sympathy for those many parents/caregivers, who see nothing wrong with the idea that they should know how their children are doing in key areas, including literacy/numeracy, from wondering what the fuss is actually about,” Lorraine Kerr says.

And that is all it is about. Allowing parents to know how theri kids are doing in terms of meeting or exceeding the national standard for numeracy and literacy.

NZSTA has also struggled at times to identify what the issue actually is, but did get some clarity at a meeting in late 2009 when the president of NZEI stated that NZEI would have no problems at all with National Standards if the threat of league tables was removed.

Lorraine Kerr says that if that is the real driving concern, it needed quickly dealt with.

The unions need to recognise this is the Internet age. You can not prevent parents from sharing info on schools.You can’t prevent any number of people or organisations from doing comparison tables – just as you get in the health sector, the police sector, the finance sector etc etc.

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