Hattie on Education

The Herald reports:

But Professor Hattie spelled out some of the problem areas.

Tomorrow’s Schools had many benefits but had created 2700 “islands” of individual schools not co-operating or sharing answers to problems.

He said that while a lot of attention was given to the “tail” of under-achievers, not enough attention was being given to children on the other side of the scale who were not achieving their potential.

This reflects what I have heard. NZ on average does well, but those at the top and the tail are both falling short of where they should be.

He believed the decile system of rating schools should be abolished – though the equity funding that went with it should not.

The decile system did not help anyone except real estate agents selling houses in decile 10 areas.

That’s a fascinating comment. I’d be keen to understand more what he proposes.

He said the Ministry of did not listen to teachers because they had no organisation dedicated to professional standards as that surgeons, doctors and other professionals had.

This is an incredibly perceptive comment. The NZEI, NZPF and PPTA are primarily industrial unions. Nothing wrong with that per se, but it means their primary concerns are doing what is best for teachers, not what is best for the education system. So they are never taken seriously.

Compare this to the health system, where in the public health system you have specialist unions to represent doctors on industrial issues, and different bodies such as the NZMA and the specialist Colleges on wider health issues.

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