Kids as political pawns

Michael Laws writes in the SST:

This week, a schoolteacher at my children’s primary school decided to politicise every one of her charges. She did so without their informed consent (admittedly difficult to get from a 7 year old), or after any discussion with their parents.

In every schoolbag, she sent home propaganda inviting parents to join her teacher union colleagues in a protest against the government’s education policies. In specific, against National Standards, Novopay and the closure of schools in Christchurch.

If NZEI wants to communicate to parents, they should offer a facility on their website where parents can sign up to get their propoganda.

It is also untrue, as the NZEI claim, that New Zealand’s primary education is the best in the world. It isn’t, and it has been slipping for quite awhile. Primary teaching of mathematics is a national scandal, and has nothing to do with Novopay nor National Standards.

So too is the rampant sexism in the nation’s primary schools. That men only constitute 10% of the current teaching roll is wholly unacceptable. That an entire gender has been so alienated – over decades – is an appalling indictment upon both the education system and the teaching profession.

Little wonder that our boys are struggling when their adult counterparts have been so appallingly shunned.

There is a growing failure of boys in education.

It’s not as if primary teachers are poorly paid. With a good degree, and one year at Teacher’s College, I would start on a $55,000 salary with 12 weeks holiday a year. And just by being a year older, I get annual increments (quite apart from cost of living adjustments) that automatically progress me to $70,000 per annum.

On top of that there are $252 million of allowances, averaging $6,000 a teacher. Also 43% of teachers get units also, worth $4,000 each. You can get up to 17 units in addition to your salary.

What does this mean overall. The *average* pay for a secondary teacher is $74,000 and primary is $70,000.

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