Missing the point

The leftwing’s eagerness to clutch at straws in opposing ANY reforms in education in New Zealand they are pointing to the curious case of Finland. They highlight that there are no national standards, no testing and the system is supposedly all about equality and as a result Finland performs very well against the rest of the world.

However they miss a very important point about Finland:

As for accountability of teachers and administrators, Sahlberg shrugs. “There’s no word for accountability in Finnish,” he later told an audience at the Teachers College of Columbia University. “Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted.”

For Sahlberg what matters is that in Finland all teachers and administrators are given prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility. A master’s degree is required to enter the profession, and teacher training programs are among the most selective professional schools in the country. If a teacher is bad, it is the principal’s responsibility to notice and deal with it.

I’d love to see John Pagani, the teachers unions and Labour tell all the existing teachers they need to do more work on their qualifications to keep their jobs. That’ll see at least seven eighths of existing lose their jobs, which could be a good thing.

They also miss the point that Finland has a clear ‘no wogs’ policy on immigration, only Swedes and Laps want to live there and if you want to emigrate to Finland you not only have to learn one of the hardest languages in the world and put up with the generally surly and uncommunicative population thus ensuring immigration is minimal.

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  • Anonymous

    Dear teachers unions – it’s time for you to feel the same winds of reform that the rest of the workforce felt decades ago.
    SITHU – Suck It The Hell Up.

    • Kosh103

      LMAO – yeaaaaaa national knows how to reform the education system. All the way back to the 1800s.

      • EX Navy Greg

        Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. In the 1800′s when kids left school they could read, not like the 20% failure rate that you seem to prefer.

      • Kosh103

        LOL – I love how the self appointed experts think the 1800s was this amazing time for kids and learning.

        Still I am not surprised. Self appointed experts tend to not like facts.

      • EX Navy Greg

        Kosh, I am far from being an expert. I can only comment on the facts that are available to me. I am genuinely interested to hear your side of the story, without the political bullshit. Spell it out, in 200 words or less, why the system we have now is better than the proposed changes.
        I honestly have not heard any reasoned comparisons between them, all I hear is the left blaming the National party, without providing any credible evidence to support their case.
        For example:
        1: what evidence can you provide that the proposed changes will indeed return our education back to the 1800′s?
        2: why is performance based pay etc, a bad thing? As a man in my 40′s I had to pass the same fitness test every 6 months as an 18 y o new recruit, nothing wrong with that.
        3: why should not incompetent staff be dismissed, same as any other employer?

        I also think schools should have more clerical and back office support staff to free up  teachers to err..teach.

        The “right” only want the best education for our kids, same as you, and it pissed me off to have to pay private school fees , knowing that my daughter would not get as good an education at a state school.

        Looking forward to your response, cheers Greg.

      • TCrwdb

        Total bullshit Kosh – twat

      • Paul Rain

        Can you perform at the same level as children from the 1800s? If not, you should probably shut the hell up.

      • Thorn

        Kosh , are you an expert on education, and if so, in what capacity? 

      • Tony

        Good questioons from Greg,  I have asked teachers about performance pay and they automatically argue about the difficulties with implimentation. They (attempt to) steer clear of the actual issue – whether reward for performance is a good or bad thing. My own thinking is that it would be relatively simple to group the teachers into an A-team, B-team and C-Team. Identify the top 10% and reward them significantly. Identify the bottom 10% and remove them. The B-team would largely look after itself….. 

  • Thorn

    When it comes to personal accountability, the Finns don’t talk about it, they just do it.
    Simo Häyhä

    December 17, 1905 – April 1, 2002

    Nicknamed ‘The White Death’ 705 confirmed kills (505 with rifle,
    200 with submachine gun)Was a Finnish soldier who, using an iron sighted bolt
    action rifle, amassed the highest recorded confirmed kills as a sniper in any
    war…ever

  • Johnboy

    Yes Thorn. The Finns have a particular dislike of the Russkies and obviously would not be fans of the left wing shit that permeates our educational system.

    Perhaps we should draw on their expertise to clean out the mob that have taken over the education system here.

  • joe bloggs

    Love that word – RESPONSIBILITY

    It’s a word that has almost disappeared from the emetic liberal lexicon – driven out by an over-emphasis on social rights.

    Lest we forget – with rights must come responsibilities

  • Kosh103

    @exnavy greg. Natonal are intrested in a one size fits all system. They fail to listen to the most up to date studies that demonstrate that systems like NS are worthless. All children learn at a different speed. So to say that if a child cannot do this by this age they are a failure is a crime. What if the child can do it in the first term of the next year? All that they were lacking was a little more brain development – are they still failures then?  NS levels are also inaccurate, Anne Tolley admitted this on TV3 at the start of last year. She showed little intrest or care about this fact.

    Children are not little carbon copies of each other. They ALL learn at different speeds and in different ways, but what National are aiming for is a “pass a test” system. A system that, in the UK, has been denounced and proven not to educate kids, rather just teach them how to pass a test then forget the facts that were cramed into their heads.

    As for performance pay, I find it disgusting to use children in this way. Children are not tools to use to decide who gets a bonus. And how are teachers to be measured? Are all schools to be treated the same? Kings is to be considered an equal of a school in Otangarai? Performance pay will be a disaster for education.

    And lasty, you can get rid of bad teachers. Rather easily and quickly if you follow the rules.

    • EX Navy Greg

      Thank you for your reply, I will digest the info you have provided.
      One last question , who commissioned ” the most up to date studies”
      Funny thing is, I think most people have the same outcome required , but nobody can agree on how to achieve this.Once again thank you , I think this is the first time you have answered a question here.
      P.S. you spelling and punctuation just earned a C -, must try harder… : )

      EDIT: totally agree with paragraph 2

      • Kosh103

        This is not the first time I have answered questions. As I pointed out in another thread, I dont get questions on here – just right wing abuse. Prob because so many on the right hate truth.

        Ahh well.  

    • Sars

      I do agree with a lot of what you have written here but the question still remains – with the current and widely acknowledged poor results coming out of our school system, what do we do? You have raised valid points and asked interesting questions but you aren’t sharing any ideas about how improvements can be made. You are part of the institution, surely you can offer some insight into what YOU think can be done to improve things.

      I think that maybe WO could suggest some KPIs for school teachers as he has done for politicians. Obviously performance can’t just be measured against test results, other factors have to be taken into consideration. Attendance of external training, not just in education but in recognition of child abuse, pathways to resolving conflict etc would be useful – you probably already have something like these but they just aren’t working in the current form. Even measuring (to a small degree) any success teachers have with coaching sports or academic teams outside of school hours. Because schools are ranked under the decile program, it wouldn’t be too hard to weight the results against the decile rating of the school i.e. teachers at more affluent schools get their results weighted lower than those in under privileged areas – teachers in under privileged areas are rewarded more for their achievements than those in affluent areas (and you can’t say that’s not fair – check out the rural GP scheme) 

      Anyone got any other KPIs that could be used here?

      • Kosh103

        I have suggesgted before where the real problem is. It is with the home life of a lot of the kids who are failing. The drugs, booze etc… Also when shouting about this 20% National have taken no effort to seperate out the kids with learning issues. The ones who will never reach the “age suggested abilities”.

        A little truth from National on this would be nice.

      • Sars

        Hi Kosh, 
        You are quite correct in saying that the problem with a lot of these kids is the home life. Inter-generational welfare dependency goes hand in hand with this – education is the only way out of that vicious cycle and clearly, what we have now isn’t working.  

        As a teacher (and if the rumours are true, a year 8 teacher) who probably spends more time with the kids than their parents do – what do you do to make a difference to these kids who are struggling? I mean, at what level do you involve the school counsellor, or CYFS, or the police? Do you take a kid aside and ask if they’re ok? For a lot of these kids, teachers are the first defence against destructive family scenarios – yes, inter agency failings don’t help but being responsible for the welfare of these children, especially in absence of responsible parenting, is part of a teacher’s job. Do teachers just hand off to CYFS or the police and think, job done?

        Also, you didn’t comment on my proposal for KPIs and weighting results against the schools’ decile rating. 

    • Bunswalla

      It’s nice to see politeness break out in a blog, but the fact remains you only answered 1 of the 3 questions Greg posed – and your spelling left a lot to be desired. In your world, I’m sure that would get you an “Achieved” and a lollipop. In the real world? You’ll be lucky to be stacking shelves or delivering junk mail.

      • Kosh103

        LMAO- ahhhhhhh the right, gotta love their inability to accept when they are wrong.

    • Thorn

      Are you an expert on education, and if so, in what capacity?

  • Bunswalla

    The interesting thing is that Kosh says children are not all little carbon copies of each other, which is quite correct – yet somehow teachers are! They all perform at the same level, there are no good and bad ones, and performance pay and KPIs (which let’s face it, is what the teachers are REALLY worried about; nothing to do with the children) is “difficult to implement.”

    NS is a KPI (albeit a fairly blunt one, but an important business maxim I learned 30 years ago is: you can’t manage what you don’t measure) that identifies where more attention and resources need to go. Not even Kosh can argue (convincingly) that the system worked before NS – up to 20% of children unable to read and write to a level that allows them to continue learning in high school.

    KPIs for children will highlight the children that need to improve, and KPIs for teachers will highlight the teachers that need to improve, as well as those doing an excellent job. What possible argument can there be against that?

    • Kosh103

      Teachers are not worried about being checked up on. It is one of the most “watched” jobs a person could have. However this is a truth the right dont want to see, because it messes up the “teachers are evil” shouting.

      • Sars

        How do you mean teachers are ‘watched’?
        We’re not talking about monitoring for paedophiles and child beaters here, we’re talking about tracking the performance of teachers based on the results and development of their students. Are you saying that this is already happening and that the results are somehow satisfactory?

        Kosh, honestly, you need to expand on your arguments more. You seem like you have knowledge in the education sector but you brush across things so briefly that it’s impossible to tell if you really know what you are talking about or just bullshitting us. 

        I have never said that teachers are evil, but I will go on record calling them lazy, opportunistic and arrogant. That’s a generalisation based on the people I went to school with who are now teachers. They are lazy because it is widely acknowledged that teaching is the easiest degree to get. The people I know who became teachers? Didn’t have the grades or the aptitude for any other course but still desperately wanted to go to Uni for the experience. Teaching is the default course for anyone in that position. They are opportunistic because they, especially men, have a pretty clear track to a job at the end of their qualification. How many unemployed school teachers are there? How many qualified school teachers are forced to work in an industry outside the scope of their qualification in absence of appropriate employment? They are arrogant because, well, they just are. They spend their days telling children what to do and being right in that face of any evidence to the contrary and find it near impossible to stop doing that after the bell rings. 

        A whole meme devoted to it…certainly looks like a few others around the world share at least part of my ideas. 
        http://www.quickmeme.com/Unhelpful-High-School-Teacher/ 

  • Anonymous

    All those with a vested interest should declare that interest and STFU.

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