The Myopia of the NZ Principals Federation

When the Charter Schools law was passed this week – Philip Harding – the NZ Principals Federation President had this to say:

The only glimmer of hope was the promise that the legislation would be repealed in a change of government.

Clearly he has forgotten why education exists. Otherwise his “glimmers of hope” would be –

– there may be innovative ways used to help under-performing groups and children improve.

– failure cycles may be broken for families. 

– more people may be encouraged to contribute to education in New Zealand.

– the highly successful models from overseas may be implemented here.

– state schools and Charter Schools may co-operate to ensure successful implementation.

Are teachers really happy being represented by people like Philip Harding who simply spout off what they are told to say and have lost the focus that education is for children?

What is it that about the unions, Labour and the Greens that they are so scared of potential educational improvement for Maori and Pacific Island children?

  • In Vino Veritas

    Educated people who get out of academia and make a living are less likely to be socialists. So, if Charter Schools work, it may well lead to less voters for the socialist parties.

  • Whafe

    What is it that about the unions, Labour and the Greens that they are so scared of potential educational improvement for Maori and Pacific Island children?

    Because it will shine the bright sunlight on just how shit house they have been and the damage they have done to many many thousands of childrens chance to make it in the world…

  • Col

    One word in this article jumps out at me, the word is FOCUS.
    This as been lost by many teachers, or never happened with most.
    Always focus on what your doing, never let side issues come into play.

  • Patrick

    As far as the teacher unions are concerned education is not for children. Education is all about union power, socialist teachings & mediocrity.

    • Allyson

      Also the demise of Trade Unionism has left Teacher Unions as last man standing. Labor have no alternative but to fully support whatever these creeps want.

  • Allyson

    If I had no ambition for my child to improve their lot through education. I would vote Labor or Green.

  • johnbronkhorst

    If they manage to open 5 charter schools (as a trial) by first term of next year, could mean a significant reduction in union membership and funds for the teachers (and therefore labour). Also would be harder to attack them than if there was only one. Meaning Charter Schools would be more free to be assessed, as to their success.

  • AnonWgtn

    He should wish – Labour would not make any changes, even under Greenpeace pressure.

  • johnbronkhorst

    This clown should do some research…real research. Not just misread the research of others and not misrepresent (by omission) the research of others.

    From the University of Washington.

    Title: Effect of Charter schools on achievement.

    “The overall tenor of our results is that charter schools are
    in some cases outperforming traditional public schools in terms of students’ reading and math achievement, and in other cases performing similarly or worse. There are several important cases of grade spans in which charter schools are outperforming or
    performing about as well as traditional public schools. Elementary school math and
    reading, middle school math and, only if we include the KIPP school estimates, middle school reading all exhibit this pattern of students performing better at charter schools than at traditional public schools.At the high school level, there is no overall significant effect of charter schools, but there is considerable heterogeneity, suggesting that in some locations charter high schools are outperforming, while in others they are underperforming.”
    This part of their conclusion, suggest you read the rest.

  • Mediaan

    Good comment. They have, indeed, forgotten they are there to advance the interests of the children. Not themselves.

  • leeann

    Husband a teacher and we have put 5 children through school system so I think we know what we are talking about when we say charter schools will not be a good thing!

    • johnbronkhorst

      DO THE RESEARCH!!!!!!!!

    • johnbronkhorst

      Confuscious:
      A fool is a man that says “If it is old it is good” A bigger fool says “If it is new then it is better”
      DO YOU RESEARCH!!!!!

      • leeann

        Settle petal. I dont need research. I have personal experience and trust my husbands opinion on this. Kiwi kids are different than overseas kids and all 5 did well in school system. Calm down.

        • Sym Gardiner

          An example doesn’t make a rule/principle/law.

          An example might cause a hypothesis. This is then tested with research (sampling, studies across multiple groups to control for other factors, etc). A conclusion is then drawn and tested to see if it is repeatable.
          Then and only then do you get a rule/principle/law.

          Interestingly my daughter’s school is teaching this to year 2 kids. Its a pity many adults operate under the delusion that if it worked for them it will work for everyone else.

          And as for Kiwi kids being different… spare me!

        • rockape

          Leeann, your husband is a teacher and you obviously a caring parent. However charter schools will mainly cater for minorities who dont have the advantage that your kids have. They are the ones who lose out in a one size fits all system. And yes, I am a former training designer. My sister a former Headmistress and director of education and also training designer( NZQAs) and was married to a teacher but she was a drunk and gambler so we parted!

        • Bad__Cat

          Yep, there it is! “I don’t need research”
          That explains why you probably:
          ~ vote labour/greens
          ~ believe in AGW
          ~ believe vaccination causes autism
          ~ believe John Key is part of a global capitalistic plot
          ~ believe peak oil is imminent
          ~ believe fracking pollutes

          • leeann

            Very very wrong on all counts

        • Cadwallader

          So, in other words you don’t attribute any of their success to yourself and your husband. Sad, very sad!

          • leeann

            Of course I do. We are very good parents. Why have a go at me because im against charter schools. Each to there own. Just try them elsewhere first. Ch ch shouldnt be used for the trial. Weve been through enough.

    • Auto_Immune

      What specifically are your (and your husband’s) reservations with Charter schools?

      • leeann

        Being run by people who’s only interest is $$, like some nursing homes. Unqualified people “teaching” kids. No proceedure for complaint if not maintaining standards. There is also alot of resources saying it doesnt work. I should be allowed an opinion people without personal attacks or anger!

        • johnbronkhorst

          Unregistered is NOT unqualified!!!!!!

        • CJA

          Leeann I think another issue would be people would state that you have a vested interest with your husband being a teacher. Yes you are entitled to an opinion but if people disagree with it so be it. By reading the above I don’t think commenters are attacking you personally. The odd exclamation mark might just mean frustration rather than yelling.

          • leeann

            Mmy husband is loosing his job through Nationals school closure and it has less to do with earthquake/roles (has minimal damage and growing role) and more to do with freeing up land for these proposed charter schools .

          • johnbronkhorst

            IF and it is a BIG if, that is what happens. Why wouldn’t he apply to the charter school for a job. Or is he, like so many teachers, afraid they may pay him what he is worth. Therefore he would get a pay cut?

          • leeann

            Once again getting nasty? Are you a teacher? Know many teachers? Have kids in school. So you are saying most teachers are overpaid. Have you any idea what its like to teach in this modern age? And believe me National dont make it easier. You are a closeminded jerk.

          • leeann

            Ps Im pretty sure my husband and his collegues know more about whats really going on than you do. The facts.

          • johnbronkhorst

            and I’m certain that they DON’T. To quote you!

            ” I dont need research.” how’s that for arrogance! You are saying without any facts, backed up by research that we should just take your word for it!!!
            Answer to arrogant arseholes like you is …………………….NO!!!!

          • Cadwallader

            Agree. Classic pompous teacher-type response.

          • johnbronkhorst

            Really………I have seen the crop of teachers straight out of training college that Can’t spell, can barely read, their grammar is disgusting, comprehension barely existent and arrogant to the n th degree. They, or at least many of them ARE over paid. As for nasty Boo hoo get over it and realise a teacher is JUST an employee!!! But they don’t want to have there performance tested ..like ALL other employees. They arrogantly believe they are above all that!!!
            My question stands, why doesn’t he apply to the charter school for a job???????
            As for closed minded…I’m the one that did the research and you are the one that said you didn’t need to….Now that’s closed minded!!!!

          • Bad__Cat

            Yep, don’t let facts get in the way of a good story.
            PS, if I marked your posts for an English paper you would get a C. (Spelling, lack of apostrophes)

        • rockape

          Leeann, from what Ive seen thats teachers priority. Never seen them make a fuss about failing kids, unless its attached to a demand for more pay. Never saw such a fuss as when they had a few disruptions over pay. That much angst shown over failing kids and I would believe you . Until then I think you priorities are more pay, less classroom time and longer holidays. Those are the things you protest most about,and those are the things Charter schools threaten. What if 8 to 5 in the classroom works, what if summer schools work, that would be so sad for the unions.

    • CJA

      So hang on you’ve already put your kids throughn the school system then? Therefore what you’re saying (from my understanding) is that you have nothing to compare it to e.g. you have no comparison with one of your kids going to a charter school and one going to a public school. If you did have a comparison then that would be a different story. I think what a lot of people around here want is an alternative if not for their own kids then for the 20% (figure that is usually bandied about) of kids that are currently failing in our education system. A major issue for me is that why can we not give something a go, like Charter Schools, to see if it works and if doesn’t then at least we have tried an alternative rather than doing nothing about the situation where kids continue to fail.

      • johnbronkhorst

        If charter schools are for the 20% failing and, even if ALL 20%, still fail. We have lost NOTHING, but if even 1 kid, suddenly gets it and passes. We have improved the system!!!!!!!

    • Patrick

      So you are in agreement with Annette King then – “We perform near the top in everything that matters.”
      The 20% that don’t get a quality education to an acceptable level in NZ don’t matter to you or your husband apparently?
      Would your husband happen to be a member of a trade union by any chance?

    • rockape

      What experience have you had of charter schools, none, I thought so.

    • Bad__Cat

      I hate to say it, but that’s the attitude of union teachers that we despise:
      “It’s right because I say it is”
      Sorry, Leeann, that don’t wash any more.

    • Steve (North Shore)

      Those who can, do; those who cannot, Teach.
      Put 5 children through? You used the system that is run by Unions? Shame on you. How will the children learn to be anything but Unionists?

  • JC

    “What is it that about the unions, Labour and the Greens that they are so
    scared of potential educational improvement for Maori and Pacific
    Island children?”

    Well, if teacher unions were right leaning we all know it would be racism.

    JC

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