Free Press writes
Teacher Unions’ Odd Position
Teachers will strike this week, forcing parents all over the country to make alternative arrangements. Their concern? That principals and boards of trustees will be given more flexibility in how they use their funding. They believe this will lead to fewer teachers being employed, but why would that be?
How it Plays out in Partnership Schools
ACT’s Partnership Schools have total flexibility in their funding. They have generally used this flexibility to economise on material things and employ more teachers. It is not clear why the teacher unions believe state schools would use flexibility to employ fewer teachers, unless…
Not All Teachers Are Created Equal
The unions’ job (not the teachers’) is to ensure all teachers get the same rigid pay scale regardless of performance. Free Press visited a top New Zealand firm that uses sophisticated 360 degree feedback on staff behaviour and performance to set remuneration but this is not possible under collective agreements.
The Realpolitik of Teachers’ Unions
The unions’ real concern about flexibility is that it will affect their core business: making sure the best teacher in New Zealand is paid the same as the worst. A more flexible funding model (like what’s used in Partnership Schools) could allow greater pay for good teachers, at the expense of those who aren’t producing solid results for their students.
Time to TERF
We have had it suggested by several former state school principals that while most teachers are wonderful, children are held back by those who aren’t (we can all remember one or two). The police used to have a scheme called PERF (Police Employment Rehabilitation Fund) that would pay out those who could no longer perform for various reasons. Perhaps it is time to consider a dignified exit for underperforming teachers who are just waiting to collect their Superannuation – TERF?
The only roles teachers unions perform is to ensure they protect mediocrity. Any statement that they are trying to do it for the kids is as empty as it is a lie. And fair enough, unions should be about patch protection. But similarly, when schools and parents want a better outcome, the unions are in the way.
Charter schools have shown there isn’t a one-solutions-fits-all answer to education. And to think that poor teachers are paid as much as good ones should turn any normal person’s stomach.
It does mine.