Hekia Parata to get tips from the US


The Massachusetts school system has an outstanding record of achievement and Education Minister Hekia Parata wants to know more about it.

She’s on her way to the United States to take a close look.

“The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education manages one million pupils in 2000 public schools, and just two per cent of its high school students leave school prior to graduation,” Ms Parata said before she left.

“In addition, its students’ maths and reading scores are among the highest in the country.”

She’ll be meeting the department’s commissioner and other Massachusetts education experts.

“I want to understand how Massachusetts is able to achieve these outstanding outcomes and what might be relevant to our education system.”

It comes as no surprise to discover Massachusett have embraced Charter Schools and are managing them well.  If they don’t perform, they are closed.  Now there is motivation.

As a result, their Teachers Union, the Massachusetts Teachers Association is lamenting the death of the public school system as their powers wane.

More like the death of the Teachers unions.

Critics say the schools are only about profits.  But if they churn out results, then if profit is what it takes to outperform public schools, then so be it.


– Yahoo! News

  • Dog Breath

    My son attended a US high school for nearly two years graduating with honours. His school was a public school that was in the top 100 performing school in the US. It had the same number entering high school as they had graduating which indicated it had a very low drop out rate. Never seen any thing like it in NZ. The head master greeted each student every morning and said goodbye to each at the end of the day. At graduation the head master was hugged openly by many of the students. An amazing man doing amazing things for his students. NCEA fitted exactly into the US system. My son benefited emensley from his US school experience.

  • Nebman

    Que the PPTA and other Unions notification of stop work meetings to discuss the Minister’s plans to transform the education system in New Zealand….

  • JEL51

    I have listened to feedback for much of the day about the teachers rejection of a different system of funding which has been nearly all negative. I would be a worried person if I was a teacher on the receiving end of the deep expressions of emotions. They hold their shoulders back knowing theirs is a worthwhile profession, respected.
    How can they be happy with the total manipulation by Union mouthpieces like that Angela Roberts on Larry’s just now? That woman has a totally closed mind.
    TEACHERS HAVE TO TAKE CHARGE, they have to ‘grow-up,’ so to speak. Unions only survive because you pay them !!!
    There are always different ways of doing things as seen above, go demand change for the better . (…and get rid of that woman who is forever spouting-off on Larry’s show, upsetting my sense of calm)

  • Blueburd

    Teachers unions are really the last bastion of old time unionism in NZ. I have many teacher friends and to be honest they all seem to hate their jobs no matter who is in power. I was discussing the latest stop work issue with one and they just kept whinging about the possibility of class sizes increasing. I asked her if this would be a great time to work with administrators to ensure the global funding goes where it’s needed. I was wasting my breath. Far easier to complain than care and work with the school.

    Charter schools will eventually break this “stronghold” down and soon we will have an education system that will see teachers caring about the job they are meant to do

  • Paul


    From an economics perspective aren’t profits just a specific type of surplus? A type of surplus that can be seen and evaluated?

    And don’t all human activities have a surplus somewhere or appropriation from somewhere else, otherwise they don’t get done?

    So, where are the surplus’s hiding or disappearing to at the moment in our public schools? There will be surpluses there somewhere. With Charter schools the surplus is out in the open.

    But, if you like things to be kept in the dark, profits are … not good

  • LovetoTeach

    It would be really nice to see the Whaleoil community behave better than our friends on the left and their tendency towards sweeping generalisations. We hiss and boo when they call us “rich pricks” yet the majority of you (see how I did that?) are still using the word “teachers” in a way suggests ALL.

    From a purely logical perspective, ALL teachers can’t be bad, the same way they can’t ALL be good. Same for schools, charter or otherwise.

    Those of us doing the doing don’t have time to fight the union – we’re too freakn busy being teachers! And yes we chose the job which means we chose the pits and the peaks of that job.

    I’ve so enjoyed this website but I’m def going to have to step away because it’s freakn soul destroying to see so little respect for a profession that I know is blimmin hard work. I wish I could tell you about my day – and the many different ways the MOE could be making a difference for students with just a small increase in funding- and not in a way that robs Peter to pay Paul.

    • Dog Breath

      You are not the only profession that works hard and long hours. However you are the profession that is union controlled to the detriment of students and teachers. 1970’s union tactics ended in the 1970’s it’s time that teachers joined the rest of NZ employees and work with their employer instead of against for the betterment of all.

      • LovetoTeach

        If you read my comment above, I have clearly stated those of us who choose the profession choose the pits and the peaks of it. I also did not complain about the hours or suggest that we work longer, harder than anyone else. You’ve assumed that’s behind my comment because of your preconceived idea of ALL teachers. Which proves my point.

  • Larry

    It has been said before and it’s worth saying again.
    It’s not a crime to make a profit.
    It’s a crime to not make a profit.
    You are wasting capital and you are wasting labour and you are wasting human endeavour if you do not make a profit.
    In fact when profit is the goal everything else follows.