Education

More teacher union whinging copy/pasted by Media party

Fairfax obviously have no trouble putting untrained and unsupervised “journalists” in charge of publishing near verbatim press releases from the teachers’ union without even pretending they have taken a cursory look at it for pressing “publish”.

Changes to education rules will mean unqualified teachers working unsupervised in primary schools, a union says.

According to NZEI, the primary teachers’ union, a “last-minute” change to the Education Legislation Bill would allow schools to cheaply hire an “unqualified person in an unsupervised teaching role” while they did an initial teacher training programme.

“As a principal, I know that taking trainees straight off the street and putting them in front of a classroom is absolutely inappropriate,” union president Louise Green said.

“Teachers need high-quality, professional training and education to learn the skills of teaching. They need an understanding of child development and the curriculum.”

New Zealand already had an oversupply of certificated and registered primary teachers and just 15 per cent of graduating teachers were getting permanent fulltime jobs, she said.

“The amendments appear to be wholly inconsistent with the Government’s goal of lifting the status of teaching and moving towards teaching as a post-graduate profession.   Read more »

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Bob Jones on the uselessness of tertiary courses, the Dompost and the Dompost journalists

Bob Jones is a national treasure, and in this week’s NBR he has out done himself on the insults.

It is rather special as he discusses the general uselessness of the Dompost, its journalists and education in general.

“Teachers struggle for jobs” was the welcome front page heading in the Dominion-Post a week back.

Before readers jump up and down, I’ll explain the ‘welcome’ bit. There has been a change of editor, meaning people with weak hearts can now resume reading the front page. Under the previous office-holder whose reign corresponded with a massive circulation decline, the mind-boggling fictions, disgraceful created non-stories and sheer nonsense bespoiling the Dom’s front page, plumbed depths never hitherto reached in the annals of newspaper publishing.

Nonsense articles still continue to entertain, only not on the front page. For example, not once but twice in the last few week’s, the Dominion-Post has described Kiwi Property as New Zealand’s largest listed company.

But back to the school-teacher story, published incidentally, under the obviously mickey-taking fictitious name, Laura Dooney. Ever heard of a ‘Dooney,’ aside from which, given the piece was well-written, anyone competent having such a name would long since have changed it by deed-poll.  Be that as it may, the item claimed we’re pumping out school-teachers who are unable to obtain jobs. It cited the Ministry of Education advising that only 15%, for God’s sake, of new teaching graduates, are able to secure permanent teaching employment. This over-supply outrage was attributed by the NZEI president Louise Green, inter alia, to “teacher training providers, eager to sustain numbers and thus corresponding funding.”

Whoever wrote the story (like you, I can’t believe the Dom’s ‘Dooney’ try-on) missed an even bigger one, namely that specialist courses graduate over-supply goes far beyond teaching.

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PPTA cause a problem – then claim they are fixing it

The inability of school Principals to pay staff differently where there are shortages has two causes – the PPTA opposed bulk funding and PPTA/NZEI insistence on national contracts.

Principals struggling to fill teaching positions have resorted to buying houses for staff as a last ditch attempt to offset the impact of the housing crisis.

A “perfect storm” has created a secondary school teaching shortage, exacerbated by teachers fleeing Auckland’s skyrocketing house prices, a principal says.

A new survey of principals found about one in 10 schools reported they were unable to fill permanent positions after advertising.

The average secondary school teacher earns between $46,000 and $75,000 but the median Auckland house price is $812,000 – four times the value of a Southland house.   Read more »

Karl du Fresne on Bryan Bruce’s latest hit job

On Tuesday night Bryan Bruce released a new documentary.

It hasn’t gone down well, mainly because it destroyed the union narrative that our education isn’t as world-class as they’d like us believe. The luvvies are upset too because normally they’d be singing from the rooftops about his findings. The problem is that Bruce’s narrative has taken away many of the claims from the unions and actually, despite it not being the intent, promoted why it is that charter schools are so popular.

Paid mouthpiece website The Spinoff’s Duncan Grieve had a crack at it, and has been attacked for daring to speak the unspeakable..

Karl du Fresne also has some commentary:

I forced myself to watch the Bryan Bruce documentary about New Zealand education on TV3 last night. Past experience told me not to expect an even-handed assessment of the issues, but the optimist in me hoped that Bruce might offer some insights into where our education system has gone wrong. Faint chance.

If there’s a word that describes Bruce’s broadcasting style, it’s tendentious – in other words, calculated to promote a particular cause.

Viewers might have learned something worthwhile had he approached his subject with an open mind, but no. He clearly started out with a fixed goal in mind. Bruce doesn’t like choice, doesn’t like competition and doesn’t like individualism. He despises Treasury and the disruptive neo-liberal reforms it has championed since the 1980s.

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Andrew Little’s message to teachers

parents-yelling-at-teachers

parents-yelling-at-teachers

As most of you know I regularly receive e-mails from my mate Andrew Little. He sent me a copy of his speech and I thought I would have a look at what he said specifically about education as we have two powerful teacher unions who no doubt would be eager to hear what he had to say. I am sorry to say fellow teachers that the news is all bad. Andrew is not happy with our ” World class ” education system and it looks like it is all charter schools’ fault despite the fact that they have only been around for three years.

Yes, it is all doom and gloom in this speech. Fortunately though Labour can fix it. So what is the answer? I will give you a hint, it’s more money. Money is the answer. Apparently all Labour has to do to “fix” the public system is close charter schools and put that money (which is actually achieving amazing results) back into our Public System that isn’t, ( Andrew’s words not mine.)

People want a good job, a home they can call their own, a good school to send their kids to, and healthcare if they get sick.

…These are the goals most New Zealanders have for themselves and for their families. That’s the Kiwi Dream.

…But right now, too many people feel like those goals are further and further out of reach.

…Parents are paying more for their childrens’ education, but our schools aren’t performing as well.

Our country is facing some big challenges right now.

In the economy, in housing, in health and education.

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Not like Bryan Bruce’s TV3 “documentary” wasn’t premeditated

This Tuesday night TV3 have a documentary where “journalist” Bryan Bruce “investigates” NZ schools and tells us the “system is broken”. It is not when Charters are mooted but is otherwise

He thinks Finland is where we should be looking to, just like David Shearer once thought:

He believes not only that a centralised education system, such as Finland’s, is best, but also that inquiry learning that teaches critical thinking is the way to go.

I’m not sure the teacher unions would like the Finnish solution for schooling. I covered this before:

“[Teachers] have to be educated at least to Master’s level, even for primary school teachers, and are thoroughly immersed in educational theory.”

Problem 7: The NZEI and PPTA would fall even further out of their trees if a political party on the Right proposed that all teachers needed Masters degrees and that those without one needed to re-train. They would also go nuts of someone suggested placing a good academic standard of Maths and Science as an entry requirement into Primary teacher training (something actually desperately needed in NZ).

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Hipkins says no to money for schools

The Overseas Investment Office has approved an application from an overseas investor to buy 19 hectares of prime New Zealand land outside Arrowtown for $2.7 million and a donation of $100,000 towards iPads for the Decile 10 Wakatipu High School.

Needless to say the Labour Party is hopping mad.

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Andrew Dickens refuses to follow the NZME party line: parents are to blame

Andrew Dickens recognises bullshit when he sees it and he’s recognised that it isn’t the government’s fault there have only been moderate increases in results from National Standards.

He’s even called out the union shills like Kirsty Johnson. He has gone up considerably in my opinion, admittedly from a rather low base.

Having pulled the housing issue apart over the past weeks my colleagues at NZME have now turned their attention to education.

The headlines all yesterday morning was that a quarter of our children starting secondary school are below the National Standards introduced by National in 2008.

This despite an investment of $250m extra by the Government to lift literacy and numeracy.

Cue Talkback. Teachers are all Marxists. NCEA is crap. Nobody rote learns any more. All anyone cares about is participation not success and winning. It’s PC gone mad. Kids can’t climb trees and it’s all social engineering. Blah blah blah blah.

There’s an awful lot of smoke and mirrors here.

Yes an extra quarter billion has been invested. But remember our population has swelled by 500,000 people in the last decade so that money was needed just to keep pace. When politicians say they’re spending more on health and education remember that they have to because there are more of us.

They’re playing politics. That’s because they’re politicians.

As an aside when was the last new hospital built in this country, which, by the way, is 20 per cent bigger than 10 years ago?

So the figure says we’ve flatlined. In other words the problems we have in education are exactly the same as the problems we’ve always had. We’re no better or worse than we’ve ever been.

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ERO can’t fault three new Charter schools. What will Chris Hipkins spin this as?

Chris Hipkins is going to find this hard to spin his way.

Three new Charter schools got a good grade from the Education Review Office.

Radio NZ’s John Gerritson obviously didn’t get the union memo.

Three new charter schools have made a good start, according to the Education Review Office.

The reports covered two of the publicly-funded private schools in Auckland, Te Kura Māori o Waatea and Pacific Advance Senior School, and one in Whangarei, Te Kāpehu Whetū -Teina.

The reviews were generally positive, but identified problems such as the need to increase enrolments or develop curriculums.

The report for Pacific Advance Senior School said it had 105 students in Years 11 and 12 at the start of this year and the school had done a good job of engaging them in their learning.

It said many students started at the school well below achievement expectations for their age level and to get students confident and able to complete Level 1 NCEA qualification was a significant success for the school.

It said 36 students were awarded Level 1 NCEA, which was 57 percent of the student body.   Read more »

Two questions for Chris Hipkins

It's a crisis I tell you!

It’s a crisis I tell you!

Following on from Chris Hipkins declaring a crisis in education, I have two questions for him to answer.

  1. Isn’t the real “crisis” in education that PPTA-staffed schools ensure that only 14% of Maori school leavers (20% of Pasifika) have University Entrance?
  2. Charter schools use their funding to provide uniforms and stationery and do not ask for donations. States schools have that choice and don’t do it. Will Labour require them to?

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