Education

Teacher’s union dropped opposition to paying their members more

It is truly bizarre that we had a situation where a teachers union was opposing a government proposal to pay their member more.

The NZEI though, has now swallowed the dead rat, and decided to not oppose it after making some trifling changes to the proposals.

A teachers union is dropping its opposition to the Government’s $155 million a year plan to pay teachers more to improve schools after negotiating changes to the scheme.

The deal agreed with the Education Ministry opens the way for more schools to join a revised version of the programme known as Investing in Educational Success.

The Educational Institute (NZEI) said the changes include allowing early childhood services to join the scheme, which was originally just for schools.    Read more »

PPTA now wants trades training banned in schools

There is a story in a Sunday newspaper that illustrates what dreadful backwards thinking people the unionised teachers are.

Children are being discouraged, or even banned, from attending trades courses because the taxpayer funding for that child will go to the trades academy, rather than to the school.

Teachers’ unions always insist they are professional bodies serving the interests of education, not just their members.

How disappointing, therefore, to discover the Post Primary Teachers’ Association’s secondary principals’ council has suggested schools limit the number of pupils admitted to their new “trades academies” so as not to put staffing positions at risk.

Trades academies — technical courses, as they were — have been reintroduced to schools for 15- and 16-year-old students who do not want to take academic subjects much further and can get NCEA credits in subjects of more use to their employment prospects.

The courses are funded from an account for all industry training providers and the funding of schools is reduced accordingly.

The PPTA principals have warned schools that “depending on how many you enrol (in trades academies), the changes would also be likely to reduce the number of salary units, middle management and possibly the number of senior management allowances the school would receive”.

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$200,000 per classroom, for 10 years, price locked in

The government is spending $200,000 per classroom, for 10 years, price locked in.

Thousands of New Zealand children will be taught in portable classrooms after the Government placed a $100 million order for the buildings.

The classrooms could halve the time it currently takes to replace damaged school buildings or install more needed because of roll growth, the Government said.

At least 50 transportable classrooms will be delivered to schools each year under the 10-year contract, announced today.

The Ministry of Education has previously faced criticism over the speed of its response to damaged or substandard school buildings or to roll growth, particularly in Auckland where intensification is putting pressure on many schools.   Read more »

So now a Charter school isn’t spending enough money?

You’ve really got to love the Labour party.

First they complain that charter schools are getting too much funding, and now Chris Hipkins is complaining they aren’t spending enough.

The Minister of Education has been questioned over why a charter school has ended up with $2.5 million of unspent government funding sitting in its bank.

Hekia Parata has defended the funding of the school in Whangarei, saying it was performing well.

The first group of the publicly-funded private schools opened last year followed by a second group this year.

Labour MP Chris Hipkins challenged the minister today over charter school money, using Whangarei charter school Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa, run by He Puna Marama Trust, as an example.

“How can she claim that the funds being given to partnership schools are being used for education when He Puna Marama Trust received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year – yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving $2.5 million unaccounted for?”

The minister said Mr Hipkins was “quoting selectively” from the accounts.

She said the trust was responsible for other schools, including early childhood centres and an academy.   Read more »

Two Politicians, two very different parties but a common belief in a ‘ Fair go ‘

After the story of the Student teacher hit the headlines I approached three politicians for comment and their responses are below. Two of them have a common belief in a ‘fair go’ for the Student teacher which is heartening to see.

Labour Party’s Spokesperson for Education, Chris Hipkins

Chris Hipkins

Chris Hipkins,Labour Party’s spokesperson for Education.

I don’t comment on specific employment matters.

On the general issue, I would expect all trainee teachers to be given full support to complete their qualifications. They should not be discriminated against based on gender, race, sexuality, past employment, or future employment prospects.

– Chris Hipkins

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Just how much is Kirsty Johnston in the PPTA’s pocket?

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As the PPTA try all manner of whinging strategies and attempt to get public support for a bargaining round with government, they have found a best friend at the Herald.

Today they have an article stating there are teaching shortages looming – only 5 people are applying for each job.

Where there are specific subject shortages, the PPTA won’t acknowledge that it is their fault as they insist on a national collective contract. Which of course means that people with extra knowledge and skills cannot negotiate an individual contract to help make teaching worthwhile for them. The PPTA’s collective bargaining keeps many great people out of the field – and NZ’s children suffer because of it. Their opposition to bulk funding exacerbates all of this.    Read more »

David Cameron makes extension of charter schools programme key to his government

In David Cameron’s speech to the Queen he made a focus of education and the expansion of their charter schools programme.

The second big focus of this Queen’s Speech is championing social justice. That starts with education: a decent schooling for every child, no matter where they’re from. Our school reforms in the last Parliament were bold; one million more children are now learning in good or outstanding schools. In this Parliament they will be bolder still: taking over and turning into Academies not just failing schools but coasting ones too, as part of our new Education and Adoption Bill; opening not just a few more Free Schools, but 500 more.

Read more »

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PPTA President Loves Education that brings Systemic Failure of the Poor

Angela-Roberts

In a “my job is tough please cry me a river” article PPTA President Angela Roberts closes by stating:

Public education is important for a nation. We have a great system in New Zealand and these challenges come about so we can improve our great curriculum.

So she is happy with:

– many decile 1 & 2 schools getting Year 13 UE pass rates of less than 20% while decile 9 & 10 are almost uniformly above 60%.

– ongoing gaps for Maori and Pasifika compared to the rest of the New Zealand population.   Read more »

Tories take on teachers’ unions with crackdown on useless schools

The Tories aren’t wasting any time after winning the UK general election and gaining an outright majority.

First order of business is whacking the teacher unions and their protection of dead head teachers and principals.

The Conservatives have opened a new front in their war with teachers’ unions and Labour politicians who are trying to block radical education reforms, promising to change the law to force through hundreds of new academy schools.

Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, announced plans to intervene immediately in failing state schools, warning that it is “unacceptable” for children to be given inadequate teaching for even one day after failings have been identified.

Writing for The Telegraph, she said an Education Bill in the Queen’s Speech next week would give her new powers to send in hit squads to replace failing school leaders “from day one”.

In a further move, she declared she would accelerate plans to turn hundreds of struggling primaries and comprehensives into semi-independent academies, and open 500 more “free schools”, despite militant opposition from teachers’ unions and Left-wing councils.

The proposals represent a major escalation of the Conservative Party’s battle with the education establishment, after Michael Gove’s free school and academy reforms infuriated union bosses throughout the last parliament.

At Westminster, the plan will be seen as a clear signal of David Cameron’s intent to use his new Tory majority to pursue “true blue” policies, unhindered by being in coalition with the Liberal Democrats.   Read more »

Why we need more Charter Schools here

New Orleans has had what amounts to a learning revolution for the children there. The sort of revolution many schools need here.

In the decade since then, things have really turned around.  Most students are black (90 percent) and low-income (80 percent). The quality of graduation rates have dramatically improved from 54 percent in 2004 to 80 percent today, as well as gains in math and reading. Why? Because it’s not about the schools, it’s about the kids.

Local autonomy is the key to the success of charter schools. Roemer Shirley emphasized the importance of “making decisions as close to kids as possible,” rather than leaving decisions up to distant bureaucrats: “When we empower parents and teachers, we can create a better outcome.” This means fighting the status quo “every day to continue to innovate.”

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