Education

Show us the money

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Let’s do a quick recap:

1. Labour can only tell us where the money for the first year of this plan is coming from.

2. They still need to find $935,000,000 by 2025. That equates to 37.4 flag referendums.

3. This assumes they will win four terms in office starting in 2017. Only one Labour government (the first, for 14 years) has ever lasted four terms. Most lasted just one term, except Lange’s (two terms) and Clark’s (three terms). Read more »

A Reader from Runanga writes about Little’s Education policy

So Labour want to make education ‘free’.  Where do I start?

First of all, nothing funded by taxpayers is free – it just costs everyone.

Labour supporters say it can be paid for by higher tax takes from incomes rising due to people being better qualified.  Sounds nice, but with no bonding there’s nothing to stop all these qualified people from going overseas and paying tax in other countries.

With any Labour policy you obviously have to look at which unions benefit – in this case NZUSA and the TEU.  And what have they said?  Well the TEU have been pushing for higher pay for their members – would a Labour govt give in and hike their pay?  Has this been accounted for in the costings?  And today they came out basically saying that current funding isn’t enough.  Labour have pledged to pay the ‘full costs’ – would they pay what universities and training providers demand, or risk angering their union mates by keeping funding tight?   Read more »

A newspaper gives a Charter School right of reply

Usually when a New Zealand Charter school gets slapped down by the MSM they have no opportunity to fight back, so it is left to Blogs like Whaleoil to put an alternative view point out there.Some pretty nasty accusations were recently put in the MSM about one of the Charter schools that I visited during my investigation. To give credit where credit is due on this occasion, the New Zealand Herald responded positively to their request to let them address their education reporter’s accusations. Like A Newspaper I have reproduced it unedited and unabridged.

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Surely the PPTA MUST see this as a scandal?

Teaching: Where job killer tattoos are no barrier. Photo/NZ Herald

Teaching: Where job killer tattoos are no barrier. Photo/NZ Herald

The two Hobsonville Pt schools started on a budget of $113 million (a new Charter Secondary starts on $400,000). They are decile 10 of course, not aimed at priority learners, so only the best for them.

In their second year Stuff’s School report said the Primary had 156 students and the secondary just 248. That is a total 404 when their capacity is 2290. They are staffed and funded much higher than current rolls – but don’t tell that to the unions on the Left – it is too much contradictory information for their constitutions.

Because they are State schools and PPTA staffed the Hobsonville Point Secondary School gets a soft ride today from the embedded union mouthpiece Kirsty Johnson at the NZ Herald about dropping NCEA Level 1 for their decile 10 students so that they don’t feel under pressure. The article includes as the smallest side point that even in this “zoned” school:

“a small number of families had decided to leave, which the school said it was comfortable with.”

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Maori and Pasifika embrace Charter schools, the unions must be having kittens

Maori and Pasifika are embracing charter schools with 18 of the 25 applicants for new charter schools coming from those communities.

Clearly there is massive dissatisfaction with current education models.

The authorisation board said 25 organisations had applied to set up more of the publicly funded private schools to open in 2017.

It said much of the interest was from educators and community groups representing Māori and Pasifika people, and most of the applications were from the North Island.

The board’s chair, Catherine Isaac, said the level of interest reflected confidence in the charter school system and showed it worked well.

“We do see it as a vote of confidence in a policy that is connecting innovators with disadvantaged students whose needs are not being met by the existing state school system.”

Ms Isaac said the board would evaluate the proposals over the next two months and announce its decisions by next year.

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What does he have to hide?

A formerly registered teacher won’t let anyone into the school’s laptop he has encrypted…I wonder why?

A former teacher accused of serious misconduct refused to open his fingerprint encrypted school laptop, despite investigators saying it was the best way to dismiss allegations of inappropriate conduct with students.

The man’s teaching was called into question for inappropriate conduct with boys – he received multiple warnings about letting students get too physically close, and there were reports of him favouring a certain student and adding others as Facebook friends.

The man worked in a rural Waikato school from late 2007 to early 2014, mostly with seven and eight-year-olds.

He also had IT responsibilities.

He has not been teaching since about March 2014 but appeared before the NZ Teachers’ Disciplinary Tribunal at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

The majority of concerns about his behaviour were from 2010 to early 2014, and included observations of a student stroking the teacher’s hair and one resting his legs on the teacher’s legs.

One parent felt their child had developed a “sense of entitlement” after being treated as a teacher favourite.   Read more »

About time, Hekia comes good on sorting out dud teachers and dud schools

Watch the howls of outrage as the teacher unions gather strength after Hekia Parata’s announcment that she is going after dud schools.

Schools with persistent student underachievement will face a broader range of action from officials, including possible closure, under a proposed revamp of education law.

Education Minister Hekia Parata also wants to reward high-performing schools with much more flexibility in how they plan, and more discretion in the use of funding.

Short of putting in a commissioner or statutory manager, there were limits on what could be done with “floundering” schools, Ms Parata said – particularly if a board or principal was not keen to co-operate.

“Schools that are struggling the most often are the least willing to be helped. They get quite defensive … Unless you strike a principal who has a relationship with the ministry, it is quite hard to go into a school. And a board can tell you to naff off because they are in charge of the school.”

Under wide-ranging proposals for an overhaul of the Education Act 1989, released today in a discussion document, the Ministry of Education could be given power to step in earlier – a “graduated response” that could avoid a more radical intervention later.   Read more »

Hipkins misses the point in his bid to increase union membership

Chris Hipkins has missed the point in his one man bid to increase union membership for the NZEI.

Labour would introduce a minimum qualification requirement for all early childhood educators, seeking to curb the rapid growth of taxpayer-subsidised nannies and au pairs.

The party’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins says early childhood funding should be focused on boosting participation in quality, free services, and ensuring value for money.

“Instead it is going on subsidies towards nannies and au pairs for those who can afford to make that choice, while children from low-income families still top the statistics for non-participation,” he said.

“Surely the Government should be just as focused on ensuring that services are delivering quality as they are on increasing bums on seats.”

Mr Hipkins’ comments follow a Herald report from the weekend which revealed rapid growth in the home-based sector, with a record number of children – 25,000 – now in government-subsidised services which don’t require educators to have have any qualifications.   Read more »

Registered and re-hired, despite violence toward children

Teacher registration should be mandatory for all educational facilities say the teacher unions and labour. They object to voluntary registration for Charter Schools and say that kids will be left unprotected.

Meanwhile registered teachers are lining up before the authorities on all sorts of charges. And one centre even employed a teacher accused of striking children.

So much for registration protecting kids.

Education officials are “extremely concerned” a Porirua early childhood centre has re-employed a teacher accused of striking children.

The centre has again hired one of the teachers at the centre of allegations three years ago.

Katrina Casey, the Ministry of Education’s head of sector enablement and support, said it put the centre on a provisional licence and barred the teacher from having any contact with children.

“We’re extremely concerned that the early childhood education service has chosen to re-employ a teacher who had previous allegations of hitting children still unresolved,” Ms Casey said.    Read more »

A newspaper editorial ticks off the PPTA

A newspaper has an editorial this morning that gently ticks off the PPTA. It clearly wasn’t written by Kirsty Johnson.

The secondary teachers’ union has welcomed one Auckland school’s decision to abandon international examinations and offer only the NCEA. The Post Primary Teachers’ Association would like to ban schools using the International Baccalaureate and the Cambridge exams entirely, believing they undermine our homegrown educational credentials for school leavers.

It is concerned that schools offering the alternatives tend to imply the national qualification as not sufficiently challenging and lacking credibility. But it also blames the Government for using the NCEA to set national achievement targets as a measure of the return on educational investment. The union says the targets encourage “credit farming”, by which it means schools siphon students into courses that offer the most credits, though they might not be the courses the students need most. A paper circulated by the PPTA claims students “seek out courses which are perceived to deliver the most credits for the least effort”.

This is a concern if true. But it seems not to have occurred to the union that its portrayal of “credit farming” in the NCEA also reinforces the very perceptions it resents. The public should be insisting the PPTA’s members – who are professionals, as it often reminds us – do their utmost to encourage students to take courses that let them reach their educational potential.

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