teacher unions

The struggle: getting rid of bad teachers

Things are pretty dire in New Zealand with the mere idea of performance pay getting scuttled by the unions, but in the US they have an even more destructive situation:  tenure.

California is trying to break the back of this problem that puts the needs of teachers before those of the children.

A California judge ruled as unconstitutional Tuesday the state’s teacher tenure, dismissal and layoff laws, saying they keep bad teachers in the classroom and force out the good ones, the plaintiffs said.

The ruling was hailed by the nation’s top education chief as bringing to California — and possibly the nation — an opportunity to build “a new framework for the teaching profession.” The decision represented “a mandate” to fix a broken teaching system, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said.

The Los Angeles County court ordered a stay on the decision, pending an appeal by the state and the teachers union, the plaintiffs said.

Reforming teacher tenure and firing laws is a hotly debated issue in American education, and the California case is being watched nationally — evidenced by a statement by Duncan immediately after the court ruling.

Nationally and internationally.  The whole situation where bad teachers are just about impossible to get rid of has its parallels in New Zealand too, with hundreds of convicted teachers continuing to teach under the protection of name suppression, and absolutely zero visibility on teachers’ individual effectiveness.

Reformers say firing a bad teacher is almost impossible because of tenure laws and union protections, but teachers and their unions argue school boards and their firing criteria have unfair, overtly political standards.

Duncan, a former schools chief in Chicago, said he hoped the ruling will spark a national dialogue on a teacher tenure process “that is fair, thoughtful, practical and swift.”

At a minimum, Duncan said the court decision, if upheld, will bring to California “a new framework for the teaching profession that protects students’ rights to equal educational opportunities while providing teachers the support, respect and rewarding careers they deserve.”

But who started this legal process?  Government?  Teachers’ unions?  Educators?  Principal associations?  Maybe even local government?  Can you guess?   Read more »

There’s a surprise, schools are failing

There is an old saying in business…”what gets measured, gets done”. This is why you give sales reps targets, have KPIs and keep accounts.

In teaching until recently there was no such thing. National introduced national standards and the teacher unions fought and are still fighting against them. They don’t want to be measured, because in measuring them they will be found wanting…and they have.

Wellington and Hawke’s Bay primary and secondary school pupils are lagging behind government targets, but they are not alone.

Nationwide, none of the targets for national standards, NCEA for school leavers, or early childhood education participation is being met.

For the first time, parents can now see a regional breakdown for achievement throughout a child’s schooling.

The Government has set four targets for the sector, but nationally they are missing the mark – in the case of primary school writing standards, the gap is 15 per cent.   Read more »

Labour flunkies shop another Education story to HoS

Once again the Herald on Sunday has fallen for the Labour flunkies in education crying a river of tears to help them sell papers.

They have a story about over-crowed schools, they quote Malcolm Milner:

Auckland is growing up, in more ways than one – just ask Malcolm Milner. He is principal of an inner-city primary school about to embark on a project that will horrify many. Milner’s Balmoral School is set to grow from a fairly typical state school into a three- or even four-storey affair.

When Milner took the job at Balmoral School six years ago, the school roll was about 730. By the end of this year it is expected to top 855 and is forecast to reach almost 1000 by 2015.

“Huge primary schools are not something we have had in New Zealand before and people have to ask themselves if this is what we really want for our children,” Milner says. “This is something brought in by the Government by stealth and the public needs to be aware of what is going on.”

Milner says his school can’t keep eating into its playing fields for new classrooms.

“We are going to build to three storeys but can go up to four if needed,” he says. “I keep asking myself, how big does the Ministry of Education expect my school to get?

“As a country surely we cannot afford to see education as a monetary rather than a social priority. That would be disastrous. We need to start buying more land to build more schools rather than create high-rise institutions for our children.”  Read more »

Overwhelming support?

Hmmm, the NZEI have gone from bullying and whining about levels of support in their emails to now claiming in a press release for the compliant media to repeat that they had “overwhelming support” for their protests today.

More than ten thousand primary and early childhood teachers, school support staff, parents and other supporters took part in marches and rallies throughout the country today in protest at the Government’s education agenda.

In Auckland , Queen Street was closed to traffic as around four thousand people marched to Aotea Square, in Wellington around 2000 gathered outside Parliament grounds while in Christchurch several hundred people converged on MP Gerry Brownlee’s electorate office.

The national Day of Action wasn’t limited to the main centres. Around the rest of the country, from Whangarei through to Invercargill, many hundreds took to the streets to show their support for retaining New Zealand’s public education system.  Read more »

NZEI looking for “Rent A Crowd”

As teachers show apathy toward the NZEI organised protests the union is getting desperate, they are now seeking “rent a crowd” to assist with numbers in many provincial centres. My tip line has gone wild with people sending me emails like this one.

>>> Karen Jackson 11/04/2013 10:46 a.m. >>>

FYI…has just been sent through..

How are you all going with your march/rally organisation? Do you need anything else?..I’m just about to ring ‘hire a crowd’ !

Karen Jackson
Lead Organiser
NZEI Te Riu Roa
Box 8041
New Plymouth

Read more »

Cool let’s protest…oh wait, what are we protesting?

More on the protesting by NZEI teachers.

This is hilarious…the teachers turning up for the protest tomorrow (with their kids) and don’t even know what the protest is about…and have to be schooled themselves.

Oh and don’t miss how they are being implored to bring the kids so they can stretch their “demonstration legs”.

Teacher protest

I think a more appropriate protest would be for parents to start singing this song:


Revealing the hidden agenda of union scum

I wrote yesterday about the scum NZEI using Novopay to push their own anti-government and pro-left agenda.

Not to mention the disgusting use of kids on anti-government protests, using Novopay as a convenient beard.

Well, it continued last night on TV One.

A normal, upstanding principal was wheeled out (at 1″17) and he dutifully attacked the Government.  Read more »

Only 1 in 18 PPTA members against Charter Schools

Outgoing PPTA President Robin Duff has acknowledged that, despite spending thousand of members (i.e. taxpayers) funds on full page advertising only 1000 secondary teachers have responded to their desperate plea for submissions to the Bill that will allow Charter Schools.

With incoming President Angela “out of her depth” Roberts acknowledging that they have 18,000 members the PPTA must be gutted. One in 18 against and/or care enough to say so.

NZEI must also be stunned to be sending in only 700 submissions. For all of Ian Leckie’s vitriol you would have thought every primary school teacher was going to be crawling to the steps of parliament and writing their submissions in the blood from their knees.

Roberts clearly has a superhero complex and she personally hopes ” to save the education system from the dangerous path it was heading down”. And one of the main things she wants to save the system from is the “de-professionalisation of teachers”.

At least she acknowledges that the NZ system is no longer “world class” (glad that mantra has gone – thought Robin Duff had something stuck in his throat) by saying:

“The aim should be to create an education system that worked systemically rather than creating pockets of success.”

 Roberts will be okay though she feels that her 12 years as a teacher at Stratford High School has prepared her for this role as PPTA President. All of the secondary teachers around the country must be excited.

What do you have to do to get sacked as a teacher?

Imagine you are an activist principal ..you point the finger and tell everyone else who things should be done…you even describe the government as Nazis and call the minister Hitler or Goebbels…you also abuse the Secretary of Education…and meanwhile your school is performing so badly, with high staff turnover and other numerous problems that statutory managers are called in…do you think you should be sacked?

Most of us would think a principal such as that described above should be sacked. Some would say that such a principal is a figment of my imagination, but they would be wrong.

That principal is Marlene Campbell…and she is keeping her job at Salford School despite statutory managers being called in.  Read more »

$90, that’s all?

The Owl has found out something interesting in the NZEI accounts.

I kid you not $90.00 is all NZEI spent is all they spent on Teachers Professionalism

I watched on TV last night Ian Leckie, with a smirk on his face, talk about how the NZEI gave the Government a blood nose.

I can see both sides of the argument and something had to change.

I thought to myself I would see what the NZEI spends on professional teaching development.

I kid you not! $90.00

Owls Observation

The recently filed 2011 accounts has income of $17.7M. They made a massive loss as well.

Under expenditure, all on its own, the accounts have an expenditure classification line called “Teachers Professionalism” $90.00. Things must have be tough at NZEI because last year the spent $13,641.00

To rub salt into the wound, the next line reads “Teaching and Learning” $1,303.00

But it is all ok because the NZEI Union staff spent $531,598.00 on Pension Funds for themselves. Up from $478,219.00

As always the Owl only uses information freely available in the public domain

What is the NZEI all about – I struggle  if all they can afford is $90.00 on teacher development – this is a very serious concern that $17.7M is spent on union staff, international travel, conferences and a whopping $1.8M on strategy!

I repeat $90.00!