Fairfax’s Dave Armstrong Misses Where the Responsibility Lies

In his list of solutions to the PISA education situation Dave Armstrong forget to mention that teachers have to be good. After all – we are told they are a huge factor in student achievement.

Shock! Horror! Last week New Zealanders learned that our Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment) rankings – assessing the reading, maths and science abilities of our nation’s 15-year-olds – were plummeting down the world table faster than the All Whites after a World Cup campaign.

As expected, Labour and National blamed each other. It might be sensible if we all addressed the problem together.

So in the national interest, I have devised 12 steps that might enable us to turn around our PISA rankings – in 20 years or so.  Read more »

A good teacher

Disclosure – Douglas Choong taught my son, he was the ONLY teacher in the school system who bothered to understand my son and his learning style. 

Teachers like Douglas Choong need to be nutured and rewarded. I wish I had just one teacher like him. They are few and far between.

Douglas Choong used to be a waiter – then one day a customer changed his future.

Now the 40-year-old is one of New Zealand’s most inspiring teachers.

The Howick man says after moving to New Zealand from Malaysia he struggled to get a job in his chosen profession of marketing.

“I was told that I had no Kiwi experience so I was doing a lot of part-time jobs like waitering.”

“There was this regular who was a retired principal and he said to me ‘you don’t belong here, you look like someone who should be doing more than being a waiter’.”

Mr Choong says the customer jumped right in with a solution and said ‘have you thought about teaching?’   Read more »

I bet he was registered

Another day another registered ratbag teacher before the courts.

Labour and the teacher unions all claim that registration protects the kids…it is starting to look like registration protects kids as well as the catholic church does.

A Nelson teacher found guilty of indecently assaulting five children under the age of 12 can now be named.

In the Nelson District Court on November 22, Lawrence Shaw, 44, was found guilty of indecently assaulting five girls under the age of 12.

A nine-man, three-woman jury took two hours to convict Shaw on all charges. He will be sentenced on January 15.  Read more »

An email from a teacher in exile

A teacher emails about his experiences in NZ.

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I just wanted to share with you some of my experience as a beginning teacher in NZ and my views on the education system.

Unlike most teachers, I am not a lefty, not a unionist and I am male. I got into teaching with the sole purpose of making a difference in education. So i took the leap and enrolled in a local university and began my teaching degree. It was here that the ineptitude of our education system became evident. Over the next three years, I was surrounded by a ragtag group of people, ranging from recent school graduates to the nearing retirement aged. The year I began was the first year they doubled the size of the intake, from 30-60 and this created a number of problems. Firstly, the campus was not large enough to hold a larger intake and our teacher training suffered from overcrowding and under resourcing. As time wore on, it became evident that things were not “equal”. Maori students were given the fast track on anything and everything and it soon became clear that they were destined for “greater” things. Some students were being treated differently by the lecturers as well. I remember one guy posted on Facebook, on the morning an assignment was due, that he better think about doing it. He handed the assignment in a week late and still received a pass mark. Uni policy for most assignments states that you lose 10% per day late and this guy was definitely not an “A” student. This sort of thing was a regular occurrence for the next three years and it made it hard for me to respect my cohort and the university.  Read more »

Another registered ratbag teacher, roots students and is still teaching

Labour and the teacher unions claim that teacher registration protects the kids.

That isn’t working so well with more and teachers ending up before the courts. The Herald reports:

A teacher who had an inappropriate relationship with a Year 13 student and suggested they enter into a threesome with another boy has been ordered to pay more than $6000 in costs to the Teachers’ Council.

The teacher, whose name is suppressed, was censured for professional misconduct earlier this year by the New Zealand Teacher’s Disciplinary Tribunal for her behaviour.   Read more »

PPTA raving – Redux

On Friday Deputy General Secretary Policy of the PPTA Bronwyn Cross opened the front door to the raving lunacy of an organisation that purports to represent NZ Secondary School teachers.

This is also the organisation having the major influence on the Green/Labour education “strategy”.

Here is a summary:

1) You are not allowed to ask them a question, to justify their position or to support anything with research or references (normal practice in a good school). It is also okay to treat people like they are stupid when they ask a question (interesting role modelling for educators).


Cross: “I will try to unscramble your points but I do not intend to enter into a dialogue with you about them.”

2) Yes – some Charter Schools do well overseas – but any money going to anything but a PPTA controlled school is theft.

Charter school results are a mixed bag but overall there is no good evidence that they do any better than the schools they are pinching resources and funding from.

3) Actually trying to motivate and encourage children to learn is a waste of time.

Cross: “Long experience in the classroom has taught me that you can’t teach someone something they don’t want to learn.”   Read more »

I bet he was registered

Another ratbag pedo teacher is before the courts and as usual he was a registered teacher.

The Labour party and various teacher unions have all opposed charter schools because there is no requirement for teachers to be registered. They say it puts kids at risk. It ignores the very real parade of pedos and abusers before the courts who ARE registered teachers.

It is almost getting to the point where the Teachers Register should just be renamed the Pedophiles Register.

A South Waikato teacher facing sexual abuse charges has had suppression of his name lifted in the Hamilton District Court.

Rueben James Tapara, 30, was a teacher at a Maori Kura in Putaruru until his arrest last month.  Read more »

I bet he was registered

Oh look another registered teacher caught diddling the kids. Labour and the teacher unions would have you believe that registration will protect the kids.

It doesn’t. The NZ Herald reports on yet another teacher caught pants down.

The former principal of a Northland Christian school has appeared in court on sex abuse charges involving two young boys more than 40 years ago.

Raymond George Melrose, of Paihia, has appeared in Kaikohe District Court on 10 charges including four of sodomising a boy aged 12-16.

Melrose was the principal of Kaikohe Christian School from 1997 until earlier this year but the charges date back to the late 1960s and early 1970s when he was teaching outside Northland. One of the alleged victims was aged 9 at the time.  Read more »

Registration will protect the kids – Yeah Right

The Teachers Council, various teacher unions and the Labour party all claim that teacher registration should be mandatory…to protect the kids. It is their single biggest objection to charter schools.

Yet not a week goes by without a registered teacher being before the courts for fiddling with kids or some other ratbag crime. The Teachers Council also had to be dragged kicking and screaming towards transparency as they previously hid teachers names under a veil of secrecy.

Now the Herald on Sunday reveals that convicted pedophiles and sexual predators are still registered teachers

The predator of Pamapuria, James Parker, has been allowed to remain a registered teacher.

Hekia Parata, the Education Minister, is stepping in after the Herald on Sunday discovered Parker and two other high-profile sex offenders remain on the Teachers Council register.  Read more »

I bet they were all registered too

Looks like the UK has the same problems as here….dodgy ratbags wanting to get access to kids via teaching. Our teacher unions and their political wing, the Labour party, tell us that compulsory teacher registration will protect the kids. Funny thing is with mandatory registration we see a parade of dodgy ratbag teachers before the courts.

My bet is that out problem is of the same magnitude as the UK.

More than 1,500 teachers with criminal convictions, including paedophiles and attempted murderers, have applied for jobs in schools in the past year, MailOnline can reveal.

Candidates also included drug dealers, burglars, thieves, fraudsters, flashers and blackmailers, and some may already have been working in a school or were given the job they wanted.  Read more »