Education: Quality vs Quantity

The Labour party has made a fundamental error with their education policy.

They have confused quality with quantity.

In their mad rush to appease the NZEI with increased teacher numbers they have failed to understand that there are literally hundreds of studies world-wide that show that reducing class sizes do almost nothing to increase the quality of outcomes.

Even Damian Christie understands this:

Studies show that by increasing the quality of the teacher, rather than some journeyman, union hack, and put them in front of the classroom, then that has much more of an impact than reducing class sizes. In Finland, the country Labour used to hold up as the example for education, they focused on quality and have a requirement that every teacher have a minimum of a Master level degree. Imagine the howls of outrage from teacher unions in NZ if a political party mandated that for teachers.

Which brings me to an email from a reader that explains what Labour have missed.

In Hi Cam,

I was an English teacher in China for a couple of years at a private school that taught classes spoken English in-house and away at local state schools. This was all prior to the 2008 Olympics.
Class sizes ranged from between 12 to 25 students in-house and averaged about 40 in the state schools. ¬†¬† Read more »

Adding less than one teacher per school will not reduce class sizes

Labour has said they are going to reduce class sizes by adding 2000 new teachers to the pool.

Today, I am proud to announce that Labour will reduce class sizes by employing 2,000 more teachers. This will help all our kids get a world-class education.

This policy will reduce secondary school class sizes from 26 students or more per class to just 23. Year 4-8 classes will shrink from 29 students down to 26.

Unfortunately his maths doesn’t work.

There are currently 2539 schools in New Zealand.¬† Read more »

Gang Bang, Gang Rape, Gang Dad?

Skip Taitapanui, Gang Dad.

Skip Taitapanui, Gang Dad.


A Whakatane gang member is upset he has been told by his son’s school he can no longer be a parent helper at his son’s school camp.

Skip Taitapanui said he was told by James Street School he could no longer go to the camp because he was an active gang member.

James Street School principal Norah Schreiber said Mr Taitapanui could complain through the school’s processes if he was unhappy, but she would not comment any further about the school’s decision.

Mr Taitapanui said he did his best to be a good father and made no bones about parts of his own childhood spent in Child, Youth and Family care after his father died when he was 12.

It is good that he is there for his son after having experienced the loss of his own father at a young age.

He is also open when speaking about his gravitation towards a gang at a young age.

“I looked at the gang as a family,” Mr Taitapanui said.

“I still do close to three decades later.”

Now here is where it gets tricky. If he sees the Gang as a family then he is part of a family that uses violence, that sells drugs, that breaks the law to gain entry to ‘ the family ‘ and that has an extremely negative association in the public’s minds.

When I ask you to say the very next word that pops into your mind after I say the word Gang. I bet it is the word rape or bang. It is very unlikely indeed to be Dad.

But it is his gang involvement that has seen his exclusion from his son’s Term 4 camp this year.

In March this year Mr Taitapanui helped at his son’s James Street School overnight marae stay.

Following the camp, he was “rapt” to be asked by his son’s teacher to be parent help at Camp Hamilton later this year.

After he agreed, a letter was sent home to parents on May 28 announcing Mr Taitapanui and others as camp parents.

Not long after when picking up his son from school, he was called into the principal’s office and told he couldn’t go to camp because he was an active gang member.

The schools real problem is that they have already allowed him previously as parent help. If it wasn’t for the fact that his son’s teacher asked him to be parent help again I would assume that the real reason for telling him no, the second time was because of how he may have behaved the first time. However that does not appear to be the case so perhaps some other parents complained later?

“Removing my beanie, I asked her if it was because of the tattoo on my forehead or because of the colours I wear.

“I told her the tattoo is always covered and I would not be taking any coloured clothing with me, but she still said no. She repeated it was because I am an active gang member.

“I even asked if my son’s mother could go instead of me and was told no again.”

Now that part is very strange. If the Mother is not in the gang then why would the school say no to her? I don’t think the journalist has asked the right questions. The school would not say no lightly. Has he or his partner dealt drugs in the past? Why are the school wary of having them as parent help?

Gutted, Mr Taitapanui then had to explain to his son why he wasn’t going to camp.

“As a dad I want the best for my son and I want to be able to support him in everything he does.

“I also want to take a stand for other dads who are part of gangs and might come up against something like this.”


Mr¬† Taitapanui, no matter how loving a Dad you are this ‘ family ‘ you are exposing your son to is bad. Very bad. You and your Partner are his family. You need to make a choice. Your fake ‘family’ or your real family.

Actions have consequences. You have turned yourself into a scary character by being an active member of a scary organisation. Why would other parents want someone like you around their children?

And of course she was registered



Bunny boiler teacher lady attacks new pregnant Mrs of her ex.   At least the name suppression has been dropped

A Whangarei school teacher is on trial …¬†charged with assaulting her ex-husband’s pregnant partner.

Terynne Whitney Dunn, 28, has been charged with injuring with intent to injure and an alternative charge of assault with intent to injure.

The trial began at Whangarei District Court this morning before Judge Duncan Harvey and a jury of seven women and five men. Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Down and Dirty English

Read more »

That teacher registration lark works a treat

via northlandconstruction.co.nz

via northlandconstruction.co.nz

I hope we are all feeling protected and well served by the Teacher Registration process.  You know, the process that weeds out the bad apples so that only quality teachers get face time with your kids.

A Northland teacher is on trial facing 18 charges of sexual and physical abuse of children.

Taite Hemi Kupa, 57, has appeared in the High Court at Whangarei charged with five assaults on a child under 14, one assault of a female, four sexual violations by rape of a child under 16, seven sexual violations by unlawful sexual connection of a child under 16, and one attempted rape.

The alleged offending between 2011 and 2013 is against six victims, most under the age of 14.

He sounds like a real winner

The offences are alleged to have taken place in Northland.

The trial started this morning before Justice Reynor Asher and a jury of seven women and four men.

Read more »

Marlborough Express on the Teachers Council

The Marlborough Express editorial about the woeful inadequacy of the former Teachers Council is particularly relevant, especially the bit about carping teacher unions.

Little wonder teachers are protective of the Teachers Council. It’s probably only polite since it has been so very protective of them.

Unhappily, this has been at the expense of accountability to parents and the public.

The new body is going to have strengthened abilities to exert disciplinary process on errant teachers; and it will have a much more independent look to it rather than the status quo of teachers sitting in judgment on themselves – which they’ve been doing in exquisite privacy.

Education Minister Hekia Parata says new legislation improves teacher registration, enhances reporting requirements and provides a greater range of options when dealing with disciplinary matters. That last bit is particularly important.

The PPTA believes the new body has too much policing power, such as naming teachers facing disciplinary inquiries, which raises the protest that it could jeopardise “natural justice”.

Let’s remind ourselves how well natural justice has been getting along under the Teachers Council.¬† Read more »

This is what Cunliffe wants Kiwi Kids to miss out on…

…so he can keep the teacher unions happy.

David Cunliffe keeps promising to close down the fledgling NZ Charter Schools. He doesn’t do that out of any care for NZ children – merely because the statement appeases the unions – and stops him having to take the time to research how good they are becoming.

Here are some hints on what current and future children in NZ (particularly those in the “Labour electorates”) will enjoy:

As charter operators have figured out how to succeed with children, they are doubling down on the best models. Successful charter schools have many distinctive features: longer school days and longer years, more flexibility and accountability for teachers and principals, higher expectations for students, more discipline and structure, more curricular innovation, more rigorous testing. Most charter growth today is coming from replication of the best schools.

In New York City, the average charter-school student now absorbs five months of extra learning a year in math, and one extra month in reading, compared with counterparts in conventional schools.

At KIPP, the largest chain of charters, 86% of all students are low-income, and 95% are African-American or Latino, yet 83% go to college.¬† Read more »

Still protecting their own, why does this ratbag teacher have name suppression?

The Teachers Council continues to protect ratbag teachers, registered ones I might add. Despite drink driving convictions where he only copped a censure, they let him continue teaching and it was only once he got busted duping the Teachers Council was his registration cancelled.

But he still gets to have his name suppressed. These ratbags are more concerned with protecting their own than kids in classes.

Rebecca Quilliam reports:

A teacher who was in danger of losing his registration after drink-driving convictions fabricated the existence of a counsellor to keep his job and then said she had fled the country when his story began to unravel.

Following an investigation, the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal cancelled the teacher’s registration and ordered him to pay costs of nearly $6000.

The teacher, who has name suppression, also created documents from the counsellor, which gave glowing reports on his progress in understanding his offending, a report from the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal said.

His ruse began about July, 2009, following drink driving convictions, when he submitted a false letter to the Teachers Council claiming to be from the counsellor, noting her qualifications in clinical psychology and that he had been undergoing counselling with her.

In October, 2009, he was censured for the convictions by the council’s Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC) who allowed for his teaching registration to be processed because of the counselling sessions, the tribunal said.

“The CAC was persuaded by the evidence from (the counsellor) and that the respondent appeared to have learnt a lot about himself through counselling and the stresses that caused the offending,” the tribunal said.¬† Read more »

Knock me down with a feather, they finally deregistered one

This must be a really, really, really bad case.

For once in their miserable lives the Teachers’ Council have finally deregistered a ratbag sicko teacher.

A 40-year-old teacher who had a physical relationship with a vulnerable teenage student has been deregistered.

The relationship began in 2011 and continued until 2013, when the student, who was undergoing counselling after her friend committed suicide, told her counsellor, the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal said in a decision released today.

The student was in year 11 when the relationship began, meaning she was likely 15. She was in year 13 when it ended.

The student said she was scared of reporting the relationship, because of her part in initiating it and the effect it could have on the teacher.

She said their relationship involved hugging, cuddling and kissing which had progressed to fondling, digital penetration and oral sex.

The girl’s parents then discovered electronic communications between her and the teacher, which they considered to contain elements of “predatory intent, grooming, manipulation, threat and censure”, the tribunal decision said.

That is pretty gross a 40 year old shagging a 15 year old…almost as bad as cousin shagging.

Read more »