Performance pay for principals

A reader emails:


Like you I fully support the idea of teacher performance measurement and bonus pay for those teachers making a real difference for our kids.

An article in the Dom Post this morning should be the rallying call for all those parents and supporters alike to bash down the objections of the various unions and other left wing lunatics.

I find it interesting that for a group (along with a number of BOT’s) reputedly so opposed to National standards they will still recommend/accept concurrence for their work “above an beyond” normal duties.  Especially in light of one possible criteria outlined in the article “It is also available as an incentive for good performance”.  Isn’t this precisely what the lunatics all bemoan?  Seems there is a third way – object vociferously to performance management being introduced but turn a blind eye (and stay very quiet) about the current practice.  I wonder just how many schools have applied for concurrence in the past year?  My bet is a large number (under cover of darkness).

Patrick Walsh and the rest of his brethren should be called on this and all their objections to anything related to performance pay, ranking of students and teachers and incentives should be smacked down.

I notice that Mr Ian Leckie in the article has a crisis of conscious.  He starts out defending the practice (differentiating the payments from actual performance) and then realises his contradiction and that he has divulged something secret and then climbs back on wanderly wagon to say “it’s not ok”.

What a tosser Mr Leckie and his union mates are!


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  • thor42

    Interesting article, but this one is even better –

    *** quote ***
    “Performance pay for teachers will be developed by the Government, with
    secondary principals told by Education Minister Hekia Parata to start
    “sorting the wheat from the chaff”.

    The Government was in the early stages of devising an evaluation
    system that would have “integrity and regard” and capture all of the
    different dimensions of quality teaching.

    “Typically, you get a response that it’s not possible to design
    something like that, because this is so difficult. Well, I don’t agree,”
    Ms Parata said.

    “The precursor to being able to reward monetarily or in leadership
    opportunities is to have a really reliable evaluation system and one
    that has real integrity and regard for it.

    “We’re at the very early stages of developing that kind of system.
    But that would be essential to be able to get to a point where you could
    make discriminatory choices.”
    *** end quote ***

  • Bunswalla

    As far as Ian Leckie goes, you’re bang on Mr Guest Poster. A poor teacher, a very poor Prinicpal, and union scum of the worst kind. A total tosser alright, and I have first hand experience.

  • Patriot

    The better Leaders should be able to be recognised  eg Mr Peachy of Rangitoto College — and rewarded for such innovative Leadership .

    Conversly – the lack luster, lazy, clueless Principlals or Teachers should also be recognised with a reward commensurate with their ability or inability

    So absolutely — Performance pay for  Teachers , but they are so left wing that they would hate that – so the lazy teachers can sit back and be rewarded for mediocrity , like a good socialist in the lazing pack .

    • Kosh103

      You come up with s valid system that is backed by evidance that can provide ACCURATE performance pay for teachers, Ill support it.

      • Patriot

         You have to be able to measure learning progress + attainment of a learning standard or effort .

        So far
        We have exam results & exam passes & assignment marks as a measurement means to learning levels attained, for academic Teachers — the more that Teacher puts thru with pass exam grades – the more she gets paid .  eg Kristin has a 98% level 1 , pass.    Tangaroa has a 49% level 1 pass % .
        If i want to be paid more — i teach at Kristin

        Those that are slow to learn because they are disruptive or lazy, or have other skills to be developed/identified  can be streamed to another layer . … this part is hard to measure  eg students come to school for , other than academic pursuits eg Rugby — so special needs teachers would have a different measurement system  

      • supersimmo

        If the private sector can manage the assess employee performance based on merit and achievement of previously agreed objectives then I think that the job of rolling out a performance matrix for teachers should be pretty easy. 

        You will ofcourse cite the objectionable bonuses paid to senior executives in companies both here and overseas as examples of how the private sector has gotten it wrong.  However, we need not look at the top of any organisation to get a real view of things.  In my experience bonus and incentive payments have been rolled out right down to the shop floor with excellent success.  A bonus of 5-10% based on “real” performance is very well received by staff and management alike and encourages better outcomes and prospects.

        In recessionary times like now to reward your staff (when they are doing a good job and going above the normal requirements of the roles) is a game changer for the viability of a business.  Conversely if staf are not pulling their weight then why let them drag you down?

        Get ready to break out your blue flag and barack for Hekia…

      • Fergus

        Thats easy kosh..Assess the kids from the beginning, against, oh a national standard (lets call it that) say. Then determine their progress through the year, determine their percentage improvement against this “national standard’. then we can assertain how much influence the teacher had on this improvement and pay them accordingly. Afterall it’s the teachers who say, it is about results.

      • Kosh103

        Patriot, you clearly have next to no understanding of the issues around teaching children. To simply measure against a passing grade is the inaccurate nonsense that will prevent ANY performance pay system being accepted by teachers.

      • Kosh103

        Furgus, NS is rubbish. The levels are wrong, there is zero consistency across the country and is providing nothing to help students at all. It was an idiological policy put in place by a pack of fools.

        And as I said to Patriot, any system which only takes into account grades is a foolish one and only serves to prove how little the supporters of such a system  know of education students.

      • Patriot

        you have it round the opposite way again
        If Teachers regard themselves as Professionals – they must be measured and rewarded for performance – both good performance and poor performance .

        In my days as a Commerce student  at AU — we had exams . Hi performance Teachers  ie getting students to pass units – were recognised and rewarded .

        You may be talking Kindergarten Teachers — I am talking Secondary & Tertiary  Teachers

        Get it right Kosh — Teachers dont employ themselves and grade themselves .
         Lawyers are graded by output/billings,  and rewarded — if Lawyers dont like the performance system imposed on them — Bugger off & work elsewhere .

        Teachers aint above their employers — Bugger off to Kindergarten , if they dont like being measured & rewarded for performance .

        Geez Kosh you come up with rubbish  & if you want War – i’ll give you war – you fool

      • Kosh103

        Well Patriot if you think it is sooo easy to measure teacher performace ACCURATLY – lets here your method (with the supporting evidance to indicate that it could/will work).

      • Patriot

        Measurement of performance of any professional  – is Higher, faster, more than, Bigger, Longer.

        Lawyers – more billings
        Surgeons – more operations
        Retailer  – more sales
        Astronaut – further, longer, higher
        Footballer – more wins
        Tiger Woods – more title wins
        Escort – more satisfaction
        Political Party  – more votes
        Marriage Councillor – more Happy spouses & less separations
        Sprinter – Faster
        Tax Accountant – more disposible income/less tax liability
        Tertiary Teacher – more students with more exam passes.

        Kosh – if you had some analytical skill , you would find it easy to look at the big picture …. but you resort to abuse , unbacked claims , and name calling
        So to use yer own style of wording — only a Fool is blind to reality – thats you Kosh.  You’re an Idiot

      • Kosh103

        No patriot, you are the idiot.

        Your extreamly over simplified approach doesnt even come close to anything that would accuratly gage a teachers ability.

        But going by your comment, I dont expect you to be able even beign to understand why you are wrong.

  • Fergus

    The interesting contradiction from teachers, is they claim to be in a profession, but are not judged or assessed like ALL other Doctors, lawyers, accountants etc..Assessment as to quality and payment made accordingly is what these professions have in common…so, are they in a proffession or do they just have a job? I believe we, the tax paying parenting public, want it to be a profession, so our kids are taught be PROFESSIONALS assessed regularly for the quality of their performance.

    • Durvillegirl

      Teachers are actually assessed a minimum of three times a year and if you think we are just lazy lay abouts then pay a babysitter! What other professions are there where you are expected to work 80 hours a week and paid for 40? Have your breaks taken off you and are given responsibilities during your own time for no extra pay? Its becoming too hard to remain teaching in NZ, Oz pays ways better with better work conditions, hope you dont all scare teachers over seas with your vicious tongues alone!

      • la la land

        Oh my god – what a load of BULLSHIT! 90% of teachers at our school are in their cars and going home at 5 past 3. Now you can’t tell me that these teachers – most with families do more than a maximum of 2 hours work at home after this. My son had a teacher who did not mark the homework once in a whole year. Teachers get weeks and weeks of holidays. You make me sick with all your whingeing – and you clearly have no idea how hard everyone else works. Fuck lady – most of us dont get breaks let alone get them taken off us!

  • Callum

    I audit schools and have seen some of the crap that gets snuck through on this scheme, including payments that are retrospectively approved. As an example, one small Kura was paying $25k per year to the principal and $12k to another two teachers (one the principals wife) for teaching other pupils remotely through a webcam system. The shocking part was it was within their curent classroom and even with the remote pupils it would still be considered a small class, so in effect they got a bunch of extra cash for doing the job they were already paid to do. Went on for 3 or 4 years and each year was retrospectively approved (in breach of the rules) by the ministry.

    • Johnboy

       Different rules for Jigaboos Callum.

  • Greg M

    I was a foundation pupil at Kristin, way back in 1973. Even as a kid the difference between the teachers there, and the teachers at the state school I attended before was noticeable.
    They were committed, they cared, they were passionate, and what a huge difference they made to my life.
    Remember the film ” dead poets society ” where the teacher encourages the boys to stand on the desk to get a different view of things ? That was Kristin school.
    I have the utmost respect for those people, they were visionaries, and very inspirational, and that is the key to it all.
    How can we expect our kids to aspire to greater things if the people teaching them have no aspirations ? Where mediocrity is paid the same as excellence ?

    Mr Munn and his staff deserved every cent they got , at the time 30% higher than state school teachers.

  • Bunswalla

    Kosh you’re a broken record on anything to do with this – NS, performance pay for teachers, performance pay for principals. You seem to think that education is the only industry in the world that is impossible to measure, to compare or to rate.

    You say there are so many variables that it’s impossible, well guess what? You’re not alone there – in every type of job or profession there are variables, but it’s still possible to rate and compare performance.

    And every parent knows if their kids teacher is any good or if the principal is doing their job, so your efforts to portray the standards and performance of the entire NZ education system as an amorphous homogenous blob, where nobody (kids, teachers or principals) stands out in any way – either good or bad – are simply bullshit.

    Hekia Parata IS going to enforce NS, whether you like it or not, and I’ll wager a pound to a pinch of goat shit she’ll find a way to reward good teachers and principals, and weed out the cruisers and dead-wood too.

    And that’s what really scares you.

    • Kosh103

      If you bothered to read what I said you would see I stated that I am ok with performance pay AS LONG as the system in place meassures teachers rightly as opposed to just going on test results.

      And as for NS – I am right, it is rubbish, and Labour will dump it when they win the next election. If you want a real tool that has bee put together VERY well, then look to the NZC. NS is 100% crap.

      • Bunswalla

        I’ve read what you posted and you’re a broken record. You make the most ridiculous straw man argument ever:

        1. I’ll support performance pay providing it has a foolproof 100% accurate way of measuring teachers’ performance.

        2. I can’t envisage such a system, therefore….

        3. Such a foolproof 100% accurate system doesn’t exist, therefore…

        4. Teacher performance can’t be measured, therefore…

        5. We can keep hiding the dead wood and cruisers.

    • Kosh103

      Oh and as for what scares me –  stupid dumbarse idiologicaly driven garbage that WILL cause harm to the learning of children is what scares me.

      • Bunswalla

        Like your blind, stupid, dumb-arse ideology-based refusal to consider objective ways of measuring performance of children, teachers, principals and schools?

        Yeah, kinda scares me too.

      • Kosh103

        I have put the offer out there – show me a system than accuratly measures teachers abilities and Ill support it. It has to be evidance based, take into account all situations etc…

        Lets see it.

    • Peter Wilson

      I tend to agree with Kosh here. Professional pay for performance is not really practical  in the teaching profession, and we should probably move on.

      Of course, the implication is then that professional pay for teachers is not really practical either. I am guessing Kosh would go along then with the idea that teachers should be on a similar pay rate to, say, caregivers or teacher aides.

      • Kosh103

        Just as long as we are paid by the hour, and get overtime. Because paypackets would be A HELL of a lot bigger. ;0D

      • Bunswalla

        Latest candidate for Sweeping Generalisation of the Year:

        “Professional pay for performance is not really practical in the teaching profession, and we should probably move on.”

      • Greg M

         Perfomance pay for teachers is already in place, and working, at private schools.
        I stand by my post above,

  • Kosh103

    Greg, its in place  in private schools, but it is not a real reflection of ability. Esp considering the private school teachers do not have to deal with the real world issues that public teachers do. Private teachers have hand picked children, public teachers do not.

    To say that it “works” at private schools where the problem children are kept out is a very narrow and ill informed position to take.

    • Patriot

       There are at least 2 kinds of Teachers
      1   Those that are performance driven , to get their students as best as those students can be and as knowledgable as the students can be — because those students are supported by both their motivated parents that look at exam results .

      2   Teachers that are as much social workers as they are teachers  eg  filling in as quasi mothers, where knowledge is NOT the primary aim — this is where you are focusing – and it is not as much a performance related task , as feeding the kids , some whose mothers are irresponsibly at , gambling, drunk, collecting boyfriends for rooting , smoking the money away — this is not performance knowledge Teaching . Usually dad is not participating in getting his lad to be as learned as possible – as Dad is focussed on himself – and is a Mongrel mob member  .
      Take my hat off to these Social workers who teach a little — but NO performance for this group would be more about — how many less truants did they achieve from the classroom

      Kosh – i have been taught  at  primary, secondary and University level — by the time you get to the end/Univ  — social work is out & exam results are all that matters — performance .

      So Kosh — you are talking left wing benefit  style students from dysfunctional dwellings whose parents dont care about performance — where school is treated as a baby sitting service for drunk , smoking, druggie mothers ( in the worst cases ) .

      ps   Labor Party had 9 Clark years – aint looking good still

      • Kosh103

        And still you do not get it. And you wont, as long as you look at public schooling through the eyes of private schooling.

        And to the 9 yrs of Labour – its looking a hell of a lot better than it was under the previous National govt. And if this current National Govt has its way we will end up going backwards.

      • Kosh103

        And still you do not get it. And you wont, as long as you look at public schooling through the eyes of private schooling.

        And to the 9 yrs of Labour – its looking a hell of a lot better than it was under the previous National govt. And if this current National Govt has its way we will end up going backwards.

      • Patriot

         Your sweeping statements just dont cut it  — you lack the essence of reality.

        Some Teachers at the high end of performance relish the chance to be performance rated — and rewarded — even in the Public schools like Rangitoto and Auckland Grammar .

        Kosh — your views are rooted in social workers and you cant see the performance picture — as you are  clouded by students of irresponsible mothers and absentee fathers     

        Labour Party — didnt Clark try to legislate shower heads to be a max of 6 litres per minute — Her performance was rated by voters  – consequently, she  was thrown out like a useless Dictator .  There’s your left

  • Symgardiner

    Kosh… one thing you are not realizing is that all performance management systems are proxies for ACCURATE performance assessment. None are truly accurate. SO your challenge to describe an ACCURATE performance management system is a bit silly.
    In most professions, there is an attempt at performance management with recognition of excellent performance and poor performance. If such systems are of an acceptable level of accuracy, they are retained. If they are not, people either ignore them, find something else or leave. 
    In the case of teachers – you guys need to come into the current world where measurement is key. The fact that the unions have battled this (rather than lead it) means you are going to get something imposed on you. 
    Obviously if what is imposed is silly, teachers will either ignore it or leave. That is the tension for the government to balance against.
    But just as NCEA was screamed about not so long ago, things tend to get ironed out and then they become the norm.

  • Susan

    Why is it that onkly one state in the USA has kept performance pay?

    • AngryTory


  • Durvillegirl

    Its all very well to want performance pay for teachers however the impications are massive, as a teacher I deal with children who lack sleep, food, healthy homes etc have low iq, and I spend about 12-14 hours a day trying to make a difference in their learning, in some cases Im the only stability these children have, if performence pay comes in then you will affect my own childrens lives by reducing my pay if my class doesnt perform accordingly, therefore Im going to ensure that my class is stack with able children who are mid to high level achievers only, all special needs and behaviour children will no longer be welcome because as passionate as I am about my job, it will never take precedence over my own family and my ability to put food on the table. If you want performance pay for great teachers then provide the perfect children to go with it or your theory is flawed.

    • la la land

      If you are really working 14 hours a day (which i seriously doubt) you really need to make some life changes – you say you have a family – who the hell is looking after them while you are working 14 hours a day. I’m sorry but this is complete bullshit. I know several teachers and NONE of them work more than 8 hours a day. Performance pay is the least of your worries lady – your kids are already suffering with your inability to get things done in a normal time frame.

      • AngryTory

        If you are really working 14 hours a day …you really need to make some life changes

        The problem with NZ’s attitude summed up in a nutshell.

        If you’re not working 14 hours a day, that’s say 70-80 hours a week, then your family doesn’t deserve to eat. 

    • patriot

      Seems it is time to go back to Teaching for results for those that are ready, willing, and able  to learn to be free of  disruptive pupils 

      The social welfare aspect of pupils  ( disruptive/cold/hungry/no shoes )  should be ejected from the learning classroom – into a classroom for – remedial behaviour – feeding- heating -” salvation army shoes”.

      Father & mother should be summoned to school and asked why they are not giving their children breakfast & shoes before school — if necessary , taking any welfare benefits off them if they dont present their kids properly for school .

      Then Teachers can Teach — and be rewarded for good results .
      Social welfare issues are for welfare workers — not Teachers .

      Kosh is at a Northland school for 50 pupils with 5 teachers — they could separate the kids with issues,  into a separate class