Public Servant of the Week

The teachers unions are bent right out shape because someone who isn;t a teacher dared to have an opinion on education:

More accountability for teachers and larger class sizes are again on the political agenda as Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf shapes up for a scrap with education unions.

He was urged yesterday by a teachers’ union, the New Zealand Educational Institute, to “stick to his knitting” after he went on the offensive, saying it was the quality of teachers that made the greatest difference to student achievement.

He suggested “a number of ways” to assess teacher quality, including in-class observations by other teachers, direct observations by principals, and feedback from students and parents.

A boost in class sizes of one or two students per classroom could free cash to invest more in quality teachers, he said.

The “central theme” of Treasury’s advice in a paper made public yesterday was that, within schools, quality of teaching mattered most to lifting student achievement.

Of course the teachers unions all think that teachers should be paid exactly the same irrespective of performance. Theirs is a racket to protect mediocrity and the attitude is infecting the students.


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  • johnbronkhorst

    But without the medioca teachers…where would labour source all it’s politicians from???

    • joe bloggs

      oh I don’t know… failed unions? the porn aisles in video shops?

  • Eli

    I’m not too sure which way to look at his comments. Initially I thought that they are right, since when does the treasury know whats best for education, its not their field or their expertise. But after thinking about it, if he’s got the research to back up his statements, then education needs to take it on the chin and look into it. I’m picking the biggest reason they got their backs up was over the increase of classroom sizes bit.

  • Mark C

    I can just imagine the outcry if the police told the Independent Police Complaints Authority or the Minister to ‘stick to its knitting’.

    Other professionals work with the knowledge they are fully accountable for their performance and actions, I think teachers need to as well. The Teachers Council and Boards has shown it is incapable of ensuring either, just look at the number of criminal teachers.

  • politically unstable

    I know very well that when I was at school everyone knew who were the best teachers and who were just hopeless. Teachers telling  Makhlouf to “stick to his knitting” has some parellels to the Lady from a previous WO post who believes only Maori Pscycologists can understand Maori….

  • john1jack

    Is John Bronkhurst a teacher himself, or is his question telling us that he is a victim of our medioca (sic) teachers? He clearly doesn’t know that as a proper noun, “Labour ” demands a capital letter, and he doesn’t understand that the possessive case of “it” doesn’t have an apostrophe.
    I think he’s a teacher.

    • johnbronkhorst

      “”Labour ” demands a capital letter”…but their performance doesn’t!!! It was deliberate…try to keep up. You’ll also notice I don’t capitalise some names of labour politicians for the same reason…

      • johnbronkhorst

        and as for education, just cut and paste my name to spell it correctly.

      • Bunswalla

        Touche! Well played sir. Hoist by his own petard.

  • Mcinnz

    Before you people get too bent out of shape, why not check up on the criteria that teachers must meet to maintain their registration? Why do Principal’s newsletters to parents always state that their schools are “fully staffed by qualified and highly competent teachers’?

    • johnbronkhorst

      They state it yes…….then how did the pedifiles get past the headmasters interview??? Measurement in ALL other contexts, laboritory, industry etc even when you fill up your car, is tested by an INDEPENDANT company who’s practices are then in turn tested by a govt. dept. to a regulatory standard!..They DON’T test them themselves!!!

    • Kthxbai

      Criteria scmiteria.  Criteria are only as good as their assessment and enforcement.

  • Blokeintakapuna

    National are going to have a HUGE job un-winding the education sector nepotism plantings placed by Labour over 9 very long years. Labour would have stacked this sector with surfs philosophically sympathetic to Labour’s philosophies.
    NZ’s most precious assets are our children and Labour have stacked the deck against any reforms of this sector through unions – as changes based on achievements will undermine the unons/Labour’s long-game of attempting to churn out socialist leaning children subtly brainwashed by socialist leaning teachers who want a shot at being a politician one day.
    The education unions, along with the teachers need to be held accountable for any child that can legally leave school without the ability to read or write correctly.
    Ensuring teachers meet and exceed minimum standards are for the elected government to set those standards – not a self-regulating union with hidden agendas against being held accountable for their actions.

    • Shaun McC

      It gos back much further than the last labour govt. The teachers training collage  was targeted and infected by the hard left many years ago. The trainee teachers are  indoctrinated to marxist beliefs and those that openly resist dont graduate. This was a deliberate strategy on the part of the nz communist party and it has worked extremely well for them.

      • Mike_trog

        Holy snappin duckshit, batman! Ain’t ther no ediots on heres whose nos plain englush?

        surfs first and nows collage – try concentratin in class, pea-brain!

    • Mike_trog

      The education unions, along with the teachers need to be held
      accountable for any child that can legally leave school without the
      ability to read or write correctly..

      or sum edeot what dun no  wat a surf is!

      Shore ya dunt min “smurfs”?

      • Travdog

        Are you trying to steal the resident troll title from phil u?

    • Mike_trog

      The education unions, along with the teachers need to be held
      accountable for any child that can legally leave school without the
      ability to read or write correctly.

      ..or whose duno whats a surf?  ya shore yas dun min smurfs, dorkbrains!

  • Super_Guest

    The problem is the union(s). They’re more interested in keeping crap teachers employed than they are in the kids. Crackdown on the teachers union and you’ll be able to get some real reforms going.