Judith Nowotarski

Budget over, cue the whingers, here come the teacher unions

What is it with teacher unions and people involved in education?

They constantly have their hands out and when more money, in this case $857 million extra, is spent in their area of the economy they are whining like unpaid hookers that it wasn’t enough.

Early Childhood Council chief executive Peter Reynolds attacked the subsidy increases as a deliberate deception that will push-up charges for parents and reduce quality.

Salaries were a big cost to centres, and the subsidy related to that had increased by less than 1 per cent, Mr Reynolds said, which was below inflation and “another funding cut in drag”.

Ms Parata rejected that, and said ECE care was 33 per cent more affordable as a proportion of household income than 2007. Government spending on the sector had almost doubled since 2007/08.

“Parents can see from the Budget that the Government has allocated over $155 million [extra ECE funding]. That is a significant chunk of change over the next four years.”  Read more »

Bludgers want our money but no accountability

If Maori want continued government support best they start complying with the rules.

Maori language schools are prominent among those refusing to hand over national standards data to the Government – and critics fear at least one school is being punished for its stance.

A Ministry of Education report released under the Official Information Act shows almost half of schools given extra funding to teach in te reo have refused to report their pupils’ literacy and numeracy progress data.  Read more »

Teacher unions bullying confronted

The teacher unions are now resorting to bullying people who they think are supporters of Charter Schools. So far only Radio NZ has reported this.

Teacher unions have written to aspiring charter school operators in a last-ditch attempt to warn them off setting up the schools.

Radio New Zealand‘s education correspondent said the letters are the first time the Post Primary Teachers Association and the Educational Institute have directly lobbied groups wanting to set up the schools, which the government is calling partnership schools.

The letters say the schools could be cancelled as early as November next year with no compensation because opposition parties have vowed to abolish them.

They are being sent to 35 organisations that expressed interest in the schools, four of which are known to have made it to negotiations with the Government.

PPTA president Angela Roberts said charter schools will damage nearby state schools.

I have obtained copies of these letters and they are not lobbying, they are bullying plain and simple. This must be an orchestrated campaign because they were written and sent the same day. You have to love the PPTA letter, sent to an address in “Greenland”.

Education Union Bullying

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Unbelievable hypocrisy from the NZEI

The NZEI claim that one of the reasons they are against Charter Schools is that they will not be subject to the same public scrutiny as state schools. But…………when public schools are under scrutiny for not doing what their taxpayer funding requires them to do (e.g. teach children well) – NZEI leader Judith Nowotarski goes nuts and states:

“this is unfair and is about punishing and shaming a school”    Read more »

Shearer throws Maori/Pasifika children under the Union bus

David Shearer has pledged to repeal Charter Schools legislation.

As well as the desperation dripping from every announcement he makes there is humour in this one as he is only catching up on the same announcement Chris Hipkins made on April 19.

So – in New Zealand we know that Maori are trailing non-Maori by over 21% in terms of the number of children achieving Level 2 NCEA. We know that Pasifika are trailing by 14%. We know the latest Stanford report (the 2012 one) states that minority groups are beginning to genuinely prosper in general under the Charter Schools models and that models like the Kipp network have closed the income /achievement gap.

The study also found that the majority of charter school students are now economically disadvantaged, suggesting that the alternative system might now provide better education for less privileged students.

Shearer clearly cares for none of this and simply threatens to repeal the legislation and throw the children who might benefit under the union bus (IF Labour is elected and IF he is leader). He proposes no other solutions of course. One would think that is you cared for these groups you would try anything and everything that has working examples elsewhere.

The NZEI is delighted and they are clearly more important to Shearer than children are. Leader of NZEI Judith Nowotarski comes out with all the scare mongering discredited nonsense about charter schools and does no credit to the teaching profession in doing so (are teachers really happy with this kind of representation?). She also shows very little care for the Maori and Pasifika children by reproducing the “world class” mantra. Once again – the system is NOT world class for those groups.

As well as claiming to speak for all parents Nowotarski shows she is not too flash at maths either. The government has earmarked $19 million to Partnership Schools to try and make a difference to specific groups. NZEI wants that spread to improve the education of all. With over 2500 schools in New Zealand that works out at about $8,000 per school ($24 per student) – piddling into the hurricane and disappearing down the black hole of a union dominated education system.

Once again – what is it about the ongoing failure of Maori and Pasifika children that is in the interest of the Labour party?

Perhaps we should all send Shearer a copy of the video Waiting for Superman which brilliantly captures the desire of poor families striving to get their kids into charter schools.

Teacher Union busted telling lies

The NZEI has been busted telling lies about Charter Schools.

There should be no surprises in this, they will do anything, including lying, in order to protect the inept and the lazy.

A US study, which a New Zealand teachers’ union has used to back up its claims that charter schools are failing, says they are actually helping struggling students.

A study by Stanford University’s Centre for Research on Educational Outcomes was referenced by the NZEI in its argument against charter schools being introduced in New Zealand.

A statement from the union says the 2013 study, which looked at charter schools in 26 states, found that the taxpayer-funded privately run schools do not justify their existence.

“It backs what educationalists in New Zealand have been saying all along – that charter schools are not the answer to improving educational outcomes for children,” said national president Judith Nowotarski.

“We’re extremely concerned that the government is about to use New Zealand children as guinea-pigs in an ideologically driven experiment when there is absolutely no evidence to show that charter schools will improve their education.”

But the study paints a different picture.   Read more »

Not for profit in education?

I assume that Dave Kennedy and these others in this rogues gallery accept the barest salary as morally it would go against the grain for them to profit from educating children.

Back row L to R: Vicki Signal, Louise Green, Manu Pohatu, Fiona Matapo, Liam Rutherford, Rikki Sheterline, July McLean, Te Aroha Hiko Front row L to R: Lynda Stuart, Virginia Stark, Frances Guy, Judith Nowotarski, Ian Leckie, David Kennedy

Back row L to R: Vicki Signal, Louise Green, Manu Pohatu, Fiona Matapo, Liam Rutherford, Rikki Sheterline, July McLean, Te Aroha Hiko
Front row L to R: Lynda Stuart, Virginia Stark, Frances Guy, Judith Nowotarski, Ian Leckie, David Kennedy

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Cunning Hekia moves teachers towards performance pay without them noticing

The best thing about this step towards performance pay is that the unions pushed for it themselves.

Union pushed for the allowance but says members do not see it as the start of performance-based pay

A pay deal has been signed between the union representing primary and intermediate teachers and the Government to introduce an allowance for 800 expert teachers worth $4 million, the start of performance pay.

Principals will endorse teachers who meet a set of criteria judged against the New Zealand curriculum and they will be assessed by a panel of people who are yet to be decided.

The union, New Zealand Educational Institute, say they took the idea of an allowance to reward experienced teaching staff to the Education Ministry in its pay negotiation round, asking for as many allowances as possible.  Read more »

Hekia on Holiday – A week in review

Hekia Parata is away on holiday working like a navvy in Europe at an Education Conference that conveniently happens to be in Amsterdam, followed by a little side trip to Paris, taking along union bosses for a little sharing of the trough in a bid to try to tame them.

Here is her week in review, she started in London:

Then she attended a Commonwealth Day function:

Then she and “her team” whizzed off to Amsterdam:

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Why do they just repeat PPTA/NZEI nonsense without questioning anything?

Why do Herald reports like Kate Shuttleworth just repeat PPTA/NZEI nonsense without questioning anything?

First she quotes at length a Nelson teacher who claims to have managed Charter Schools in many places around the world like Jordan, UAE and Pakistan and spent 10 years “repairing the damage”.

Right – sure he did. And how relevant are those countries and how important are anecdotes like that to a country like New Zealand trying to improve the lot of those kids the NZEI/PPTA system is failing?

Then clearly without having read the latest Credo report or the Swedish data released at the end of 2012 Shuttleworth does no background research into the New Orleans Charters School situation but quotes at length a mother from New Orleans who appears to have taken personal offence.

Maybe Kate could have found a few articles on google from credible journalists that say things like:

“The reforms had begun before Katrina, but the pace was accelerated after the disaster. It is now the only US city where a majority of public school pupils – around eight in ten – attend charter schools, which are non-unionised and enjoy a rare degree of operational independence from government. (no wonder the unions here are worried)  Read more »