Loss of democratic voice in the replacement Teachers Council (Educanz)
Say no to performance pay for teachers
Say no to loss of democratic voice on Uni Councils
How is free public education at risk? Has National/ACT proposed that all parents will be made to send their kids to private schools? In what parallel world is access to a “free” (essentially very low cost vs full fee paying private) public education at risk? Its not like charter schools charge the same as Kings….
Hi Miguel, go read some more articles and the links and see where those “small changes” lead. You are under the impression, it seems, that this is for the benefit of the students – it is not. It is for the benefit of businesses. This is just the beginning.
Hi Dianne, I take it, then that you are referring to public schools being at risk by increasing numbers of charter schools. I took the view of public/charter vs private – which is never going to happen, of course.
Having said that, I don’t understand the concern about charter schools. I’m a parent, and I really don’t like certain elements of the local high school, but it’s the only one we’re zoned for, so we’re out of luck unless an out-of-zone enrolment is accepted elsewhere. Charter schools give me choice, and I like having choice when it comes to my children’s education. I’m not stupid, either, so if there was a charter school available to us, it’s not like I’d send my children there if it wasn’t going to be a net benefit.
I’ve heard the arguments about “good, concerned parents should help their failing local schools by sending their kids there, as their influence will help turn it around.” Thing is, my children get one shot at their school education, so I’d rather not take the chance, thank you. We live in a competitive world, and they’ll need to make sure they can measure up well against the others who’ll be applying for the same university places and jobs.
I don’t envy the job that teachers have, let me be clear. On reflection, I can appreciate the concern that teachers must have (but remain very quite about) that if charter schools open up nearby and the more concerned/conscientious parents send their kids there, the dross (for want of a more delicate term) will be left at the local public school, and the teachers will have a much harder time performing alchemy to turn lead into gold. Fair enough.
But by the same token, please don’t take away my opportunity as a parent not to lump my kids in with the disruptive rabble. Moreover, lets get honest about the merits and abilities of teachers, too. Despite what the union would have us believe, not all teachers are equally good. (And not all registered teachers consistently act above board….) Teaching is a vocation for many, but also a fall-back career for many, too, who’s choices at university left them with little else they’re able to do. For the majority of us who don’t work in the teaching profession, it seems very improbable that teachers are somehow that much different to the rest of the population when it comes to ability and performance. Pay increases through simple virtue of time spent teaching, and the resistance to paying better teachers more just doesn’t marry up with how the rest of us are paid in our own workplaces.
The first concern is that charter schools do not need to employ trained teachers. It’s like setting up a hospital with no trained doctors.
The second concern is that staff at charter schools are not put under the same scrutiny as teachers in state funded schools.
The third concern is the profit motive. Business gets involved to make money. This can result in funds being diverted from student needs back to business to make it profitable for them.
The forth concern is the lack of curriculum. Charter schools do not need to use the NZ curriculum. They can make anything up. Add to this mix the use of unqualified teachers and we have potential for problems.
The fifth concern is that evidence (world-wide) has already shown us that charter schools do not work. At best, achievement is the same as state schools. Most have lower achievement rates than state schools. If memory serves, none have ever demonstrated higher rates of achievement.
Overall, I believe that business and education should not mix. When education becomes contaminated with private interests of profit maximisation, the students suffer. Schools are not businesses. They are schools. Profit margins should not be the goal. Education should be the goal.
I’d never send my children to a school being run by a group that would find the cheapest teachers, cheapest resources, and lowest priced maintenance in order to satisfy shareholders. Am I overstating? Well, of course the businesses running these schools will say that I am. Just like McDonalds think we overstate when we raise concerns about the quality of their food.
At the end of the day it’s your choice. I’d suggest looking at the schools in your area and weighing the pros and cons. Don’t get fooled by talk of 21st century learning environments, or how much technology they use. It’s all smoke and mirrors and doesn’t mean anything. Just ask about the expertise of the teachers. That’s what counts.
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OMG where do you work? As a beginning teacher my pay was crap. I went into my first job under the impression my work colleagues were clued up considering the lengthy period in the teacheing profession, only to discover that later on down the track I realised I had no life, school from 7am to 10pm at night, yes I could have gone home but it’s the kids in my class I worry about and I wouldn’t change a thing if I could. Then I realised that all the time I was putting in I was going way above and beyond what was expected of me and it was clear I was making senior staff members uneasy as I was easily out shinning them, all through pure, honest, and sincere commitment. I come from a family of teachers and always in the back of my mind knew I too was.going to end up in the profession. however, back to the point. those senior teachers were paid waaaaaaay more than beginning teachers and I always felt that I should have my work acknowledged. performance pay is something I believe should have happened a long time ago. Our principal has helped establish 3 schools, has supported schools failing to provide a hearty and true science and math courses by providing video conferencing in Te Reo Maori to help raise Maori achievement so when our kids leave they can have the opportunity to enter tertiary study. this is very time consuming for our school and in particular our principal. So jobs he does he gets paid, but it goes straight into school accounts. We as staff help him by stepping up and trying not to rely on him so much. So in short our principal is really the principal of 3 schools, although he is doin work for other principals, they aren’t paying him, they continue to receive their principal salaries as does our principal. is this fair do you think? I think fair would be acknowledging this effort and in a business sense, performance pay.School staff are paid crap. Though I would always give 100% regardless of pay there will be teachers who work to rule. And that’s fair. You want more work, pay more. A scenario that doesn’t happen for teachers. Our pay raises are crap. We love our kids so much we spend our own money to enhance learning programmes. I hope I have enlightens you a bit more
I hear what you are saying, and I totally see your point – I have been that teacher, too, and I’ve seen others in that position, And if performance pay worked I would be for it. However there is a lot of research showing it often has effects that are not desirable. It leads to teachers (and other professionals) not collaborating, it leads to teachers trying to avoid the hardest schools and the hardest kids. None of that helps the profession or the children. That is why I don’t support it – because the research is clear.
Wow – I wasn’t aware that the National Govt was going to close down public schools! Thank you for this information.
Should I start to read. Should I watch the news. Should I talk to people. – Yes – And a lot of reading, researching and questioning later, I still can’t find where these changes are being made?
And the offensive Nazi quote – good one.
They’ve already closed a bunch in Canterbury. They said it was because of shifting population, but (surprise, surprise) the properties of these schools are now being negotiated as locations for charter schools.
Is it true that you have refused to visit the Partnership Schools when you have been invited to do so to improve your understanding of what’s actually happening? If so, this is a fairly close-minded approach.
I don’t need to visit one charter school nor do I need to visit one private or one public school in order to discuss the issues. One school can seem all singing and all dancing for a visitor – I’ve seen it happen on many inspections. If I visit one council office that is good, does that mean they are all good? Ditto doctors’ surgeries? Hospital wards? And so on. One spot inspection o tells us nothing about the system as a whole, and it is the system that is my concern. Be clear – the issue is not with individual schools. Those schools that have been accepted at charters in NZ should operate within the normal public schools – I have no problem with that. I have a problem with the charterisation of the system, which is far reaching and which is lead by businesses and the likes of Gates, Murdoch, the WalMart family, Michelle Rhee, and others who have self interests more at heart than student interests. So yes, Mr Poole can keep sending his invites, and I will keep politely turning them down.
Putting aside my own, somewhat different, view for a moment – if I accept what you’re saying about big business interests seeing to influence education to serve their own interests and not those of the pupils…how does that get around the fact that given the choice, parents will most often chose what’s best for their children? If these big business interests did succeed in replacing all public schools with charter schools, then surely if a given charter school is no good, the parents will simply take their children elsewhere. What business, other than a monopoly, thrives on offering an inferior product? Everyone – parents, businesses, teachers – acts out of self interest. So (decent) parents will send their kids to the best schools available. Business interests who somehow end up running schools will need to provide a good offering (or else will whither). What’s the danger or threat here?
Moreover, if a teacher is particularly good, why wouldn’t they jump at the change to earn more and provide more opportunities for their own families by going to a school or a school system which rewards and encourages top performance?
First of all you seem to believe competition automatically brings improvement. I do not.
Secondly, if the choice that remains when public schools are gone is a choice between a number of schools that are not serving students well, then that is no choice at all, and that has happened overseas.
Thirdly, a school system should teach all children, not just those of parents wealthy enough to be able to buy their way into certain schools. Segregation is not a system I would want to see in any decent society.
How can competition not bring improvement? If there are two schools that I can send my children too, I’m doing to pick the better one for my child. This is a good thing. At the moment, I’m limited in my choices because of zoning – if I don’t like the school we’re zoned for, I’m out of luck (unless I can stump up the money to go private – most can’t).
Public schools will never go – this is NZ, not the US, so I think that concern is misplaced. And you assume that charter schools don’t/won’t serve pupils well – that seems an odd assumption. Why would a government seek to scuttle a mostly decent education system? Why would the voters stand for it? Education is always a hot issue around election time, so unless NZ dismisses the right to vote, I don’t see the pressure on the government of the day to up educational performance.
Charter schools are anything but segregated – the current public schools are, however. You know full well that the Auckland Grammar zone commands a hefty premium in terms of house price. How many PI and Maori students have parents who can afford to buy in the zone? Turn that around – if Grammar was to remove its zone, imagine how many thousands of boys and their families would be clamouring for a place?
Decent parents aren’t stupid and can tell a good school from a weak one. Current zoning into public schools removes their choice and achieves the very segregation you oppose so much. Charter schools can open up options for people who can’t otherwise afford them. What’s the problem with this?
You think charters don’t zone? Or cherry pick? Not when there are five, or ten, but when there are many, they do indeed.
Your zoning argument is a logical fallacy.
I also don’t need to visit a homeopathic clinic to know that it’s based on sham science and poor research.
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