The first list of what National has done to education was lonnnng. Very long. And scary. Verrrrrry scary, You get my drift. But since it was published a year ago, there have been new horrors, many of which prove all the more interesting when you consider the $$$ involved:
Add to those ….
… and a picture is painted of a government concerned not a jot with the poorest or most needy in our society. What a sad indictment.
Yesterday, with the passing of the above Bill, another blow hit New Zealand education. The Bill passed 61:59 with National, ACT and United Future voting it through.
The Bill gets rid of the Teachers Council and replaces it with EDUCANZ, a new professional body for the teaching profession. The problem here is that EDUCANZ cannot and will not represent teachers: Clause 1 of Schedule 22 in the bill outlines that the nine members of EDUCANZ will all be appointed by the Minister of Education. Not one member of EDUCANZ will be democratically chosen by teachers. Not one.
Even the EDUCANZ transition board, put in place well before the Bill was even passed, was chosen by the Minister of Education. And, you guessed it, “[a]t least five candidates from this nomination process will be appointed by the Minister, with the balance being selected by the Minister.”
Compare that to the Teachers Council, which “has 11 members, with four members directly appointed by the Minister of Education, three members appointed by the Minister following nomination by NZEI, NZSTA (School Trustees Association), PPTA and four members elected by the sector.’
The Bill also shrinks universities and wananga councils and removes the necessity for student representation on those council. These changes were rigorously argued against by well over a thousand submissions to the Education Select Committee. The submissions were, like last time, ignored.
Are you spotting a pattern here, of reduced representation? Of increased government control?
If you’re not convinced of that control thing, you may wish to consider that EDUCANZ will be writing a new Code of Conduct for teachers. That’s right, the Code of Conduct will be written by people entirely chosen by the Minister. Prepare to be gagged.
Reactions to the Bill Passing
Chris Hipkins spoke of a “string of bad decisions by the minister which have led to disastrous changes to the education sector” and called the move “the final nail in the coffin for teachers wanting representation on their own professional body”.
Sandra Grey, Tertiary Education Union national president, said the union will campaign at each NZ university and wānanga for their council to set aside one-third of council seats for democratically elected staff and student representatives.
In fact, the only people speaking in favour of the Bill, were Hekia Parata, Stephen Joyce and co.
Ask yourself why.
Sources and further reading:
I’d love to tell you what was reported in The New Zealand Herald, but they ignored the event completely. Of course.
The Education Amendment Bill, which had its 3rd reading in the House last night, replaces the Teachers Council with a new body, EDUCANZ and removes the right of teachers to vote for representation on the new board. Instead, the Minister of Education will appoint all members.
NZEI National President Louise Green says that this is another attempt to reduce the influence that teachers have on decisions affecting their daily practice.
She says teachers have particular concerns around the introduction of a Code of Conduct which could effectively gag their ability to speak out and advocate for children.
“This is not about improving education for children, this is about trying to remove the professional voice from teaching.
Louise Green says that despite this latest move, teachers will continue to speak out against policies that undermine our public education system.
“Teachers are not state servants, we are public servants. We have commitments to learners, families and society under our Code of Ethics. This means we have a responsibility to advocate for the right of all children to have a great education.
“Parents need to ask why the Government is targeting the teaching profession in a way that it wouldn’t dare target doctors, accountants or lawyers.”
Not worried about charters closing their doors and dumping your kids due to lack of profits?
What about charters that don’t teach your kids…
Yes, that’s right. This non-profit charter decided it could reinvent teaching and learning model and “changed the whole curriculum, brought in a model called the Big Picture where [students] had no more classes at all”…
Enjoy the story of the student with a perfect grade score of 4.0 (which is 100% in the US system), who failed her first ever class, thanks to this innovative non-teaching system….
Or the fact that they laid off the only two accredited maths teachers, so no students get any maths credits this year…
Ahhh yes, it sure does look like another great case of this innovate and miraculous system doing its stuff again…
I wonder if John Banks, Hekia Parata, Nikki Kaye or Dr Sharples would like to quote this example in Parliament at the final reading of the Education Amendment Act 2012 next week, when charters will be made legal here?
No, thought not.