This is a round-up of the immediate press releases and news reports on today’s IES rejection by the primary education sector:
NZEI Press Release: Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first and reject the IES
Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles.
A resounding 93 percent of teachers and principals voted “no confidence” in the government’s plan.
When asked whether they wanted to try to reshape the policy or start again, 73 percent voted to reject the proposed new roles outright rather than try to change the policy through negotiation.
Instead they have called on the Government talk to parents, teachers and principals to to come up with a better way to spend the $359 million directly on children’s education.
Labour Party Press Release: National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
NZ Herald: Teachers reject Govt’s flagship education policy
The NZEI union has announced that it will not engage in collective negotiations in an attempt to shape how the reform will take shape.
Ninety-three per cent of its members who voted said they had “no confidence” in the government’s plan.
Dominion Post: Teachers reject Govt’s education plan
The country’s biggest teacher union has overwhelmingly rejected the Government’s $359 million education policy.
The announcement today by NZEI that 93 per cent of teachers and principals voted “no confidence” in the policy could potentially scupper the Government’s Investing in Educational Success plans.
The policy, announced in January, has divided teachers and principals and only minutes before NZEI’s announcement the Minister of Education revealed a memorandum of understanding has been signed with a number of principals from other organisations across the country.
I will share more as news come out. (MORE BELOW NOW!)
UPDATES – MORE ADDED at 16.42, 21/08/14
PRESS RELEASE: Latest F for Hekia Parata – Green Party
The Green Party agrees with the need for more collaboration and non-contact time for teachers, but disagrees that the Government’s hierarchical approach is the way to achieve that, said the Green Party today.
The NZEI today voted with a 93 percent majority to reject the Government’ flagship education policy.
“This is the latest of the Minister’s expensive flagship education policies that she has failed to get over the line,” said Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty today.
“Hekia Parata needs to stop meddling with the system and start working with it instead.
Stuff today discuss the government’s education policies in this piece, asking why education it such a big issue and what needs to happen in education policy to get your vote? Stuff is asking for responses from you, the public.
Their questions are:
My response is here:
Sadly, the biggest issue in education at the moment is how demoralised teachers are having been faced with a barrage of changes and policies that are not about improving education for our students but are about leading public education system towards privatisation. The policies are done without consultation with the education sector and without the backing of good research. In fact, the research is usually in direct contradiction to the policies being implemented.
If we are to improve the educational standards of young Kiwis, we need to train our teachers to the highest standards and continue to offer them excellent professional development throughout their careers so that are experts in their fields. We need better funded and more targeted help for our neediest students, with teacher aides, resources and specialist help readily available. This helps all pupils in the end. We also need to take seriously the effects of poverty, which has a huge impact.
The education policies of this government are heinous. They claim to be doing these things for the students, but in truth the policies have little or nothing to do with that and are more about gearing the public education system up for privatisation, just as is happening in England and the USA. And we all know how badly that’s going…
The Maori faction of the PPTA has issued another warning concerning the government’s charter schools. Although some Maori schools would like to try the system out, Moana Jackson says it’s only another one of the government’s attempts to cut funding.
What are your thoughts? Are charter schools a genuine attempt to help Maori and Pasifika students achieve higher, or a money saving venture, or something else altogether?
Well, judging by the huge spike in activity on the blog and Facebook page, I can categorically say this is another one of those weeks for NZ education.
On an Up!
The week began with David Shearer’s speech outlining Labour’s stance on many of the main educational policies currently being foisted on NZ by National, and oh what a speech. Finally Labour caught the public’s eye and people other than educators began to ask questions. Thank goodness, and not before time.
Then, while we were all riding high on a wave of hope, Aunty Paula announced another of her beneficiary bashing policies, this time making it sound like anyone on benefit has no clue how to raise a child and must be threatened into action, whereas anyone not on benefit can do as they please. I’m not saying there aren’t those out there that need guidance, help and even a sizeable nudge to give their kids a fair chance at health and education, but to tar everyone on benefit with that brush is outrageous, and the policy itself, well man what a totally cruel way to go about ‘helping’ people.
Meanwhile John Banks was getting deeper and deeper in the mire thanks to his dodgy or, more likely, selective memory regarding anonymous donations, and calls for his resignation (yeah like that would ever happen) or sacking got louder and louder and are still bouncing off the deaf ears of John Key.
But surely that was as bad as it could get in one week?
Information, misinformation, confusion, and distress. That’s the only way to put it, and Christchurch has had enough. No-one is arguing that changes weren’t inevitable given the quakes and the aftermath, but the way it was dealt with caused and is still causing such distress and surely could have been handled better. Calls are coming from far and wide for an explanation of what is being discussed, what has already been decided, and how those conclusions were come to.
The Green Party is worried that the Government is exploiting the crisis in Christchurch to push through their unpopular education agenda – read here and are demanding clarity regarding the criteria for deciding the schools’ futures – read more here.
I can’t begin to imagine what will happen in the weeks ahead, especially for Canterbury, but one thing’s for sure,
people are not happy. Not at all. And more voices are starting to whisper one simple but very important question…
If you want to know what the opposition to charter schools is all about, you would do well to spend half an hour watching/listening to the news below. There are a wide range of people represented – teachers, union leaders, academics, and John Banks…
TV3 News – The proposed charter schools are already causing controversy, with one academic condemning them as being “pigs”. Watch here.
TV3 news – The Government’s new charter schools scheme means the first sponsored schools are likely to open in 18 months. Watch here.
TV3 News – The Government announces that charter schools will be allowed to employ unqualified and unregistered teachers. Watch here.
Radio Live – John Banks Associate Minister of Education. Banks said that the government has ambitious targets to meet and he feels that charter schools are the wat forward. 2 August 2012. Listen here.
One News – Charter schools to employ unregistered teachers. Watch here.
YouTube video – Packaged highlights of the New Zealand Ministerial Working Group on Charter Schools’ public meeting held at the Otahuhu College Hall in South Auckland on 21 May 2012. Don’t miss the next public meeting to discuss charter schools in NZ at 7pm, Wednesday 22 August, at the Shirley Intermediate Hall, Shirley, Christchurch. Watch here. And there is a good speech by Brigid Raymond here.
Do feel free to add any further links of your own, as comments, no matter what your viewpoint.
If it’s fair to say that mainstream news media is alight with articles about the education debacle, then social media news must be said to be approaching super nova status… Here’s a round-up of some the keys articles I’ve spotted on my travels:
School Cuts Will Run Deep, say Unions – Stuff.com
Educational Bitterness Will Grow – Wanganui Chronicle
Invercargill Principals send an open letter to the Prime Minister
TVNZ Breakfast – Education Minister Agrees to Meet Education Chiefs Over Cuts
Majority Opposed to New Teacher Funding Ratios – NewsTalk ZB
Taxpayers Subsidise Smaller Class Sizes for Wealthy Kids – The Green Party
Double Standards: Public Sector Left Scrounging – Frogblog
Government’s Class Size Debacle – The Herald
Class Size Report Ignored: Principal – Hawkes Bay Today
Well, you get the idea….