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This tag is associated with 23 posts

Stop The Presses: lay person is expert on education!

Dear Mr Plested,

I had no idea that running a freight company gave one such insight, but since you clearly you know all there is to know about managing everything in the world, from trucking companies to education systems, I am hoping you will give me and my documentary making team permission to come and film at Mainfreight to see how perfect everything is there. So we can learn from it. Since you know everything.

We would like to do a one-to-one interview with you about your time as a teacher and principal, the pedagogies you use, your ethos, the professional development you have undertaken and your insight into child development. I feel we could learn a lot from you.

We would ideally like to film in the school you have running at Mainfreight and see the students in action. This will be inspirational for those poor teachers in the state system who don’t know what you know.

The mountains of evidence showing that performance pay for teachers doesn’t work (and not only doesn’t work but lowers student outcomes) needs to dealt to. Research is over-rated – all that peer-reviewed tosh! It’s time to show that none of that has any value by sharing your insightful reckons.

I for one am glad people like you are onto it. The education system needs more back seat drivers – that’s the very thing it’s been lacking all these years. Look how well it went when they handed all those English schools over to mobile phone execs and carpet moguls. It’s not like they had anything to gain from taking over all of those schools and taking the money that would have been wasted on students. Far better that it goes to businessmen such as your good self so that you can spend it on the important things like Vera Wang tea services, $1k meals and top-end Jaguars.

Let’s get this education system sorted. Get your people to call my people and we’ll Skype…

Naku noa,

Dianne Khan & the film team

PS: It’s wonderful that you support experiments on school students, and I’m hoping that – as such an advocate – you will be happy to send your child/ren to the nearest charter school and let us track how they get on there in a fly-on-the-wall stand-alone doco.

 

John Oliver explains the madness of standardized testing and teacher performance pay, with a dancing monkey thrown in for good measure

American students face a ridiculous amount of testing.

American teachers face ridiculous formulae using test scores to determine their pay.

Certain companies benefit hugely from this set-up.

Welcome to the global education reform movement – GERM.

Here, John Oliver explains how standardized tests impact school funding, the achievement gap, how often kids are expected to throw up. Enjoy.

#OptOut

Education Reform explained in 3 memes

Feel free to right click, copy and share these memes as far and wide as you wish.

Education reforms Explained - GERM

Education reforms Explained - teachersEducation reforms Explained - performance pay

Teacher Voice: We won’t get fooled again, by Carrie Sherring

won't get fooled againI’ve seen this all before.

The Standards, the Expert Teachers from Beacon Schools, the Super Head.

I was a Beacon Schools teacher. I led in-service for Deputy Principals and Teachers on using assessment effectively to target children.

I worked with teachers to better analyse data. Organise their systems and interpret info they had.

My kids from a low decile school did as well as kids from affluent areas because as a staff we worked our socks off together, collaborating, sharing info, communicating.

When we became one of the first Beacon Schools it seemed important to share our practice with others. We went corporate. We hosted other teachers from a range of schools. They loved coming to see our school.

We saw it as a positive at first.

Then we started to get tired. We were still full time teaching and this was extra-it didn’t matter that we were paid a bit extra-time is finite in a week. The advisors who used to support schools vanished and we seemed to be taking over their role without the full support needed to do the job well. No secondments, just fit it all in.

Extra cash yes but only for me and not for the classroom (like many teachers I spent it on my class though).

I worked at weekends, I slogged and planned and delivered.

Did I make a difference-to my children in my own class-yes, they started to fail.

They were Reception Age kids (age 4 to 5)-the upheaval of other teachers coming in and me being out disrupted their education. I began to lose my creativity. I began to teach only to a test. I became a narrow educator.

So I worked harder to make sure I didn’t fail them.

I watched as my own children at home went out for the afternoon with someone else at the weekend because mum was too busy. Still I worked hard, believing I was doing some good.

Then one day I looked in the mirror, looked at my class, looked at my own 2 children and questioned WHY!

Why was I working every hour I wasn’t sleeping?-the answer, so schools could meet their government targets.

The children were not benefiting from a broad experience, they were being jumped over hurdles.

I had never been motivated by the money.

I stopped, gave up my responsibilities and had 3 months off, moved to a cottage in Scotland.

I was not about money; I was about growing great kids.

I was happier and so were my kids.

Then I missed the classroom and back I went.

Then I heard of a place where innovation and creative thinking were still valued in teaching, where there was a holistic approach, where discussion and dialogue between professionals was encouraged-so I came to NZ.

I loved it.

Then… we all know what happened next.

The Who summed it up ‘We won’t get fooled again!’

Reviews, good teaching, and engaged students

“Not all teachers and students deserve prizes but they do deserve self-esteem, opportunity and fulfilment and moreover fair treatment.

A prerequisite of this is a properly funded education system which genuinely seeks to meet need and does not penalise and denigrate students simply for starting the educational process with very little, and denigrating and punishing staff for having to work harder and more effectively in these contexts than in any other.”

 

A recent UK report, Supporting Outstanding Pupil Progress In Schools In An Area Of Social and Economic Deprivation, looked at a schools in disadvantaged areas to analyse what behaviours make an “outstanding” teacher, contributing to outstanding student progress.  The report speaks to questions asked by and of educators worldwide, and is as pertinent to our own situation in New Zealand as it is in England.

Socioeconomic Issues

The report’s findings will not surprise most teachers, citing social and economic deprivation as a major factors in students’ chances of success.  Neither will it surprise many (any?) teachers that they are often expected to act as surrogate parents for those without support and stability in their home lives.

Professor Bridget Cooper, Director of the Centre for Pedagogy at the University of Sunderland, UK, who led the report, says: “It is obvious from this report that schools in socially and economically deprived areas need more generous and more appropriate funding. Those in power need to understand and take into account the effort teachers in those schools have to make to counteract the multiplicity of needs of their students for their entire school lives.”

“It is completely unfair and irrelevant to compare these schools, teachers and children throughout their academic life unfavourably with schools which do not have to meet such great need as the teachers have work even harder.”

The Danger of an Overbearing Review Office

The report also looks at the role of OFSTED, which is the UK equivalent of ERO, and raises concerns that reviews are often barriers to good teaching practice, being so very prescriptive that teachers find it hard to harness their own creativity and create engaging learning for students.

Great teachers inspireWe are lucky in New Zealand, that ERO reviews – whilst no doubt stressful at times – are nothing like what England’s schools have to bear.

Whilst in Aotearoa differentiation and personalised teaching is still, quite rightly, seen as good pedagogy even by the review office, the report found in England OFSTED insisted on “having objectives at the start of the lesson which does not always work with each student”.  It went on to say that “[s]everal staff said that always having the objectives at the start of the lesson goes against ideas of discovery and student-centred learning (both secondary and primary) and can make lessons dull and mechanical.”

Far from allowing teachers to do what they know works or to experiment with new resources and pedagogy in order to engage students and inspire them,  “teachers are constrained by the structure of the school day and the push for conformity is hindering progress in “deprived” schools.”

Of course, things are made even worse when you consider that in England teachers are subject to performance pay.  This means that there is pressure to jump through whatever hoops OFSTED deems important, as your wages depend on it.  It doesn’t mean teaching better or responding to students’ needs more appropriately, though.

And there’s the rub.

 

Source:  http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/research/newsevents/news/news/index.php?nid=2825

 

A shameful shadow of an education system

The article below is about the saddest thing I have ever read about education, and fits exactly what I saw starting before I left the UK to come to New Zealand.  Sadly, this government is following the UK with this madness, and this horror is now here too.  I am devastated.  This is a shameful shadow of education and in years to come will be reflected on as a period of utter and total disgrace.

Secret Teacher, writes in The Guardian (UK):

speech marks blue bubbleWhen I began teaching I worked in early years. Back then, personal, social and emotional development was factored into every aspect of the curriculum. It was understood that to become a successful learner you needed to develop a love of learning and feel secure in your abilities to overcome challenges.

I remember rejoicing the first time a painfully shy child answered their name in the register and when another proudly taught the class to say hello in their home language. But these normal everyday achievements did not happen by magic; the children only achieved these things because they felt secure in their school environment and the right opportunities were available to them.

Roll on a few years and I recently found myself teaching key stage 1 in a new school rated good, and aiming for outstanding. But in this quest, levels and targets have become more important than anything – more important than the children, it seemed.

One Autumn morning I was summoned to the assistant headteacher’s office for the first round of target setting for the year. I was asked to predict the levels my year 1 class would get in their year 2 Sats. I should mention that 70% of my class arrived in year 1 below the expected reading age, which posed a problem; my literacy levels did not meet the targets and could not be submitted to the borough. Apparently, my predictions were “not ambitious enough” and were up levelled. The new targets were accompanied by a speech making the pressure of these expectations clear.

As a new member of staff, I was interested to see what approach the school would take to ensure the levels were met. Their preferred method was manipulation, making sure no one had access to enough information for a full picture. Parents were held at arm’s length and assistant headteachers were present in all formal meetings to monitor what information was shared and how. If a teacher was seen talking to a parent for too long in the playground, an assistant head would appear and join??????????????????????????????????????? the conversation. Nothing quite says you’re not trusted like being watched constantly.

In one meeting I was horrified to witness just how far they were willing to push the pursuit of targets at the expense of the children. My year group included four children that were in the learning support centre. Although they weren’t taught in mainstream classes, they were included in our all-important levels, which unfortunately meant our “quota” of children not at expected levels had already been accounted for.

One child who came under particular scrutiny had been a “problem” in reception. He fidgeted and struggled to manage his behaviour in certain circumstances. Compared to other children I had taught, he had minor behaviour needs, but he was behind academically. With a little bit of nurturing he was improving – the other children were not being affected by him and he was making academic progress. Even so, I was told to put pressure on his parent to take him elsewhere. At the sight of my horrified expression this softened to nudging them gently. Officially, the reason given was behaviour, but I have no doubt that unofficially levels and the extra time he required were the biggest factors in this decision.

When I didn’t follow orders, meetings began taking place that I was not invited to or informed of. I have no idea what the parent was told, but several secret meetings later they must have got the message and made the decision to move him to another school.

Read the rest here.

Food for Thought:

The comments below the article are food for thought. Below are some of the ones that stood out for me.

“This problem is now worsening due to the pressure being put on us by unrealistic performance management targets. If we don’t get the children to a certain place by the end of the year, we now don’t move up the pay scale. Horrid.”

“You aptly sum up why I, with deep regret, turned my back on headship. Loved the job but the conflict between doing what was morally right and what was demanded politically had moved beyond an uneasy compromise and into the territory of being expected to sell one’s soul.”

” This target driven culture comes directly from the DfE (past and present) and is enforced with an iron fist by Ofsted. If a school fails to meet targets it gets taken over, the head will be sacked as may be many other teachers. The only people willing to become heads and deputies now a days are those who are willing to play this game and whose ambition (and often limited talent) drives them to fiddle figures, bully and coerce others into making often impossible targets.”

“It’s obvious that the education system is broken to varying degrees across the country and in many schools. I have seen the type of behaviour, described by the secret teacher, towards children who ‘won’t make the grade’ happening more and more as the performance management has been directly linked with pay rises or lack of them, and the need for more and more children to make targets that are at best challenging but for many completely impossible. Those teachers who don’t get their quota of children to the grades required are not just not getting pay award but also in danger of the competency procedure. It’s a very very sad and bleak world for those children who for one reason or another cannot/ or will not make the expected grades and gain the results schools need to keep ofsted et al off their backs.”

Final Word

And the last word goes to this commentator, who I think speaks for so many of us when they say “This is just terrible. It’s not what we went into education to do.”

 

 

 

 

The new Teachers Council: Just what is EDUCANZ’ remit, exactly?

Concerns are coming from all angles about just what EDUCANZ’ functions will be. It looks to many like it’s more groundwork for kneecapping teachers and laying the groundwork for corporatising the school system.  As ever, all of this is being done on the sly.

The PPTA have raised serious concerns

In introducing the Education Amendment Bill (No 2) to Parliament, the Education Minister indicated a clear intention of pushing it through prior to the election, presumably in the hope that no one will look too closely at the proposed changes.  Submissions close 30 April 2014.

The bill sets out an extensive new role for EDUCANZ which includes:

•    Developing new sets of standards (separate criteria for registration and practising certificates and “standards for ongoing practice”).  (We don’t know what all this means either but suspect it is connected to the five levels of performance pay that the chairman of the EDUCANZ Transition Board, John Morris, has recently written about.)

•    Mandating an audit and moderation process of at least 10% of practising certificates.

•    The Teachers Council Code of Ethics, currently an aspirational document reflecting the professional status of teachers, is to be turned into a more directive “Code of Conduct” while the EDUCANZ council develops its own code. The legislation says teachers will be consulted about this new code but, as we have seen so far, that does not mean any account will be taken of their views.

•    The EDUCANZ council is supposedly more independent because it will be a statutory authority instead of a crown entity but it will be made up entirely of appointments by the minister of the day and it may not have a single practising teacher on it. There are no elected positions and no union positions. The board will be accountable only to the government of the day not to the profession.

•    The registration fees are certain to rise significantly given the range of new tasks for the council. 

PPTA is not opposed to the bill’s changes to the council’s discipline and competence provisions or to the role the council has in ensuring all teachers are “fit to teach”. We are, however, totally opposed to the range of unnecessary functions proposed for it as it can only result in substantial increases in the fees charged to teachers.

 

And big concerns about John Morris

conflict of interestIn light of Mr Morris’s recent proclamations in support of performance pay, PPTA decided to write to the Education Minister.  This is an except of that letter:

Dear Minister

I am writing to express my grave concerns about the appropriateness of John Morris continuing in his role as chair of the Transition Board for the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (“the Transition Board”) in the light of the agenda he has prescribed for it in his publication Teaching Stars – Transforming the Education Profession (“the report”).

On page five of the report, Mr Morris advocates a central role for EDUCANZ in developing and overseeing a complex and highly bureaucratic performance pay system.

Mr Morris makes it clear in the publication that he chairs the Transition Board and fails to distinguish between his official position and personal opinion. He should have been explicit about what the approved goals for EDUCANZ were as distinct from his own personal views because otherwise it looks like he has made an official statement from the Transition Board.

As the Chair of the Transition Board, Mr Morris is required to act consistently with the terms of reference for the Transition Board, which includes a “no surprises” requirement and an obligation that members of the Board act consistently with the objectives and functions of the new body as defined by Cabinet. Mr Morris has failed to meet this requirement and substantially undermined any integrity of the reforms and process to be followed by the Board.

More concerning for me is the contempt that Mr Morris is showing for the 70,000 or so teachers who are going to be expected to fund the operation of his grandiose performance pay scheme. It is unacceptable that before teachers have had an opportunity to comment on the legislation and before the actual board has been formally established, the chairperson of the Transition Board has declared what the role and function of the body is to be. How can teachers have any trust in the process for establishing the new council when the chair of the interim board has revealed an agenda to use the body to introduce performance pay? There has been no consultation or agreement to these changes with the sector.

 

Death by a thousand cuts

It seems to me that the government is taking incremental steps along the road to privatisation of the public education system in New Zealand, with lots of small knives hacking away at the same poor beast until it is dead.

Only when it’s too late will people realise what has been lost.

 

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Sources and further reading

http://www.ppta.org.nz/issues/tc-review/2926-education-amendment-bill-pums

http://www.ppta.org.nz/issues/tc-review/2913-john-morris-educanz-board

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2014/0193/latest/whole.html

http://www.teacherscouncil.co.nz/content/code-ethics-registered-teachers-0 (current code, under the Teachers Council)

Join the Dots: What government is doing to NZ education

This explains what government policies are doing to public education in Aotearoa.  It outlines the huge and fundamental shifts being put in place and what the oppositions are. It is a must-watch.

What is going on?

Our public school system is being set up for privatisation and a hugely competitive model.  This push is being made via many measures, such as the proposed new lead teacher roles, charter schools, National Standards, performance pay, value-added models for funding, getting rid of the Teachers’ Council and replacing it with EDUCANZ, and so on.

Any suggestion that there is to be consultation with the education sector is misdirection.  The parameters are set, people on panels and committees are hand-picked to push them through, and teachers and parents have little to no voice at all.

Who should watch this video?

It’s a must-watch for all teachers, principals, and support staff.

If you missed your Paid Union Meeting (PUM) or left it unclear or confused, then this is essential viewing.

Anyone still out there that thinks there is not much going on in education at the moment, you owe it to yourself to watch, probably more than once.

You might also want to show it at school in a staff or union meeting, for discussion.

Parents, you may want to watch to help you formulate a list of questions to ask.

 

 

Moving towards businesses and profits as the motivator

Be clear that the shifts being put in place are huge and fundamentally change our education system, especially for primary school students.  No more the holistic approach – all that matters are standards, benchmarks and tests. And for many, profit.

If you are unclear just how drastic this is, look to the USA and England just as two examples of what is happening.  You owe it to our children and yourself to understand what is going on and to start asking questions.

LEARN MORE

Below are some links to get you going:

The Guardian – Education (England)

TeacherRoar Blog and TeacherRoar on Facebook (England)

The Anti-Academies Alliance on Facebook (England)

EduShyster – Keeping an eye on the corporate education reform agenda (USA)

The Network for Public Education (NPE) (USA)

Save Our Schools NZ on Facebook (NZ)

Stand Up For Kids – Protect Our Schools on Facebook (NZ)

There are thousands more.  Just Google ‘global education reform’ or ‘GERM’ or ‘privatisation of public schools’ and read away.

the joy of learning.

 

Nothing to see here: blinkers and bullcrap

nothing to see hereI went to a union meeting yesterday.  I’m not working at the moment, but wanted to know more about what is being discussed and how teachers on the ground are feeling, so off I trundled.  I must say, I was so taken aback by some of what I heard that I came home and fell asleep for most of the night, shocked into stupor.

The first shock was when we were asked to quickly list with others on our tables what is going on in education at the moment. As I didn’t know anyone and was there to listen more than speak, I waited.  There was a pregnant pause, then one someone quietly said:

Well, nothing’s going on in education at the moment, is it …. because it’s an election year and they want to stay safe.”

Huh?

For real?

Stunned, I paused to see what others thought…

“There’s performance pay,” said one.

“No, she was misquoted,” someone replied.

Silence.

… and still I stayed quiet. (It was killing me, but I needed to listen not talk).

Silence.

And that was it.

There seemed to be more talk at other tables, so this may not be representative, but it still made me want to cry.

I just kept thinking, is this really all the knowledge, interest and passion this group of 7 teachers has between them about their own profession?  Do they truly not know any more than that, or do they not care?  How on earth do we get them to care?

If there had been a bar, I’d have turned to drink.

A better list (but not the whole list)

Luckily, when the rep went around the room asking what people had identified, the list was long and people sounded more outraged by it all.  Not all, but many seemed frustrated.

Between them, this smallish group of about 60 teachers listed National Standards, charter schools, PaCT, charter schools, the killing off of the Teachers Council, performance pay, decile ratings, funding of schools, change principals and the $359 for new roles.

The teacher that had said nothing much was happening in education was nodding – she had known about all of those things at the back of her mind.

Hekia’s school propaganda tour 2014

wonka asks Hekia have you got an answerThe meeting went on.  Performance pay was mentioned again. Two lots of teachers said they had asked Hekia Parata face-to-face when she had visited their schools in the past couple of weeks whether she was considering performance pay and Hekia had responded that she was misquoted and not to believe all they read.

This is when my cork popped.  Performance pay, I pointed out, is something Hekia Parata has talked about since 2012 and they should perhaps not believe all they hear from the Minister either.

People looked a bit stunned. They had fronted up and asked the Minister first hand whether she was considering performance pay and they felt she had said no it wasn’t.

But, I asked, did she say it was OFF the table or merely say she was misquoted?  And di they teachers realise she has been mooting performance pay since 2012?

The teachers were now confused as they had felt they had gotten an answer from the horse’s mouth and now it seemed maybe not. They asked the rep to ask the union to ask the Minister for clarification – is there to be performance pay or not?

No point, I mused inwardly. Because this is how she answers straightforward questions about performance pay (and anything else, in fact):

On the meeting went… and the horrors unveiled later are best saved for another post…

Meanwhile, concerned teachers and whanua reading this, you have colleagues, friends and family who believe nothing much is happening in education.  Maybe you need to start some conversations to counter that belief, before it’s too late.

 

Further reading on Hekia’s performance pay stance:

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1205/S00293/hekia-parata-on-the-nation-police-on-pay-for-teachers.htm (in 2012)

http://www.3news.co.nz/Parata-defends-performance-pay-scheme/tabid/1607/articleID/254861/Default.aspx (in 2012)

http://imperatorfish.com/2014/03/19/hekia-parata-on-being-misquoted/

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10803148

http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/03/08/the-problem-with-performance-pay-for-teachers/

http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/what-hekia-parata-actually-said/

http://boonman.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/hekia-parata-and-national-you-are-disgusting/

http://boonman.wordpress.com/tag/performance-pay/

http://www.3news.co.nz/Paratas-funding-plan-crazy-stuff—NZEI/tabid/1607/articleID/336162/Default.aspx

 

Background Research on Performance Pay

researchToday someone queried my assertion that there is a lot of research confirming the detrimental effects of performance pay.  The challenge seemed to be that volume of research does not equate to good research.  That’s a good point, and I think the person that made it is in a position to know it is true.

So, for anyone wanting to check out some of the research for themselves (which is always a good plan – you shouldn’t take my word or anyone else’s word for anything) here are some links to research and reports to start you off, along with some quotes to give you food for thought.

Eight brief points about “merit pay” for teachers, by Daniel Pinks

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Government proposal for education needs to be based on evidence, says The New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS)

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Credentials Versus Performance: Review of the Teacher Performance Pay Research, by Michael Podgursky, Department of Economics, University of Missouri–Columbia, and Matthew G. Springer, Department of Leadership Policy, and Organizations, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University (2007) – This research argues that performance pay may be a positive move, but the researchers state they have not outlined what that would look like or how it would work, and they suggest field trials and more research on this.

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We find that financial incentives may indeed reduce intrinsic motivation and diminish ethical or other reasons for complying with workplace social norms such as fairness. As a consequence, the provision of incentives can result in a negative impact on overall performance.”

London School of Economics 

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New York City abandons merit pay for teachers

“…in light of a study that found the bonuses had no positive effect on either student performance or teachers’ attitudes toward their jobs.”

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“We tested the most basic and foundational question related to performance incentives — “Does bonus pay alone improve student outcomes?” – and we found that it does not,” 

Matthew Springer, executive director of the National Center on Performance Incentives.

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Teacher performance pay alone does not raise student test scores

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Final Report: Experimental Evidence from the Project on Incentives in Teaching (POINT)

Rewarding teachers with bonus pay, in the absence of any other support programs, does not raise student test scores

National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody

College of Education and Human Development in partnership with the RAND Corporation.

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Performance-Related Pay – Wikipedia:

Academic evidence has increasingly mounted indicating that performance related pay leads to the opposite of the desired outcomes when it is applied to any work involving cognitive rather than physical skill. Research[2] funded by the Federal Reserve Bank undertaken at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology  with input from professors from the University of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon University repeatedly demonstrated that as long as the tasks being undertaken are purely mechanical performance related pay works as expected. However once rudimentary cognitive skills are required it actually leads to poorer performance. These experiments have since been repeated by a range of economists…

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Pay-for-Performance (Federal Government) – Wikipedia

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Merit Pay – Wikipedia

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Dollars and Sense:

“…mixed findings underscore the challenge of designing a system of teachers’ compensation that rewards quality in a fair and equitable manner”

(Note this research deemed success to be raised test scores in maths and English, which raises the question of whether merit pay led to teaching to the test or whether things really improved for the students’ education as a whole)

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A Big Apple for Educators

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TEACHER INCENTIVES AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT: EVIDENCE FROM NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

“Financial incentives for teachers to increase student performance is an increasingly popular education policy around the world. This paper describes a school-based randomized trial in over two-hundred New York City public schools designed to better understand the impact of teacher incentives on student achievement. I find no evidence that teacher incentives increase student performance, attendance, or graduation, nor do I find any evidence that the incentives change student or teacher behavior. If anything, teacher incentives may decrease student achievement, especially in larger schools. The paper concludes with a speculative discussion of theories that may explain these stark results.”

Source

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Again, feel free to add links to other research in the comments below, so we can read, ponder and learn more.

Thanks, Dianne

Sign the petition against performance pay for teachers

If you DO NOT support performance pay for teachers, please sign this petition to Hekia Parata.

She says teachers are in favour of it.  If we are not, we need to make sure she is very clear that isn’t the case.  It will also serve to inform the wider public that teachers do not want performance pay as it is detrimental to the very teamwork and best practice we need to do our jobs well.

Thanks, Dianne

PP joke 6

 

PP joke 3

 

PP joke 4

 

Responses to Hekia’s implication that teachers want performance pay

no no noYesterday on Q+A, Hekia Parata deftly implied that the teacher unions and, by implication, the teachers, are totally on board with performance pay. Not just on board, but helping sort out how it will go ahead.

Some of us suspected this was smoke and mirrors, the ole Hekia misdirection that we are so familiar with. So I did what any sensible person should.  I asked the unions themselves.  And the opposition parties, too.  I asked them, “Are you in favour of performance pay for teachers?”

Here are the responses I have had so far, and the tell quite a different story to Hekia’s:

PPTA referred  a member to this document and also Tweeted me via PPTAWeb to say:

PPTA do not support performance pay. 

NZEI have not sent an official response, but individual reps responded to say:

NZEI does not support competition between schools or teachers. PUM’s are being held in the next couple of weeks. Expect a statement AFTER members have BEEN consulted. 

Metiria Turei of the Green Party messaged me to state:

We are opposed to performance pay. All teachers should be priority rewarded for their skills and experience.

Chris Hipkins (Labour) Tweeted me to confirm:

 Labour does not support basing teacher pay on student achievement. It’s no measure of ‘performance’

Chris Hipkins replied in more detail to my query on Facebook:

Labour is opposed to paying teachers based on student achievement, which is no true measure of ‘performance’. I object to the whole term ‘performance pay’ because it inevitably leads to pointless arguments about how to tell a good teacher from a poor one, when really we should be focused on how we support all teachers to be great teachers (quality professional development, great initial teacher training, better appraisal systems etc).

No word yet from NZPF. I will update you as soon as I hear from them.

Meanwhile, make sure your union rep, your MP, your principal, and your local newspaper all know that teachers do not want performance pay because it adversely affects their performance and will therefore be TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE STUDENTS.

~ Dianne

No

Hekia implies unions agree to performance pay

What the heckDuring Hekia Parata’s interview on Q+A today, Corrin Dann asks “Will National go to a full performance pay scheme in the future?”

Hekia answers (at 11.12 of video) “We already have very strong consensus from the teacher unions as well as the profession, they are on the working group, recommending the design features for this. We are very focussed on getting this implemented from 2015 and fully implemented by 2017″ 

Is she refusing to answer the question posted there, and actually continuing to talk about the new ‘super’ roles, or did she really just imply the unions are on board with performance pay? Because those are two very different things.

So, because she wasn’t clear, I need to check…

NZEI?  PPTA?  NZPF?  What are your positions on performance pay?

Because there is a loud voice from teachers that they do NOT want this.  And with good reason backed by much research.

I want to know exactly where the unions stand.

Is Hekia avoiding, evading, stretching facts, fibbing, or telling the truth?

We really do need to know.

.

Why do teachers not want performance pay?

Oh, well that’s easy enough – because it doesn’t work.  In fact, it is counter-productive.  There, that’s that done.

Wait!  What?  You want more?  Dagnabbit, will I never get to my chores? Okay here goes…

HERE ARE THE MAIN PROBLEMS

thrree chutes only - teamwork

– Performance pay creates barriers to teamwork and creativity – both absolutely essential in teaching.

– Performance pay is difficult to measure – faulty systems for judging who is/is not a good teacher are very destructive.

– Performance pay takes no account of factors outside the control of the teacher.

– Performance pay motivates employees to focus only on doing what they need to do to gain the rewards, at the expense of doing other things that would help their students, the school, and the system as a whole.

– Performance pay is a barrier to teamwork and collegiality, meaning teachers are less likely to ask for help or share best practice.

– Performance pay has a destructive effect on intrinsic motivation.

– Performance pay has negative effects on workers’ self-esteem.

In other words, it stands in the way of the very things schools need to work well.

BUT WHY DOES PP NOT MOTIVATE?

This fabulous video will explain precisely why performance pay is not a good motivator.  Watch it, it’s fun as well as informative:

So there you are – people are motivated to do what they enjoy, what they know will make a difference.  Performance pay is not the way to go.

WHAT WOULD WORK BETTER THAN THE CARROT AND STICK APPROACH?

What would work better is respect for and trust in the teachers, listening to them, discussing with them how schools can improve, using their expertise to make things better than they are.

Carrot_and_Stick_mouse_mat

 

In other words

– no carrot,

– no stick,

– but instead, more of a bring-a-plate pot luck dinner, where we all share our best dishes.

Like we tell our students – teamwork and co-operation are great things.

.

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Teachers must not be blinded by the loaded promise of gold

No Joke - Kelvin SmytheKelvin Smythe once more hits the nail on the head, identifying that these latest proposals aim to bring in both performance pay and the entrenching of National Standards within NZ education.  If those getting the extra pay do not jump on the National Standards bandwagon and promote it to others, they can say goodbye to the role and the money, and a more compliant puppet will be brought in.

Here are Kelvin’s observations:

“Because the education system is hierarchical, narrow, standardised, autocratic, and fearful – the new proposals will yield meagre gains. The proposals, if implemented within this education straitjacket, will have the appearance of a system suffering from ADHD.

The suggested proposals, because of the difference in the way secondary school knowledge is developed, structured, and presented will work somewhat less harmfully for secondary than for primary.

The proposals are a move by the government to buy its way to an extreme neoliberal and managerialist future for education – one part of these proposals is performance pay, the other, and associated, is a managerialist, bureaucratic restructuring:

There is performance pay to develop a cash nexus as central to education system functioning.

There is performance pay to divide NZEI and eventually destroy it (as we know the organisation), NZPF also.

There is performance pay and the wider proposals to divide NZEI from PPTA (PPTA is dithering).

The information I have is that there will be some obfuscation about the role of national standards but in practice performance pay will, indeed, be based on them.

There is making permanent the national standards curriculum by selecting expert and merit teachers on the basis of their demonstrated commitment to a narrow version of mathematics, reading, and writing and their willingness to promote it.

The proposals are intended to set up an extreme neoliberal and managerialist education system:

The executive principal for the cluster system will usually be a secondary principal, if one is not available, a primary school principal friend of the government will be employed.

This cluster structure will form the basis for the ‘rationalisation’ of schools when that process is decided for the cluster area.

The executive principal will be a part of a bureaucratic extension upward to the local ministry and education review offices then to their head offices, and downward to clusters, individual schools, and classroom teachers.

This executive principal will have the ultimate power in deciding expert and lead appointments.”

Read the rest of Kelvin’s insightful piece here.

This is no way to run education.  If we treat the system and those within it this way, what on earth does it tell our students?  That what matters in bowing down to money even when you know it’s wrong?  That it’s okay to leave behind all that your expertise tells you, so long as you’re okay?  That it’s every man for himself? What great lessons for life they are.  Not.

We must insist our unions tread very carefully here, and not be blinded by the loaded promise of gold.

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