An Invitation to the Quality Public Education Coalition (QPEC): Education Forum, 26th April

24 Apr

QPEC logo no borderYou are invited to attend the Quality Public Education Coalition (QPEC) Education Forum this Saturday.

It will be a great chance to hear the latest experts such as John O’Neill, Martin Thrupp, Warwick Elley, and the chance to discuss your own concerns at the Teacher Forum – and all for FREE.

The Teacher Forum is focusing on Investing in Success (IES) and, to my mind, is not to be missed.  Many well informed people are attending, including Liz Horgan of St Joseph’s, Otahuhu, who will discuss how a group of principals have joined forces to form the CONCERNED NZ PRINCIPALS GROUP because of serious concerns around IES plans.

You can attend any or all of the forum, so do feel free to drop in even if you have only one speaker you really want to hear.  (But truly, you should stay for more than one session – it’s not often you get to hear from all of these people first hand and for free.)

 

WHEN: Saturday 26 April 2014, from 10am.

WHERE: St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont Street, Ponsonby, Auckland

COST:  FREE to all

 

AGENDA

 

10:00 Bill Courtney

Welcome and Overview

 

10:15 John O’Neill

Treasury Business Process Theory and the Assessment of Teacher Quality

The major research paper, “The Assessment of Teacher Quality” was released late last year by the Massey Education Policy Response Group, led by Ivan Snook. EPRG member, John O’Neill, will give an overview of this major paper, containing a wealth of information on many topics relevant to current discussions: the Treasury Business Process policy agenda; assessing teacher effectiveness; Value Added Measurement; and High Stakes Assessment of teachers.

 

10:45 Teacher Forum

“Investing in Educational Success” - the NZ Government initiative.

What are the potential positives and what are the concerns around the NZ Government proposal to create a new set of positions for principals and teachers? QPEC’s initial position was set out in a release issued in January. Martin Thrupp has also released a personal statement and Warwick Elley has had an op-ed published in the NZ Herald.

Liz Horgan of St Joseph’s, Otahuhu, will discuss the CONCERNED NZ PRINCIPALS GROUP’s views.

Representatives from PPTA and NZEI present different perspectives on how these new positions could impact on schools and teachers.

11:15 Martin Thrupp

National Standards and RAINS: where to now?

Martin’s 3-year case study of six individual schools has now concluded. He presents an overview of his findings and gives an update on other developments, including further publication of NS achievement data last year.

 

11:45 Warwick Elley

What Can PISA tell us about NCEA and National Standards?

Warwick has been a concerned critic of standards-based assessment for many years. He has analysed the recent PISA 2012 results and he has a stark warning: “As professionals, teachers are charged to give highest priority to the needs of their students. If we persist with these ill-starred standards-based schemes, we will surely be neglecting those needs. As a nation, too, we are now heavily involved in a race to the bottom.”

 

12:15 Bill Courtney

Charter Schools: What’s The Buzz?

The first five charter schools have now opened. Bill gives a quick update on current issues that have arisen so far, including details of the funding given to each school, which has received a great deal of media attention. Applications for the next round of allocations closed on 11 March.

 

12:45 General Discussion – Other Sectors

 

LUNCH BREAK 1.15-2.00

 

2.00 Dianne Khan

Using Social Media to Disseminate Information & Encourage Involvement

Dianne has joined QPEC during the past year. Dianne publishes her own website, Save Our Schools NZ, and she is also one of the regular contributors to The Daily Blog. Dianne will talk about her website and using social media to stimulate interest in the site.

 

2:30-3.00 QPEC AGM

Please note that the QPEC AGM 2.30-3.00 is members only.

 

QPEC logo landscape larger

Kids at the Heart of Education – latest dates

22 Apr

 Kids-at-the-Heart-Title-only

Catherine Delahunty and Metiria Turei are on a speaking tour to explain and discuss the Green Party’s education policies.  They will discuss the Greens’ plans for more community involvement in schools, community hubs, nurses in school, and their plans for such things as National Standards and Charter schools, amongst other things.

It’s a great chance to hear from the horse’s mouth what alternatives there are to what is being implemented now, and to ask questions.  There are also some great guest speakers.

To keep up with new events/speakers, you might want to follow Catherine Delahunty’s page on Facebook.

I attended the Lower Hutt event, and it was hugely interesting to not only hear from Catherine but also to hear from people working at local schools, undertaking innovative and hugely successful projects that encompass the whole community.  It was informative and very inspiring, and I can’t recommend the talks enough.

 

These are the latest conformed dates:

 

Auckland – 30 April, 6-7.30pm 

Catherine Delahunty

17 Mercury Lane, Newton Auckland

Join or follow this event on Facebook

 

Gisborne – 6 May, 7.30pm

Metiria Turei and Catherine Delahunty

Ilminster Intermediate School Library, De Latour Road

Guest speaker: Peter Ferris, Principal of Illminster Intermediate.

 

Tauranga – 12 May, 5.30pm

Metiria Turei and Catherine Delahunty

Gate Pa School Staffroom, 900 Cameron Road

Guest speaker: Jan Tinetti, Principal of Merivale School.

 

Thames – 13 May, 7.30pm

Metiria Turei and Catherine Delahunty

Thames Community Centre. 609 Mackay Street

 

Whakatane – 14 May, 7.30pm

Metiria Turei and Catherine Delahunty

Knox Presbyterian Church, 83 Domain Road

 

Whangarei – 19 May, 7pm

Metiria Turei and Catherine Delahunty

Old Library, 7 Rust Avenue

 

Rotorua – 22 May, 6pm

Catherine Delahunty

Haupapa Room, Rotorua District Library, 1127 Haupapa Street

 

Auckland – 22 May, 7.30pm

Metiria Turei

Te Atatu South Community Centre, 247 Edmonton Road, Te Atatu South

 

Hamilton – 16 June, 6pm

Metiria Turei and Catherine Delahunty

Stack Space, Hamilton Library, 9 Garden Place

Guest speaker: Martin Thrupp, Waikato University Institute of Educational Research

 

New Plymouth – 18 June, 7pm

Metiria Turei and Catherine Delahunty

Beach Street Hall, 40 Beach Street

 

Auckland – 26 June, 7.30pm

Metiria Turei and Catherine Delahunty

Mangere East Community Centre, 372 Massey Road, Mangere East (Behind the Library)

 

Whanganui – 23 July, 7.30pm

Catherine Delahunty and Dave Clendon

TBC: Alexander Research and Heritage Library

 

Palmerston North – 25 July, 7.30pm

Catherine Delahunty

Palmerston North City Library, 4 The Square

Guest speaker: Professor John O’Neill, Massey University Institute of Education.

 

If National, Labour or any other party plan a similar tour, I will share that as well, but as yet only the Greens are fronting up.  Do let me know if you spot any talks (from any party) that I don’t seem to know about.  Thank you.

 

Easy way to make a submission on the Education Amendment Bill 2

22 Apr

speak-outThis Bill replaces the Teachers Council with EDUCANZ, and it is imperative you understand what changes that will usher in.

It is even more important that you send in a submission if you oppose those changes.

Thinking others will deal with it is as good as agreeing to the changes: If you think the changes are wrong, then you really do have to have your say.

Doing nothing is not an option.

Make a quick and easy submission here.

Write and register your own submission here (the link is at the bottom of that page).

 

EDUCANZ facts:

  • All members are to be appointed by the Minister of Education.
  • Teachers do not get to vote in a single representative to EDUCANZ.
  • The Bill stipulates a maximum of teachers possible on the council – no minimum – meaning it is possible that there would be no teachers of the council at all.
  • Even if some teachers were on the council, they would still be hand-picked by the Minister of Education.
  • The new “limited authority to teach” (LAT) provisions mean that someone “with specialist skills but not a teaching qualification” can be authorised to act as a teacher for three years at a time without the employer having to prove that they have tried unsuccessfully to fill the position with a trained and qualified teacher.
  • LATs have a lower good character and fitness to teach threshold than registered teachers, as LATs with criminal convictions are not barred whereas registered teachers are.
  • >The Bill (Section 382) replaces teachers’ current aspirational Code of Ethics with a more prescriptive Code of Conduct, which could be used to gag teachers from opposing or speaking out about government policies (such as National Standards, PaCT, performance pay plans, and so on).
  • Teachers will still fund more than 90% of the operations of the Council through their registration fees.

 

Is this what you want?

Do you want teachers’ professional body to be led by government appointees, have your voice silenced, have your professional status undermined, be replaced by cheap untrained labour, have LATs with criminal convictions in the classroom, and then pay for the privilege of all that?

If the answer is NO, then please make a submission.

Make a quick and easy submission here

Write and register your own submission here

.

Further information:

http://www.ppta.org.nz/issues/tc-review

http://www.ppta.org.nz/issues/tc-review/2957-educanz-faqs

https://www.greens.org.nz/takeaction/submissionguides/education-amendment-bill-no-2

http://boonman.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/my-submission-on-the-education-amendment-bill-no-2/

http://www.teachingandelearning.com/2014/04/the-educanz-bill-i-have-made-my.html?m=1

 

 NZEI strongly urges continued boycott of PaCT trials

17 Apr

just say no

NZEI UPDATE:

A number of school principals have recently been invited by NZCER to take part in national PaCT tool reading and writing trials.

Last year, NZEI and other sector groups successfully fought Government plans to make the PaCT tool mandatory from 2015, as part of the drive to embed National Standards into schooling.

After NZEI Te Riu Roa, NZ Principals’ Federation, the NZ Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools, and the Catholic Principals Association called on schools to cease any involvement in the further development of PaCT, the Minister back-tracked on her decision to make PaCT mandatory.

However, we have become aware that schools have again been approached to take part in a further round of trials beginning in June.

We strongly encourage you not to take part in these trials. The PaCT is an attempt to give credibility to dodgy National Standards and to create a “value added” modelling tool. PaCT data could be used to provide spurious data to underpin future policies aimed at ranking teacher performance against student achievement. It could also be used to make high stakes decisions about school funding, and/or to identify and review the “value added” performance of Executive Principals, Expert Teachers and Lead Teachers in the Government’s proposed $359 million “Investing in Educational Success” scheme.

NZEI recommends you meet with your boards and teachers to discuss the implications of the IES so you can work, where possible, towards a unified “whole school” approach to the initiative. 

Petition: Have your say before New Zealand’s education system changes

16 Apr

A petition has been started protesting the government’s fast-tracking of a policy that will see $359 million spent on changing the management structure of our education system in New Zealand without proper sector and parent consultation.

The petition is not an SOSNZ initiative, but I fully support it.

sign the petition

The petition says:

The Government is fast-tracking an initiative that will see $359 million spent on changing the management structure of our education system in New Zealand.

It goes on:

It would be a shame if this was lost because of an initiative that is pushed through without prior consultation with those who will be directly affected.

It asks:

Why not consult teachers and principals who know what is most needed to support children’s learning, as to what they believe will be the best use of this money?

Why is the voice of parents and Boards of Trustees not being heard about what their schools need to ensure all children get a chance to succeed?

It quotes a letter from four NZ principals, that was shared on SOSNZ:

“While acknowledging the commitment in making New Zealand’s education system second to none, pumping $359 million into schools without transparency and meaningful engagement with the sector is throwing the money away. We urgently ask that the government first lift its constraints already placed around the funding and secondly, consider without prejudice, the overwhelming evidence around what can best be done to support our children and ultimately our society as a whole…

Rather than inject a large single resource at the top via salaries, we say give the money to the kids as early as possible in a real effort to effect long term change that will benefit children, families, and society as a whole.”  (whole letter here)

It says:

Your signature is valued and much appreciated to raise our voice, so that we can have a say in how our schools are managed.

You can read the whole petition here, and sign if you agree.

sign the petition green button

EDUCANZ, Professionalism and Politics, by Dave Kennedy

15 Apr

control pulling the strings

The changing face of teaching and how the replacement Teachers Council, EDUCANZ, will seal teachers’ fate as “classroom technicians that have to support politically prescribed programmes and data collection” says Dave Kennedy:

The New Zealand Teacher’s Council is the crown entity that is currently the professional and regulatory body for all teachers from early childhood through to most other educational institutions. The NZTC has done some excellent work in developing professional mentoring programmes, developing the Registered Teacher Criteria and maintaining professional standards. It has done this with a relatively limited budget and unlike the Medical Council, which operates independently from the Government, theNZTC has 11 people on the Governing Council, but only 4 are independently elected by the profession, the rest are Ministerial appointees.

Parents and children should be served by professionals who are motivated and driven by the ethics and ideals of the profession and a duty of care that is not corrupted by political ideology. For doctors, the sanctity of their relationship with their patients is paramount and without high levels of confidentiality and trust they would often struggle to treat their patients when a full disclosure of their life-style and medical history is necessary. Teaching and learning should be about meeting the needs of each child based on the professional knowledge of the teacher and parents need the reassurance that their child’s interests come before politically driven expectations. To truly operate as a profession teachers need to have a teachers council that is independent of both the Government and unions.

I find it appalling that we have a Government that is deliberately and dishonestly undermining the teaching profession by suggesting that there is a crisis in teacher quality and discipline and that political measures are needed to solve it. The idea of a teacher using their position to abuse children is every bit as abhorrent for teachers as it is for the general public and yet there is the encouraged perception that the profession had deliberately protected such people and that there is a widespread problem of offending teachers. The facts tell a different story.

Read the rest of the article here

Teacher stress, depression and suicide

15 Apr

stress

It concerns me that so many teachers now talk of stress, depression, and  the need to get out of the profession for their health.   It is not light-hearted when teachers talk of being unhappy then add in “… thank goodness for the kids.”  Sometimes the children are all that are keeping a teacher going.

 

But why are teachers so stressed?

Often the stress is blamed on the constant changes, not because of the changes themselves but because there is little faith the changes are well thought out or improve student achievement and so it feels like a lot of extra work for no good reason, often at the expense of time to do other work that the teacher feels is more valuable.

People will tolerate a lot when they can see value in it – conversely, they are weighed down by what feels valueless.

There is also a feeling that teachers have no say in the direction that education is taking, and little to no control of their own profession. When I asked a group of teachers whether they would send in submissions against the Education Amendment Bill (2), they asked what’s the point, citing that thousands of submissions against charter schools were simply ignored.

Teachers feel helpless – done to rather than part of.

 

To what degree is teacher health suffering?

Well that’s just it – I’m not sure that anyone is researching this.  If there are any studies under way looking at stress and depression in relation to New Zealand teachers, please do let me know.  You might wonder why we need to research the problem?  And what we might want to ask?

What I think we need to ask is this:

- are teachers happy in their jobs?

- do teachers feel supported and well looked after?

- are they considering leaving the profession due to stress/ill health?

- has the rate and direction of education reforms in NZ over the past few years had an impact on teacher health?

- Do you feel there is more of a problem now than five or ten years ago?

Something that concerns me very much is that in the UK that teacher suicide rates are now around 40% higher than for ‘all occupations’.  Is it the same here in Aotearoa?   Despite being a very difficult subject, it is something we have to confront.  NZ already has a serious problem with high depression and suicide rates, and no-one wants to see that get worse.

Another thing to be aware of is that there is anecdotal evidence that when a teacher in England is looking for critical illness insurance cover it is only available if mental conditions and stress-related illness are excluded.  Do teachers in NZ have similar problems?  I know of at least one teacher who is no longer covered for mental health since having time off due to stress – is that widespread?

It really is something we need to keep an eye on.  The last thing we need is a depressed profession – just imagine the impact that would have on individual lives and on the quality of education.  It would be a lose/lose situation that no-one would want to see happen

 

Getting Help

If you feel stressed, do not leave it until it gets worse.  If you are on edge, not sleeping, feeling edgy or tearful, dreading work, and so on, then you owe it to yourself to get support and help immediately.  Please do not feel you have to plod on alone – you don’t. Talk to people close to you, if you can, discuss the problems with a supportive manager, speak with your doctor, and make use of support services that are available (below).

If you recognise someone is stressed, please reach out to them and offer support and help.  They may just need an ear.  You could point them to the help listed below.  Either way, they will welcome your kind support and it makes all the difference to know that people understand and care.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP):

Free counselling is available for most NZ teachers. The program gives staff access to three sessions of free confidential counselling and advice each year that is either face-to-face, via telephone, or online chat.  EAP registered practitioners can help with  relationship breakdowns, alcohol and drug issues, workplace bullying, family issues, depression, financial stress and personal trauma.  Check whether your school is subscribed to the EAP as part of their Health and Safety strategy.  You can book online.

Other help:

Below is a list of other New Zealand services that offer support, information and help. All services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week unless otherwise specified.

  • Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
  • Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
  • Healthline - 0800 611 116
  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
  • Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz
  • What’s Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) – 0800 942 8787
  • Kidsline (aimed at children up to 14 years of age; 4 pm to 6 pm weekdays) – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline)
  • Child Helpline - (for 5-18 year olds; 9am – 7pm daily) – 0800 366 694 or email help@childhelpline.org.nz
  • www.depression.org.nz - includes The Journal online help service
  • www.thelowdown.co.nz - visit the website, email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626 (emails and text messages will be responded to between 12 noon and 12 midnight).
  • OUTLine NZ - 0800 688 5463 (OUTLINE) (provides confidential telephone support for sexuality or gender identity issues).

If you’re outside of New Zealand, you can find help near you through this international list of crisis centres.

Lastly, please look after yourself and others.  It’s not the easiest time to be teaching, but you owe it to yourself to stay well.

Sources and further reading

PPTA Bulletin – Stress at work

EAP Services

The Mental Health Foundation 

 

I need a laugh: Education jokes and memes

12 Apr

Hekia washing her hands again

nisbet-national-standards

meme-why-do-we-keep-them

in good faith - Hekia Parata - Inigo Montoya

judging a teacher by test restults

 

 

sosnz-assessment-parata-quote-meme

 

wonka asks Hekia have you got an answer

 

hekia school funding

Carl Sagan truth

Kids at the Heart Of Education – Nationwide Speaking Tour

12 Apr

kids at the heart - greens

At these events, Green Party MPs and guest speakers will discuss how our schools as community hubs plan can help schools play an even greater role in engaging families and ensuring a great education is accessible to all children.

 

Auckland

30th April 6-7.30pm (Join or follow this event of Facebook)

Green Party Education Spokesperson Catherine Delahunty

17 Mercury Lane, Newton Auckland

You are invited to “Meet Your Greens” with Green MP Catherine Delahunty. We have organised a get-together in the Auckland Greens’ office, and everyone is welcome to come along.

Catherine will speak about how the Green Party can help schools play an even greater role in ensuring a great education is accessible to all children. She will also speak about her extensive history of community and environmental activism and how this influences her work in Parliament.

We also look forward to hearing from you about the issues that you and your community hold most dear for you.

Seating is limited, please RSVP to deirdre.sims@parliament.govt.nz

 

Lower Hutt

Tuesday 15 April, 7.30pm (Join or follow this event of Facebook)

Green Party Education Spokesperson Catherine Delahunty, and local MP Holly Walker

Lower Hutt Tramping Club

Birch Street, Waterloo

With special guest Julia Milne, founder and co-ordinator of Epuni’s Common Unity Project.

 

Invercargill

Saturday 12 April, 7.30pm (Join or follow this event on Facebook)

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei and Education Spokesperson Catherine Delahunty

Oreti Room, Ascot Park Hotel

Corner or Tay Street and Racecourse Road

 

Christchurch

Friday 11 April, 5.30pm (Join or follow this event on Facebook)

Green Party Education Spokesperson Catherine Delahunty

Upper Riccarton Library Community Meeting Room

71 Main South Road, Sockburn.

With special guest Liz Gordon, local Christchurch education activist and researcher.

 

Other meetings

Further meetings are being organised for Gisborne, Tauranga, Thames, Whakatane, Whangarei, Rotorua, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Whanganui, West Auckland, South Auckland, and Palmerston North.  I will share those details as they are finalised.  

You may also want to follow Catherine Delahunty on Facebook so that you hear about these and other events that way just follow the link and click on the follow icon, top right.

I would love to hear back from people who attend, with their thoughts on what they heard.

~ Dianne

 

Education and The Shock Doctrine – a follow up

10 Apr

Further to my previous post on this issue, which can be found here, is this article that totally puts into context how shamelessly Milton Friedman’s free-market principles have been (and are still being) applied to education:

“…U.S. Secretary of education, Arne Duncan declared, “Let me be really honest. I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina. That education system was a disaster, and it took Hurricane Katrina to wake up the community to say that ‘We have to do better.’” Yet if there is one particularly frightening example for the future of public education it lies in the aftermath of Katrina. The case of using the disaster as a way to push through the largest and quickest privatization scheme of any public school system ever attempted, was made widely known in Naomi Klein’s best-selling book The Shock Doctrine.

Three months after the hurricane hit, free-market fanatic Milton Friedman wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Most New Orleans schools are in ruins, as are the homes of the children who have attended them. The children are now scattered all over the country. This is a tragedy. It is also an opportunity to radically reform the educational system.” As Klein points out:

Friedman’s radical idea was that instead of spending a portion of the billions of dollars in reconstruction money on rebuilding and improving New Orleans’ existing public school system, the government should provide families with vouchers, which they could spend at private institutions, many run at a profit, that would be subsidized by the state. It was crucial, Friedman wrote, that this fundamental change not be a stopgap but rather “a permanent reform.”

A network of right wing think tanks seized on Friedman’s proposal and descended on the city after the storm. The administration of George W. Bush backed up their plans with tens of millions of dollars to convert New Orleans schools into “charter schools,” publicly funded institutions run by private entities according to their own rules….”

Read the rest of this article here

icebergThe current New Zealand government is treading more softly (or perhaps more sneakily?) but the expected rhetoric about an “ailing education system” and “bad teachers” is a constant refrain, with the mainstream media joining in loud and long to reinforce the idea that there is a crisis.  Charters, of course, have already been enshrined into The Education Act and the first charters have opened, with more to come this year.

How long before Christchurch  schools are charterised?  How long before public and charter schools are pitted head to head?  How long before your local school is closed against community wishes and forcible turned into a charter?  You think it wouldn’t happen?  It does, just ask communities in England and the USA.  Aotearoa is not that far behind.

We are presently seeing just the tip of the iceberg.

.

Further reading:

http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/yoursay/letters/10474527.How_can_Roke_Primary_School___s_takeover_by_Harris_Federation_be_justified_/

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/jun/20/campaigners-lose-school-fight

http://feaweb.org/broward-teachers-try-to-stop-charter-takeover

http://www.educationaotearoa.org.nz/blog/2012/2/21/charter-schools-and-natural-disasters.html

Principals urge government to put our children first

10 Apr

We wish to add our voices to the growing number of New Zealand’s principals expressing concern over the government’s direction, implementation and timeframe of its Investing in Education Success initiative.

While acknowledging the commitment in making New Zealand’s education system second to none, pumping $359 million into schools without transparency and meaningful engagement with the sector is throwing the money away. We urgently ask that the government first lift its constraints already placed around the funding and secondly, consider without prejudice, the overwhelming evidence around what can best be done to support our children and ultimately our society as a whole.

invest wiselyNew Zealand evidence based research provides a clear pathway for governments to follow if they are to effect real change for our children, particularly the ones who comprise the tail. The first three years of a child’s life clearly determines future outcomes for that child and ultimately our nation. Research shows clearly that poor patterns of behaviour, disconnectedness, failure to provide for adequate bonding, limited economic involvement etc., all have an effect on a child’s potential and achievement at school. Targeting resources to developing consistent, sustainable support for our children from birth to three years old will be a better spend than on the leadership proposals of the government. If positive patterns are not supported in these early years then the negative patterns are set for the future.

While the support for schools and the education sector is welcomed, we urge the government to meaningfully and collaboratively engage with the education sector without the straightjacket, in order to determine where best that resource can be applied, to effect real change.

Democracy should not exclude or restrict those who are directly engaged in the delivery of service from informing decisions – decision-making needs to be inclusive and transparent. The government’s willingness to provide significant financial resources to lift achievement around supporting change should be the catalyst to engage with the profession to effect the best possible outcomes. Unfortunately the format for this expenditure has been set with deliberately minimal opportunity for input from the sector – consultation being an ‘added extra after the fact.’

Rather than inject a large single resource at the top via salaries, we say give the money to the kids as early as possible in a real effort to effect long term change that will benefit children, families, and society as a whole.

Kelvin Woodley – Principal, Tapawera Area School

Bruce Pagan – Principal, Kaikoura Primary School

Ernie Buutveld – Principal, Havelock School

Christian Couper – Principal Little River School

Peter King – Principal, Maruia School

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For more information contact:
Kelvin Woodley – Principal Tapawera Area School

021 024 75147 or 03 522 4337

kwoodley@tapawera.school.nz

Hekia – acting in good faith…

9 Apr

in good faith - Hekia Parata - Inigo Montoya

Kia Kaha Phillipstown

School closures about saving Hekia, not kids

9 Apr

The National Government’s decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston
schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is
more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green
Party said today.

“Hekia Parata’s stubborn refusal to budge on her closure plans is a
tragedy for the children who fought so desperately for their school to remain
open,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“This is about Hekia Parata trying to save face after a litany of
back-downs, U-turns and policy failures, but it’s come at the expense of
hundreds of little children and their families.

“The children of Christchurch have become a scapegoat for Hekia Parata’s
incompetence.

“Even in the last few days, evidence has emerged that the second round of
consultation over the closure plans has not been fair, or accurate.

“This is not a ‘new decision’, as the Minister claims. She went in to
this second so-called consultation process with her eyes closed and her mind
made up.

“From the very beginning Hekia Parata lost sight of what was the best
decision for the children of Christchurch and has set out to use the
earthquakes to reinforce her hard right agenda to damage and dismantle public
education.

“If she had really listened, and engaged in proper consultation from the
beginning, the children of Phillipstown and Woolston would have had some
certainty, instead many have found themselves fighting the very person who
should have been working in their interests.

“The Green Party stands with the communities of Phillipstown and Woolston
and wishes them well in their attempts to do what’s best for their kids,”
Ms Delahunty said.

headdesk

The Bigger Picture: Education Reforms and The Shock Doctrine

9 Apr

friedman

Read that meme again:  Only a crisis actual or perceived produces real change.  That is the heart of global education reforms – Creating a perception.

Below is a hard-hitting and disturbing documentary, outlining how disasters are constructed or manipulated to justify far-reaching reforms and economic take-overs. I will warn you, it is not for the faint hearted but is well worth watching.  But first, an outline of how the Shock Doctrine applies to schools.

How does The Shock Doctrine play out in education?

  • New Orleans’s residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened….  
  • Rhetoric about schools failing 
  • Mainstream media repeats and repeats the claims, ignoring communities and academics who argue differently
  • A crisis is made
  • Public schools are closed
  • Charter schools open in their place
  • The move from public to privatised education is complete.

And in New Zealand?

  • Create a crisis that kids are being failed.  
  • Mainstream media repeats and repeats the claims, manufacturing a crisis
  • Bring in students testing so that the levels can be manipulated to support current plans (look the tests show ‘they’ the teachers are failing the students, look the tests show ‘we’ the government are improving things)
  • Oust and undermine anyone who resists government plans
  • Remove or ignore community voices
  • Take over the teachers’ professional body – give them no representation
  • Destabilise teachers’ jobs by bringing in test-based pay and allowing untrained teachers
  • Close public schools 
  • Open charter schools

 

Disaster Capitalism – shock and reform

So, here is the documentary, The Shock Doctrine.  Again, I warn you, it is very hard hitting.

If you watch, pay close attention to the beliefs of Milton Friedman and the then Education Minister, Margaret Thatcher, as a lot can be understood about what is happening right now in education by analysing their views and actions.

 

About The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein

The Shock Doctrine book and documentary: an investigation of disaster capitalism, based on Naomi Klein’s proposition that neo-liberal capitalism feeds on natural disasters, war and terror to establish its dominance.

Based on breakthrough historical research and four years of on-the-ground reporting in disaster zones, The Shock Doctrine vividly shows how disaster capitalism — the rapid-fire corporate re-engineering of societies still reeling from shock — did not begin with September 11, 2001.

The films traces its origins back fifty years, to the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman, which produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today.

New, surprising connections are drawn between economic policy, shock and awe warfare and covert CIA-funded experiments in electroshock and sensory deprivation in the 1950s, research that helped write the torture manuals used today in Guantanamo Bay.

The Shock Doctrine follows the application of these ideas through our contemporary history, showing in riveting detail how well-known events of the recent past have been deliberate, active theatres for the shock doctrine, among them: Pinochet’s coup in Chile in 1973, the Falklands War in 1982, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Asian Financial crisis in 1997 and Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

Source

NZEI members to vote on new education roles

8 Apr

evidence and governance

NZEI Te Riu Roa wants the Government to produce the details of its $360-million “executive principal” and “expert teacher” package so it can discuss the proposals with members.

NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter says teachers and principals are extremely cynical about the new package because it totally ignores the biggest problem in our education system – the one in four kids who live in poverty and the impact of that on New Zealand’s student success.

The National Executive met this evening to discuss the teachers’ and principals’ reaction to the proposal and the next steps after holding earlier meetings with members around the country.

“The feedback from our members has been very clear.  They have seen no evidence that the proposal will lift student success.

“They are not happy about the process and lack of consultation.

“What happens now is that we expect the Government to make a claim to vary our teacher and principal collective agreements to allow for the introduction of the new roles.

“We will be taking the whole package back to our members so for the first time they can see the whole proposal.

“Our National Executive is asking our members to give a clear direction on whether they want negotiations to vary the collective agreements to commence or whether they want nothing to do with the new roles.

“Our members will decide those next steps at a series of paid union meetings to be held following the receipt of the Government’s claims.”

 

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