PPTA on Education Policies 2014 Election: Part Two

Tena koutou katoa,

In order to support our access to knowledge about party policies that impact upon our people we have decided to find as many policies as we can over the next weeks and include into a series of blogs.   The issues that are currently topical in terms of the #dirtypolitics are highlighting more clearly the insidious nature of politics in this country and the depths that some will sink to in order to control and determine our futures.  We must challenge those ways of being.  They do not align to the fundamental values of our tupuna.  They do not reflect what our tupuna had in mind for the wellbeing of their tamariki and mokopuna.  Many of our people are suffering in poverty both materially and in terms of denial to te reo, tikanga and our ways of being.  Where voting in a western democracy is not our ideal and it is only one way of engaging these issues, it is something we can’t remove ourselves from at this time in history.  Kia kaha whanau.  Make sure our whanau are enrolled and if necessary drive them to the polls on voting day to vote! 

Te Wharepora Hou shares the PPTA survey and questions & answers here for your reference and to provide more insights in to party policies so that we can make informed decision in this Election 2014. This blog includes the second series of 5 Questions and Answers from those that participated in the survey and some general comments made.  The PPTA site that provides this information is: http://www.ppta.org.nz

6. Do you support performance pay for teachers?

ACT

No

Green

No. The international evidence on performance-pay doesn’t stack up. It doesn’t help educational outcomes, and it doesn’t provide teachers with the professional support they need and want. It drives competition, rather than collaboration between and within schools. The Government needs to listen to teachers. https://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/centrally-fund-school-support-staff

Internet

No

Labour

No. Rather than reinforcing the managerialist model that the National Party seek to create with their new Executive Principals and Expert Teacher roles, the Labour Party will be focused on how we can strengthen collaboration and bring in outside expertise in a way that will make a real difference.

Mana

No

Māori

No

National

I support greater collaboration among teachers and providing a mechanism to share expertise across communities of schools, help recognise highly effective teachers and principals, and provide teachers with opportunities for advancement while remaining in the classroom and for which exceptional skills they should be remunerated. IES is not performance pay.

NZ First

No

United Future

Yes

 7. Should teacher professional learning and development be contracted out to private providers?

ACT

This should not be a nationwide decision. Teachers and school administrators should be able to take advantage of professional learning and development options regardless as whether they are public or private. The reality is that students are teachers alike are getting their information from a wider range of sources than ever and attempting to corral their access into ‘public’ or ‘private’ is futile.

Green

No. The Government needs to be taking responsibility for the needs of the education workforce who are public servants, rather than seeing it as an opportunity for private-sector profit

Internet

Unsure

Labour

It depends on the circumstances and definition of ‘private provider’. Labour will establish a comprehensive school advisory service, which will have the power to second excellent teachers and school leaders for a period of up to 3 years so that they can share best practice and act as mentors and advisors to teachers throughout New Zealand.

Mana

No

Māori

Yes

National

PLD is currently under review by a group led by the profession and including the PPTA.

NZ First

No simple answer to this. This is a large question without a simple answer. Our comment would be that there is a continual institutional knowledge loss by applying a market philosophy to all areas of government provision.

United Future

Possibly. If it is the best option in individual circumstances.

8. Do you think employers should be able to opt out of collective bargaining?

ACT

Yes

Green

No. Collective bargaining is a key process for maintaining positive industrial relations, and the ability for employers to walk away undermines good faith bargaining and the equality of the bargaining relationship.

Internet

No

Labour

No. Labour is committed to a productive and innovative economy that has employment relations legislation that promotes collective bargaining, protects minimum standards and guarantees working people and their unions a voice.

Mana

No

Māori

No

National

Yes

NZ First

No

United Future

This doesn’t seem to apply to teachers.

9. Will you stop charter schools? 

ACT

Absolutely not. We believe that the policy should continue and should be expanded so that state and integrated schools can opt to become Partnership Schools Kura Hourua. The results of expanded autonomy will be a boon for teachers and students alike. The only losers in this change will be the teachers unions. Their role will be greatly diminished in a world where teachers are employed in the same manner as lawyers, engineers, and accountants rather than like 1970s wharfies.

Green

Yes. Charter schools are not as accountable as public and integrated schools yet have vast amounts of public money invested in them. There is no evidence they improve educational outcomes and are a dangerous social experiment being undertaken on our most vulnerable children. https://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/charter-school-cover

Internet

Yes

Labour

Yes. Charter schools don’t have to employ registered teachers, don’t have to teach to the curriculum, and aren’t subject to the same accountability as state schools. There is no doubt at all that many of the prospective school operators are well intentioned and focused on addressing real needs and gaps in our current system. However Labour’s priority will be ensuring those needs can be catered for within our existing public school system. Every school should be meeting those needs, not just a handful or new experimental ones.

Mana

Yes

Māori

No

National

Our policy is to fund Partnership Schools which take the best features from international models of charter schools and which are targeted at students who have not been successful in the wider state sector.

NZ First

Yes

United Future

UnitedFuture opposed the original legislation.

10. Do you think teachers have an important contribution to make to education policy through their unions?

ACT

They may well do but at present it is difficult to tell because the unions are doing such a terrible job of conveying it. They lack the ability to be non partisan. More importantly, the unions are tied down by the fact that they must maintain their role as industrial negotiators who negotiate as close as possible to a one-size-fits-all contract. There is no future for them in a world with more competition, choice, or modern employment relations so the policy options they can promote are inherently limited.

Green

Yes. Our industrial relations policy recognises that workers are integral to industry policy and planning, and seeks to restore their power and status under law. https://www.greens.org.nz/policysummary/industrial-relations-policy-summary

Internet

Absolutely

Labour

Yes. No government can achieve its goals in education without the support of the teaching profession. Labour is committed to working in partnership with teachers to deliver on our shared commitment to a quality public education for all young New Zealanders. We will do this by working together to agree shared priorities for future investment in the teaching profession. This will include investment in professional development, workload, and class sizes. Labour will convene an ‘Education Summit’ to identify future challenges and map out a shared vision that all those involved with the education system can support and champion.

Mana
Yes

Māori

Yes

National

I respect the role that unions play representing their members’ interests.

NZ First

Yes. Members of unions are there by choice. Therefore these are their representatives and it would be and obvious yes to this question from us.

United Future

In principle – yes

11. General comments 

National

Ensuring every child gets a good education is one of the most important things this Government can do to raise living standards, and build a more competitive and productive economy.

We have an education system that is in the top half in the world. That has not happened by accident, and nor will it continue without attention. It is successful for most, with our best students being right up there with the best in the world, but it has not been successful for all, and we are focused on ensuring that we lift up those who have been falling behind, while also pushing those who are doing well to do even better.

To do this, we must meet the needs of all students, and enable each and every one to fulfil their potential in education and in life. We must focus our attention on the potential of our children and the importance of effective teaching in realising that potential. Such an approach requires that we build our education system and the curriculum around the student, rather than the student having to fit the system.

This Government is committed to every New Zealand child getting a better education so they can be successful here at home as well as globally competitive.
We are focused on raising achievement for all young New Zealanders. We value the voices and aspirations of parents, are committed to strengthening and celebrating the profession while also investing in infrastructure, a modern learning environment, and digital technology.

Mana

MANA is advocating for a 100% free, high quality public education system, from early childhood and kōhanga reo through to tertiary. A significant funding increase is needed to support such a system.

We are committed to schooling policies that are known to raise achievement, such as embedding learning in a framework of student wellbeing that includes breakfast and lunch at schools and free health care, keeping class sizes small (teacher: student ratio of 1:15), and the provision of culturally supportive and relevant learning contexts – and to addressing the wider context of poverty and inequality that impacts greatly on learning achievement. We will abolish the charter schools policy and instead invest in developing schools as hubs of community development and whanau engagement.

MANA will also abolish National Standards and replace with information that lets parents know how well their children are doing compared to others without the bad effects of the current policy. We are calling for additional funding for special education, including for kura kaupapa Māori and wharekura and for gifted and talented children, and for te reo Māori to be a core curriculum subject in all English-medium schools. MANA will also work to increase the number of kura kaupapa Māori to greatly improve accessibility for 5 year olds finishing kōhanga and invest in ongoing curriculum development and an assessment system that is consistent with Te Aho Matua.

Teachers need to have the autonomy to determine and develop their professional body free from political interference, and accordingly, MANA opposed the Bill to establish Educanz. We support the role of unions in representing teachers’ collective interests, and support changes to employment relations laws to give teachers greater bargaining power to negotiate wages and conditions – including the right to strike. We do not support performance pay for teachers or any other moves to privatise the sector such as by contracting out teachers’ professional development. Instead, MANA will invest in the on-going training and professional development of teachers and school leaders, supported by research, to ensure the provision of culturally supportive and relevant learning contexts to engage all learners and help them succeed.

About Te Wharepora Hou

Te Wharepora Hou is a collective of wāhine who are mainly Tāmaki Makaurau based, but we have strong participation from wāhine based elsewhere in Aotearoa and the world. We have come together to ensure a stronger voice for wāhine and are concerned primarily with the wellbeing of whānau, hapū, iwi and all that pertains to Papatūānuku and the sustenance of our people.
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