9 Sep 2009

Undervalued profession

This story gives the lie to Tolley's idea that graduates with MA's will rush to be fast tracked into teaching in New Zealand schools. It also demonstrates that the attacks on teachers, with the insistence that they are over paid and underworked by this NACT government is nothing more than shallow political rhetoric from those without a sustainable education policy.

Teachers earn below OECD levels

Thursday Sep 10, 2009

Primary and secondary teachers in New Zealand earn well below the OECD average, and thousands of dollars less than their Australian counterparts, a report says.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Education at a Glance 2009 report compared the salaries of teachers in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education, at a starting salary and after 15 years of experience.

The salary figures, in US dollars, were based on buying power parity, which eliminates price differences among countries.

New Zealand teachers at each level of education started on about US$19,236 ($28,044) - significantly less than the OECD average starting salary of US$28,687 at primary level, US$31,000 at lower secondary level and US$32,183 at upper secondary level.

After 15 years, New Zealand teachers reached about US$37,213 at all three levels of teaching, compared with OECD averages of US$39,007 at primary, US$41,993 at lower secondary and US$44,782 at upper secondary levels.

Australian teachers, on the other hand, consistently earned hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars more than the OECD average.

They began on about US$32,259 at primary level and US$32,406 at both secondary levels, and reached up to US$44,245 at primary level and US$44,942 at secondary level after 15 years.

In New Zealand, female teachers comprise 98.8 per cent of pre-primary education teachers, 83.3 per cent of primary teachers and 65.7 per cent of lower secondary education teachers.

The number of female teachers dropped to 57.8 per cent at upper secondary education level and to 49.9 per cent at tertiary level.

Teacher-student ratios were slightly smaller than OECD averages, while the net time spent teaching was above the OECD average.

Teachers' unions said the figures confirmed teachers were underpaid and undervalued, the Dominion Post reported.

PPTA president Kate Gainsford and Educational Institute president Frances Nelson both said change was needed to make the industry more attractive and to retain teachers.

7 Sep 2009

NACT import failed programmes from failed Bush policies

Let be said that Ann Tolley knows failure when she sees it and that she is prepared to follow the tried and true NACT philosophy that if it failed in the US it must be good and NZ will be able to tweak it with No 8 wire & baling twine. Here she is ready to screw up the NZ education system with a discredited US scheme. These two stories illustrate her lack of wisdom and knowledge.

Minister explores 'fast-track' teachers
By NATHAN BEAUMONT - The Dominion Post
Last updated 05:00 07/09/2009
Prospective teachers could skip specialist university training and be fast-tracked into the classroom under a plan to cope with an ageing workforce.
Under the scheme, anyone who already has a master's degree could bypass teacher's college and learn on the job.
The suggestion follows a high-level meeting between Education Minister Anne Tolley and controversial United States schools leader Michelle Rhee.
And here is the research and argument to prove both Tolley and Rhee wrong.
(Previous daily news had comment from Australia - US expert condemns Teach for Australia 17 August 2009
<http://www.nswtf.org.au/media/latest_2009/20090817_berliner.html> )

2 Sep 2009

I'm a Victim therefore my argument is correct.

I'm a victim therefore my argument is correct and you're a big bully for challenging me.

While including the statement that perhaps the pupils' teacher deserved to be fired was extreme and unwarranted,there are not many times that I agree with Michael Laws for I regard him in the same light as Tom Scott portrayed him back when he was an M.P. - an opportunistic opinionated shallow individual- but to read that he is being accused of "bullying" because he gave a group of primary school pupils the courtesy of a reply to their letters arguing for a change to the spelling of Wanganui and chose to point out, very frankly, that their argument was based on somewhat tenuous grounds and that there were more urgent and deeper matters affecting Moaridom that they could be justifiably concerned about is unbelievable.

One of the problems in New Zealand society is the lack of robust, rational debate on issues that affect our lives (ironically the shallowness of that debate is partly attributable to the talk-back hosts, like Michael Laws, who do not encourage rationality on their radio shows, favouring, instead, the emotional, argumentum ad homenum as it gets better ratings.). The lack of robust, rational debate in the media and in our classrooms means that when pupils and teachers are faced with a frank and pointed rebuttal of their favoured position they immediately cry "BULLYING!!!" and then retreat into their corners to stroke their belief convinced that now they have painted themselves as victims their position is now even more correct and deserving of total public support.

So it is with this response to Mr.Laws' letters to the pupils of Otaki School.
The episode is a beat up, a proverbial storm in a tea-cup, that serves none of the "victims" of the "bullying" well.
Let's encourage robust, informed debate and, perhaps, our society can focus on real issues with a greater sense of arguing based on substantial and substantive information.