Education minister Hekia Parata

Whatever you do don’t mention Level 3 NCEA statistics for Maori


Education Minister Hekia Parata / PHOTO Mark Mitchell

Every Minister would like to leave a positive legacy and Education minister Hekia Parata is no exception. In her opinion piece on education, she reflects on…

…the outstanding progress being made by Maori children and young people…

In particular, Maori students have made huge strides since this Government came to office.

In 2008, less than half of all Maori teenagers were leaving our education system with NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification. Out of about 13,000 Maori students who turned 18 in 2008, just 6003 achieved the minimum qualification necessary for further education or training.

Seven years later 9476 of Maori who turned 18 achieved that vital level of qualification.

-The NZ Herald

To make the results look as good as possible Parata skillfully mixes statistics. She starts by talking about school leaver statistics and states with some accuracy that there has been an improvement in credentials and that Maori results have improved 2009 – 2015 which is great news.

However despite starting her opinion piece talking about school leavers she changes her choice of statistics to those of 18-year-olds with NCEA Level 2 ( 71%) as they are a bit higher than school leavers.

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Teacher Unions attempt to win hearts and minds with a Bus tour

Bus tours can be great and my favourite dangerous faggot Milo, knows how to do one in style.

I suspect however that the teachers’ bus tour will be more hippy commune style than gangster chic.

. hippy bus 93 .

. hippy bus 93 .

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A political Hit job on ” At Risk ” school funding

Labour helpfully supplied a journalist with financial calculations that could be used to paint National’s new educational funding in a bad light.



Not surprisingly given that this was a hit job against the government the headline did not focus on the ” At Risk ” schools that benefit from the new funding system. Instead, the headline focussed on those who would not be getting the funding.The new system targets the schools that need the funding most. Instead of describing the funding as being targeted funding to ensure that the schools with the most ” At Risk ” students get the money that they need, the Herald described it as ” a radical new funding system”

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Misleading headline about NZ Online schools

The headline says, Treasury issues warning over risks of online schools in NZ but when I read the body of the article it revealed no such thing. The concerns mentioned were about the US online charter school model which is not the model on which the new COOLs are being based. Misleading is too kind a term for what that headline actually is. The warning from treasury has NOTHING to do with what Hekia Parata is supporting.

…Documents obtained by Labour reveal concerns by Treasury officials that there were “risks” if students already under-achieving at school signed up to online learning.

…Labour education spokesman Chris Hipkins says taking schools and teachers out of the education equation won’t work.

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The PPTA and the Green Party are united in their criticism of online schools

What a coincidence, yesterday the Green party put out a press release on Voxy about online schools and only seven minutes later the PPTA did one as well.

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Clearly, neither the Green party nor the PPTA supports online schools. Here is a brief summary of the points each group made in their press release.

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Principals Federation President Iain Taylor is right to be worried

…The global budget would let schools trade funding for teachers for money they could then spend on other things.

It is one of seven possible changes under consideration…

…Principals Federation president Iain Taylor, who is one of those advising the government on the review, said the federation opposed the global budget proposal because it removed guarantees around the minimum number of teachers each school would have.

The schools will be able to decide for themselves how to spend the money. This proposal will give schools choice. They can choose to spend it on staff. They do not have to trade funding for teachers for money to spend on other things so why is Mr Taylor concerned?

I believe he is concerned that schools cannot handle the choice. I think he is concerned that they will blow their teachers’ salaries on sports equipment or something else not teacher related. It seems he wants the ?government to keep tight controls on schools to protect them from themselves. It appears his problem is not with the government or the policy but with his lack of faith in the Principals?of the very schools that he represents. He may very well have a valid concern. After all state schools lack the financial managers that charter schools employ to manage their bulk funding. It is quite likely that many Principals are simply not up to the task.

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Hekia says Potato, Unions say Potardo

Teacher Unions love to be contrary. ?You can guarantee whatever position Education Minister Hekia Parata takes, the unions will take the opposite position. Teacher Unions’ staunch and ongoing opposition to charter schools is just one example of this kind of behaviour.

Education Minister Hekia Parata is “somewhat surprised” that teacher unions have come out in strong opposition to the Government’s proposed new funding system for schools.

The PPTA and NZEI say their 60,000 members will hold paid union meetings next month to discuss a response to the “global budget” proposal.

They say it’s a back door attempt to bring in bulk funding and larger class sizes, which has failed in the past.

Remember that these are the exact same unions who claimed charter schools were only doing well and able to have smaller class sizes because they were bulk funded. The three Partnership schools I visited managed their limited budget successfully because they all employed a financial manager as well as a Principal. ?They liked bulk funding because it gave them choice.

But the Post Primary Teachers Association said encouraging results were only because charter schools were better resourced and able to have smaller classes

Ms Parata says it isn’t bulk funding and she’s been discussing the proposal with the unions and other sector representatives since May.

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Teach First NZ pilot successful despite controversy

We have written before about Teach First:





Now despite all the whinging and patch protection, Education Minister Hekia Parata this week announced that she is going to extend and and expand what she describes as a ?a ground-breaking teacher training programme.

New Zealand needed more teachers able to teach science, technology and maths. These are subjects where graduates can often make a lot more money elsewhere. The pilot has been successful in attracting top quality graduates to the teaching profession and keeping them. All and all this is a great result with the added bonus that these teachers are unlikely to go along with the chalk face mentality of the PPTA. After all the PPTA were against them from the start, taking Teach First to court in an attempt to have the student teachers ruled illegal. Now that these new teachers are qualified they might as well return the favour and use their voting rights ( if they bother to join the union ) to make some changes.

“The Teach First NZ pilot has been very effective in attracting high-achieving graduates into teaching. That?s why I?m pleased we?ve extended the programme for a further three years to train 40 new secondary school teachers, and are expanding it by another ten places focused on science, technology and maths in 2017. This means there will be up to 50 newly trained teachers from this programme by the end of 2018,” says Ms Parata.

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39 million dollars for only 250 students but no complaints from the PPTA

In a move that would make the PPTA squeal like a Halal slaughtered pig if it was for Charter School students, the government has decided to spend an eye watering 39 Million dollars on rebuilding one block of a Wellington school, in order to benefit 250 school students. I do hope that the Under-Secretary for Education?will be working hard to see that the funding between school types is equitable. The second round of Charter schools is already being offered a lot less funding than the first, yet here is an example of 39 Million dollars being thrown at Wellington East Girls’ College.

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The hits on education keep coming

Trevor Mallard

Trevor Mallard

There seems to be a rash of negative education stories at the moment.

Firstly there is the upset over un qualified Grandmothers providing pre school care for 3-4 year olds with Trevor Mallard saying…

“I’m not saying that grandparents can’t look after grandchildren but they’re not professionals or trained and don’t think it’s the role of the state to be paying people who don’t have the training.”

Ironically the situation Trevor is criticising was created by the Labour government.

The Labour government brought in 20-hours free ECE for three and four-year-olds in its final term.

-Kirsty Johnston A Newspaper

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