PPTA President

Image Angela Roberts PPTA president 2013-2014

News and views from PPTA president Angela Roberts.

Includes the PPTA News viewpoint and his responses to various education issues raised in the media.

(Angela began her presidency mid January 2013)



Caught between conspiracy and cock-up

PPTA President Angela Roberts comments on recent change proposals in New Zealand education.

I have recently been advised by the ministry that we should feel reassured when responding to proposed policy and legislative changes that instead of seeing conspiracy, we should see cock-up. Regardless of the intent of the raft of signalled changes to the architecture of public education, the potential outcome is likely to be the same: destructive.

Change in education - requires translating the plan to the reality
The trick with architecture is to imagine how the building plans will translate into reality. Let's look at those plans: charter schools enabling the exclusion of union representation, proposals for a teachers council not truly owned by the profession, blunt (but easily measured) public metrics turning kids into test scores, funding reviews that do not consult the sector, changes to employment legislation inviting employers to walk away from collective agreements and a dysfunctional payroll providing the perfect excuse to justify a government prejudice that our collective agreement is "too complex".

Questioning the plan to find a common understanding
The tactic will certainly be to claim we are being paranoid and reading too much into things. However, most of our information derives from briefing papers obtained under the Official Information Act, notable for being high on economic rhetoric but low on educational research and understanding. They are peppered with redactions inviting us to speculate on the reasons for such secrecy, so perhaps the paranoia is justified.