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)



Double standards - standards based performance pay for teachers

PPTA president Angela Roberts discusses the proposal made by John Morris, chair of the EDUCANZ Transition Group, that standards based performance pay be introduced for New Zealand teachers.

Double standards-based

At PPTA, we love a good debate. Despite popular belief that I can instruct members what to think and that they will mindlessly follow, the reality is that in this organisation the best arguments will win the day.

Education policies and initiatives should be supported by evidence and practice

We’re not interested in defending policies that have no support in either research or practice. So, for example, while we remain implacably opposed to dud policies like the charter school initiative, we can see the possibilities in initiatives like Teach First NZ (though, admittedly, we think the scheme has operational anomalies that need to be resolved.)

Performance pay for teachers does not make a positive contribution to student learning

Performance pay for teachers is a proposal that sits unyieldingly in the dud policy category. Nowhere in the world has it been shown to work: there is no good evidence that it contributes to learning but plenty to suggest that it’s profoundly demotivating and that it widens the gender pay gap.

Undeterred the proponents of performance pay often resort to the rather trite cry that it “works in business”.

That argument depends on what is meant by “works”. Microsoft, for example, has been forced to dump its performance pay system which has been blamed for the slide in Microsoft fortunes. According to Vanity Fair, the “stack and rank” programme stifled innovation and created “a toxic stew of internal antagonism and warfare”.

And we all lived through the global financial collapse so couldn’t fail to notice how the performance bonus system fueled corruption and greed- eventually destroying the financial hopes of a generation.