Posted by: Cynic
on 21, May, 2012
Tagged in: working conditions
, public education
, professional learning and development
, Hekia Parata
, funding mechanisms
, education spending
, education politics
, Class size
Just been reading about Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam - I suspect he and Hekia Parata might end up having some frustrations in common.
|But one of his biggest frustrations has been realizing that running government isn’t always just like running a business.
Early this year, Haslam unveiled a plan to give school districts the flexibility to adjust class sizes, which would free up money to increase pay for teachers in tough-to-teach subjects or difficult-to-staff positions.
But the plan went down in flames.
Democrats and the state’s largest teachers’ union relentlessly attacked the plan, polls showed almost nine in 10 surveyed thought class sizes should be kept the same or made smaller, and even Republicans couldn’t bring themselves to support the governor’s proposal.
At the local level, school officials were worried that any money saved from raising the average class size would give elected school boards and county commissions reason to reduce education budgets instead of plugging the money into better teacher pay.
Missouri News Horizon
In New Zealand Hekia Parata has announced changes the staffing ratio - and says it's OK folks - schools can still keep class sizes the same, it's just a funding ratio. The "freed up" money is going to improve teaching quality.
Well let us unpack that just a teeny bit:
Posted by: PPTAweb
on 03, Oct, 2011
Tagged in: unions
, secondary schools
, collective agreement
, annual conference
Having just read Teacher in a strange land: Regular Teachers, Regular Schools it got me thinking about conferences/forums and how often (when I do go to these events) I get to meet 'regular teachers'. It certainly can be an issue, who speaks for teachers - who the experts are and who nominated those experts to speak for and/or about teachers/teaching? An issue that extends beyond the boundaries of conferences and forums to areas such as submissions processes and the workings of advisory groups.
Although, you could add 'who is a regular teacher and what is a regular school' given the number of extraordinary teachers working in extraordinary schools :-)
PPTA National office this week has annual conference on the collective mind. Conference is where the elected representatives of NZ secondary teachers get to discuss and work towards a better secondary school education system. PPTA Annual Conference is 18-20 October - the programme is online and conference papers include:
Posted by: Cynic
on 28, Apr, 2010
The April edition of the PPTA News includes a message from the president, Kate Gainsford, about a new and REDUCED funding formula that the Ministry of Education is developing for small area schools (below 200). Well that’s what it seems to be planning judging from this document entitled Change of Class Applications (pdf) and obtained under the Official Information Act. Various ministers of education have been establishing new schools (even when there are surplus places at surrounding schools) as if there was no tomorrow.
The most recent minister, Anne Tolley has belatedly realised that the cost of facilitating parental choice by providing a secondary school on every corner - where the dairy used to be - is unaffordable. So what has she done? According to the document seven new kura kaupapa Maori have been approved by the minister to become wharekura (ie. area schools that provide education from year 1 to 15) BUT at a much lower funding rate than other are schools get. The document says this is an interim measure but that the ministry is working (in secret it appears) on a permanent formula. This raises a number of questions:
- Should wharekura get less funding than other area schools?
- Are all schools with roll numbers below 200 going to face reductions?
- How are the interests of schools that are small because they are remote going to be safeguarded?
- Are parents going to be expected to make up the shortfall?
- Is it right to provide “choice” thorough a mechanism that reduces funding and potentially diminishes education quality?
Posted by: blogger
on 12, May, 2009
On March 26 the City of Manukau Education Trust (COMET) convened a group to discuss the difficulties schools face collaborating across the boundaries created by Tomorrow's Schools. This is a particular problem in Manukau where a number of experiments with school structures are going on. As well as year 7 to 13 schools and year 9 - 13 schools, Manukau has a large urban area school, combined boards of multiple schools, collaborative boards on shared campuses and the possibility of a tertiary high school.
COMET Director, Bernardine Vester set out the problem. "Though not yet at system crisis levels, restrictions provided by ‘class' and ‘designation' that currently shape schooling design are outdated. The legislation as it is offers a single constitutional model as a template. This results in all other constitutional arrangements becoming ‘exceptions' or ad hoc arrangements to fit emerging needs, rather than a planned approach to shifts in the environment." Boards, principals and teachers working in less common school structures can find their vision for student learning constantly compromised and undermined by governance and legislative arrangements that do not facilitate collaboration.