Recent PPTA press/media releases.

Link to PPTA webpage Posters and archived releases

Government ignores international advice and PISA rankings drop

4 December 2013

The government knew back in 2009 what it would take to keep New Zealand on an educational footing with the rest of the world, but chose to ignore international advice.

It is no real surprise then, that three years later, the country’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) achievement and equity rankings have dropped, PPTA president Angela Roberts says.

It’s often overlooked that PISA is not just a league table, but it also provides policy advice on what the best countries do, Roberts said.

OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) advice issued after the 2009 PISA results focused on the importance of addressing socio-economic inequality in schools.

The government instead had chosen to focus on a number of initiatives that were based on ideology rather than evidence – stripping funding from the public schooling system and syphoning it into private projects, Roberts said.

The government had taken a narrow focus on numbers and league tables rather than addressing inequality, she said

“It's fascinating that this government seems pretty obsessed with the results, but doesn't pay any attention to the policy advice,” she said.

“OECD advice shows countries with successful education systems address inequality, invest in teachers and have stability in school funding. In New Zealand we have $10 million a year stripped from schools through the quarterly funding system, large class sizes and 270,000 of our young people living in poverty.


Minister must consult about charter schools to avoid fresh disasters

22 November 2013

The minister of education should focus on cleaning up the mess she’s made by threatening to open two charter schools in Northland before embarking on another round of applications, says PPTA president Angela Roberts.

“We know communities and the whanau of students in Northland are not happy the minister overlooked consulting them about the impact charter schools will have on kura kaupapa and the rest of the public school system in the region,” she said.

“While there is no disagreement between communities, whanau, teachers and the minister over the need to address the problem of low student achievement in Northland, there is considerable disagreement about the solution.”


Govt can stop students going to exams hungry

11 November 2013

This week there will be students going in to their NCEA exams hungry, something the government has the opportunity to fix.

On Wednesday the Feed the Kids Bill will have its first reading, and PPTA urges all parties to support it to go to Select Committee.

PPTA president Angela Roberts said the association wanted each young person to achieve their potential, but poor nutrition undermines this.

Students from the government’s “priority groups”, Maori, Pasifika and low-socio-economic status are the ones who are most likely to come to school without having had breakfast, she said.


PPTA standing firm against charter schools

3 October, 2013

PPTA is standing firm to face down the "ultimate asset sale".

Members voted to support a paper presented at today's PPTA annual conference that will give them the strength to see off the charter school threat.

The paper demands the $19 million set aside for charter schools be returned to the state school sector to fund programmes that raise achievement for at-risk students, and states that PPTA will continue to fight for the abolition of the charter school legislation.


Professional development pounded out of existence

2 October, 2013

The most effective system intervention to raise student achievement has been privatised, restructured and pounded out of existence, says PPTA president Angela Roberts.

PPTA's 'Professional learning and development (PLD)' paper, which will be discussed this afternoon at the association's annual conference, examines the results of two separate PPTA surveys.

It shows both teachers and school leaders agree current PLD provision is inadequate, piecemeal and incoherent and raises serious questions as to whether the $200 million a year the government is pouring into it is well spent.


Fighting poverty through schools as community hubs

2 October, 2013

Equipping schools to fight poverty by making them the centre of their communities is a very real way of addressing the achievement gap between rich and poor students, says PPTA president Angela Roberts.

Around the world teachers and policy makers are grappling with the problem of raising student achievement when socio-economic status has such a powerful impact on learning.

At PPTA's annual conference today PPTA members will examine a possible answer when the paper 'Equipping schools to fight poverty: a community hub approach' is presented.

Roberts said a community hub school does what many New Zealand schools do already, but more so, and in a sustainable, coordinated and resourced way.


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