Recent PPTA press/media releases.

Link to PPTA webpage Posters and archived releases

$200 million wasted on inadequate professional development

12 July 2013

The government is spending $200 million a year on woefully inadequate teacher professional learning and development (PLD) that does not help lift student achievement.

A report based on two separate PPTA surveys shows both teachers and school leaders agree current PLD provision is inadequate, piecemeal and incoherent - raising serious questions as to whether this money is being well-spent.

The surveys were conducted in May this year after noise in the sector over the current PLD provision had grown to an unbearable level, PPTA president Angela Roberts said.  

"There is clearly a need to ensure the professional learning that happens in schools challenges teachers to work differently with students to raise their achievement, but 44% of teachers said that only happened sometimes with the current provision of PLD.

"Visiting international experts have reiterated the importance of teacher professional development in improving equity of student achievement. This is an issue that needs the urgent attention of the government," she said.

One of the biggest concerns voiced by both teachers and school leaders was the lack of local provision for PLD, Roberts said.

The current contestable contracts tended to be centred on particular providers, often a long way from where the PLD must be delivered, dismantling a trusted model of ongoing local support.

"The closeness to the contract directly influences the quality of PLD. If you are in Taranaki, Wainuiomata or Gisborne you will have worse PLD opportunities than in Auckland or Hamilton," she said.


Research reveals 1 in 5 failure claim inaccurate and simplistic

8 July 2013

"One in five students is failing" is a catch cry used so often that PPTA commissioned research to get to the bottom of it.

The results, presented by researchers Liz Gordon and Brian Easton today, reveal the simplistic nature of the claim and the complex issues being ignored every time it is made.

PPTA president Angela Roberts said the overlapping issues of ethnicity, gender and socio-economic status were ignored when simplistic figures such "˜1 in 5' or "˜20% of students are failing' were bandied about.

"The message of there being a crisis in schooling is being used to drive through radical policies, but there is not a crisis. There are challenges and we need to deal with these by recognising the complexity of the issues," she said.

The government's practice of separating out a single factor "“ such as ethnicity "“ and comparing one sub-group to other whole populations was "statistically grossly misleading" and failed to recognise many of the factors contributing to underachievement, Roberts said.

The closest to the politically popular 20% figure the researchers were able to find was that 14.3% of students failed to achieve proficiency level 2 on PISA reading "“ and a closer examination of this group showed that 74% were male and that socio-economic factors such as parental income and the number of books in the home were clearly contributing issues.


Voters say no to unregistered teachers and private profiteering "“ PPTA survey

14 May 2013

An overwhelming number of respondents to a new survey on charter schools do not want unregistered teachers and private profiteering in taxpayer-funded schools.

PPTA commissioned a survey this week "“ conducted by MMReasearch "“ of 600 New Zealand voters and the results released today give a clear picture of public concerns, president Angela Roberts said.
82% of respondents said they did not think charter schools should be allowed to employ untrained and unregistered teachers, while 71% did not want private owners making a profit from taxpayer-funded education.

"This clearly shows the charter schools experiment is against the wishes of the New Zealand public. It is nothing but a sop to the Banks/Isaac 1% party" she said.

With 2100 of the 2193 submissions to the Education and Science Select Committee opposed to the creation of charter schools it appears the government is quite prepared to steamroll the democratic process, Roberts says.

"With the voice of the public so blatantly ignored it is vital to assure protections are put in place."


Budget strips millions from schools to pay for pet projects

16 May 2013

Millions of dollars have been stripped from the compulsory education sector to pay for ministers' pet projects, PPTA president Angela Roberts says.

Secondary education will take the biggest hit with a $57.5 million cut, while John Banks' experimental charter schools will cream $19 million from the taxpayer.

"That's $19 million stolen from public school students - a heavy price to pay for a coalition agreement and policy the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders do not support," she said.

"Instead the government should have listened to New Zealand parents and used the slight drop in secondary rolls as an opportunity to reduce class sizes."

Not all of the projects given extra funding were as dangerous as Banks' pet however, Roberts said.


Want to raise achievement? Extend paid parental leave

17 April 2013

If the government is as serious as it says about raising student achievement extending paid parental leave should be a no-brainer, says PPTA president Angela Roberts.

Roberts, who presented PPTA's submission on Sue Moroney's bill to extend paid parental leave from 14 to 26 weeks today, said there was overwhelming international evidence that time spent early on in the life of a child had a positive educational impact.

"Teachers and principals have long recognised the health, early education and wellbeing of their students as being prime factors in their ability to learn and develop successfully through their secondary school years," she said.

"Give me a student with good health and strong bonds with their parents and I will give you your five out of five." she said.

A prime example of the success of paid parental leave is Finland, which has one of the best educational records in the world.


Select committee ignores submissions on charter schools

12 April 2013

The Education and Science Select Committee's decision to recommend the government's plan to establish charter schools (outlined in the Education Amendment Bill) with only minor changes flies in the face of public opinion says PPTA president Angela Roberts.

"Of the 2,193 submissions presented to the select committee, 2100 were opposed to the creation of charter schools and only 62 were in favour," she said.

"The committee's recommendation shows the whole submission process is just a token gesture so a disengaged government can claim it listened to the community and engaged in the democratic process when really it couldn't care less."


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