Once again Northland branches have shown the rest of us what staunch means.
Massey University, knowing full well that that PPTA members have democratically determined that they will not put their professional and intellectual capital in the service of secretive, profiteering and politically-motivated charter schools, enrolled a student teacher from a charter school in their teacher education course. No problem there – the problems come when they try to pressure local secondary schools to take this student teacher on. Local teachers have seen at first-hand, the disruption and corruption and division that charter schools bring to school communities.
There are other options – private schools and other charter schools. Why isn’t the student being stationed at Terenga Paraoa’s sister charter school in Whangaruru?
And as for the Ministry of Education – what wallies! Deputy Secretary, Dr. Graham Stoop, thunders self-righteously about how out of order it is for PPTA members to refuse to provide support and succour for his flagship project, charter schools. Meanwhile up and down the country, teacher education providers struggle to find placements for teacher education students because secondary teachers are so busy we can't always take them. Deputy-Secretary Stoop has nothing to say about this issue (he could, for example, table a clause in our STCA bargaining to increase the associate teacher rate) but hops to when a student placement problem arises in a charter school.
The ministry appears to have been very hands-off when it comes to providing support for the beleaguered public schools in Whangarei which, I understand, are not only suffering roll drops and job losses as the result of having two school plonked into the city but are also picking up students from the charter schools, minus the funding.
Of course, it’s almost certain that Stoop is responding to pressure from the MP for the electorate of Gerrymander, one David Seymour. (Remember when public servants were just that and not part of political PR machine?) David Seymour, frothing at the mouth and fulminating, has described PPTA as disgraceful.
Well!! Being called names by a man who slithered into parliament on the back of a grubby deal in Epsom, immediately engaged in a sleight of hand to have himself declared leader of the Act Party to double his income and then engineered a position for himself that’s all status and no responsibility (under-secretary indeed!) is almost a badge of honour.
I'd say it'll be a cold day in hell should PPTA take advice on ethics from the Act Party’s parliamentary puppet.
As Confucius said on the topic of moral leadership – being loved isn’t enough; “When the good like you and the bad hate you, that is enough.”
And another thought for ACT…