PPTA News is the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association.
Approximately 18,000 copies of PPTA News are distributed free to secondary and area schools and other institutions.
Not all the opinions expressed within PPTA News reflect those of the PPTA.
PPTA news February 2014
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 06:34
The February 2014 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).
PPTA News v.35 (1) Feb 2014
Table of contents:
Govt offer worth a peek - President's viewpoint p.3;
PPTA exec welcomes new Komiti Pasifika rep p.4;
Drawing on new resources (ACE) p.5;
Phantom parity p.6;
Group learning - by teachers for teachers p.7;
PPTA joins rally for pay equity in aged care p.7;
A costly experiment revealed (charter schools) p.8;
When are fixed term appointments lawful? (Field Officer advice) p.10;
Field service trials streamlined response system p.10;
PPTA recruits new ERE coordinator p.10;
Dubious focus - NCEA targets
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 02:53
PPTA News reports on the ethically dubious pressure being put on schools, by the Ministry of Education, to ensure the government mandated 85% pass rate target for NCEA level 2 is met.
Ethically dubious focus
A new Ministry of Education project that involves pressuring schools to focus on a small group of students is ethically dubious PPTA president Angela Roberts says.
In order to meet a meaningless political target set by the government, schools are being expected to put a huge focus on students on the achieved/not achieved boundary potentially at the expense of others, she said.
Without any fanfare or formal announcement Achievement 2013-17 (the name the ministry has given its push to have 85% of students achieve NCEA level 2 by 2017) has appeared on the scene without proper consideration of the risk to other students and the validity of the qualification.
This approach, described by academics as “educational triage” requires an intense focus on students that are close to a target in order to lift the school’s overall achievement, Roberts said.
“But the requirement that some students will be given all kinds of extra attention could come at the expense of those who are really struggling, as well as those who are doing well,” she said.
“Students not likely to reach the target of NCEA 2 still need resources put into them to progress and those who are well on track to reach it still need support as well.”
PPTA News Nov-Dec 2013
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 06:24
PPTA News v.34 (9) Nov-Dec 2013
Table of contents:
Mad micromanagement - President's viewpoint p.3;
Give us a break - national tea break of action p.4;
Workshops promoting diversity (LGBTI) p.5;
Dubious focus (NCEA) p.6;
BES spotlight on bullying p.7;
Community ed teachers ratify agreement p.7;
Word from the wise p.8;
Respected Kaumatua farewelled p.9;
Valuing Pasifika cultures boosts Pasifika achievement p.9;
Teachers more sensitive to noise than most p.10;
Curious comparison p.11;
Teacher representation axed (Teachers Council) p.12;
Northland members call for moratorium (Charter schools) p.13;
Remarkable servant retires p.14;
Saving public assets mirrors UK experience p.14;
Secondary-tertiary interface lacks a "coherent framework" - report p.15;
Paving the way for equal pay p.16;
Domestic violence as a workplace issue p.16;
Bikies with a message drop by Te Aute (White ribbon campaign) p.17;
We must enforce part-timer entitlements p.18;
Long service may be longer than you think (Field Officer advice) p.19;
PPTA runners pick up the pace p.20.
PPTA News Nov-Dec 2013 (volume 34 no.9) (1.3 MB, 11 pages)
Broken promise: Aspire scholarship another ACT failure
- Last Updated on Monday, 03 February 2014 19:51
Since 2009 the government has poured $11 million into an Act Party private scholarship programme, yet a quarter of its students have not achieved the Level 2 NCEA benchmark.
Aspire scholarships are designed to help students from low-income families attend private schools. They receive government funding at over double the rate of students in public or state integrated secondary schools.
Documents released to the PPTA under the Official Information Act however show that of 29 Aspire scholarship students who have finished school, seven of them only achieved NCEA Level 1 (or equivalent) or no qualification at all.
Aspire students receive $16,500 per year in tuition fees and course related costs, compared to the average government funding of a student at a state or state integrated school of $7,217.
PPTA president Angela Roberts said it was outrageous money that could be going into the state system was being poured into a pet private project that was clearly not working.
"Such a huge subsidy to private schools is bad enough, but it is not even producing results," she said.
PPTA News October 2013
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 06:25
PPTA News v.34 (8) October 2013
Table of contents
Please don't feed the bears! - President's viewpoint p.3;
New field officer for Canterbury and Westland p.3;
Black day for Novopay p.4;
Expecting change (26 for babies) p.5;
I need a break because ... (Employment Relations Amendment Bill) p.5;
Broken promise (Aspire scholarships) p.6;
First charter schools may disappoint p.7;
Standing up to threats (Annual Conference) p.8;
Public education to the highest bidder - charter schools (Annual Conference) p.9;
Thesis promotes school-home partnership (Komiti Pasifika) p.10;
Champion of Pasifika values joins PPTA exec (Komiti Pasifika) p.10;
Help reduce death and injury in the workplace p.11;
All set for ACE collective negotiations p.11;
Test scores don't tell the whole story p.12;
Obituary Fred Haussmann p.13;
Obituary Richard Bayliff p.13;
Ultra-fast broadband rolled out in 21 schools p.14;
Supporting an end to violence p.14;
Surplus staffing - the sombe reality of a falling roll (Field officers advice) p.15;
Download the October 2013 issue of the PPTA News (947 KB, 16 pages)
PPTA News September 2013
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 06:27
PPTA News v.34 (7) September 2013
Table of contents
Caught between conspiracy and cock-up - President's viewpoint p.3;
Venetian dream comes to light p.4;
Analysis of learning amid loss and uncertainty (Christchurch) p.5;
Pasifika women unionists gather in Fiji p.7;
Unions standing up, fighting back p.8;
Otahuhu's learning conferences lead the way p.10;
Area school principals reach settlement p.10;
What to do when your illness overruns your sick leave (Field officers advice) p.11;
Download the September 2013 issue of the PPTA News (1.06MB, 12 pages)
How good is our schooling? Brian Easton comments
- Last Updated on Monday, 03 February 2014 20:31
Researcher Brian Easton summarises his "one in five" companion paper "“ Ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status and educational achievement: An exploration.
PISA evidence suggests our education system is doing well
While there is much grumbling about our education system, the evidence suggests it is doing very well. Every three years the OECD surveys a sample of 15-year-old students in various countries. The exercise, known as PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), looks at three dimensions: reading, mathematics and science knowledge. That is not everything we want from our young - decency would rank high on my list - but they are easier to measure, and they are important.
NZ has world class and effective education system - subject to caveats
Our educational specialists celebrate the results. In a sentence - on these measures, and subject to caveats - New Zealand students up to the age of 15 experience a world class education system. Better than "world class" actually. The superiority of the New Zealand education system is demonstrated by an average 15-year-old New Zealander being about a year ahead of the average OECD student. That's right, our system is more effective than most of the OECD including some of those colonials we look up to "” such as the American and British ones. Measured properly our system is of higher productivity.
First caveat - achievement is influenced by more than schools
First caveat, the achievement may not simply be the schools' (including early childhood education). What happens in the home is also important, as are wider social institutions such as the media. But the schools do matter and, in any case, the informal education system is partly a consequence of what schools did for earlier generations.
Second caveat - post 15-year old education system has no comparable international measures
A second caveat is that we do not know how well the education system functions for post-15-year-olds, as there are no comparable international measures.
Achievement varies between groups
Some of our social groups do not do as well as average (but let's avoid the fallacy of the politician who complained that half our children are below average).
Among those are the Māori. However, Māori students tend to come from a more deprived background; it is well established, throughout the OECD, that students from lower socioeconomic status households do less well educationally, illustrating the powerful way that the informal education system affects achievement.
But suppose Māori students had the same social class background as the population as a whole; how well would they do? The answer is that their educational achievement would be about a year behind our population as a whole; only about as good as what American and British students achieve.
PPTA News August 2013
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 06:26
PPTA News v.34 (6) August 2013
Table of contents
When a spade's a spade - President's viewpoint p.3;
New advisory officer joins PPTA HQ p.3;
Maximising assistance, minimising risks (Earthquake assessment) p.4;
Principles, practices and standing tall (Maori Teachers' Conference) p.5;
PPTA women empowered and inspired p.5;
Push for 26 weeks' parental leave gathers steam p.6;
Subject associations gather under one umbrella p.7;
Leaving the field p.7;
Scrutinising simplistic stats ( 1 in 5) p.8;
How good is our schooling? (Brian Easton) p.9;
Where to next? (PLD) p.10;
ERA amendment bill undermines teachers p.11;
Hunger for change (Kirsten Sharman) p.12;
Hawke's Bay looks back and signals forward p.13;
Wairarapa farewells seasoned activist p.13;
Let's not forget the "T" in GLBTI p.14;
Workshops address phobias and promote tolerance p.14;
Membership, private schools & other establishments (Field officers advice) p.15.