This is the briefest of postings done on the slightest of evidence, but is IES on the ropes?
It seemed to me the beating of drums about clusters stopped some weeks ago – an eerie silence followed.
What could it mean?
I asked some questions – nothing definite, but some schools said there had been a delay in officially registering their COL or COS or whatever.
Then there was the suspending of the principal at Rangiora High School to get at the school’s Trust funds.
However, my source in the ministry knew nothing about it, so that’s one strike against my suspicions.
Then a strange media release from Iain Taylor and NZPF:
‘The latest report addressing low performing students in OECD countries, including New Zealand, suggests innovative answers that are nothing like the out-dated standardised solutions such as national standards, charter schools and IES policies,’ said Iain Taylor, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF).
‘The OECD report suggests improving access to early childhood programmes for everyone; helping struggling kids early; providing a nurturing school environment; supporting high morale of teachers; teachers having high expectations of kids; ensuring equitably distributed resources and giving schools more freedom to decide what to teach and how to assess students’ progress.’
What can I say?
Is Iain being a stalking horse for the ministry? Frankly, I hope so.
Notice the return to IES after COS and COLS; it’s back to the beginning.
The idea came from John Hattie and the Treasury; is it now being returned to them?
I don’t really believe Iain would have slammed IES off his own hat; but if it came from the executive and members we would have known about it – hence my ministry stalking horse suggestion.
There is something odd but rather excellent about the media release, it quite rightly calls ‘national standards, charter schools policies’… ‘out-dated standardised solutions’ – but IES policies don’t qualify for that description. There have been insufficient IES-type policies to allow them to be standardised enough to be out-dated; anyway our IES policies are nothing like the other ones, they are a lunacy we dreamed up more-or-less for ourselves. Iain knows all this and is slipping it in with the others, I suspect, for a specific reason. There is something going on here.
(By the way, Iain and NZPF should be praised for their part in the 30 rural advisers to be appointed to help that sector – a truly humane and educationally helpful policy. As well, we can now be full of hope for a strong campaign against ‘out-dated standardised’ national standards; and another one to allow teachers and schools to be freer to make curriculum decisions – accompanied, of course, by a severe clipping of the review office’s wings.)
But whatever, good news.
If the ministry is backing off in the sense of: well no IES as you were expecting, but a little bit of money for you to play around with – great.
If it is Iain and NZPF seeing the light – well boys and girls go for it.
An urgent national meeting would be needed to hammer things out. And all hail to Iain.
Fingers crossed or, is it just a wish upon a star?