Jude Barback is editor of a publication of particularly nauseating content; a product reminiscent of those 1984 publishing factories … oh the skin-crawling forced hockey-sticks jocularity overlaying sinister purpose. Her publication is unremittingly government-aligned – why doesn’t she declare that status?
When I read it, I felt a stranger in my own country.
I need to tell her that contrary to her claim, there is no discernible difference between IESs and CoLs.
She doesn’t name differences because there aren’t any.
She describe IES as being ‘flung on schools’ – that isn’t by accident as flinging things on schools is philosophically central to government policy. Did she for a moment entertain the thought that flinging stuff on schools is purposefully done as a policy to demean?
Don’t be fooled by any hint of criticism that might seem to be contained in the word ‘flung’; it is just a rhetorical trick by Barback to contrast with a riotous buds in May that follows.
Simon Heath, an appointment to the Education Council incidentally – or perhaps not, and who shares leadership of the Blenheim cluster, said ‘the NZEI’s stance meant that some teachers were not sure if they wanted to buy into it and put their hands up for roles. It was very political.’
Really? the government ‘flung’ IES at schools and the NZEI is charged with being political!
From the sound of it Simon Heath, I don’t know you from a bar of soap, but are you the kind of principal who can’t see the truth for whatever?
Many education leaders don’t seem to realise that for all the best efforts of New Zealand principals and teachers we are sliding into mediocrity.
NCEA results are inflated by around 20% and national standards about 12% (soon to rocket as a result of the 85% set for clusters). Just for starters – a Dunedin government-contracted research group has recommended a new test for secondary schools to get somewhere nearer the truth; as for primary – here we have national standards rising and PISA going down, and the farcical results handed on to intermediate schools by contributing ones.
God knows where we are with thinking and the arts!
National standards are an education horror story which the clusters are set to embed further.
While national standards high stakes inflation reigns, clusters will, of course, get away scot free.
Allowing their leaders to carry on trash talking as if there was no tomorrow.
Already, clusters have cost every cluster school one full teacher.
One of the great ironies of contemporary New Zealand primary education is that never has it been more tested to complete confusion of where we actually are.
To formally test schools (that is tests set and marked by the government) would be a horror story too far, but one thing it would do is put an end to educationally harmful malarkeys like clusters.
Jill Farquharson of Auckland Normal Intermediate, head of an Auckland Central cluster – agrees (with Simon).
‘Some staff have put their political preferences aside to support the initiative … We shared with staff just how good it is for kids.’
Jill – what a haughty attitude towards teachers: you didn’t countenance that teachers could have objections to clusters other than from political bias?
You didn’t countenance that teachers might have objections to embedding national standards in another structure; to spending on an organisational structure rather than, say, directly on smaller class sizes or more teacher aides?
Of course the clusters will meet the targets; it’s called high stakes assessment.
Clusters everywhere, no matter the stage they are at, are struggling for purpose and cohesion – go below the one or two leaders there is deep cynicism and frustration at the sheer waste of time and money.
And much talk about teachers but nothing from them officially. I continuously, though, get their point-of-view sent to me in correspondence and they are deeply unhappy.
Karen Stewart who shares leadership of the Blenheim cluster goes to the heart of the whole cluster organisation: ‘the goals are driven by data’ – exactly.
Incapacitated behind the wheel.
The data being deeply flawed.
Towards the end of this barbarous article is a truly frightening description, down to fine detail, of ministry involvement in clusters. How can that be good? Is that truly what New Zealand primary education needs? More bureaucracy? Oh come on! Schools and teachers need to be freer. Just because we have some principals of large high decile schools with a sizeable administration staff to support them, having a great time, dancing buds in May – that is no test.
Clusters aren’t working and won’t work because they are exactly opposite to what the system and schools need for improvement. Clusters are more of the same, more of the same failing policy that the government is getting away with because there are no independent organisations within the system, no results from schools that are anywhere accurate.
Farquharson says the ministry has been ‘fantastic with things like dealing with macro data’. Oh please!
‘It’s a game changer’ says Heath.
Only if making things worse qualifies.