Monday, April 22, 2013

Mike Butler: What the principal principal said

A simple press release from the president of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation, Philip Harding, that claims the ACT party’s proposed charter schools will open the door to religious groups to teach Kiwi kids discriminatory practices, including that same sex marriage is wrong, offers a glimpse into the brain-dead leadership of the movement opposing charter schools.
He wrote:
Just as New Zealanders are celebrating the latest legislation change that brings an end to discrimination against same-sex couples having the right to be legally married, we are opening up a whole new opportunity for discriminatory practices to flourish, Harding wrote.
Does Harding want an unchallenged state school system to brainwash kids into believing that same-sex marriage is right? Besides, who is celebrating? Possibly only the 230 same-sex couples who may want to tie the knot this year. Is Harding one of those?
There would be nothing to stop any group setting up a charter school and teaching Kiwi kids that discriminatory practices are to be valued and that evolutionary theories of science are wrong.
Don’t think for a minute that Harding is against discrimination. He is only against the discrimination he does not like. He would freely discriminate against those who disagree with same-sex marriage.

As for his fervent belief in the 19th century faith known as evolutionism, Harding appears to believe that evolutionary theories are correct and anything else is incorrect when I fact there is a lack of any overwhelming proof (beyond current scientific theories) on either side.)
Interest in charter schools from religious groups has been significant, said Harding, and the religious beliefs they follow are inconsistent with the values of wider New Zealand society, he said.
So, if Harding is zealously anti-religion, what’s his position on the official adoption of Maori religion? What’s his position on social justice advocacy that comes from, yes, Christianity?
There has never been any evidence that the New Zealand tax payer is crying out for another choice of school and no political party, including John Banks’ ACT party, promoted such policy during the last election campaign,’ said Harding.
Hmm, ACT’s website notes that “education policy in Australia, Sweden, parts of Canada and the United States, and Great Britain is showing the benefits of making education more market-like and entrepreneurial. Such policies lead to a wider range of education opportunities being available. ACT supports de-centralisation in education, giving more autonomy to principals and teachers and more choice to students and parents."

Obviously, Harding, as a principal, does not want more autonomy.


Anonymous said...

I wonder when Mr Harding's faith in "evololutionary theory" is going to lead him to conclude that homosexuality is biologically redundant behaviour, and thus an evolutionary dead end?

Anonymous said...

"For the children" is a boilerplate leftist catchcry for one simple reason: once deployed, it's usually game set and match to the utterer.

The Teacher Unions are actually not about children's education at all. Like every trade or professional association everywhere, they are about establishing a monopoly on the supply of labour, in order to extract above-market wages and conditions from employers.

Teachers' pay is currently linked to seniority, i.e. time at the chalkface. It has nothing whatsoever to do with teaching ability or results. As one rises through the ranks, one gets paid more, simple as that. And it's a job for life.

As Richard Prebble used to say: "More teachers have been hauled away by the police for sexually abusing students in the last year than have been dismissed for incompetence.

The Teacher Unions are fond of saying that because students vary in ability, it's impossible to measure teacher performance.

This is self-serving nonsense.

Reinstate academic streaming and a rigourous national examination system whereby students are assessed against their peer on an annual basis.

Irrespective of whether a teacher is teaching a class of Alpha Double Plus students or Epsilon Semi-Morons, he can be assessed annualy against the average national standard achievement level for the academic stream in which his class is located.

Three percent each way, he gets the base salary. Improve class outcomes by more than three percent triggers the performance bonus; fall by more than three percent, pay is docked.

There could be a further top-up/docking based on teacher participation in extra-curricular and after school activities.

Anything can be measured, it's just a matter of working out how.

Anonymous said...

NZ schools have become re-education camps for the left to make sure everyone thinks the 'correct' theirs, and no other opinions are tolerated.

As a marxist once said..
"What you would have in society you must first introduce in the schools"

As long as we stay silent and not make waves, this garbage will flourish.

Anonymous said...

Mike, remember this?

Recently, a teacher tried to hire a gang member to assault her school principal. She got caught, but kept her job.

How many ways of saying "the world has gone mad" are there?

The entire public education system is hopelessly corrupted. Stuart L

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous above
"Mike remember this?"

I just read that article you posted & I dont know what to say....unbelievable!
Hiring a gang member to assault the principal was only one of her breaches...and she is deemed fit to go on teaching. our kids?...really?

Everyone else...If you havent read it you should.

Denis McCarthy said...

The statement by the Principal illustrates once again the need for parents to have genuine school choice. We wants our children to attend schools which focus on academic standards and standards of pupil behaviour and cooperation.

In my time as a teacher I saw changes made that did not benefit the pupils and that made teachers' tasks more difficult, e.g. making increased demands without providing the time and resources to meet them.

Following the remarks of a previous writer I agree that teachers should be accountable but shouldn't the bureaucrats who make dumb decisions which adversely affect teaching and learning also be accountable? Anyone ever heard of a bureaucrat being sacked or demoted for poor educational decisions?

Finally pupils themselves should be held accountable. I suggest that in many cases teachers are trying to do their job but have their efforts sabotaged by the disruptive and abusive behaviour of some pupils. And yes, there will always be some so called expert who will tell us it's someone else's fault.

So I say for a start we let motivated teachers, cooperative pupils and supportive parents organize their own schools similar to the Swedish system. Let parents select a school which in their minds is a genuine place of learning and which reflects the values of the parent and community.