Wednesday, November 21, 2012

All Wriled up...

Good evening,

I have been requested to remove this from my class blog to this one.

Wrong forum and all that.

I'm just back from an emotionally charged union meeting out East where we voted (something like 430 to 8) for a one day strike before the end of the term to protest what this government is doing, and is proposing to do, to the primary education sector in general, and here in Christchurch in particular.

Now before you start freaking out about it, firstly the idea has to be presented to and ratified by the rest of the Christchurch teachers who weren't at the Chisnalwood meeting, and secondly if it's a go (I voted for it), you will get at least 10 days notice.

What's got me upset? The direction that this government is taking primary education, specifically the apparent adoption of the GERM (Global Educational Reform Movement) philosophy of competition within the education sector instead of the co-operative model that has, up until now, held sway.

That is to say, the government wants to run schools using a free-market philosophy...

The GERM The norm
Competition Collaboration
"Choice" of where to send your children Equity, where the quality of the education is the same
Standardisation (one size fits all) Personalised Learning (meeting the needs of the individual)

These things will adversely affect your children's education.

We were presented with data that showed the drop in academic achievement in maths of the countries that have adopted these proposed measures - the UK, the US, Australia - compared to the achievement data from Finland who are doing the exact opposite of the GERM model.

Let me be clear, this stuff that they want to do has been proven to be ineffective in raising children's achievement - quite the opposite, in fact.

So, if we do go on strike, I for one am not protesting about money (even though they are effectively offering me a small pay cut), it will be to try to safe guard your children's education.

Visit www.standupforkids.org.nz to find out more.

4 comments:

  1. I hear you mate, we've had enough, handed my notice in today, moving to oz

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    1. Really? Stink!

      I've got a meeting with my principal this morning about posting the above on the class blog. Hmmm...

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  2. Hello Nick. Let me say that the school education system in England is, frankly, the most confused mess you could ever wish to meet. In fact, there isn't really 'a system', as there are so many different types of school that what is on offer varies greatly from place to place. In terms of the 'competitive market' approach to things, an extraordinary amount of damage has been done to the value and trustworthiness of our public exam system by introducing 'competition' between exam boards. Anyone with half a brain might have realised that exam boards would compete by making it easier to gain good grades and thereby attract schools, which, of course, were expected to achieve 'good' grades. This issue is now (sort of) being addressed by the current UK government (England doesn't have its own government !), but it was their ideological predecessors that introduced competition in the first place. Good luck. (Oh, it's bit naughty to make comparisons with the Finns, they are so far ahead that none of us will ever catch up).

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    1. Thanks for that Stephen. That's what every teacher over here fears will happen to our schools.

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