Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: What Hekia Parata actually said

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Lilith __,

    Lennon to the Left...

    I’m trying to imagine a government that would simply state its policies rather than making us guess.

    One that would know what it was doing, and can make intelligent hard calls, rather than pandering, to make us like it (during the courtship phase anyway)...
    Give us the reality!
    ...not the pipe dream

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Singapore Girl... This'll fly!
    Parata's championing of Singapore's incentivising of teachers, doesn't really give the full story of their Education system's changes*.
    Nor does she seem to mention that many of the poor parents were monetarily incentivised as well - as part of the already strong nationwide programme to claw back up out of deep poverty.

    Not quite the same scenario here...

    ... by cherry-picking bits of it, Parata & co are trying to peddle a frameless bike, which is certainly not holistic...
    if anything Parata could be literally reverse engineering it,
    and educating some of us back into peasanthood...

    *more info on k-12 Singapore and globally here

    and another very interesting overview and conclusion here

    The essential challenge facing Western jurisdictions is not so much to mimic East Asian instructional regimes, but to develop a more balanced pedagogy that focuses not just on knowledge transmission and exam performance, but on teaching that requires students to engage in subject-specific knowledge building.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • JonathanM,

    The measuring of value added seems to me fraught with difficulty, particularly if you're wanting it standardised yet comprehensive (these being usually at odds).

    Still, if we assume this can be done, then it seems to me that estimating the value added per-teacher, given school effects, socio-economic effects and the like might be doable. There'd be quite a few assumptions involved. It would need to be adjusted for the multiple confounders that we know effect education progress that are unrelated to the teacher. We'd have to assume that the average teacher for each covariate pattern would achieve similarly, so we could then estimate the value-added by a particular teacher over and above that average. We'd need data from multiple years on each teacher on which we'd like to estimate 'value added performance'. We'd need a bunch of assumptions about how confounders interact in order to have a good model upon which the teacher-effects may be estimated.

    If we assume we can do all that, we'd end up paying them according to how well they do compared to other teachers in the exact same environment. i.e. it may well be that teacher A in environment B might get more money than the exact same teacher in environment C, just because they adapt to the confounding factors better than other teachers might.

    Even if all this could be done, is the best pay scheme to use to begin with?

    Since Jul 2012 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    All because she couldn’t be succinct or precise.

    Her Wikipedia Entry has some enlightening info that could explain her obfuscation.
    It may be a hangover from her days of "charging per word",to justify obscene charges ;)

    Parata's consultancy firm was contracted to recommend the best options for providing "ongoing high quality Maori advice" to chief executive Christine Rankin and senior managers at Work and Income in 1999, at a cost of $207,500. The expenditure was criticised by Green MP Rod Donald, as the Maori unemployment rate rose during this period from 27 to 29%.[9] The firm also attracted controversy when National MP Murray McCully criticised the spending of $240,000 by the Ministry of Economic Development for training courses on the Treaty of Waitangi run by the company in 2003.[10]

    In 2001, Parata was appointed to the Māori Television Service Board.[11] She resigned within two months, reportedly blaming a "lack of funding" for the new Maori TV channel.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Holy crap.

    The Brookings Institute this week published an extremely troubling backgrounder on the PISA results that have Hekia Parata so impressed with the shanghai system.

    Short version: it appears that the system is deliberately shutting out poor, migrant students on a massive scale. On the face of it, PISA should be withdrawing its results.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Mellopuffy, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Come to Dunedin, Chris!

    Dunedin, NZ • Since Feb 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Dianne Khan, in reply to Dave Guerin,

    The trouble is, when we have seen obfuscation from Mr Parata on so very many occasions previously only to discover later that there were indeed preconceived plans, it is no wonder people are mistrustful of her. She speaks in riddles, refuses to give straight answers, get cross if asked to speak plainly (Tuesday in the House was yet another example of this), and has just not lead people to believe she is being honest.

    As the saying goes - actions speak louder than words.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2014 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Dianne Khan, in reply to Russell Brown,

    PISA is notoriously shaky in terms of reliability. I remember being quite taken with it until I did much more research and discovered how small the samples are, how contentious the data analysis is, and how easy it is to potentially manipulate.

    As with any form of test, it is dangerous to accept results at face value and in isolation of other information.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2014 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Dianne Khan,

    The interviewer might have been prudent to ask Ms Parata what the PACT system is for, what data it will hold, how teachers and their students' performances will be linked and whether any of that information will be used to determine teacher pay or school funding. That's the next thing to look into, because therein lies the answers to what the end game is.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2014 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to JonathanM,

    Even if all this could be done, is the best pay scheme to use to begin with?

    Indeed. That all sounds like good data to collect, but you could make much more informed decisions about more things than just pay. You might use it to identify which teachers need more resourcing to perform which tasks - in other words to flip that whole idea on its head, and to treat "no child left behind" as strongly correlated to "no teacher left behind". Perhaps you fix the long tail by identifying teacher needs, as much as pupil needs, rather than just presuming that mucking with their pay is going to help.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Konrad Kurta, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    it's still very much a system based on passing exams and collecting up magic pieces of paper

    Korea was the same - kids are stuffed full of information that they passively regurgitate onto pieces of paper. Most students I encountered know grammatical theory, but can hardly speak a sentence in English.

    As for Hekia's assertion that Asian schools aren't all about rote learning... bullshit, at least in general terms.

    South Korea • Since Dec 2012 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to JonathanM,

    Even if all this could be done, is the best pay scheme to use to begin with?

    No :)
    Even if everyone agreed the measurements were fair, objective, and measured real, valuable, rich educational achievement. Wrong tool.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to JonathanM,

    If we assume we can do all that, we'd end up paying them according to how well they do compared to other teachers in the exact same environment. i.e. it may well be that teacher A in environment B might get more money than the exact same teacher in environment C, just because they adapt to the confounding factors better than other teachers might.

    The problem is there is no environment A, B and C.

    Every single environment is different in NZ. Every single one of them. You would need the Chinese alphabet to code them. The second you decide that a school is environment K, the next year they are environment W. We have individual cohorts of several hundred students that are significantly different academically from the cohort before or after them so you couldn't even do it within a school let alone as a whole. My classes are so disparate you'd be amazed. My principal when asked what decile we are replies "all of them".

    Another thing that would fall to pieces with performance based pay, or some value added system for funding schools would be co-curricular activities. If I'm being judged on my classroom results see you later to the sport that I spend hours on a week. In fact schools would take anything that took kids out of class, took teachers time away from planning and marking, assessing etc, and sacrifice it at the alter. They literally could not afford not to do that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    ...some sort of national math tool.Is that Bill English?

    BOOM! :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Wrong tool

    wrong belief system

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to BenWilson,

    Perhaps you fix the long tail by identifying teacher needs, as much as pupil needs, rather than just presuming that mucking with their pay is going to help.

    OK, now on this (sort of). It get's me to another issue. We have students with likely (read: bleeding obvious) learning difficulties but you have to pay to get them tested and diagnosed so you can then get some funding for them (often for teacher aides, reader/writers for assessments, etc). But many of our families (and the school) can't afford to get them tested and diagnosed so they go without the help that they probably need. Meanwhile at a much smaller private school I know of they have more reader/writers for assessments than we do even though we'd have several times the need!!!

    I have the very occasional student who has a teacher aide, but in some classes there are 2-3 other kids that could certainly do with one but they go without and the student, class, and teacher :) falls through the crack... can'o'worms this one.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Yamis,

    but you have to pay to get them tested and diagnosed

    and who'd have thunk...

    decile-10 private schools were getting as much as five times more funding than lower-decile schools as applications for help skyrocketed last year.
    ...

    In 2012, a total of 3418 of the 143,000 pupils who sat NCEA-level exams got special assistance. Private Auckland school King's College, which regularly tops national academic tables, had 180 pupils sitting NCEA exams last year. Of those 44 qualified for special exam conditions.

    By comparison, neighbouring school Otahuhu College, which is decile 1 and had four times as many NCEA candidates in 2012, had no SAC applications.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Yamis,

    Meanwhile at a much smaller private school I know of they have more reader/writers for assessments than we do even though we’d have several times the need!!!

    I noticed today, The Greens are asking Questions with regard to a funding request of 2.5 mil for one of the wealthiest early childhood learning centres, Kiddicorp (?). It seems Parana is starting preferential funding before School, she's beginning at Kindy level. I hope it gets teased out further by them. It's a similar slippery road.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Sacha,

    I have been following this issue since it was revealed by the Dyslexia Foundation following an OIA request last year. Apparently the Ministry itself did not realise the extent that the private schools had grabbed the funding and the Kings/ Otahuhu College (literarily on opposite sides of the fence) example is such a good illustration. There has been some work on it behind the scenes and I was pleased to see that a move towards equity has just been announced.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3218 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    That's cheering news.Thank you Hilary.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings, in reply to Yamis,

    And when kids do get funding for extra help it only lasts until the end of the school year and then has to be re-applied for in a process that often takes the whole first term.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    move towards equity has just been announced.

    Yay. Any news on when it comes into action in the schools?
    My son's dyspraxia assessment cost $400 18 months ago; and the NCEA rules appeared to say another assessment would have to be done this year. If we hadn't paid for it zilch, nada, no help. All he needs is to be allowed to use a laptop in exams!

    Other son now needs specialised hearing assessment, so I guess it is the same routine.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    And when kids do get funding for extra help it only lasts until the end of the school year and then has to be re-applied for in a process that often takes the whole first term.

    Surely that could just be your GP that signs an ongoing treatment required therefore extra help should continue. Thus making the cost around $20 and not prohibitive as Hebe suggests. All these assessments should be on the Public Health system. It's a health issue.And as for quality of life.... ACC.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Should be GP for our kids because the probs (relatively small but still probs) are directed related to prematurity. However, it comes under the education system. Dyslexia alone has only in the last 10 years recognised by the government as an issue deserving attention.

    Basically we're cash-challenged right now and the thought of another round with the system over the hearing fills me with dread. And I'm literate, able to stand up for myself. I weep for others less able to do so.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Excellent commentary from the excellent Autism and Oughtisms blog about the Green Bay High situation where the board is now spending money to keep a kid out. To think that once Green Bay had a reputation for inclusion!

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3218 posts Report Reply

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