Teachers – your future is at stake. Please read and add your voices to the debate

Educational Readings Friday 29th March 1980
Teachers:  Your future is at stake!

The 7th April is the last day  to make your views known about the proposals included in the Tomorrow’s Schools Review report  ‘Our Schooling Future: Stronger Together’.

The report outlines the possibility of the biggest change in our education system since the introduction of the original Tomorrow’s Schools over three decades ago.

Before Tomorrow’ Schools primary schools were administered by regional Education Boards. These Boards appointed teachers, provided advisory help and looked after school finance and grounds. Alongside the Boards were Education Department Inspectors who assessed teacher and school performance. There was no doubt that these Boards needed revision but, in the change to self-managing schools, a ‘few babies were thrown out with the bathwater’.
For those involved in Tomorrow’s Schools they were exciting times. BOTs members had to be appointed and were soon involved in preparing Charters and writing endless policies and facing up to

building and grounds issues. Sadly not all schools were equal and some found it difficulty gaining expertise from BOT members.

It’s important to note that the changes were not a response of community dissatisfaction, far from it, but were part of a political shift towards a market forces led society based on a belief in business efficiency being applied to all areas of government would have positive results. After three decades we

are now paying the price and the inequality resulting from the changes sees schools now enrol students disadvantaged by this inequality. It is also true to say many citizens gained in wealth and some schools (mainly it seems large secondary schools) in high socio economic areas thrived – and today, understandably through self-interest, are resisting any changes.

The ‘self-managing’ aspect of schooling was also lost to a degree when the National government introduced the New Zealand Curriculum along with a set of Learning Area documents, each of which outlined strands, level of achievement

and an impossible number of learning objectives to be assessed and reported on. In 2007 a Labour government saw the light of day and introduced (in 2007) a totally revised New Zealand Curriculum which had (has) broad acceptance. Sadly before this could be ‘bedded in’ a new National government introduced their reactionary National Standards along with assessment and documentation demands enforced by ERO.

So that brings us to today. A new government and no National Standards and the Review.
Things need to change. 
Promised levels of student achievement have not eventuated and

the system is not working well enough for our most disadvantaged.

We need a different way to think about our schooling system.
Please read the Review document and the voices below speaking out for and against. Make an email submission of your concerns and view to tomorrows.schools@education.govt.nz
Further information about the Review is available
Allan Alach   Bruce Hammonds
Take a quick look at the articles below both for and against.

Tomorrow’s Schools quick submission guide from the NZEI and their response to the Review.

The government is currently reviewing Tomorrow’s Schools – the name given to the reforms that dramatically changed our schools nearly 30 years ago – and the NZEI wants to make it easy for you to have your say about the future of education.’

Tomorrow when the war began
Auckland Grammar – against!!

Analysis: A growing group of schools across the country have launched a coordinated opposition to the Tomorrow’s Schools proposed changes, but the campaign is full of misinformation.On Tuesday, a group of 49 (and growing) primary and high schools officially launched the Community Schools Alliance.The alliance took out full-page ads in the NZ Herald and Dominion Post, as well as sending out a press release, setting up a website, a Twitter account and a Facebook page.’

Claire Amos – for

Claire Amos interview by Jack Tame on Breakfast TV

A very balanced review of the Tomorrow’s Schools Review in which she faces up to the criticism of the Auckland Alliance of large secondary schools against the proposals. Claire is concerned with every school, not just those that have done well under the current system.’
Choice vs Equity: A Personal Response to Tomorrows’ Schools Review
I have been quite surprised to see the response from some to “Say no to the Haque Plan”. First of all, it is not the Haque Plan, rather it is the Tomorrow’s Schools Review Report and should be

Maurie Abraham – for

referred to as such.Secondly, it contains many recommendations falling under 8 key issues, making it very difficult to give the whole report a blanket ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Anyone with an open-minded approach would find favour with some of the recommendations, would be unsure about some and would want to explore further, and would be quite opposed to others. A consultation process allows such a range of responses to be submitted and considered.’

Education Hubs sensible and overdue
Opinion: I notice some of my principal colleagues have taken against the recommendation of the Tomorrow’s Schools

A principal’s opinion

Taskforce to introduce Education Hubs, a regional structure that will take over some of the jobs done by principals and boards of trustees.  Here’s why I think Hubs are a sensible and overdue change to the way we run our school system.’

Schools launch $20,000-plus campaign against Tomorrow’s Schools reforms
The “Community Schools Alliance”, backed by 43 of the country’s 2431 state and integrated schools, opposes a scheme by a task force led by former principal Bali Haque for about 20 regional “hubs” to take over most powers from elected school boards.’
Dr Liz Gordon – the result of 30 years of Tomorrow’s Schools
Two main societal effects occurred in the 30 years of school choice.  First, ‘exclusive’ schools became larger and larger, milking their social cachet as the top schools in the country for financial and reputational gain.  That such status was so patently unearned, forged from the social and educational characteristics of their privileged, ready-to-learn, white students and large parental donations, was a source of particular angst for me Second, schools at the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the social spectrum faced increasing social separation.’
Cathy Wylie outlines new wave of change for New Zealand Schools 2012!
Cathy Wylie – for

In 1986 an ‘earthquake ‘hit education in the form of ‘Tomorrows Schools’; following the publication of the Picot Report self-managing schools were born. Now, almost three decades later, A  NZCER  chief researcher Cathy Wylie has written a definitive and compelling story of school self-management called ’Vital Connections: Why We Need More Than Self-managing Schools’.”

Trust Teachers—They’re the Experts
His subsequent book, What School Could Be Ted Dintersmith,

describes the best of what he saw—and highlights his fervent belief in the value of teacher expertise, student agency, and locally derived solutions. Taken as a whole, the book is a rallying cry for an overhaul of the American educational system.’

Categories: Education