Support the teachers’ union rally

March 27, 2010

Next Wednesday at 12.30pm, the NEZI primary teachers’ union is holding a rally at Parliament to present its petition opposing the government’s imposition of “national standards”.

The government’s proposal means essentially exams for children as young as five, on a narrow range of subjects, to the detriment of their broader education and development. More info is available at:

The teachers are at the forefront of the union opposition to this government.
Come along and give them your support!


3 Responses to “Support the teachers’ union rally”

  1. babyloncult Says:

    Not so sure I am against it actually. There has been some quite compelling studies in the States that show the earlier you start kids, the better off they are. As for broadening the curriculum, I think that would be a mistake. Nearly a quarter of our kids are coming out of our schools with barely adequate literacy, and 10% are completely illiterate. In a digitally driven world, they are at a severe diadvantage, and we risk creating an entire new underclass. The fact that a large proportion of these kids fall to crime should be of no surprise, and we risk sowing the seeds of social discontent

  2. anarkaytie Says:

    I think, if I’ve read previous NZEI material correctly, this is about removing activities that support general literacy (like learning to ‘publish’ the story you’ve written in longhand, on the class computers) against measurement in weekly testing-time of discrete items of learning.

    American schools have worked to this regime since I was in primary school, and I remember some ‘graded reading programmes’, which were so useless that most of us were beyond the top level within weeks, leaving little for the teacher to do but let us continue with choosing our own reading books from the school library.

    The experience of reading a novel or book of short stories is not common in public schools in the US, so the type of classic children’s literature that is common in libraries here is not something the public schools’ budget funds.

    Our school system achieves very well for publicly funded education, and bats far above average compared to the US. This policy is about facilitating US-style private-school providors to enter the primary school market. Private schooling in NZ has historically come down from the original church missions to provide schools for children from isolated areas, a completely different paradigm to the North American model.

    This is part of the insidious WTO-style incursions into sovereign policy development that have also happened in areas where MNC’s have creamed profits in other countries who have allowed outside operators into their service industries.

  3. babyloncult Says:

    Perhaps we should be taking a leaf out of the Montessori way of thinking??

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