Academic success not only measure of smart

The New Zealand Herald asks what, if anything, can be done about a new social problem:

 A shortage of men that well-educated women want to marry? . . .

Among people in the 30-34 age bracket with a university degree or similar qualification, there are 155 women for every 100 men. That would be less of a problem if the women were more willing to “marry down”. The overall ratio is 91 men to 100 women in the population aged 25-49.

But women are perhaps less inclined than men to marry someone not as well educated, which may add to the shortage of partners for intelligent women. . .

Women of that age are the first generation to have been brought up by mothers who almost certainly had at least part-time paid work.

They are more likely than their mothers and certainly grandmothers to have been encouraged into tertiary education and to have fulfilling careers that wouldn’t stop when they married and which they could continue, at least part-time, when they had children.

That doesn’t necessarily make them smarter than their mothers or fathers, nor does it necessarily make them smarter than their contemporaries, male or female, who don’t go to university.

Whether or not, as some argue, education has become more feminised which makes it easier for girls and women to succeed than boys and men, academic qualifications aren’t the only measure of smart.

Education is good but more formal education isn’t necessarily better for everyone.

Earning power isn’t the only measure of smart either. But someone who straight to university could take years to, and might never, make up for the lost wealth that others who go straight into work can accrue while their contemporaries are studying.

The solution is not, as one dating agency suggests, for women to lower their expectations. They should, of course, keep an open mind when they meet someone but it would be idle to pretend that these things are of no account. The solution, as the researchers suggest, is to raise the numbers of men in higher education.

The gender imbalance among 30-somethings with degrees is exactly the same problem that began to be noticed in secondary schools 15-20 years ago. A number of teachers noticed boys were being overshadowed by girls in class work and results. The problem was denied by educational research at that time, perhaps because the observers put it down to new modes of teaching and group-learning that suited girls more than teenage boys.

Nothing has been done about it and it should be no surprise that women now comprise 60 per cent of tertiary graduates. Women have taken their rightful place in many professions, if not yet reaching the top in fair numbers. They are no longer denied the opportunity to reach their educational potential and society is better for their participation.

The failure of men to foot it with them educationally in equal numbers is no reason to change the education system or promote men undeservedly. The shortage of partners for highly educated women is a problem only men can solve. Get your credentials, boys.

Moving quickly past the question of whether the education system has changed to favour females and whether women have been promoted undeservedly. . .

Being academic equals might do it for some couples, but it takes a lot more to making a strong and enduring marriage than that.

In real life few marry and live happily ever after. A strong and enduring marriage requires a whole lot more from both partners than can be measured by an academic qualification.

35 Responses to Academic success not only measure of smart

  1. Andrei says:

    Our happiness and contentment is found in the people we share our lives with – primarily our spouse and children.

    Having siblings can be important too in our well being. When I see my girls together if fills my soul with joy

    Having a career is the way we support those things that are important to us but somehow this has been flipped on its head and our careers have become the defining feature of who we are not our families

    Its a dead end of course

    Mark 8:36

    For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

  2. Gravedodger says:

    Any person so shallow as to have an academic qualification level as a trait to be assessed in a partner potential or actual, might as well marry a bank balance or even just a wallet. Not forgetting that many wallets are empty and many bank balances are in overdraft

    Some of the people I have known with degrees and even multiple degrees are total nonces and cannot hold a conversation even on their core study subject/s.

    In my ever humble opinion the core value in any relationship is friendship closely followed by trust, empathy, understanding and consideration.
    When some relationships are examined it is difficult to see a glimmer of any of the above, yet some that should be doomed survive for the myriad of other facets that come into play.

    In my lifetime I have encountered many very smart, articulate wonderful people who did not finish Highschool with School certificate and then there have been some Phd qualified who I wouldn’t cross Cook Strait with and that only takes three and a half hours in the ferry from my life.

    Of course it would be churlish to think the study that regurgitated that cows cud garbage might have been penned by a degree monikered numpty, funded in part by dumb highschool dropouts who can actually work, earn and pay tax.

    That rubbish is right up there with graduates moaning and whinging they cannot get employment because they lack the basic skill of working.

  3. Andrei says:

    You know GD one of the most insidious aspects of this is the level of debt many accue in gaining these, often worthless qualificaions.

    It is easy to begin your working life 40, 50 or even 100 thousand in debt and if you go overseas the interest rates on this debt atr of a level that would make a mafia loan shark blush.

    My kids funded their education working part time, to evade this trap – and it has paid off. Two of their cousins are not so lucky, or were not so forward thinking – one, female is now thirty three and still owes 40 grand, Having children is not in her future I’d posit, short of marrying a very wealthy man to take care of it (a solution that would be an anaethma to feminist thinking though)

    Anyway how can you consider setting up a home and family with such a huge millstone around your neck?

  4. Willdwan says:

    How many of these ‘educated’ women are products of post -modernism and third wave feminism? Most men run screaming from them. Could be part of the problem.

  5. JC says:

    We are starting to recognise but failing to appreciate a disease in the UK and US thats in full swing, ie, over qualification or more bluntly putting lipstick on a pig.

    Think of just about any mundane job and someone somewhere has made it a degree or polytech course. Whilst its affecting both sexes the nature of many female jobs means its likely more prevalent there. We don’t actually need great academic qualifications for cleaning houses, some aspects of caring or clerical work but its still happens and I have been guilty of trying to set up some of these qualifications… largely to make people feel more valued.

    At bottom there’s a degree of snobbery at work and it comes through in this Herald article. Heh, I once worked for a millionaire entrepreneur who had his qualifications on his business card “NFDAA”.. very impressive but it stood for “No F**king Degree At All”.

    As for the marriage or shacking up angle, there are millions of well off small businessmen, plumbers and paperhangers without great educational qualifications who are simply not interested in marrying superficially educated women looking for a sperm donor who can be dumped later on and taken to the cleaners.

    And thats why marriage is at its lowest ebb in more than 100 years.. for men the costs now outweigh the benefits.

    JC

  6. Dave Kennedy says:

    I agree with most of the comments here. While academic qualifications do not ensure future success they do indicate a reasonable level of literacy and the ability to complete tasks. I agree with Gravedodger that other useful traits aren’t measured by degrees but disagree that graduates don’t know how to work. Apart from the very bright, it actually requires a good amount of work and application to complete most degrees.

    I have real concerns that our education system, especially in primary schools, does not serve many boys well. The introduction of National Standards has seen a shift to learning styles and curriculum focus that benefits girls. Research has shown that girls are much stronger than boys in writing and the difference between them in this area actually grows over time. Most assessment now is based on written tasks.

    Terry Crooks used the extensive research from the National Education Monitoring Project some years ago to look at the differences between boys and girls in attainment across different learning areas. Girls came out much stronger than boys in Reading, Writing, Speaking, Music, Art, Listening and Health. Boys were more successful than girls in Science, PE, Maths, Technology, Social Studies, Graphs/Tables/Maps.

    http://nemp.otago.ac.nz/PDFs/probe_studies/04crooks.pdf

    We now have far more women that men in Primary teaching and the current written assessment culture attracts more women to the profession than men. The focus on National Standards and a high level of assessment and data collection has seen a change in teaching and learning in classrooms. Practical, hands on science and technology activities are becoming less common in classrooms and advisors in these subjects have been sacked. Mobile science labs distributed to Southland schools some years ago are collecting dust as few teachers feel confident in using them. Technology teachers in intermediate schools were cut. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/budget-2012/106689/intermediate-schools-angry-at-technology-staff-cuts

    The primary school years are extremely important for forming learning attitudes in children and helping them discover where their talents lie. Our economy desperately needs people competent in science, technology and trades and yet there is little support for these at primary level and we are are failing many boys who have skills that are not being recognised and celebrated as they should. The difference in attainment between boys and girls is higher in NZ than most OECD countries and the suicide levels for our male youth are also amongst the worst in the world. http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/nz-must-address-high-youth-suicide-rates–expert-2015011618#axzz3Z7sWRAnb

    We are destroying our future through a lack of a balanced education system. The fact that we are having to import tradesmen and our procurement policies do not support local manufacturing are a major concern. We used to have a strong workforce of skilled tradespeople (mainly men) and this no longer exists with the gutting of apprenticeships and few opportunities for those with practical skills.

  7. Dave Kennedy says:

    4th paragraph should read “far more women then men”

  8. Dave Kennedy says:

    I should say that I don’t just blame National for this (although National Standards has tipped it over the edge), this was beginning to happen in the 70s when I was in high school. My favourite subjects were technical drawing and woodwork, but because I was also academically able in English etc I was pushed out of practical subjects into more academic ones. My interest levels dropped and i became a little cynical about the value of what I was studying.

    When my son showed a similar interest in graphics and art I encouraged him to follow his passions. He now has a degree in industrial design and is competent in computer design, 3D printing and can even use a sewing machine. The course developed creative abilities and all students had to physically realize their designs using a range of materials, technology and machinery. Interestingly he is finding it hard to get employment that uses his qualifications. He was a top student (Deans commendation in his first year) and yet there are few jobs for his skills available in New Zealand.

    My son is having to look overseas for employment and this is common for many of our graduates who have skills we should be retaining here. We spend too little on R&D and adding value to our abudant resources.

  9. TraceyS says:

    “How many of these ‘educated’ women are products of post -modernism and third wave feminism? Most men run screaming from them.”

    I am probably one of the educated “products” you refer to, Willdwan. My husband sometimes does run screaming, but always comes back 🙂

    Maybe that’s because we’ve successfully managed to marry the academic and the practical. In business, this is a winner. Many small businesses lack either one or the other.

    This imbalance is not a social problem. It’s an opportunity!

  10. TraceyS says:

    “… i became a little cynical…”

    So why did you stay like that, Dave? Surely you’re not still bowing to others’ designs on you?

    I was always free from that. The unexpected gift from hardly-interested teachers and parents. Proof that every cloud has a silver lining and a constant source of optimism. What I lacked in opportunity and encouragement was compensated with freedom.

    “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

  11. pdm says:

    mrspdm and I clocked up 45 years marriage a couple of weeks ago. She left school without sitting School Certificate and I failed miserably with UE. We have done ok with very few dodgy moments – all resolved with a bit of give and take by both of us.

    Despite her lack of qualifications mrspdm successfully managed a branch of a National retail store for 10 years with a core staff of 25 peaking to 35 on occasions and I built up a successful financial services business from scratch from 1986 to 2009.

    As stated by others above practical commonsense will out do academic qualifications most times. Let me give an example.

    During my 18 year banking career at one branch I was in the Manager had to call in the local hospitals medical superintendent 3 or 4 times a year to balance his cheque book for him. This man was a highly qualified surgeon and medical practitioner with academic qualification to burn – but completely devoid of practical nous and commonsense.

  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you do assume a lot. My cynicism was a healthy questioning of being forced to become someone I wasn’t and I have continued to be an independent thinker. I do not have any idea why you feel the need to give me constant advice as if my life is miserable and misdirected. I have had a successful career and have received professional recognition from my peers. I have a happy marriage and have two amazing children. I live comfortably and earn enough to give a reasonable amount to various charities and spend a good deal of my time in voluntary work.

    I do feel concern for my kids and the following generations. Many do not have the opportunities I had and many will have huge battles ahead just to survive. Most will never own their own homes or have a job that will provide financial security. In a country rich with resources and many enjoying extreme wealth, we now have 260,000 children who barely have the necessities of life.

    The Government claims that jobs will deliver families from poverty and yet most families are actually in work but can’t survive on their incomes. Working for Families and the accommodation supplement now costs the country around $3 billion a year. We also need good jobs for our graduates to enable them to quickly pay of their student loans and have enough to buy a basic house. I saw on TV tonight that the cheapest new ‘affordable’ homes being made available in Auckland will cost over $500,000 while the median new house price in the US (not the cheapest) is only $368,000 (NZ).

    We have the fastest growing inequality in the OECD, one of the worst current records for environmental protection and the second worst record for child health and safety (29th out of 30 in OECD). This is our future?
    http://www.3news.co.nz/business/inequality-growing-fastest-in-nz–oecd-2011120621#axzz3Z7sWRAnb
    http://www.niwa.co.nz/publications/wa/water-atmosphere-7-june-2013/qa-is-new-zealand-really-clean-and-green
    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/child-and-youth-health/page-1

  13. TraceyS says:

    It’s just the way you come across, Dave; perpetually pessimistic.

    So here’s an example:

    “The Government claims that jobs will deliver families from poverty and yet most families are actually in work but can’t survive on their incomes.

    Aside from being overly negative and extreme that statement is absolutely untrue. If “most” families were unable to “survive” on their incomes then there really would be a problem!

  14. Dave Kennedy says:

    Not pessimism, just reality Tracey.

    When saying ‘most’ I was actually referring to those deemed in poverty but I can see I wasn’t clear about that. However I could probably say that most young families are struggling to survive on their incomes. All families receiving Working for Families would probably not easily survive it it wasn’t for this wage subsidy.

    http://www.wellingtoncitymission.org.nz/public/mission-for-families/

    http://www.familybudgeting.org.nz/why-are-so-many-of-us-struggling-financially/

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/10681226/More-help-needed-as-families-struggle

  15. Paranormal says:

    Yes DK, but the policies you advocate to fix these perceived wrongs will only make the outcomes worse. A lot of the problems are created by government intervention and tax & spend policies – such as Welfare for families.

  16. TraceyS says:

    “The Government claims that jobs will deliver families from poverty…”

    What does a job mean to an individual?

    Well it means shifting the prospect of escaping poverty from the impossible to the possible. This is a huge leap, not to an end, but to a beginning with light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes the light will not be very bright. The factors contributing to that will often be beyond anyone’s conscious control. However, the less bright the light the less do we need people blocking it with their negativity.

    No one said the task ends with jobs. But try escaping poverty without one. That is the “reality” my friend! That you don’t like it doesn’t make it any less real.

  17. TraceyS says:

    “It’s not the tools that you have faith in – tools are just tools. They work, or they don’t work. It’s people you have faith in or not…” – Steve Jobs

    Policy is just a tool, Dave. You can blame government policy all you like but doing so doesn’t provide any solutions and it doesn’t demonstrate faith in people.

  18. Dave Kennedy says:

    “but the policies you advocate to fix these perceived wrongs will only make the outcomes worse”

    Paranormal, you have not read what I have said in the past. I do not believe that increased welfare is what is needed. We do not need wage subsidies, we need living wages. We do not need subsidised tax credits to polluters and we do not need corporate handouts to likes of Warner Bros, oil companies and Rio Tinto.

    We need to support growing a skilled workforce and spend money on R&D to add value to the raw commodities we mainly export. We need to negotiate fair trade deals, not free trade deals that favour multinationals over our own manufacturers. We also need to change our procurement practices so that we retain our money in our own country and support our skilled workers and our domestic economy.

  19. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, people need good jobs that value the work being done and gives dignity to those doing it. The Government has a duty to support fairness and monitor employment practices. The abuse of migrant workers and the proliferation of zero hour contracts and keeping experienced workers on the minimum wage is degrading and soul destroying. You may support them, but I certainly don’t. I do blame the Government for bad policy, bad law and turning a blind eye to exploitation.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/259693/migrant-workers-%27ripped-off%27

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11351221

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/8985774/Fishing-bill-slated-as-slave-labour

  20. Paranormal says:

    DK – “we need living wages” – and how does that work again?

    You suggest I haven’t read what you’ve written, clearly you haven’t thought about what you’ve written.

    Your second paragraph says it even more – government intervention and trade protectionism worked so well in the past didn’t it?

  21. TraceyS says:

    Dave, perhaps you could point out the “bad policy” which resulted in “proliferation” of zero hour agreements and that keeps experienced workers on minimum wages?

    Please make reference to the actual policy just as I did when pointing out that Green Party policy would make food more expensive and hurt people in poverty.

    Also, do you have evidence of government agencies charged with monitoring employment practices having turned a “blind eye” to worker exploitation?

  22. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey, people need good jobs that value the work being done and gives dignity to those doing it.”

    Of course. But anyone who has started at the bottom will tell you that before they got a “good” job they had a least one sh*t job. I did. Several actually! My dignity survived and was even bolstered by these experiences.

    It’s better to focus on getting everyone into jobs and simultaneously work on expanding the job opportunities – like welcoming oil and gas companies to use Dunedin as their base. You’d support that wouldn’t you Dave?

    Regarding your link on migrant exploitation. I see advocating of behalf of these employees as the important role of unions in our society. The law already provides for their protection. What the truly exploited need is good, affordable, effective representation. The government can’t, and shouldn’t, provide that directly.

  23. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, for market forces to work properly it does need Government intervention to counter the corruption that occurs through monopolies and duopolies and unfair practices. We should also ensure that the external costs of any industry are factored into their input costs and not covered by the taxpayer. For instance research a few years ago estimated that the external costs of the dairy industry (mainly mitigating environmental effects) in Canterbury were around $60 million and much of this was covered by tax and rate payers. I accept that poor Government intervention can also be damaging such as the collapse of Solid Energy through encouragement to borrow and invest in dodgy schemes.

    You implied that I promote more welfare spending for beneficiaries and, while I think that many could do with more support, the cost of supporting our beneficiaries is minimal compared to the increasing drain of superannuation and loss of Government revenue through tax fraud.

    Tracey, I never accused government agencies of turning a blind eye, I accused the Government of this. You can’t tell me that Ministers were not aware of migrant exploitation and the unfairness of zero hour contracts, I have been aware of both for years and passed on information on both. There was little reaction until both received a lot of media attention.

    I certainly worked in a range of jobs and so have my children, but i believe it is unethical to employ an experienced skilled worker on a minimum wage when there is the ability to pay them what they deserve.

    I certainly do not support deep sea oil exploration and drilling, but I would support the extraction and smelting of silica in Southland that has potential to support a growing, clean energy industry. We do have choices. http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/5694815/Big-potential-to-tap-green-technologies

    Sadly most workers do not have a union or cheap legal avenues to counter exploitation. Many feel that complaining will result in unemployment and becoming unemployable. Many employers do not like workers who stick up for themselves. The Government has also cut legal aid.

  24. Paranormal says:

    DK – “for market forces to work properly it does need Government intervention” Whaaaat? You do understand marxism and socialism are failed models wherever they’ve been tried?

    You do also understand that unfair trade practices are illegal don’t you?

    I do agree we should pay good workers more. However you will find that doesn’t happen when unions become involved. Just look at your own beloved NZEI and how little they do for good teachers whilst protecting dud teachers.

  25. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, I am sorry but you are naive to think that the current Government isn’t interventionist. There is a big difference between making all industries state owned and ensuring markets are operating fairly and in the interests of the environment and the wider economy. What on earth do you think caused the global recession?

    Almost 50% of workers last year received no pay increase and all those who were union members did. Your poorly informed rants about NZEI are becoming a little sad. NZEI has done much to reduce the damage being done to education by this Government. Even then we have dropped from around 4th in world education rankings to 23rd in six years.

  26. Paranormal says:

    “What on earth do you think caused the global recession?” – du’oh. It was government intervention in the US banking market. Who do you think created, and why do you think it was called, the sub prime market? This is where your understanding of how the world works is seriously deficient.

    How is paying good teachers more factored into the NZEI award DK?

  27. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    I am a little perplexed by your attitude towards NZ aluminium.

    Let me outline some basic facts that suggest the Green Party should be behind the success of NZ aluminium.

    Aluminium is a light strong metal – often used in the manufacture of energy efficient components. Such as energy efficient transport options to efficient electricity conduction.

    Aluminium requires less energy to manufacture than many other metals, making it energy efficient in manufacturing and relatively cheap.

    NZ aluminium, is manufactured using ‘renewable’ electricity.

    NZ aluminium is some of the highest quality in the world.

    The downfall of NZ aluminium should be considered as a large negative by any green supporter. It is likely that the supply would be replaced by Chinese aluminium, coal energy aluminium. A disaster for the global environment some might say.

    I would encourage you to put any corporate envy you might have aside in preference for supporting environmental outcomes.

  28. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, your ignorance is overwhelming, NZEI managed to negotiate recognition for highly skilled teachers in the last agreement through the Advanced Classroom Expertise Teacher Allowance http://www.nzei.org.nz/acet
    We have also manage to get agreement from the Government and the Ministry for a joint initiative to collect and share good practice rather than have the current push for ideological based change. http://www.nzei.org.nz/joint-initiative

    I’m afraid you have a very twisted view of the causes of the recession, what were all the fraud charges about?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madoff_investment_scandal
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/17/us-usa-doj-banks-idUSBRE9BG1DG20131217

    Mr E please tell me what my objection is towards aluminium, I wasn’t aware I had expressed any.

  29. Mr E says:

    How many examples do you want Dave?

    As above you have been anti government support of NZ aluminium on many many occasions. And there are other examples.

    “We have falling demand for electricity and when Tiwai eventually closes we will have huge abundance of supply. “

  30. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I don’t feel comfortable having to pay bribes to a highly profitable corporate (Rio Tinto) when the smelter is actually producing a high end product that has international value. That $30 million could have done a lot elsewhere. Also we could set up our own silica smelter using the Manapouri power and not be forced to pay bribes to retain employment. Perhaps you are happy to be at the beck and call of multinationals?

  31. Paranormal says:

    Who has a twisted ideological view of the GFC DK? Certainly it must be you if you fail to see the root cause was successive US governments telling banks they had to loan money to people that couldn’t afford to borrow it and then legislated to allow those people to walk away from the debt with no comeback. That is what created what is known as the ‘sub prime’ market.

    The market then does what it does very effectively which is spread the risk. The fraud charges relate to those that sold the risk without full disclosure.

    I wasted my time following your links which were not related to the GFC. Your ignorance of the commercial world is showing if you think Madoffs ponzi scheme caused the GFC.

    The underlying issue is that if US Governments had not interfered in the banking market there would never have been a sub prime problem.

    So NZEI is not protecting dud teachers then? Those dud teachers that drag down the whole supposed profession.

    “rather than have the current push for ideological based change.” DK you are so ideologically blinkered you can’t see the irony in what you write. From the Ministry’s website: “An ACET is a teacher who has shown deep reflection on the needs of learners in their classroom, on their practice and professional development needs, and as a result has implemented effective, culturally responsive, creative and innovative changes in practice.” What about outcomes and results?

    But lets look at this great change your beloved NZEI has brought about. A one size fits all allowance for supposed expert teachers that is only gained through evaluation of a politically correct portfolio by educational experts. Do you really thank that will cut it? Will it stop good teachers leaving a hide bound profession?

    As for the drop in world education rankings – that started well over ten years ago with the Liabour government supported by your Green team experimenting with our childrens’ futures.

    As an aside it is interesting to see my youngest child is now being taught phonics as well as whole word recognition. He will have tools your ideologically driven educationalists did not allow my older childeren to have with their damn the torpedos approach to whole word recognition.

  32. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, Clinton may very well have sparked the GFC by repealing the the Glass-Steagall Act, but all he really did was remove banking regulations and opened the doors to bankers greed.
    http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1877351_1877350_1877322,00.html

    Even now banks and financial institutions claim that more regulation will just stifle growth when in actual fact it is a necessary control for institutions that can’t be trusted. I used Madofff and Merrill Lynch as examples of unrestrained greed and corruption that pervaded at the time.
    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2011/feb/17/inside-job-financial-crisis-bankers-verdicts

    Our big four Australian Banks operate in a similar way as those that crashed, but to a lesser degree. They pay inflated salaries to their CEOs, charge needlessly to inflate profits and illegally avoid tax. Greater regulation of our financial institutions is still desperately needed.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10602014

    Paranormal, I fear that you have had some bad education experiences in your past that has caused you to hate teachers and the profession with such a passion. I would never say that all teachers and nor profession are perfect, no profession is. The truth of the matter is that there are fewer complaints against teachers than any other profession and this supposed widespread support of poor teaching is nonsense. Most teachers genuinely want to do a good job, it is not an easy one and getting harder. If a colleague is struggling and not teaching well it affects all of us. Why on earth would we want to support someone who is potentially harming kids in their care? I actually find your accusations offensive. As a DP I was particularly active in removing a poor teacher from the profession and used NZEI to support me in this. Following good process is important to ensure the right outcome.

    As regards the ACET initiative, again you don’t understand the importance of assessment for teachers, ongoing formative assessments to test teaching effectiveness are crucial to good practice. The ACE Teacher programme was designed so that there was a robust assessment of the teacher’s skills, knowledge and attributes (only the most competent should get it) and the allowance was to encourage good teachers to stay in the classroom where they could make a real difference. Often our best teachers leave the classroom as they take on leadership roles.

    The suggestion that lay people should assess professional qualifications (because the profession can’t be trusted) is nonsense, it wouldn’t be appropriate for doctors or lawyers and it isn’t for teachers either. We also operate under a professional code of ethics that we take seriously. The portfolio that you claim will just be full of politically correct stuff should be full of planning, assessments, observations, examples of children’s work, reflections on practice and examples of PD etc. It should be complex professional evidence of what the teacher is doing. Test marks mean nothing unless they are contextualised.

    Teaching is all about results and outcomes and also ensuring that we understand the child and are meeting their specific needs. What we object to is the narrow criteria being pushed by this Government that does not recognise developmental differences and labels children too early.

    I am pleased that your child is making progress using phonics and whole word recognition, they are useful tools that all teachers should be using. Pure ideology shouldn’t drive a good teacher, their practice should be influenced by evidence. I wonder if you have ever spent time in any school and watched different teachers operating in their classrooms?

    The biggest experiment on children was the crazy National Standards that stopped the proper implementation of our amazing curriculum document (that was research and evidence based). National Standards was being invented at the same time it was being introduced and without any trial. The rate of decline in our education rankings has plummeted under this government from primary through to tertiary level.

  33. Paranormal says:

    Yet again you misunderstand – or is that willful. i don’t hate teachers. What I hate is institutions that promote and protect mediocrity and worse. That is Unions to a tee, particularly NZEI.

    For over 30 years educational ideologues have been experimenting with our children. Phonics is just one example of many. It was particularly bad under a government run by teachers and unionists. You wail about the fall in world standings but are trying to lay it at the current government when it was you and your cronies that are responsible. Only your lot could have brought in things like the disaster that is NCEA and then blame falling standards on the current government. You have no shame.

  34. Dave Kennedy says:

    For Paranormal, a must watch, behind the humour are the realities of where New Zealand is heading: http://www.upworthy.com/did-you-finish-school-before-2002-john-oliver-explains-how-tests-got-a-lot-worse-since-then?c=ufb1

  35. Mr E says:

    “Also we could set up our own silica smelter using the Manapouri power and not be forced to pay bribes to retain employment”

    We? You mean you Dave? Why don’t you?

    If you are suggesting the Government supports it, don’t you mean, the government bribes someone to do it?

    What still perplexes me is you seem happy for the government to support something like a silica plant – because it fits your environmental goals. But the support of NZ aluminium must also fit your environmental goals. It does doesn’t it?

    If that conclusion is true why silica over aluminium, government support or bribery as you call it, will or has happened either way.

    If it is the ‘multinational’ aspect that concerns you, that is bound to happen with silica.

    And yes Dave, I do love many multinationals. I welcome them with open arms when there is mutual benefit. I am not sure why you have such a distain.

    As I look at my computer, I thank goodness for the multinationals that have created much of the resource and technology in it.

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