The best teachers are the best teachers

Oh, this is funny.

The government has announced the framework for its new charter – sorry, “partnership” – schools. The core details?

  • No requirement to teach the national curriculum
  • No requirement to hire trained staff
  • No requirement to pay those staff the negotiated collective rate

The upshot: deunionised schools,

Sounds good.

employing poorly-paid,

Or rather, paid what they are worth. Good staff can be paid more, bad staff less. But remember, this is a bad thing in union land.

unregistered “teachers”

People who want to teach, but haven’t had that desire beaten out of them by a mostly irrelevant 3 year degree.

to teach quack like creationism,

Hate to break it to Idiot, but there are schools today that are required to teach creationism or lose government funding. They’re called integrated Christian schools.

Also, there are these things called other countries where they have never taught the national curriculum… ever!!!!! How horrifying!!!!

all funded with taxpayer’s money, of course.

Of course. Otherwise they’d be private schools, Christian versions of which also exist. They teach creationism too.

The students of such schools will get a second-rate eduction of little relevance to the modern world, while their “sponsors” make off with fat, taxpayer-guaranteed profits.

We’ll come back to the quality question shortly.

As for the idea of a fat profit… like any business that would require the usual – keeping customers happy (i.e. actually teaching well), keeping costs down, and keeping staff happy etc etc. Screw up any of these, and your profits are gone – if in fact you were in it for the profits in the first place.

And naturally, these schools are being trialled in poor areas first.

Strangely, rich areas are already pretty well served with alternatives to the public school system, while the poor state schools are the ones who have the most trouble getting kids to read and write.

But in Idiot’s world, why identify something as a good idea when you can label it a conspiracy?

John Key and his fellow Cabinet cronies would never dream of sending their precious kids to such institutions.

Actually, I think they’d quite happily… Oh wait, Idiot has already criticised them for doing doing exactly that*.

But then, this isn’t about giving kids a good education; its about giving public money to National’s cronies, while locking in the advantages of those at the top.

Ironic that the alternative is to lock the poor kids in state schools. One assumes letting only “rich” kids have alternatives to the state education system is some sort of conspiracy to destroy the education of the upper classes.

I don’t see how that would work though.

Oh, and according to Idiot, National’s cronies are only interested in polluting, not running schools. Schools generally don’t pollute much, so I guess it’ll be other cronies, or maybe people who aren’t even cronies at all who take on the task of forcing this horrible choice of poor non-unionsed creationists on the poor but superbly well-educated kids of South Auckland and East Christchurch.

Nanaia Mahuta hits it on the head:

“You wouldn’t let an untrained doctor treat your child, or let anyone design your house. So why do John Banks and Hekia Parata think it is okay to have untrained teachers in front of children in our school’s classrooms?”

Its a fascinating question, and I’d love to see the answer to it.

I almost laughed when I saw that. It’s supposed to be a rhetorical question, one without an answer. But instead, it has a very good answer indeed. So it fails in it’s purpose. I guess it’s safe to say that Mahuta isn’t a qualified rhetorical question writer, or she’d have picked up the issue.

See, were you stuck on an Island with your family, you wouldn’t attempt surgery on your child. Of course not. You would actually design your house yourself **, though you’d be careful to stick to your limits.

But you’d education your children without the slightest hesitation! So why does Nanaia Mahuta and Idiot/Savant think that untrained teachers are somehow going to be a blight on our eduction system?

The fact is, untrained teachers already teach in this country. I know quite a few. As a rule, they do/have done a better job than either a state or even a private school would have done – sometimes vastly better. And when they find themselves doing a worse job, they send their kids back to state or private school.

That’s right, teaching is the only profession where you can get better results after you remove the professionals. Police, doctors, nurses are always better if trained in the profession. Teachers are not.

That’s not to say that teachers are worthless. Not at all. They have their place, as does teacher training. But let’s not get carried away and ignore simple reality – the best teachers are the ones that teach well and enjoy doing it, regardless of whether they have a scrap of paper that says they are qualified.
Bring on charter schools I say. They can only help.
* The only real difference between charter schools and private schools is who pays. We already allow many of the freedoms being complained about – in fact, (sigh) Idiot’s probably complained that there’s no need to introduce charter schools because of that.
** What’s with that? Does Mahuta seriously think no one designs their own house? That’s just sad.


  1. When people use the “untrained teachers” argument, they insult nearly every parent who has homeschooled their children (most, like my wife and myself, are not trained). This is despite the evidence that homeschooled kids do better in nearly every education metric – often better than private schooling. I have two university educated daughters who nicely demonstrate that untrained teachers can be the equal of a trained teacher.

  2. Some times also untrained teachers are more qualified in the subject matter than trained teachers. A person with a Masters in english who has not done a teaching diploma would in terms of subject knowledge be more qualified than many english teachers.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: