Hello again everyone.
The news this week was dominated with the US presidential election. Barack Obama won a second term and the Republicans didn’t know what to do. What will this mean for public education in the United States? Joy Resmovits at the Huffington Post suggests any plans aren’t clear yet. She does mention the creation of the “Race to the Top” programme where teachers are evaluated based on the test scores achieved by their students. She also mentions Obama spending billions on hiring teachers as part of his stimulus package. Some will read this article and see positives and negatives.
Back in New Zealand the Novopay problems continued. Principals have now begun billing the ministry for time spent trying to sort out ongoing payroll problems. The Herald also report that the system is preventing principals from submitting next year’s staffing budget. This has been topped off over the weekend with a story from Kelsey Fletcher of Fairfax highlighting the privacy concerns with the new system. The administration officer at Marshall Laing School at one point she could not only access banking and personal information of teachers from other schools, but she could have changed it as well. Hekia Parata has passed the Novopay issue on to Associate Education Minister Craig Foss who is presumably now Minister for Novopay. Expect more news on this with another pay cycle due on Wednesday.
Also this week there was some “good” news for Christchurch with Hekia Parata, Education Minister, announcing plans to merge 2 girls’ and 2 boys’ schools were off the table. The media reported this to be a u-turn but Parata has sold it differently. She says she has never received proposal for the mergers of Christchurch Boys and Shirley Boys and Avonside Girls and Christchurch Girls so she can’t back-down from something that wasn’t actually proposed in the first place. As expected, teachers from schools who are still facing closure or merger are suggesting that this is the minister showing she is listening to the community. It seems there could be some hope for Christchurch schools.
Have a good week.