Appalling Statistics on Teacher Recruitment
4 February 2008
APPALLING STATISTICS ON TEACHER RECRUITMENT SHOW NEED FOR URGENT ACTION
“It is no surprise that results of a new education survey show that 73 percent of teachers who made the shortlist for jobs late last year were of “poor” or “very poor” quality, when the current education system prevents state schools from being able to make teaching more attractive as a career,” says Steve Thomas, Maxim Institute Researcher.
“The current situation is an indictment of our attitude to one of the most important professions in our country. It is simply unacceptable that these sorts of statistics are allowed to continue. With most teachers’ salaries set by the central bureaucracy and the teacher unions, there is little scope for salary rates to reflect a teacher’s actual ability. It is little wonder then that research shows that teaching is no longer seen as a high status career by most New Zealanders,” says Steve Thomas.
“Given the urgency of the situation, increasing pay for able teachers must be considered to improve the standard of tuition our country’s children receive. Schools need the freedom to reward good teachers in the way they deserve.
“With teachers contributing as much as 30 percent to the variance in achievement outcomes for pupils it is important that we pay them in a way that recognises their skill level. Research shows that being paid better for the valuable work they do is at the top of the list of changes teachers would want to make to the education system.
“The teacher-supply problem is a serious one that is only going to get worse with other countries attracting New Zealand’s graduates overseas. We should not be satisfied with a system which puts mediocre teachers in front of many of our children,” says Steve Thomas.
“Giving schools the freedom to pay teachers in a way that recognises their true worth is not only inherently just, it also treats our principals and teachers with the level of respect they deserve. If we want our teaching profession to be outstanding then we must be able to attract and reward outstanding teachers, recognising the vital role they play in our society,” says Steve Thomas.