Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Thought needed on evaluation of Teachers and Principals

23 January 2014

“The creation of hundreds of new Expert and Lead Principal and Teacher positions couldn’t have come sooner,” says Steve Thomas. “The new positions will not only give classroom teachers new roles to which to aspire, they will also further fuel research-informed teaching and learning.”

“Shanghai—which has the highest performing education system on the planet, according to the OECD PISA test—has been using this approach to build the leadership and capacity to reflect on which practices are effective in the classroom.”

But sound evaluations are needed to ensure the proposals deliver on the improvements in teaching quality and pupil achievement that have been promised.

For instance, according to Thomas, “Big questions remain about how the impact of these new teachers will be measured over time, and whether, and to what level, the proposals will be proven effective. A tenure of two years will not be long enough to judge whether a teacher had any discernible effect on a cohort of pupils.”

In firming up the details of how the new principals and teachers will be appointed, it would behove those in charge to design the process with evaluation in mind.

“Rather than committees appointing all applicants to these positions, it would be good if, at least initially, some could be randomly allocated to teachers within schools, or perhaps across similar schools, so that the true effect of the initiative could be observed,” says Thomas.

Question are also worth asking about how the allowances that have been announced today will be awarded to teachers.

“Will the money be dished-out automatically, or will teachers be paid-out the allowance depending on appraisals over the tenure of their appointment against the professional standards that will be developed this year?” asks Thomas. “The way the allowances are paid could have an effect on whether they induce the higher performance that the Government—and the public—wants to see.”


Steve Thomas is a New Zealand PhD Scholar at The Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy, studying the impact of educational entrepreneurs in New Zealand.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news