With legislation passed, it is now full steam ahead for EDUCANZ to replace the New Zealand Teachers Council. In response to this, the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) is proposing a boycott of EDUCANZ and has asked all branches to run a ballot on this idea.
Why boycott? It is a flawed legislation. Teachers can no longer vote for representation on their own professional body, the aspirational code of ethics is being replaced with a patronising code of conduct and has a major focus on auditing teacher appraisal processes. Although, to be honest, I do see the positive side of auditing appraisal processes as well – how many of these are actually being done as a tick box affair as compared to operating in a way that helps us improve as professionals? Still a boycott would aim to build public pressure to force changes to the legislation.
We will still, however, all have to pay EDUCANZ to renew our teacher registration (and early signs are that fees will rise quite a bit) as it is illegal for us to be in the classroom without this. So effectively, if we boycott EDUCANZ we will give them money to complete their aims but remove any possibility of our voice having an influence in what that aim looks like in practice.
What is the aim of EDUCANZ?
And more succinctly:
So with clearly stated aims of strengthening teaching and investing in leadership and quality teaching, they will be doing this based upon the membership money paid to them by teachers. When the Ministry of Education review of Professional Learning and Development is completed, there is the possibility that EDUCANZ will also take over the direction of PLD for NZ teachers.
This is where I see the boycott not only being a worthless exercise but actually being completely nonsensical. EDUCANZ would have our money and be able to go about their business without any chance of us being on the Board or even being able to add our voice into the consultation processes that the Board would run.
As Claire Amos pointed out in her exceptional blog post last night there is every possibility that even if PPTA boycotts engagement with EDUCANZ, it could still survive and we will be left with no chance of having a voice.
I have no current aspiration to be on the Board of EDUCANZ as I have enough on my plate at the present time. I do, however, strongly wish to have the chance to be represented by people who share similar views to me on education (sure Parata may not select anyone that I agree with but we certainly have more chance than if we don’t make any nominations). And I definitely want to be able to take part in consultation processes that could have an impact on how my money is used, my profession represented and direction set for what professional learning is funded in NZ.
p.s. Disclaimer: I have always belonged to PPTA as a teacher and am currently a Branch Chair