What more can a principal do?
Parents, are your children lazy, disruptive in class,into trouble, even into crime? Well, now you have a new candidate to blame. Stop accusing the teachers. You can now blame the principal. And it works. Just ask Tim Foy, school principal at Huntly College.
The suits in Wellington have lost complete confidence in Foy who has been at the college for 13 years. Apparently Foy’s crime was a poor record of student achievement. He wasn’t ‘‘accelerating student progress’’ sufficiently, according to the Education Ministry report, and we all know that acceleration is what matters.
Yes, Foy has failed in the acceleration stakes and been unsuccessful in raising the standard of pass grades at the college and that’s enough to earn him the chop. It’s Foy’s fault that
the pupils are bad learners and have not come up to the mark. And it is marks that count in this new world of NCEA pass rates.
Numbers are all that matters and they can be easily counted by the bean counters who’ve never set foot in a classroom.
According to the principal, he gave his all, 24/7, in a low-decile school, even to the extent of supporting, tellingly, students in Youth Court. But that wasn’t good enough and doesn’t count with those who can only count beans.
Nor was the fact that this man put up his own money ($500) as reward to catch thieves who had repeatedly stolen from the school, the most recent being the theft of 18 mountain bikes, replacement for others stolen earlier in the year.
Students used the bikes for sport to gain NCEA credits. Maybe that’s why the ‘‘acceleration’’ rate was down.
No excuse, according to the Education Review Office (ERO). Nor was the fact that the school had to spend a precious $20,000 just fixing up vandalism this year alone, money that could have gone into educational resources.
I can’t imagine many prospective principals lining up for Mr Foy’s job.
But I can imagine that principals in the Waikato will be sweating a little more profusely under their collars now and driving teachers even harder in a world where education has become all about grades and pass rates. They’ve become the be-alland-end-all in education circles and the proof of that is the fact that they have started publishing them.
It’s not surprising then that there is a crisis in the teaching profession with fewer individuals wanting to take up the mantle of teacher. There are even jokes doing the rounds about teachers becoming endangered species and needing DOC intervention. Who’d want a job where your boss is breathing down your neck day and night, screaming ‘‘MORE GRADES!’’ ‘‘BETTER!’’ ‘‘FASTER!’’ because his/her job is on the line over numbers?
It breeds toxic environments which are ultimately counterproductive. Here’s what you had to say on Facebook about Huntly College’s idea to build shipping container homes. Theresa Rangirereata: How cool !! Cant wait to see the end result Email letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
Former Huntly College principal Tim Foy.