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Nats don’t believe their own education policy

Written By: - Date published: 12:26 pm, August 7th, 2012 - 28 comments
Categories: education, john key, national, schools - Tags: ,

Square this circle for me if you can. Hekia Parata:

Focus on quality will raise achievement

Education Minister Hekia Parata today said the National-led Government’s focus on teaching quality will raise achievement and ensure our young people get the skills they need to reach their potential. … “The single most important thing we can do to raise achievement is to improve teaching quality.”

John Key:

Key: Don’t worry about unqualified teachers

Prime Minister John Key says people should not be “hung up” on the fact that teachers without qualifications will be able to teach New Zealand children at charter schools.

Like their inconsistency on the importance of national standards, the Nats want you to believe two different things for them. Even Nat cheerleader John Armstrong is moved to comment:

So you need better teachers in traditional state schools, but not in partnership schools? The logic is hard to suss.

Armstrong also notes Key’s answer to a question regarding his own choices:

John Key gave the wrong answer when asked on Friday whether he would have happily sent his children to a charter school. His instant and firm “yes” when put on the spot was the natural reflex of a politician …

Like Key’s infamous preference for small class sizes for his own children, the school that he has chosen states that “King’s College is committed to employing well qualified staff”. What parent wouldn’t want that for their kids? Only the poor targeted by charter schools, apparently. Tim Watkin at Pundit sums up:

Charter schools & mixed messages — is this an intelligent design?

…The government announced more details this past week — the schools will be called partnership schools (although I don’t seen anyone rushing to use that new moniker) and those employed to teach the kids will be able to be unregistered and unqualified. The schools will be free to innovate, which means able to go right off curriculum. And they’ll be able to be run for profit. This new type of school will appear in 2014.

The government insists none of the obvious concerns that stem from that are anything to worry about because they’ll all be strictly monitored. But that won’t stop the teacher unions pointing out the risks to teaching quality and child safety that comes from letting just any old Tom, Willie or Harriet take over a classroom.

None of those launching this policy did so with any real gusto, however. You see, it’s awkward for all and sundry.

Education minister Hekia Parata flew in from Samoa to be at the announcement, but she was perfunctory in her comments, eager to hand over to her associate minister John Banks.

National is fulfilling its coalition duty here — charter schools was what ACT really, really wanted from Santa after the election — but they seem to be lying back and thinking of England on this one. Just look at how Key stressed any failing charter schools would be quickly closed down. Parata was refusing interviews saying this was just a tiny part of her portfolio covering no more than a handful of schools.

The big tangle for the government is that just a few months ago it was dying in a ditch over teacher quality. That was SO important, it said, that class sizes had to be sacrificed to ensure better trained teachers.

Just weeks later, it’s relaxed about entirely untrained folk teaching our kids. At the same time its spent years fighting for national standards, which compel schools to focus on reading, writing and maths at the expense of art, science and the rest.

Now, all of a sudden, breadth and innovation is a good thing and if some schools want to ignore the curriculum altogether and teach lots of meditation or culture, well that’s just super.

And what about child safety? Back in February Parata was shocked when a convicted sex offender was found to have worked in schools. You might think she’d be feeling the pressure from parents to have a closer eye on who gets to care for kids in schools, not loosening the rules.

You can understand why National’s not exactly singing this from the rafters.

The Nats don’t believe in their own education policy. Although they’re using ACT as an excuse, they have no need to pander to the walking corpse of that party. It can only be about diverting public money to private enterprise. As usual it is the kids who will suffer.

28 comments on “Nats don’t believe their own education policy”

  1. Kotahi Tāne Huna 1

    Just one question: given that Key knew more about it than Banks from the outset, can we drop the pretence that Charter schools are an ACT policy?

    • Phaedrus 1.1

      Yes please. It is known that the plans for charter schools were being developed in 2009 and were certainly well in place when the present Secretary for Education was appointed.

  2. Rodel 2

    Q: Who said, “Under no circumstances will we as a government allow our children to be exposed to unregistered and unqualified teachers in New Zealand schools.” ?
    A: No-one so far.

    Just had a thought…It could be John Banks teaching your kids one day.

  3. Georgy 3

    national in govt do not have an education policy. They have a bungle of haphazard events.

    Charter schools were always nationals hidden agenda – and as an unpalatable policy they used Act to promote them.

    I think we are going to look back on this period of national in govt with amazement at the stupidity of how they have gone about things and disbelief that they could simply implement policy through edict.

    What a farcical lot.

    • Gosman 3.1

      What policy have they implemented simply via edict?

      • North 3.1.1

        The point that’s being made is that National rides into town, declares this, that, and the other thing broken…….implements “reforms”, spinning to the max about the wonderful results which will flow, while publicly denouncing practitioners in the area declared to be broken.

        Nek minnit………cock-up. The criminal legal aid “reforms” are a prime example. We were told that the changes would not only retain experienced lawyers within the criminal legal aid system but (get this) greater numbers of experienced lawyers would be attracted to criminal legal aid practice.

        Actual result……….many, many experienced criminal legal aid lawyers are ceasing legal aid practice. Only an idiot would contemplate joining. The criminal legal aid system is in crisis.

        The reverse of that which was promised is the current reality. In fact, it was so obvious that this would be the outcome I can only conclude that the public were cynically, deliberately lied to. I also wonder how much this own goal crap has cost to implement. I’m guessing it would be massive. To turn a silk purse into a sow’s ear. How clever of them all.

    • Gosman 3.2

      What policy have they implemented simply via edict?

      Interesting double post there. I thought there was code in place to stop that sort of thing happening.

      • mike e 3.2.1

        Gosman it doesn’t work with you you just keep spouting your same mantra and then shoot your self in thge foot aim a little higher and put yourself out of your misery

      • tracey 3.2.2

        can you explain the apparent contradictions of the govt on education as referred to in the opening post?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      national in govt do not have an education policy. They have a bungle of haphazard events.

      That’s true of everything that NACT does and is, IMO, symptomatic of their ideological bias is policy formulation.

  4. Georgy 4

    BTW Banks would not have the intellectual capacity to understand something as complex as education policy. He simply relies on a few easy to remember catchphrases. And repeats them. Repeats them ! ! !

  5. Dr Terry 5

    Banks simply has no intellectual capacity, full stop! Key, as is increasingly common, wants to have things both ways. Charter Schools will employ every kind of crank to indoctrinate kids in fearsome philosophies!
    Let’s face it, the Tories fear an educated and enlightened populace. Consequently, their “policies”are anti educationalists (plus anti the interests of little children).

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 5.1

      re: “anti the interests of little children”

      This from the crimes act 1961:

      Defence against assault
      48Self-defence and defence of another
      Every one is justified in using, in the defence of himself or another, such force as, in the circumstances as he believes them to be, it is reasonable to use.
      Section 48: substituted, on 1 January 1981, by section 2(1) of the Crimes Amendment Act 1980 (1980 No 63).

  6. Sunny 6

    Anyone else see Rupert Murdoch’s fingerprints on this?

  7. captain hook 7

    what I cant fathom is how they can go around telling everyone that they are going to teach the worst kids with the cheapest teachers.
    I wish they would tell us all how they are going to accomplish that.
    and listening to banks on the radio the other day he was going on about charter schools being part of the defence force.
    I would like to hear what the defence department has to say about this too.

  8. captain hook 8

    dont flatter yourself.
    double posts mean you have just got a slippery finger.
    thats all.
    If you want rigid rules and a bit of stiffening then join a fascist party.

  9. I understand this will be rolled out in the South Auckland Schools.

    Already you see John Keys government do not think it necessary to educate South Auckland kids, better to train them to go straight into the army, and who better to train them to look towards the army for a carreer that a heroic VC holder.
    This is very necessary as Americans don’t want their own sent to wars anymore so they have to cast around to find replacements to fight Americas wars for them.

    Remember America must have a war, their economy depends upon making the machines of war, if they don’t use them they can’t continue to make them, if they do not make them there is a whole pool of unemployed people in America.

  10. marsman 10

    Didn’t we have an article by Catherine Isaac in the DomPost very recently claiming loudly that Charter Schools were not ‘for profit’? Merely neoliberal-speak.

  11. Tracey 11

    So in a nutshell, two men who sent their children to schools with low pupil teacher ratios and highly qualified teachers think it’s a great idea for other people’s children to have high class numbers and non qualified teachers?

    So when the nats are speaking in parliament, the opposition benches need to heckle them, particularly on education. Better still call out Perata to a debate on the crucial issue of the direction of NZ education, and then use the opening post in this thread as the basis of stripping down their lies/contradictions/BS. They won’t debate because they are defending the indefensible and actually dont care as much about education as they do about bottom lines.

  12. Tracey 12

    Can someone give me an example of a Tui sign having a go at National or Act? I have a vague recollection of one, but am not sure. I know they have had a go at Len Brown in Auckland from time to time.

    I ask because

    higher class numbers are good for kids Yeah Right never got done

  13. Cnut 13

    ” School reform has generated a marketplace, and a profitable one at that. Michelle Rhee’s standard fee is $50,000 an appearance, plus expenses. In Michigan, Clark Durrant is paid over half a million dollars a year to run five charter schools. Eva Moskowitz, Geoffrey Canada and Deborah Kenney all make between four and five hundred thousand a year running their New York City charter school organizations.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/principals-our-struggle-to-be-heard-on-reform/2012/08/06/f459fc74-dff5-11e1-8fc5-a7dcf1fc161d_blog.html#pagebreak

    • Rodel 13.1

      Cnut..the Washington Post article you cited says it all. Should be read by everyone concerned about proposed changes in our education system.
      a quote from the article…….
      “……Speakers at the conference identified several promising arenas for privatization. Education entrepreneur John Katzman urged investors to look for companies developing software that can replace teachers for segments of the school day, driving down labor costs. How do we use technology so that we require fewer highly qualified teachers?” asked Katzman, who founded the Princeton Review test-prep company and now focuses on online learning…..”

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    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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