Kelvin Smythe is a long standing educationalist and the driving force behind the Developmental Network Magazine. Kelvin still comments on educational matters (ht: ianmac), but the magazine has become a blog, Networkonnet. His latest entry is an interesting read:
Revolt in ministry
There has been a revolt in the ministry.
On Friday, a senior ministry official from the Auckland office refused, on moral grounds, to take instruction from Karen Sewell to organise ministry officials to ring schools about their declared stance on national standards. …
There were scenes of consternation in the Auckland office and, judging from the communications received from Karen Sewell, near panic in the Wellington one.
The Auckland office was supposed to swing into action with the first stages of the ‘Escalation Process when Schools are Not Implementing National Standards’. (A copy was obtained under the Official Information Act.) The first stage involves ringing up the principal and board of trustees in a manner deliberately intended to be threatening. The action of the senior ministry official meant the bureaucratic stand-over tactics were seriously delayed in Auckland. …
It is clear the brave senior ministry official is well informed as are most principals about the harm national standards (of any stripe) do to children. The literature from overseas is indisputable. …
That senior ministry official also knows the ‘Escalation’ process for what it is – bureaucratic bullying, and anti-New Zealand.
Shame on you Sewell and Chamberlain: all hail the senior ministry official. May your example further inspire us.
I’ll add my vote of thanks to the unnamed official who is not prepared to participate in this shameful campaign. It is bravely done. So much easier to keep your head down and “just follow orders”. But these orders are wrong. National standards are likely to damage children and they are being forced down our throats by a dangerously deluded government.
240 schools so far have said no, and now there is internal dissent in the Ministry.