Today’s Herald editorial explores Auckland Grammar’s decision to ditch NCEA in favour of the Cambridge exams and the support this elitism, which undermines the NCEA system, has received from Anne Tolley. Never shy to give helpful advice to its favoured PM, the Herald tells Key it’s time to rid himself of the incompetent Tolley.
An incidental and regrettable aspect of the furore has been the predictable invisibility and silence of Minister Anne Tolley. Characteristically, she initially issued an anodyne statement through a spokesman, reiterating her support for NCEA. It took her the entire week to front the press.
Having been stripped of responsibility for tertiary education and having alienated most primary schools over “national standards”, she has surely earned the right to surrender her ministerial warrant. In an election year, such a poor performer in such a key portfolio is a liability John Key can do without.
Tolley’s incompetence and her pig-headed combativeness against every expert group, including the teachers’ unions, is putting our education system at risk.
Her flagship policy, National Standards, undermines genuine education in favour of a box-ticking exercise that will eventually be used as a basis for paying teachers on how well the kids do in the tests – a system that encourages teaching to the test and falsification of results.
Tolley was relieved of tertiary education because she wasn’t up to the job. To be allowed to retain early childhood, primary, and secondary education as if they are somehow less important is a disgrace.
Will Key act or won’t he? Given his past record on incompetent and corrupt ministers, I think we know the answer.