LB: The Destruction of New Zealand’s Public Education System

Written By: - Date published: 3:11 pm, March 27th, 2014 - 20 comments
Categories: education, Hekia parata, schools - Tags:

This post by bsprout was on LocalBodies during the weekend. It needs a wider exposure.

In 2008 New Zealand was internationally ranked in the top seven for educational achievement, and when you compared us with other countries that were also culturally diverse and were experiencing growing inequality we were extremely successful.

At that time our Early Childhood sector had received a much overdue boost in funding from the Labour Government after being underfunded (as a % of GDP) compared to other OECD nations for years. The sector was working towards a target of having 100% qualified teachers in all centres.

We were also in the process of implementing a new National Curriculum and a complimentary curriculum for Maori (Te Marautanga o Aotearoa). Teachers were excited about putting all their energies into the new ideas and approaches that were espoused in these co-constructed documents that had taken around seven years to review and write. Evidence, research and practitioner input had created something that would allow us to prepare New Zealand children to become resilient in a rapidly changing world.

We were just on the cusp of something great when an election occurred…

A National led Government was elected and New Zealand’s public education system came under heavy attack:

Despite the serious damage already done to New Zealand’s education sector this Government is not letting up, they will not be happy until they have complete ideological control and can shut down professional engagement completely. They are planning to do away with the current Teachers Council and replace it with a new authority (EDUCANZ) that will be led by those approved and appointed by the Minister only, with little professional input. The Education Amendment Bill (No2) is currently being progressed through parliament that will support the ongoing restructuring of the system.
Hekia Parata is also considering wiping the current support for lower decile schools and shift extra funding to those schools that perform well in National Standards. The head of the EDUCANZ transition board John Morris has recently produced a paper that suggests teachers should be paid based on the attainment of their students.
This government is destroying our amazing collaborative, holistic public education system that recently led the world. They are determined to implement systems that have failed spectacularly overseas. Professional knowledge based on evidence should lead education, not political ideology. What angers me the most is what is being denied to our most vulnerable children when they should be the real focus of spending and any systemic change.

 

20 comments on “LB: The Destruction of New Zealand’s Public Education System”

  1. Will@Welly 1

    Spectacular. Why take something so efffing amazing and completely bugger it, unless the filthy hand of money was at play??
    This Government will be remembered as a Government of Greedies, but when a replacement comes into power, will it have the fortitude and desire to change things. We saw that with Helen Clark. So many of the reforms of the Bolger/Shipley Government were allowed to stand, that this Government has been able to build easily on those “reforms”.
    Our education system was never perfect, but on the whole it worked. This Government has no idea what it wants, just the money – even if the system is rubbish. That is not good enough. Our children, and those who will follow, deserve better.

    • whatever next? 1.1

      the elite need the masses to expect very little from life, and be thankful for the opportunity to serve. Education would make that impossible, hence crap TV, and declining education. People who grow up now will know no different.

  2. Derry Gordon 2

    Not least in NACT motivation in matters Education is their wish to attack the teacher Unions – among the strongest in the country (by numbers and by percentage coverage). Their continued existence and strength really gets up the noses of conservatives!

  3. karol 3

    Excellent posts. And the most crucial data in the post is this:

    After five years under National, New Zealand’s international ranking plummets to as low as 23rd.
    Internationally regarded research reveals New Zealand schools are suffering serious harm under the National Standards regime.

    All the rest of the evidence shows what caused this to happen.

    Team Key are just not interested in having a well educated public.

  4. Tracey 4

    prince edward was a tutor at wanganui collegiate. he shoulda asked his mum to help them out.

  5. captain hook 5

    the new right is psychopathically against anything done by a government. They have imported this view from the idiotes in the U.S.A. where it is much easier to galvanise opinion against any government but they seem to be succeeding here because no one has the nous to go against them. At present the education system is being demolished by a gang of lowbrows who think they know everything just because they have some money. Infantilism to the max and the grinning apes in the media just sit back and let it happen under a spurious pretext of ojectivity. I’m disgusted.

    • Tracey 5.1

      except for tax payer funded bailouts and subsidies for corporates, the new right love stealing from the poor to give to tge rich

    • miravox 5.2

      +1 This government is totally focused on those education systems in the English-speaking world that provide excellent education for those who can pay the most, i.e. the US and UK. In the last couple of years reading some of the stuff that Michael Gove is putting in place is like reading a prelude to what will happen in NZ.

      The development and implementation of policy is so muddled I’m sure it would be quite easy to replicate this random policy generator for the NActs, However, it does hide the more serious calculated destruction of equitable access to good education for all children.

    • Johnm 5.3

      100% right captain hook

  6. RedLogix 6

    Wrong title.

    National’s education program has been a roaring success and is on a trajectory to achieve every goal they want.

    • JanM 6.1

      Very perspicacious, RedLogix, the right do not want an educated population. Being able to think critically is inclined to stop you voting against your own best interests

    • lprent 6.2

      Cynic. Perhaps they should articulate their goals? Something that they have been noticeably reticent about.

  7. ropata 7

    sysadmin: this needs to be a sticky for a few days, and replace the dotcom distraction

    • lprent 7.1

      I’d agree. I’ve been holding off putting it up since the weekend looking for a good time to insert it. However it has been a noisy week.

      • karol 7.1.1

        We also have some demos coming up tomorrow – TPP and the NZEI one for a Living Wage.

  8. Philj 8

    Xox
    Thank you for your post. Glad my kids are through the education system. Sad for those currently in it. There is a murky scheme to smash the teacher unions, from above. Split them by paying the ‘elite’ ones more. Very clever. Then there’s National Standards, Charter Schools, more funding for Private Schools. The old sistem wurked finee fur me. Tho not purfekd.

  9. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    So, apart from closing Charter schools and ditching National’s standards, what will the next government do to repair this vandalism, and how will they punish the vandals?

  10. mac1 10

    Teachers are to lose their voice on the new Minister appointed Teachers’ Council. Students and staff lose their voices on University Council. Only the elite and their minions will be heard.

    Government is not of the people any more. It is “Government by the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%.”

    And Derry Gordon above…… yes, you are right. A new tactic from above to break the teacher unions which have been generally popular with the public and able to resist previous attacks.

    The outcomes sought are a compliant and tamed teacher work force, compliant and tamed students to make up a work force suitable to serve the elite and their needs and a union-free economy designed to allow the elite access to profit and power inverse to their numbers.

    The rest of us can join the precariat, living from week to week, entertained by Sky TV and sport, and educated just enough to be useful.

  11. captain hook 11

    lprent.
    The new right wont articulate their goals. They know that they are a cankerous growth on the whole of humanity and they like to keep thier goals secret or undefined so that they and their group know what they are talking about but everyone else is kept in the dark until they have manged to gouge the money from the public purse.
    And the thing is they think they can reserve education and other public goods for themselves exlusively.
    It was good to hear the Teachers Union making a noise about charter schools on the news this a.m. but they have to get the blowtorch out.
    If you read the sports pages you can get half a page asking all-blacks inane questions about their personal lives but in the op-ed or the opinion pages nary a skerrick of examination about the goals and financing of charter schools and the leeches behind them.
    The new right want FREEDOM from taxation but they also want FREEDOM to loot the taxpayer.
    They are as crooked as hell.

  12. captain hook 12

    I see heka paratai mouthng off in the dompost this morning. Here is a woman who can hardly read, doesn’t understand the meaning of a dialectic and has only one credo and that is my way or the highway yet she has the gall to tell trained teachers how they should proceed.
    Fair is foul and foul is fair.
    time she went and her dissembling dissimulations with her.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Public support keeps Healthy Homes Bill on track
    The strong call from the public for warm, dry, healthy rentals has helped the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill to pass its second reading, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 hour ago
  • More proof National not delivering for New Zealanders
    The Ministry of Social Development’s latest Household Incomes Report is more hard evidence of the growing poverty in New Zealand, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National claims to be delivering for New Zealanders. This report puts the lie ...
    2 days ago
  • Strong support from medical community for Healthy Homes Bill
    More than a thousand medical professionals, medical students, and other New Zealanders have shown their support for Labour’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour will fund Buller Health Centre
    A Labour Government will fully fund the Buller Integrated Family Health Centre in Westport, confirming its commitment to the people of the West Coast and the role of central government to fund essential public services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s affordable promise for Auckland more smoke and mirrors
    The 26,000 additional houses National plans to build in Auckland on public land over the next decade include fewer than 5,000 affordable homes, while more than 60 per cent will be available for speculators to buy, says Leader of the ...
    2 days ago
  • National out of touch over immigration
    National’s abrupt backflip on their recently-announced changes to immigration shows they never understood the problem and just came up with a confused knee jerk response, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Regional communities and businesses were quite right to ...
    3 days ago
  • English out of touch on homelessness
    Bill English’s comments that he doesn’t know why people are complaining about the blowout in the number of homeless families the government is putting up in motels just shows how tired and out of touch National is after nine years, ...
    3 days ago
  • All Kiwis to have same standard of cancer care
    Labour is promising that all New Zealanders will have access to the same level of cancer care no matter where they live in the country, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “As someone who has survived cancer I ...
    4 days ago
  • Infrastructure announcement too long coming
    “What took you so long?” is Labour’s response to the Government’s announcement of a new infrastructure investment vehicle. Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says Labour announced its policy in 2015 to debt-finance infrastructure and service that debt with targeted ...
    4 days ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    National has no idea how to house the record number of people entering New Zealand, let alone cope with the pressure on health, education, and transport from this record population growth, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour to invest $4 billion in education
    Labour’s Education Manifesto will bring positive change across the education sector and is backed by a massive investment, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Labour’s plan will see an extra $4 billion invested over the next four years. It’s organised ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s shame: worst homelessness in the OECD
    National’s legacy is a housing crisis that has given New Zealand the worst homeless rate in the developed world, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour taking action on school donations
    Labour will end so-called voluntary school donations for the majority of parents across the country under its $4 billion plan to revitalise the education sector, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Labour has always been committed to a world-class free education ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour to work with Queenstown to build more houses
    Labour will work with Queenstown-Lakes District Council, iwi, and the Community Housing Trust to build the modern, affordable housing Queenstown desperately needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    7 days ago
  • Nats blow the Budget on motels after bowling state houses
    National is spending $140,000 a day putting homeless families in motels, the legacy of nine years of selling off and knocking down state houses, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    7 days ago
  • New revelations in Joanne Harrison report
    The State Services Commission’s report into the treatment of whistle-blowers by Joanne Harrison has revealed new accusations against the convicted fraudster, says Labour MP Sue Moroney.  “The report found that four staff inside the Ministry of Transport who had raised ...
    7 days ago
  • Snafu at Princess Margaret
    Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “The Government must accept that Christchurch is still recovering ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s fiscal plan to build a fairer New Zealand
    Labour will re-build our housing, health and education while responsibly managing New Zealand’s finances, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “Under Labour’s Fiscal Plan we will deliver big investments in the services we all need and care about, invest ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats show they’re the tax dodgers’ best friends
    The government is taking the knife to IRD at a time when we need a highly skilled department to ensure that multinationals and speculators don’t get away with dodging tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour secures the future for NZ Super
    A Labour Government will secure the future for New Zealand Superannuation so we can continue to provide superannuation to those retiring at age 65, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “One of the first things a Labour-led Government will ...
    1 week ago
  • Multinationals must pay fair share of tax
    A Labour Government will crack down on multinational companies that are dodging paying their fair share of tax, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “New Zealanders are missing out by hundreds of millions according to the IRD because multinational companies can ...
    1 week ago
  • ACT’s approach to children backward and ill informed
    Act’s new deputy leader’s claim that Labour’s support for families could “extend the misery of child poverty and even child abuse” is ill informed and offensive, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Canterbury hatchet job a disgrace
    The Government’s glib acceptance of advice that the Canterbury District Health Board doesn’t need more money is a hatchet job and a disgrace, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “To claim that the DHB was using tactics to leverage more ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Quality for Kiwi kids at ECE
    After more than a decade of rapid growth in the number of children participating in Early Childhood Education (ECE), it’s time to take stock and map out a clear plan for the future, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to boost ECE quality
    Labour will ensure kids get the best start in life by boosting funding for Early Childhood Centres to employ 100 per cent qualified and registered teachers, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour will stump up a million dollars for Maniototo Hospital
    A Labour led Government will make a million dollars available to rebuild the Maniototo Base hospital in Ranfurly, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “This will be a much needed boost for a long overdue rebuild that has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No vision for the West Coast
    The West Coast welcomes any Government investment in our region but the lack of any real alternative vision for the West Coast’s economy is disappointing, says Damien O’Connor Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP.  “The establishment of a Mining Research Unit will ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s youth work scheme too little too late
    After nine years, National’s belated attempt to provide work opportunities for unemployed youth should be seen for what it is, a half-hearted, election gimmick from a party that’s ignored the problem till now, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis won’t fall for Joyce’s spin
    Steven Joyce’s embarrassingly obvious spin on Labour’s Families Package won’t fool anyone, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour prioritises families and public services
    Labour’s Families Package delivers a bigger income boost to more than 70 per cent of families with children than Budget 2017. By not spending $1.5 billion a year on tax cuts, Labour is able to do more for lower and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis can’t sleep in your ghost houses, Nick
    The Government’s housing infrastructure announcement is another Nick Smith special – over-promising with no detail on delivery, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour helps older New Zealanders and low income families with winter heating bills
    Labour will further boost its commitment to warm, healthy housing with a Winter Energy Payment for superannuitants and people receiving main benefits, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Everyone deserves a warm, healthy home to live in. But that’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must rule out retrospective override for Ruataniwha
    National must categorically rule out using retrospective legislation to override the Supreme Court’s decision that the land swap of conservation land flooded by the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was illegal, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney General David Parker. “Having not got their ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Flavell’s failure a win for Māori landowners
    The Māori Development Minister’s admission that his unpopular Ture Whenua Māori Bill won’t pass into law prior to the election is a victory for Māori landowners, but only a change of government will keep the Bill gone for good, says ...
    3 weeks ago