I was going to do a post about how National’s implementation of national standards is driven by pure ideology, and appears to be based on no evidence whatsoever. Key and Tolley keep making statements about education that make no logical or factual sense at all. So I was going to choose the stupidest statement of the week and pull apart the factual and logical fallacies. But I have a problem – I can’t pick which quote to use. Should I use this one, by Key:
For the last 20 to 30 years there has been no national standards in New Zealand, and one in five young new Zealanders are unable to read and write properly.
or this one by Tolley?:
“I’m certain what it will do is raise the quality of education,” she said, “because the way you do that is focus on fewer things with an absolutely relentless determination – and that is what we are going to do”.
Gentle reader, make your case. Which of these is the stupider statement, and why? Because I really can’t choose between them.
[Update: Hah. This post also shows that my comprehension skills aren’t all they should be when I write in a hurry. The second quote relates to cutbacks in the Education Ministry, “focusing” their activities, partly in response to but not directly about national standards. It’s also not clear whether it should be attributed to Tolley or Secretary for Education Karen Sewell. Both quotes can still be read as stupid comments about education however!]