The anti-education government

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 pm, June 26th, 2010 - 31 comments
Categories: education, national - Tags: , , , ,

John Key and the Nats are an anti-education government. Everywhere you look education is under attack.

Pre-schools: The Nats have slashed funding for preschools, a brutal blow to children and families. Many pre-schools are considering dropping out of the “20 Hours Free” scheme.

Schools: National’s misguided, damaging, ideological “national standards” policy has been reviled by every expert. School boards were warned not to speak out, but school principals are in open revolt.

Tertiary: Tertiary funding is still being cut (the Nats call it “re-prioritised”). Underfunded universities have started turning students away. We’ll soon be following Britain into cut price degrees. Meanwhile the Nats are planning to increase student fees, government rule is being imposed on many Polytechnics and Universities are being threatened.

ACE: Adult and Community Education has been gutted. Despite the pleas of the community and the massive return on investment, the Nats just don’t give a damn.

It’s a depressing picture. Despite all of Key’s empty rhetoric before the election, National are undermining it at every level. They seem incapable of grasping the basic facts – trained, skilled committed teachers are the best way of creating good educational outcomes, and good educational outcomes are the best way of lifting society and the economy. It is to weep.

31 comments on “The anti-education government”

  1. Jenny 1

    Great post and so true.

    We must get rid of these utter bastards before they do irreparable harm to this country’s infrastructure

  2. If I am being honest I would agree that the quality of new teachers is sometimes not as good as we all would hope. But what is interesting is why this is true. It came about because of the 1980’s new right reforms which told everyone that competition was good and resulted in the establishment of too many teaching training organisations. Teachers coming from the Universities and Colleges of Education are generally of a very high standard – some of those from the minor providers are not. Add in that many of these teachers are finding jobs in hard to staff areas such as South Auckland, Northland, East Coast etc then there is a problem- not as big as some would suggest but a problem none the less – a problem created by the ideology of governments such as the one we have now.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    They seem incapable of grasping the basic facts…

    I’m sure that they’re quite aware of the facts but that doesn’t bother them. They want tax cuts for themselves and their rich mates and they don’t want anyone else to be educated because educated people can pick out the lies a lot easier and are harder to govern (read: tell them what to do).

    National are purposefully making NZ a third world nation in the hopes that they and their rich mates will become richer.

    • just saying 3.1

      The thing about being uber-rich is, it really doesn’t matter if you strip a nation, bare, you just move somewhere else.

      • prism 3.1.1

        Exactly. And anyway what do we want an education for. All we need to know is how we slot into the farming economy.

        The NACTS have found an elegant solution to the difficulties of living in a modern complex industrial society. Its the Pol Pot solution – retreat to agriculture, abandon higher and abstract learning and attempts at making informed, reasoned decisions. Forget making head decisions, go for the gut feeling every time, that’s where the driving force of New Zealand business and politics is located – greed is all and we want it now.

  4. comedy 4

    I got as far as checking your first claim and when I found that to be drivel couldn’t be bothered with rest.

    “ extra $107 million would be spent on ECE in 2010-11 – about half what had been expected previously.”

    I don’t see how an increase of over $100 million during tough economic times is slashing funding for preschools.

    • r0b 4.1

      I got as far as checking your first claim and when I found that to be drivel

      Sadly it is not.

      couldn’t be bothered with rest.

      Spoken like a true Tory whiner.

      “ extra $107 million would be spent on ECE in 2010-11 about half what had been expected previously.’

      They structure their announcements just for fools like you Comedy. If you’d bothered to click on the second link (funding) you’d see how it works:

      Figures in the budget show an extra $107 million will be spent on ECE in 2010-11, increasing the annual investment in ECE to $1.3 billion.

      However, the Government also plans to save $449m by reducing the financial incentive to have over 80 percent of teachers registered.

      Currently, ECE providers are encouraged to have up to 100 percent registered teachers with higher funding for registered teachers.

      That will be cut with this budget.

      I don’t see how an increase of over $100 million during tough economic times is slashing funding for preschools.

      Well now you’re a bit more educated. No need to thank me, and no charge.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        Uh Comedy how are your numeracy skills?

        Increase of $107m and decrease of $449m equals decrease of $342m or a shit load in other words.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    What’s your source comedy?

  6. millsy 6

    You forgot to mention the ending of open entry to university for those over 20. Which is an even greater disaster than any, as it will deprive the so-called late bloomers of a second chance.

  7. Croc 7

    Read this about the reasons behind modern schooling (Sorry for posting images but it’s a book excerpt Walking on Water by Derrick Jensen:

    And also:

    It’s this cynical right wing ideology that schooling is to create workers that are just smart enough to work but not so smart that they overthrow the ruling class. Education, scientifically defined, is the “subsumption of the individual” according to this ideology.

  8. Janice 8

    As a superannuit I have just received a letter from Colonel Custard (in the Beehive with a smile and wave), explaining what I will get to compensate me for the GST rise.. “to make the tax system fairer and encourage people to save’.

    The paragraph that really got me though was this one: “The National-led Government is careful to spend money wisely and we are on track to rein in growing debt. The largest amounts of new spending in the Budget are going into education and health, to increase spending in schools and early childhood education, and to boost elective surgery.’ REALLY!

    • ianmac 8.1

      Yes Janice. Agreed. Just read mine too. Rubbish bin. It is the gross amount too before tax. Makes it look better.
      The increase in spending in Education is a net cut, and by the time the cuts take effect, as outlined in Rob’s excellent post, we are worse off than ever. The canning of the Advisory Service is another area of concern..

      • Janice 8.1.1

        How come he can say this and send it out at our expense with this NACT propaganda and misinformation?

        • ianmac

          Early cynical electioneering? If you tell a lie often enough it becomes “true.”

  9. ianmac 9

    I do wonder at the underlying Nact Strategy.Those who know about the negative effects of Nat Stds, such as teachers, Principals, and researchers are deeply concerned about the distraction.

    The Nact Party cannot be oblivious to that concern.

    Is the turmoil amongst teachers/parents/kids an intended consequence? A softening up for draconian changes? Many parents are told that this is all about better reporting and they may believe those “nasty obstructive negative self-interested ” teachers need a big shake-up.
    So – how about Bulk Funding and Performance Pay to straighten them out?

  10. Hilary 10

    Aren’t there also new limits to the age people can get student loans or something similarly discriminatory to older people studying at tertiary level?

    And don’t forget that polytec boards have lost their student and teacher reps while being stacked with government appointees (as you mention).

    Also many of these changes, such as National Standards, were passed through urgency without any select committee scrutiny.

    I wonder what the electorate would have thought had these policies all been mentioned before the election?

  11. Anne 11

    The truth of the matter is simple. The Nats and their mates don’t really care about state education. Why? Because their own children (or grandchildren) go to expensive private schools. These schools have the financial resources to ‘buy’ good teachers and the best educational equipment. The classes are small so that each pupil gets more one on one learning.

    Can someone with contacts do some research and find out if Tolley’s kids and grandkids went/go to private schools? That would be interesting to know.

  12. Anne 12

    “pedigree”. Unfortunate choice of word WOOF 😉
    Sure, one way or another they have acquired more money than the rest of us, but their backgrounds are no different. Delusions of superiority do abound though, and can be recognised in a variety of ways. I recall a couple of relatives of mine who started out at a state school but ended up in one of Auckland’s most prestigious private schools. Suddenly their parents stopped being Mum and Dad, and became Mummy and Daddy. Silly idiots.

  13. Hilary 13

    Anne – I think you will find that although private schools have more resources than state schools, particularly lower decile state schools, that the teaching is much the same. Possibly even worse as they don’t have to put so much effort into kids who already have lots of educational advantages. Teachers not necessarily paid any more than the state system and there are usually extra requirements for helping with extra curricular activities. The schools just look nicer and are better marketed.

    • Anne 13.1

      You will be right Hilary. My recollections go back a long way. The said rellies are now in their late 40s and early 50s. They were certainly better equipped than their state equivalents, but the actual teaching methods were probably the same. As you say, good PR just gives an illusion of better educational standards etc.

    • Julie 13.2

      Further to this, there was a very interesting talk on Education & Innovation on National Radio over the weekend, from the Smart Talk series, in which there was mention of research showing that New Zealand has one of the lowest levels of difference in the average quality of education between different schools in the world (iirc about 2%). There is of course variance within a school in excess of 2%, but what this stat shows is that by and large it genuinely doesn’t matter too much which school you are at, you are still able to get good quality education. Does anyone else know any more about this report? Here’s a link to the talk (which features one of the architects of National Standards, John Hattie, expressing his concern about their implementation btw):
      (it’s the third one, titled Education & Innovation)

  14. The National Governments stratagy is to smash the very strong Teachers Union.


    Jim Stanford has been in NZ giving lectures, he is one of Canadas foremost Economist, he works for the unions. Very interesting.

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