Hekia Parata’s radical plans to shake-up school funding show just how dangerous a re-elected National government could be and have the potential to rob thousands of Kiwi kids of their chance to achieve to their full potential, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Hekia Parata’s plan to introduce so-called performance funding for schools marks the most radical shake-up of our school system in a generation, and it has the potential to leave thousands of children’s futures crushed in its wake.
“Taking money from schools that are struggling and giving it to ones that are already doing well is only going to exacerbate the problem. Like George W Bush’s ‘No Child Left Behind’ policy, it will widen the gap between schools and rob hundreds of thousands of kids of their best shot at education.
“So many things influence how kids do in school, including whether they’re well fed at home, whether they’re living in a cold damp house, and whether their parents are themselves educated and have quality time to spend with them.
“Hekia Parata has her head buried in the sand if she things these things don’t have an impact on student achievement.
“The whole notion that schools should be funded based on ‘performance’ is fatally flawed. For starters, there are no reliable means of measuring it. National standards have been proven to be neither national, nor standard, and they don’t measure progress accurately either.
“In secondary schools, funding based on student achievement will incentivise schools to push kids into less challenging credits that are easier to attain rather than extending them and pushing them to achieve their full potential.
“The fact that Hekia Parata has been caught out working on these radical plans in secret shows just how arrogant the National government has become. It’s now very clear that a re-elected National government will drive a bulldozer through the public education system as we know it.
“The Labour Party stands for a quality, well-funded public education system that ensures every Kiwi kid gets the chance to reach their full potential. We will be focused on directing extra funding to the areas it can make the biggest difference. Our approach will be based on quality research and evidence, not failed right-wing market ideology.”