Hekia’s plans will rob kids of opportunity

Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Hekia’s plans will rob kids of opportunity

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.

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“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.”

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  1. It might be true to say, “Taking money from schools that are struggling and giving it to ones that are already doing well is only going to exacerbate the problem.” Even given her limitations Hekia Parata probably knows that is a proven fact even though she won’t accept it.

    What she does know is there is electoral advantage for her party in her latest utterances and in any moves to implement those brain dead ideas. The kids in the low decile schools are simply once again destined to be collateral damage in her currying favour with the middle and upper classes.

    And of course later in the year we will hear John Key wallowing in his purity, condemn teachers for using children as pawns!

  2. A well divided Public Education system becomes a plaything of the right wing.
    School Trustees are elected volunteers ill equipped to dabble in the management of schools. They have a limited governance roll.

    The School Trustees association is a tragic Govt puppet.

    Which leaves the Teacher unions to fight the Minister on professional matters.

    They become the “foe”. Just what the right wing want so denigration of the Unions can be achieved at the same time as the Public school system.

    Lange was a fool falling for Picot’s plan of tomorrow’s schools. He has openly admitted on the National programme that he did not know what he was doing. Lange let other public institutions be deconstructed as well. A bad time in our history in many ways.

    Prior to Tomorrow’s School Education Boards were district wide and had real clout to oppose Govt where education was in peril as well as lobby for schools and funding as needed.
    Education boards were elected by school committees who in turn were elected by fellow parents.
    Education boards funded and managed schools, employed professionals know as School Inspectors who were at the top of the game. They guided schools, provided in-service training, promoted collegial collaboration between schools as well as inspected all schools and teachers. They had wide powers and also took on many initiatives in research and development of new approaches, Subject expert advisers , psychological services, purchase and supply of materials on economic scale and the supervision of transport where necessary.
    Teacher training was integrated between dedicated Training Colleges, Schools and Education facilities across the Education Board area. All professional teaching appointment were all facilitated by the Education Board with criteria well tested and open fair procedures.
    School facilities were maintained by the ed boards with their own teams of tradesmen leaving schools to get on with teaching.
    Children were tracked in attendance, progress and achievement, health and movement from school to school.

    We had a more secure and effective system to promote Public Education and diverse professional guidance on all school matters.

    Politicians like Parata would not have made such stupid attacks on Public Education without the Education Board watchdogs invoking support from school committees around the country standing in opposition.

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