In terms of education no one on the left is offering anything this election – just more BANS – to go alongside truck bans, man bans, foreign investment bans, Nigella bans etc.
The Green/Labour/PPTA/NZEI block simply plan to ban National Standards, Charter Schools and the $359 million of government spending directed at improving leadership, teaching and learning in areas where schools are failing.
The only glimmer of a proposal they give is to say – we need to be like Finland. The funny thing is that those groups would go even more apoplectic if some of the things Finland does were put in place – plus – those working in Finland recognise that the conditions that make it work there do not work anywhere else.
“Compulsory schooling begins at the age of seven, with only a broadly-outlined national curriculum, and students wear their own clothes and call the teachers by their first names.”
Problem 1: Schooling begins at 7. In New Zealand the Left blame all school failure on poverty in the home. So they would want to leave children in that situation longer – so when those kids start school they are even further behind? When the children don’t own clothes of a quantity and quantity acceptable to going to school it just given them one more things to be socially distinct on – the Left would be happy with that?
Problem 2: That change would put a whole lot of NZEI employees out of work and out of the union. I can just see NZEI marching in favour of that.
Problem 3: One of the complaints with Charter Schools from the clueless Left has been that they may propose a curriculum apart from the national one. So they would suddenly be in favour of the much greater curriculum freedom offered to Finnish schools? Would they happy for schools to simply be leaving out portions benefiting the Left’s social agenda that are in our current curriculum?
“PISA results show that Finland was 12th best in the world for maths â€“ outside of Asia, only Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Netherlands and Estonia fared better. Britain was 14 places below Finland.”
Problem 4: Some of the Finland results are not that flash. The Left also complain vehemently about testing and whinge about PISA (especially when it calls into doubt their “world class” mantra). So – they want Finnish systems based on a testing system that shows quality but at the same time bag the testing system and don’t want it here? It must be confusing having to try and think this way.
“And a study by the Smithsonian Institution showed that the difference between Finland’s weakest and strongest students was the smallest in the world.”