Andrew Little’s message to teachers

parents-yelling-at-teachers

parents-yelling-at-teachers

As most of you know I regularly receive e-mails from my mate Andrew Little. He sent me a copy of his speech and I thought I would have a look at what he said specifically about education as we have two powerful teacher unions who no doubt would be eager to hear what he had to say. I am sorry to say fellow teachers that the news is all bad. Andrew is not happy with our ” World class ” education system and it looks like it is all charter schools’ fault despite the fact that they have only been around for three years.

Yes, it is all doom and gloom in this speech. Fortunately though Labour can fix it. So what is the answer? I will give you a hint, it’s more money. Money is the answer. Apparently all Labour has to do to “fix” the public system is close charter schools and put that money (which is actually achieving amazing results) back into our Public System that isn’t, ( Andrew’s words not mine.)

People want a good job, a home they can call their own, a good school to send their kids to, and healthcare if they get sick.

…These are the goals most New Zealanders have for themselves and for their families. That’s the Kiwi Dream.

…But right now, too many people feel like those goals are further and further out of reach.

…Parents are paying more for their childrens’ education, but our schools aren’t performing as well.

Our country is facing some big challenges right now.

In the economy, in housing, in health and education.

In all of these areas, things are going in the wrong direction, and the government just isn’t doing enough to set them right.

…Instead of talking about giveaways to the very rich, our government should be providing a public health system that can look after every Kiwi.

We’re seeing the same issues in education.

At the same time as National has poured millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money into privately run charter schools, our public education system is struggling.

In the last year alone, National has cut funding for pupils by $150 each.

And so schools load more costs on to parents in order to fill the gaps.

Ask any parent and they’ll tell you the cost of uniforms, class activities, camps and of course ‘voluntary donations’ just keep on rising.

…No parent wants their child to miss out.

But here’s the thing: while costs are rising, standards are falling.

In 2006, we were ranked 5th in the world for reading.

Now we’re 13th.

We were 7th in science.

Today? 18th.

And in maths? We’ve fallen from 11th to 23rd.

We’ve got to do better.

Education is fundamental to our ability to provide opportunity for the next generation.

We know that education changes lives. It inspires and empowers people.

It is the single best way to lift people out of poverty and deprivation

Because while our economy may be delivering bigger gains than ever for the very wealthy, more and more Kiwis have found themselves struggling.

…That’s the background to John Key and Bill English’s 8th Budget.

That’s the direction their first seven Budgets set us in.

More roadblocks that stop people getting ahead, fewer opportunities for our young people, a struggling health system, an education system in decline.

…And we can see it in a public education system where achievement is falling while more money than ever is pumped into privately run charter schools.

…We will also turn around the decline in health and education.

Under a government that I lead, our health and education systems will be amongst the best in the world.

And the next Labour Government will recommit our country to the principle of high quality, free public education.

We’ll end the government’s practice of pulling money out of public schools to pay for profit focused charter schools, and we’ll put that money to work building great schools for everyone.

We’ll fund schools properly so parents don’t constantly have their hands in their pockets or feel ashamed they can’t afford to contribute.

We’ll restore 100% qualification requirements in ECE so kids get better teachers earlier.

And under Labour, the education system will support you throughout your working life. We’ll never give up on expanding opportunity and giving people the tools they need.

That’s why we are committed to three years’ free post-school education so that Kiwis can train and retrain across their working lives, without having to take on huge debt. That’s how we support our people and its how we tackle the challenge of the future of work.

…We will feed hungry kids in schools

…It’s not economic success when we put more of the cost of education on families even as we tumble down the international rankings.

Right now, the government isn’t focused on these things and people are missing out.

…We can have world-class public services again. Better schools.

– Andrew Little May 22 2016


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