Labour tear it all down and call it ‘reform’

Education Minister Chris Hipkins and PM Jacinda Ardern are trying to spin their plans for New Zealand’s education system as “reform” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. What they are planning is a complete destruction of the existing system, razing it to the ground, bulldozing it and then starting from scratch amongst the dusty rubble.

I am not filled with confidence that they can pull it off as so far their reform has consisted of destruction only, with none of the work being done ahead of time to ensure that there is something ready to replace what they have so hastily removed.

They have abolished National standards but, currently, have nothing to replace them with. They want to close Charter schools but have rushed into it without first having rewritten the legislation for Special Character schools to ensure that they have a pathway to transition. They are very quick to destroy the status quo but are yet to demonstrate that they have a well-thought-out plan to replace it.

There hasn’t been a reform this big since David Lange introduced Tomorrow’s Schools in 1989.

How students are taught from early childhood through to post-secondary school will be completely overhauled under the biggest educational reform New Zealand has seen in almost three decades.

[…] It is understood Education Minister Chris Hipkins will release a three-year work programme on Wednesday that details extensive overhauls as part of a coalition agreement between Labour and NZ First to develop an “enduring 30 year approach to education”.

Why do I get the feeling that they are in a huge rush to do as much as they can before National get back into power? It is a pity that National didn’t have half the enthusiasm for change when they were in power. If they had opened lots of Charter schools instead of only a few then Labour would have had a much harder job to pick them off. However, having said that, they are planning on overhauling the entire educational system so perhaps it wouldn’t have made any difference.

It is interesting that the only changes of any note I can think of that were made by the National government were made because of the ACT party. Thanks to ACT we got the 90-days legislation and Charter schools, both of which have already gone under Labour’s union-fueled bulldozer.

What actually did National do when they were in power apart from administering the previous Labour government’s welfare policies and extending them?

[…] Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned Parliament in her first formal speech earlier this year that there would be plenty to come […]

The idea of Tomorrow’s Schools, a decentralised system, was to give schools more autonomy by introducing school boards of trustees and shifting substantial financial and administrative responsibilities to them.

While this led to diversity in what schools delivered and communities got more say in how their children were taught, a negative consequence was increased competition amongst schools for students rather than improving overall education results.

Only socialists think that competition is a bad thing.

Such a significant shift in the way students are taught would require big legislative changes.

[…]The new Education Act would likely be in place by 2020 to be used as a platform at the next election.

The Crown’s $30 billion school network is understood to be riddled with a backlog of urgent upgrades and rebuilds that haven’t been dealt with.

[…] All of this would come at a significant cost to the Crown as Labour, NZ First and the Green Party all oppose any further use of public private partnerships.

 – Stuff

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