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I¹d rather be a Hammer than a Nail.

Media Release: Education

I¹d rather be a Hammer than a Nail.

It is intriguing that the Minister can see a sledgehammer coming so early before next year's election (see Mallard release Brash to take sledgehammer to education). He might well be concerned. Not about what Don Brash might introduce as an education policy, but more at what interested parents will do with their votes.

But the wall of failing education policies won't need a sledgehammer, they will simply crumble some more and probably collapse under their own bulging bureaucratic weight well before next year.

Under Minister Mallard¹s direction schools, early childhood centres and the tertiary sector are being systematically and deliberately hog-tied by a range of new central controls and standards. The pattern is obvious, to move as much decision-making as far as possible away from providers and local communities, to his office in Wellington.

The schools' closure debacle; failures in zoning and decile funding; regulatory changes in early childhood that have created a shortage of 2000 teachers; unwanted and unnecessary intrusions into tertiary management with more of this on the way; have created a growing wave of defiance and revolt and an angry alliance. The Minister will soon find his job in this area is as hot as his Œtreaty portfolio.

Parents, teachers, principals and educational providers have had enough of poorly thought out policies, micro-managed by bureaucrats who actually make things worse. The Minister, by his own actions, is demonstrating the clear case for more autonomy for schools and better choices for parents. If Brash can set out a case for less Wellington interference in education, whether he calls it autonomy, vouchers or bulk funding he will have a new audience looking for a solution. I¹d rather be a hammer than a nail.


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