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Welcome To The Real World, Trevor

Welcome To The Real World, Trevor

Thursday 24 Jul 2003 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Education

Education Minister Trevor Mallard's reaction to a new Education Ministry-commissioned literacy report shows just how out-of-touch he is with what is happening in our country's schools, ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"Mr Mallard has described the report's findings as `exciting news' and `a watershed for literary teaching in New Zealand'. The fact is, however, that these findings confirm what everyone already knew," Miss Coddington.

"Every piece of research proves that children who miss out on decent education in New Zealand are those from low income families. The Minister - and the Government he serves - has written these kids off. Labour has perpetuated an elitist, self-serving myth that kids from low-income families are inferior, and should aim to survive rather thrive.

"After four years as Education Minister, Mr Mallard's legacy is a bunch of uneducated children who will be locked into poverty and state dependence for the rest of their lives. His blinkered ideology prevents him from realising there is a better way.

"If we really wanted to reduce inequality, we would dump the bigotry of low expectations for children from low-income backgrounds - a point noted in the report. More importantly, we must recognise that a centralised education system does not serve the needs of every child.

"What is needed is school choice: an internationally-proven system that opens up education to competition, and provides communities with a range of educational options.

"If the Minister were sincere about improving literacy rates of children in low-decile schools, he would scrap Labour's racist and elitist zoning policy, allowing parents to choose what is best for their children - as they choose their family doctor, or indeed, their Parliamentary representatives," Miss Coddington said.


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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