Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Nick Smith needs help – Mallard offers briefing

23 September 2003 Media Statement

Nick Smith needs help – Mallard offers briefing

National has regurgitated its tired old policy of privatising the education system and has suddenly decided that after destroying literacy achievement during nine years of government, literacy teaching should now be a top priority, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

“I’m quite frankly amazed that this thin and lightweight document has been described as new and innovative when it is so clearly tired and devoid of facts or new ideas. Zoning and privatisation. It’s an embarrassment,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Literacy suffered shockingly for years from a party that was more interested in the simplistic ideological approach of "let the market fix it”. They ignored what they were doing to our children as they paid absolutely no attention to literacy during nine years in government. I'm amazed that it’s only just dawned on Nick Smith that it should be a priority. It's been a priority for Labour for years.

"If it takes decades for National to come up with these so-called new ideas, it's no wonder they continue to fail at the polls.

“This government has invested heavily in literacy teaching and resources to fix what National did. In our first budget $24 million extra was injected into this area alone, and in the last budget another $15 million. In fact since Labour came to power, total education spending has increased by 20 per cent.

“National clearly does not have a clue about what is going on in education.

“Nick Smith obviously needs help and I’ll give him a briefing if he likes. There is already a programme delivering social workers into schools. He also has no idea about the existing Asttle (Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning) that schools already have for testing literacy.

"The Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning are hugely successful and very popular amongst teachers. They allow teachers to test students, pinpoint their individual problems and target those gaps with their lessons. The Asttle tools also allow children's progress to be compared against national averages, and they give high quality information about how children are doing to teachers and parents alike.

“Teachers and schools are already voluntarily adopting this assessment system. In fact more than 90 per cent of schools actually requested the Asttle CD Rom. So National’s idea of compulsory testing is simply a waste of time and money,” Trevor Mallard said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news