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Kids will suffer from Minister’s bullying

24 September 2013

Kids will suffer from Minister’s bullying

The education of kiwi kids will suffer if unreliable national standards data and NCEA results are used to determine if schools will be taken over by the Education Ministry, the Green Party said today.

“Education Minister Hekia Parata’s announcement today that academic results could be used to determine whether school boards would be sacked is a blatant threat to schools to ‘do it my way, or it’s the highway’, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“The Green Party would never defend a school that was genuinely failing its kids, but the natural consequence of this threat is that schools in disadvantaged areas will scramble to get their kids to pass national standards and NCEA no matter the cost.

“Teachers will have no option but to teach to the test, as they are bullied into complying with the Minister’s narrow views of achievement. This is a 19th century factory approach to education, which will see kids in poorer areas suffer the most.

“It’s hard to imagine that schools will feel able to focus on the needs of kids with talent in science, music, or physical education, for example, if they are being measured only by the Minister’s narrow definition of success in literacy and numeracy.

“Poverty is linked to lower academic achievement so lower decile schools will need to spend a great deal more energy funnelling kids into subjects that will guarantee passes in order to meet the Minister’s so-called standards.

“We have already seen schools say they’re discouraging kids from taking science at Year 11 level because its too hard, and to do so would be to compromise their overall NCEA results.

“This is even more worrying when the national standards data the Minister is using is still completely unreliable, according to her own Ministry.

“The philosophy of a strong free public education system run by trained teachers in conjunction with the school community is under attack by this Government whose agenda to reduce schools to the ’3 Rs’ run by cheap private providers is now blindingly obvious,” Mrs Turei said.

ends

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