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Prime Minister stoops to new lows

Labour
2000 web siteLabour education spokesperson Trevor Mallard said the Prime Minister has stooped to new lows with a speech in Dunedin this morning devoted entirely to telling lies and distortions about Labour's education policy.

"Her speech reads more like that of a desperate and ignorant backbencher than a leader of any political party. Quite frankly, I am amazed at how inaccurate and pitiful it is," Trevor Mallard said.

"Mrs Shipley states that Labour is against national assessment. Not true. In fact we have the highest regard for the National Education Monitoring Project and will looking at extending the subject range and sample change. Labour's policy is for quality assessment, nationally moderated and reported to parents twice a year and in a form that can be forwarded as children change schools.

"Mrs Shipley states that Labour will scrap ERO. Not true. We have agreed to review it to ensure that the review process ensures that where problems are identified within individual schools there is help to fix those problems up, rather than watch the school sink even further and seriously impact on the quality of learning.

"National is so obsessed with the Education Review Office that they will not even stop and consider what the best outcome for children is. The 'Austin Review' which Mrs Shipley uses to defend ERO was given terms of reference which specifically dictated that it could not consider alternatives and that ERO must stay as an independent Government agency. (see attachment)

"Mrs Shipley's comments on bulk funding conveniently ignore the fact that most schools that switched to bulk funding did so for the extra money and flexibility - both of which stay under Labour. She did not explain why National is so opposed to a system, proposed by Labour, which will see more than 80% of schools get more funding and which will free up more than $60 million more a year directly to schools on top of the $46 million currently going to bulk funded schools.

"National is so lacking in vision itself, that it is resorting to petty attacks on the Opposition in what is touted as a major speech. Where is the leadership in that?" Trevor Mallard said.

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