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Business NZ Takes 'Neville Chamberlain Approach'

Business NZ Takes 'Neville Chamberlain Approach' to ECE Report

"Business New Zealand's Simon Carlaw is spot-on in saying that private early childhood centres have been unfairly treated in a research paper released by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. However, once again Businesss New Zealand is too spineless to really call a spade a spade,” says Peter Osborne, the Libertarianz Associate Spokesman for Education Deregulation.

Responding to the NZCER report - which concludes that non-profit preschool centres are of a higher quality than privately owned for-profit centres because non-profit centres have higher ratios of ‘teacher qualified’ staff - he says he is unsurprised at the reposrt's conclusions. "Not," he says, "because private centres are inferior - quite the reverse - but because NZCER are yet another propaganda tool of the state; what the hell else would we expect from the NZCER propagandists except to join the chorus of government denigration of private involvement in education."

"This point is so glaringly obvious," says Osborne, "yet Business New Zealand are either too stupid to see it, or are too scared to stand up to the Government and face them head on.” Osborne says that Business NZ rightly points out that ‘the research seems to ignore the fact that it is the quality of the outcomes that matters’, but he says "both NZCER and Business NZ fail to mention that a qualification does not necessarily guarantee a better teacher, especially if that qualification is issued by the state. Indeed, I would argue strongly that what teachers learn while acquiring their state qualifications is in large part responsible for the disgraceful numeracy and literacy levels of New Zealand school children.”

Osborne denounces what he calls Business NZ's "half-baked appeasement" of the report's conclusions. Business NZ says ‘as long as we have robust regulation and quality assurance of all early childhood education centres, including reviews by ERO, then it is parents who are the best judge of ‘quality’ early childhood education.’ "Hogwash!" responds Osborne. "Parents are the ONLY judge of a quality early childhood centre. Full stop!"

Instead of Chamberlain-like appeasement of the grey ones, Osborne calls on ERO, NZCER and a failed Ministry to "get the hell out of the way of parents and owners of early childhood centres, and for the government to privatise the failing state-controlled centres. The only way we are going to improve quality in education is to get government out of education," he concludes.

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