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National education policies reflect global trends

1 September 2005

National's education policies reflect global trends not undue influence

While it is pleasing to see that the National Party and other parties have adopted the direction of reforms advocated by the Education Forum, they have done so because they are proven and successful ideas, not because of ‘undue’ influence.

Education Forum policy adviser Norman LaRocque was responding to claims made yesterday by Education Minister Trevor Mallard that the Education Forum was the ‘source’ of National’s education policy.

Mr LaRocque said the ideas advocated by the Education Forum were being embraced by parties of all political stripes around the world.

Many countries, including Denmark and the Netherlands, operate school choice policies. The Labour government in Britain has embraced policies aimed at increasing choice and giving schools more autonomy to run their affairs, Mr LaRocque said.

Similarly, charter schools – publicly-funded self-managing schools – enjoy wide support among Democrats in the United States. National testing, though decried by teacher unions and the government, is used by a number of overseas education authorities and has been instrumental in driving education reform.

“New Zealanders should welcome – not fear – policies aimed at giving families more choice in education and providing school boards and teaching professionals with more freedom to run their schools in a way that meets community needs.

“They should also welcome accountability measures – including national testing – that allow parents, communities and officials to know how well children and schools are performing, concluded Mr LaRocque.


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