High-handed Hipkins accused of a rush job & pre-determined outcomes

Screenshot: Whaleoil

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has been accused of a rushed process, lack of consultation and pre-determined outcomes. This time it is not the partnership schools that are complaining but state secondary schools. It appears that his arrogance and high handedness has not been solely reserved for charter schools but has been inflicted on the state schools as well.

It is quite extraordinary that a Labour-led?government is already under fire from a sector that traditionally votes in Labour governments. Previously Hipkins has coldly terminated partnership schools leaving them in limbo with no idea what their future holds but now his callous?tactic of refusing to communicate has been revealed to be one he uses on the state school sector as well.

A group of secondary school principals yesterday published full-page ads in both the Sunday Star Times and the Herald on Sunday.

The ad said that there had been a lack of consultation with secondary school principals despite a clear message being sent to them by the government that everyone has an equal voice in the process. They pointed out that 5-18-year-olds had been targeted to enter competitions to ‘express themselves’ with prizes valued at over $27,000 yet teachers and principals had not been directly asked for feedback.

The said that they agree that a review of NCEA is necessary because the framework needs to be improved but that they think that the review itself is flawed and that they will not stand idly by and say nothing about such a flawed process.

They also said that the Ministerial Advisory Group does not represent the secondary sector as out of the seven members only one was a principal! In addition, they pointed out that a sixteen-week timeframe was a ridiculously short and inadequate amount of time to draft a framework to be used for the next thirty years. In fact, they felt that the entire process was ” disingenuous.”

They added that because this review was only one of thirteen reviews simultaneously being conducted of the education sector it can be reasonably concluded that the outcomes are predetermined. They asked that the review instead be a “major piece of work on its own, with a bipartisan approach and the endorsement of New Zealand secondary leaders.”

I am sure that all the partnership schools who have been ruthlessly terminated and left in limbo by Education Minister Chris Hipkins understand exactly how these principals are feeling. They too have said repeatedly that they felt that outcomes were predetermined, time frames were unfairly short and that the whole process felt like a farce.