Education moves hard left

Matthew Hooton has a few things to say about the government’s proposed education policy. quote.

The only winners from last week’s education proposals will be private schools and children with parents able to afford them.

Before David Lange’s Tomorrow’s Schools in 1989, private schools were in such demand that children were put on waiting lists the day they were born.

Thirty years later, private school enrolments have fallen from 4.1 per cent of all students to just 3.4 per cent and they now resort to advertising.

For its part, the left’s main educational value is equality. That includes trying to help disadvantaged communities but it also requires tackling perceived privilege and achieving greater standardisation.

Last week’s proposed education reforms clearly come from this perspective, and have been welcomed not just by the teacher unions but by the doyens of the hard-left including John Minto, Catherine Delahunty and Dr Liz Gordon.

The proposals, says Minto, are “like a fresh breath of spring air after 30 years in the dark ages of Tomorrow’s Schools”.

No one should doubt the proposed radicalism.

Schools are to be grouped into 20 districts and governed by hubs appointed by the Minister of Education.

The hubs will appoint and allocate principals and teachers to the 125 schools in their catchment, and be able to move them around to promote equity.

Hubs will also be responsible for school property and finances, legal matters, and educational performance.

Do not mistake such things for administrative convenience. end quote.

It has driven out the parental influence, with the end of the Boards of Trustees. quote.

Replacing, say, classrooms with so-called Modern Learning Environments (MLEs) is not a mere architectural decision but one with profound pedagogical implications.

Even under the current model, the Wellington bureaucracy has used its control over school property to impose MLEs on communities to change how children can be taught.

Expanding that principle to operational funding gives control to hubs over whether a school gets new books for the library or access to an online teaching platform.

The mischief is greater for secondary schools, which have always had autonomy, operating under their own boards.

Under the proposals, secondary schools would not only come under direct state control for the first time, with the hubs appointing their principals and teachers and controlling their property and operational budgets.

The ultimate objective seems to be abolishing them altogether and replacing them with Middle Schools from Years 7-10 and Senior Colleges from Years 11-13.

From the old-fashioned ones in leafy suburbs to the regular provincial high school in every town, secondary schools are the holders of tradition and heritage and are thus seen by left-wing educational theorists as exactly the type of privilege that must be cut down.

If principals and teachers are seen to be creating perceived privilege in a particular school, or even just getting uppity, the hubs will be able to move them on.

The hubs will decide what school buildings should be demolished and on which subjects and priorities school funds are to be deployed.

They will then decide whether your local secondary school will even continue to exist or be abolished and the buildings used for a new Middle School or Senior College. A long-term left-wing objective will have been met.

Through most of 2018, it has been possible to be relatively sanguine about a Government that, beyond Jacinda Ardern’s presentational abilities, is mainly just incompetent and comical.

These plans for education, written by the chairman of the New Plymouth Labour Party and surely encouraged by the Beehive, suggest the regime has a further, much more sinister character. end quote.

Just over one year in with this government and we have two proposals that take us back to the Dark Ages. The first is in industrial relations, where the unions hold more sway now than they have done for 30 years. The second is in education. Make no mistake. This is all to do with the brainwashing of our children. Any school that does not go along with the programme may simply be shut down.

We should all be terrified of this development but, as with everything else that this government proposes, it will receive the stamp of approval from Winston. Labour want to go ahead with it, and the Greens will be giddy with excitement. Only New Zealand First could stop this tragedy from eventuating.

But will they? Shall we take bets on that?