Is there anything that can be done without being accused of PC gone mad?
Yes, fund decile 1,2,3 and 4 schools so damn well that they can afford the best teachers and more of them so that the decile 10 school are no longer the only choice. Wait isn't that what we're trying to do now.
Actually to hell with it why not fund ALL our schools so that they can afford the best trained teachers and lots of them so our next generation can have the proven advantages of high quality education.
But that will cost money so we need to get the culture of paying taxes back into society.
It isn’t particularly unusual for parents to have a choice of local schools – see Whoops’ comment above about having a choice of five – and indeed, that’s the only reason we’re having this debate.
I don't know and I'd be happy to see data to the contrary, but my feeling is that most families in NZ have much less choice than you describe. It's only in the big cities that schools are close enough for families to be in range of more than one. Even then factors such as transport options limit the choice even further. As for moving house that really is only an option for a few.
I don't begrudge that some families have choices what I am angry about is that for those with limited choices this government seems happy to allow their local school to be labelled by some muddle headed league table and then screwed over when those that do have a choice abandon the school.
Frankly I'm upset by losing our assets but we'll survive that - if we lose our education system we lose our future.
What she said :)
but that doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t choose the school they think is best for their child.
Except most parents won't be able to afford to do that. Sure if you can make that choice great, but it can't be such a big difference that those that can't afford the choice are penalized.
My question is how do parents – and students – make informed choices about schools? What should we be doing, what would be meaningful rather than narrow?
And I think this gets to the heart of the whole National Party ideology.
In the past we (the people) worked really really hard to make sure that every single damn school was great. Now I know that some schools started with disadvantages compared to those in rich areas since they couldn't hit up the parents to provide extra servers and free trips to Spain. But that's why the decile system exists, so that schools in poor communities get more government funding.
From National's perspective this sucks. It means that a kid from a poor family has every chance that we can possibly provide to succeed. Let me just pause to say that is one of things that made me proud of our country.
Or to convert it into National idealogy - that there is no advantage to being filthy stinking obscenely disgustingly rich. And everyone (in the National Party) knows that being rich should, as of right, give you advantages.
You shouldn't have to make a choice about the school you send you children to, they should ALL be good.
That is what National is trying to destroy - the idea that ALL kids get to go to a really good school.
I’m not convinced that the policy is motivated by profit.
Yes and no. One overarching feature of this government is the idea that private (profit making) enterprise can do everything better than public governance. Education is just one example of that to this government. Performance in standardized tests is a good way for highly selective private schools to sell themselves.
This may be a policy Key believes genuinely (or not), but it damn well makes someone a healthy profit.
4 Create charter schools
I particularly liked the way John Key tried to frame the whole thing as the fault of the media.
It wasn't National's fault for introducing standardized tests, it wasn't National's fault for collecting the data ... it was the media's fault for using OIAs to get at that data!!
Policy by ideology not evidence then blame the media for exposing the problems.
Yes, I was wondering that too. An uncomfortable subject for many men?
I don't think it's necessarily uncomfortable. It's just that with no habit of ever talking about such things there is no starting point. Kind of a self perpetuating limitation.
Part of it has to be an inherent prudishness in the kiwi culture but that doesn't explain the difference between genders.
The same problem exists with conversations about emotions. There is no habit of it for men, therefore it's difficult. Unfortunately there are times in ones life where having someone you are able to talk to about emotions is necessary.
it might be in a sense more permissable for straight cis women to blog about sex and sexuality than it is for straight cis men to blog about sex and sexuality
Or maybe 'cos when men do it it's called bragging?
Actually I tend to think that it's because men in NZ have no culture of talking about sex and sexuality that isn't completely trite.