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Part of the Picture

November 29, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

I appreciate people who admit their mistakes. I mean, it would be better if they didn’t make the mistake in the first place, but if they have do so at least admit it so something can be done. Most people can tell when a person or organisation is in denial about a mistake and I think we see a really obvious example of this with education in New Zealand.

In the last 3 days there have been 3 significant reports indicating that our government’s education policies (especially the new national standards) are a miserable failure. First there was a report from the ministry showing at year 8 that most students are below the standard for writing and science. Then there as a report by Waikato University showing that the national standards have done more harm than good. Now there is a survey showing the model has more bad than good points. And as if all of this wasn’t bad enough there is another report from the OECD due out next week which is expected to show education standards here are slipping.

You might think at this point that the person in charge of this disaster might resign, or at the very least admit that they have made a mistake and consider reversing the whole thing. After all, practically every expert warned them exactly this would happen before they even started.

But no, National Party education ministers never admit their errors. If they did, the would be very busy, I think! And their ministry officials always back them up, even though they really must realise personally that they are defending bad policies.

A ministry official who was interviewed on the topic seemed to be very good at picking out the few positive aspects of the reports while ignoring the vast bulk of bad news. She said she was encouraged by the reported outcomes. Wow, what an eternal optimist. I wonder what she would need to see to discourage her!

And just to add insult to injury she concluded the interview with the usual dishonest, meaningless weasel words. Something like: “at the end of the day it’s all part of the picture and we will continue to listen”. What a joke. She will listen to what the incompetent minister tells her and she in turn will listen to the ideologically driven nonsense which comes from her political masters.

While all this is going on our education standards, which were quite good before National started to interfere, will continue to slip. All we can hope for is to vote these bunch of clowns out at the next election. But that’s OK for them, I guess. It’s all just part of the big picture.

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