Given Hekia Parata's claims on National Radio, I felt the need to write another letter. I have covered much of this in an earlier post in more detail because the 250 word limit poses restrictions in including all of National's damaging initiatives.
The National Government is so determined to lift the "quality" of teaching in our public schools that they have:
- Sent their own children to private schools that received $35 million in extra funding.
- Gave the rich over $2 billion in tax cuts while allowing a huge increase in child poverty.
- Cut $25 million from the Ministry of Education budget.
- Sacked advisors for science and technology
- Spent $60 million on implementing the flawed National Standards, without a trial and against advice.
- Employed a Ministry of Education CEO from a country ranked behind New Zealand in educational achievement.
- Closed our residential schools for children with behavioural needs.
- Refused to pay school support staff a living wage.
- Refused to increase school operations grants to reflect the true costs of running a school.
- Bullied and berated teachers so that morale is low and many of our best teachers are considering leaving the profession.
- Planned to increase class sizes to 1:27 when the OECD average is 1:21.
- Dropped the qualified early childhood teachers target from 100% to 80%
Under a National Government we have seen our OECD ranking for water quality (the Yale report) drop from 2nd to 43rd and New Zealand was in the top 5 for education when National took office but we have already seen a drop in science achievement.
Education Minister, Hekia Parata, claims that the National Government's changes are all about lifting the quality of teaching in public schools but all I can see is one hell of a Tui billboard!