The great education debate

May 26th, 2008 at 12:49 pm by David Farrar

Wellingtonians who like a good debate should come along tonight to Lecture Theatre Two at Rutherford House at 6 pm.

The details are:

Topic: That New Zealand should implement a system of education vouchers

Affirmative: Roger Kerr (Business Roundtable), Heather Roy MP (ACT candidate for Wellington Central) and Stephen Whittington (LLB Hons/BA student, champion student debater)

Negative: Grant Robertson (Labour candidate for Wellington Central), John Minto (Quality Public Education Coalition), and Arthur Graves (Principals’ Council of New Zealand).


Well done to DebSoc for organising it – a real variety of speakers!

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28 Responses to “The great education debate”

  1. dm (32 comments) says:

    Looking forward to seeing a blog on how this went.

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  2. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Don’t know if my other comment went through or not, so:

    Does anyone know if this vouchers system allows schools to freely set their own prices?

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  3. kiwitoffee (383 comments) says:

    Would it be possible for somebody to record and post this debate?

    The prospect of Messers Minto and Kerr on the same stage is very interesting.

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  4. Grant Michael McKenna (1,157 comments) says:

    Political parties have taken a position on this issue. Does making a statement about it constitute an advertisement under the EFA? Hope not, but that damn act gets in everywhere…

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  5. sean14 (62 comments) says:

    That won’t even be a contest.

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  6. kiwitoffee (383 comments) says:

    Sean14

    There’ll be blood on the floor!

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  7. Yeti (64 comments) says:

    I hope Kerr eviscerates Minto.

    On a serious note it would be great to hear a debate about this worthy subject. I read that a similar model – charter schools is having a major impact in New York’s most impoverished areas much to the dismay of the teachers union who it would seem prefer that everyone stays stupid.

    I cannot see why teachers are not rewarded on performance.

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  8. RRM (9,638 comments) says:

    A real variety of speakers??!?

    Roger Kerr, an Act MP, and a Law student?

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  9. May (24 comments) says:

    The affirmative team won. The negative team was a whole bunch of ignoramuses.

    [DPF: How was it judged?]

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  10. burt (8,019 comments) says:

    Yeti

    I cannot see why teachers are not rewarded on performance.

    It’s staggering isn’t it. What I can’t work out is why when one of the key components of being a good teacher is recognising kids learning potential differences and helping them all achieve their full potential, this very ‘everybody is different’ reality, then they all want to be paid the same and join a collection set of conditions. Weird.

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  11. burt (8,019 comments) says:

    Yeti

    I cannot see why teachers are not rewarded on performance.

    It’s staggering isn’t it. What I can’t work out is why when one of the key components of being a good teacher is recognising kids learning potential differences and helping them all achieve their full potential, this very ‘everybody is different’ reality, then they all want to be paid the same and join a generic set of employment conditions. Weird.

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  12. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    I cannot see why teachers are not rewarded on performance.

    My wife is a teacher of 25+ years. And she’s top shelf. She works incredibly hard though most weekends and ‘holidays’. I have to insist on rest breaks. So I’d love to see performance-based because there’s an outside chance that she’d be paid what she’s worth. The trouble is the assessment process. What should it be, who should manage it and how often should it be conducted? This isn’t impossible… but hard enough for successive governments (of all shades) to have looked the other way and kept walking.

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  13. burt (8,019 comments) says:

    Yeti

    I cannot see why teachers are not rewarded on performance.

    It’s staggering isn’t it. What I can’t work out is why when one of the key components of being a good teacher is recognising kids learning potential differences and helping them all achieve their full potential, fully understanding ‘everybody is different’ some kids will be brilliant and others will not achieve a lot. Some bright ones will completely fail in life and some dim-bulb trouble makers will show up to be misunderstood genius. Then teachers all want to be paid the same and join a collective bargaining situation. Weird.

    BTW: I’m not surprised the ‘right’ won that debate, they are not forcing any changes other than accountability onto schools. Providing a lot more choices and freedoms for the children and parents in the process. The argument against this form of education funding policy is always emotional, emotion won’t stand up to full cost/benefit analysis.

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  14. burt (8,019 comments) says:

    OK, weird missing posts caused burt spam attack… sorry all.

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  15. May (24 comments) says:

    DPF,

    It was judged by show of hands in the audience!

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  16. southtop (262 comments) says:

    hell i hope someone recorded this. you tube anyone please? was any msm there (just joking) comrades would not be allowed to show this on tv surely….maybe on prime. showing gw swindle on sunday i believe.

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  17. burt (8,019 comments) says:

    I’m having trouble with comments going missing, this is not a burt spam attack… sorry all.

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  18. peteremcc (341 comments) says:

    Won by the aff by a show of hands.

    And yes, DebSoc videoed the event so hopefull it will show up on youtube at some point.

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  19. Paul W (266 comments) says:

    Is Stephen Franks still the National Party candidate for Wellington Central? Any chance he’ll actually join the race soon? This is the second event in the electorate that he’s not attended. It’s one thing to campaign primarily for the party vote, it’s quite another to avoid facing your opponents (or fronting for your team).

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  20. newtestleper (19 comments) says:

    Paul – in fairness, Stephen wasn’t invited to participate. I understand Heather was asked because her party actually advocates an education voucher system. He was there in the audience though.

    Debate was judged by show of hands. Probably 2/3rds to 1/3rds to the Aff.

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  21. ISeeRed (244 comments) says:

    Yes, if someone could YouTube or BitTorrent this, and also last week’s Back Benches, I’d be awfully grateful.

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  22. Manolo (13,516 comments) says:

    I attended the debate last night and was happy to see the negative team trounced by the opposition.

    Despite losing Grant Robertson left a good impression. Both of his teammates were weak: the school principal’s speech was boring and skirted the debating points, and the lowpoint of the night was John Minto.

    Minto comes across a bitter, twisted and negative man. His countless iterations that every thing wrong can be blamed on the rich white man, were tiring. In his view, nobody should excel because you must sacrifice yourself for the greater good. Typical communist mindset.

    Minto represents the worst of New Zealand.

    A few Labour supporters in the audience, including a young chap who looked like Horomia’s love-child, who asked Heather Roy a silly question. She didn’t bother answering him.

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  23. big bruv (13,552 comments) says:

    Manolo

    “A few Labour supporters in the audience, including a young chap who looked like Horomia’s love-child, who asked Heather Roy a silly question. She didn’t bother answering him”

    I know exactly who you are talking about, he is a hideous chap and a high ranking member of young Labour.

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  24. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    Manolo, I know of him too. Unspeakably rude. Tried to disrupt the Wellington EFB march but looked totally flummoxed when he was offered the microphone in return for letting the other speakers talk without him hurling abuse.

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  25. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    er, what was the question?

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  26. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    Good on ya Manolo. Agree with ya. It would be nice to get a few more comments from others who were there, too. But is there a cat’s chance in hell of ever seeing such a debate on mainstream TV, or the obvious winning points ever getting aired?

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  27. Paul W (266 comments) says:

    newtestleper said:

    Paul – in fairness, Stephen wasn’t invited to participate. I understand Heather was asked because her party actually advocates an education voucher system. He was there in the audience though.

    Not an unreasonable point, however he was also omitted from a debate on privatisation. It appears he’s avoiding any discussions where he might be asked questions about his conversion from the hard-right to the soft-middle. I’d’ve thought he was a pretty capable candidate so I’m genuinely surprised he’s wary of questions about his background. Also, National have previously had policy in support of vouchers – the Universal Tertiary Tuition Allowance, UTTA, was as close to an voucher as there’s been in NZ. Does National still support this approach or not? Would it promote similar approaches in other sectors of education or not?

    Though I wasn’t there, I’m not surprised to see reports of Minto’s performance. I respect Minto’s role in our history but I’ve not seen him do much of merit for a long time and actually think his Public Education Coalition is a bit of a sham.

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  28. Nick C (340 comments) says:

    It was judged by vote of the audience, so its no surprise that the aff won.

    But they clearly did win. It was still quite close after two speaches from each team but then Whittington got up and kicked arse. And Graves was completely useless!

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