Trying to stop parents choosing

Stuff reports:

City-wide zoning, limited out-of-zone enrolments, and an annual “greater Christchurch ballot day” have been mooted as potential solutions to an unequal distribution of pupils across state high schools.

Oh no. An unequal distributions. Parents are not sending their kids to their designated school.

Of six options presented – a free market system, per-school student caps, zones and caps for co-educational schools, zoning and capping all schools, full regulation, or the status quo – the report writers said full regulation best met the ministry’s goal of accessible, equitable and efficiently-resourced schools.

And that sums up everything wrong. The goal is about schools, not students and families.

Full regulation would include zoning and an out-of-zone cap – likely at 5 to 10 per cent of enrolments – at all state high schools, with financial penalties for exceeding the cap.

Why only fine people for going to the wrong school? Jail them, and their accomplices such as principals of popular schools.

Shirley Boys’ High School principal John Laurenson said his “personal view is that there needs to be legislative teeth to the final decision” on the city’s enrolment system.

He said the main differences between schools were cultural, not academic, and Christchurch’s high school leaders appreciated the need for an efficient and equitable network.

I think parents have a very different view of the differences.

Labour’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins said he was open to debating enrolment mechanisms across New Zealand, but was “strongly opposed to Christchurch being treated any different because it had an earthquake”.

“If we have a policy of parental choice across the country, then Christchurch parents should have that same choice.”

When even Chris Hipkins says these proposals go too far, you know they are bad.


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