Please can this be Peak Failure and Stupidity in Education?

As I have observed before the Ministry of Education has gone full irony (retard) on their Mission Statement:

We shape an education system that delivers equitable and excellent outcomes.

Some examples of their in-joke:

  • 10% of decile 1 leavers transition to degree courses – 60% of decile 10.
  • 30% of decile 1 students have left at 16 or younger. Less that 10% of decile 10.
  • 35% of decile 1 students attend school regularly. 70% of decile 10.
  • 22% of Maori attain University Entrance. 69% of Asian leavers have it.
  • 14 schools transition no students to degree study. 10 schools transition over 80%.
  • 18 schools have lost 40% of their student before turning 17. 10 schools have over 99% left.
  • 31 schools have less than 10% of leavers get UE. 16 schools have over 90%.
  • Fully State administered schools get UE at 39% for leavers. Integrated and Character Schools at 69% and Private at 87%.
  • International measures have NZ near the bottom of the English speaking world for Math, Science and Reading.

A Ministry contracted report (bet they are glad they did that!) by the Royal Society on NZ’s Mathematics teaching has concluded.

“That our maths education was in a “goddamn mess“. The system was widening the gap between rich and poor children and left Māori and Pasifika children falling behind at school – and ultimately at life.”

Does anyone remember that Charter Schools were not needed because we have a “world class education system”?

Does anyone remember that all that was needed to fix things was pay rises for teachers?

We are well on the way to further embedding a permanent underclass or lower decile taught Maori and Pasifika students. We are also well on the way to a permanently discouraged and disenfranchised group that contains the neuro-diverse, those who have been through trauma within the system (the world’s highest incidence of bullying), the anxious and school averse.

Who takes responsibility? Not Minister Hipkins – he is MIA on education and whenever you try and speak to someone with half a portfolio they refer you to him – it is like return Christmas cards. The Secretary of Education, Iona “$550k+” Holstead was appointed in 2016. Surely with this many losses and disasters she and her senior team must go.

The latest example of phenomenal stupidity is that they are doing such a poor job of oversight on three Special Schools are being funded at $890,000 per student per annum (read it twice – that IS the correct figure) – plus an $8m rebuild for one of them. It does not take a rocket scientist to know the new NZQA Board Chair Tracey Martin has to be involved somewhere.

When the Villa Education Trust applied to set up Charter Schools we were told by all of the usual suspects that we could always have set up as Designated Character Schools under Labour instead. Jacinda Ardern told me face-to-face that we had “shown them the inadequacy of their Designated Character School policy.” She told NZ in 2018 that work was being done on that policy.

In 2019 and 2020 we have applied (like Jacinda said to) for a Designated Character School, non-zoned and near an Auckland transport hub, for 480 students of the type (including neuro diverse and a high proportion of Maori and Pasifika students) that Cognition Education noted that:

“In summary we find and conclude that in both [Villa Education Trust] schools, the management and staff are actively involved in continuous development, and the delivery, of a unique programme of teaching and learning which is based on a comprehensive ‘local’ curriculum that is aligned with the New Zealand Curriculum, and which provides for the personalised needs of priority learners ‘many of whom have been failed by the current education system.”

What we didn’t know is that we were up against a new decision-making flow chart in keeping with other Ministry competencies and actions.

Please help and support!

Alwyn Poole
alwyn.poole@gmail.com

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