Parata’s comments highlight massive holes in Govt’s plan for our kids

Hekia Parata’s admission that the Government wants to tie school funding to achievement data, and her bizarre comments about charter schools and Apartheid, shows just how flawed National’s ideologically driven education reforms are, the Green Party said today.

The Minister made the comments in her speech at the Post-Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) annual conference in Wellington.

“The Minister has done a complete flip-flop on tying school funding to achievement data – first she ruled it out and now we’ve learned it’s very much on the table,” said Green Party Education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“Just like this Government’s refusal to feed children who are too hungry to learn, or its refusal to do anything meaningful about cold, damp houses, Hekia Parata’s education funding review is going to have shambolic outcomes for our kids.

“Tying school funding to achievement data will drive an even bigger wedge between the kids who are doing well at school and those who, for a variety of reasons, aren’t.

“It’s also going to put even more pressure on schools that are teaching children who come to school hungry, have transience issues, are dealing with stresses at home or have learning differences.

“The Government is determined to hack away at the good work of teachers all over the country, and pitch schools with high-performing, high-privilege children against those who are teaching our most vulnerable young people.

“This is a dreadful funding model that will lead to teaching-to-test and more attention and focus being paid to students who will make schools look good, in order to get funding.

“The Minister also seems to think that objecting to charter schools is some sort of affront to people who marched against Apartheid – what a bizarre and offensive thing to say.

“I marched against Apartheid many times and we were taking a stand against inequality – the very thing the Minister is going to create more of in New Zealand with her disastrous meddling in our education system,” said Ms Delahaunty.