Free food & report cards – Labour's education reforms
Sun, 09 Sep 2012 6:03p.m.
By Samantha Hayes
The Labour Party has come to life with an attack on the Government's education record.
Opposition leader David Shearer says he plans to transform the country through education and end the inequality faced by impoverished children.
Mr Shearer has gone on the offensive, calling the Government's education record abysmal and appalling.
“What single thing has this Government come up with in terms of helping kids get better learning?” asks the Labour Party leader. “They've come up with larger class sizes, charter schools, unregistered teachers. It's all going backwards.”
The former teacher today announced he wants to transform education by extending the Food in Schools programme to all decile-one to three schools, at a cost of $19 million. Mr Shearer wants to roll out Reading Recovery to all schools, at an extra $20 million, and introduce report cards for schools instead of league tables.
“I don't need to know whether my school is better than the one across town, based on a bunch of shonky figures that even [Prime Minister] John Key says are dopey,” says Mr Shearer. “Or ropey? He uses dopey and ropey interchangeably.”
In Vladivostok for APEC, the Prime Minister claimed most schools already had mechanisms in place for impoverished children.
“Not every school wants every child to be provided a lunch,” says Mr Key. “There are many families that can provide those lunches.”
But the Government's own statistics show more than 80,000 children often go without breakfast.
“New Zealand is now more unequal than it ever has been,” says David Shearer. “That's a disgrace and eradicating the causes of poverty will be a priority of the next Labour Government.”
Mr Shearer made the lofty promise of providing the world's best education at every school, with more announcements to come. This is the new political battleground – Labour knows it's on to a vote-winner if it can find the money to pay for its promises.
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26/10/2012 5:59:37 p.m.
"Eradicating the causes of poverty", at least addressing the obstacles to all childrens' right for a decent education is a beginning. I despair though! health and education are treated as businesses like any other, the language has changed; we are providers and consumers and everything is down to market forces and the owners. Our focus has turned away from humanity to productivity, consumerism at any cost and the rest is collaterol damage. We need a radicle change where people once more count as people. We need to teach humanity before it is buried beneath ever reaching ivory towers and one day wonders, consumerables (now useless rubbish). WE need a Labour government that means what it used to mean. Please speak loudly!
10/09/2012 12:25:44 p.m.
@MIKE B - *successful business man*?! I assume you are referring to John Key. He was never a *successful business man*. He was a currency speculator. He got rich gambling with other people's money.
Simply put, currency speculators buy other countries currency, sell it off super cheap, crash a countries economy, and when they are broke, buy up their assets, becoming rich at the expense of millions of people's misery.
People lost their life-savings and countries were brought to their knees because of the actions of currency speculators such as John Key.
10/09/2012 11:12:21 a.m.
Beware of any Labour leader, outwith election year (and including election year come to think of it...normally that's worst when behind in the polls)...who start a new policy with 'FREE'...sends the taxpayers into a panic and the welfare recipients into extacy...hoohumm, Labour has started lolly scramble early it seems. (although voters are wise now with labour and 'free' things as they always cost more and need more of your hardworking tax dollars)...worst defeat in 85yrs, it'll continue too...C'mon Shearer...promise more free stuff, more...more I say!!
10/09/2012 10:39:28 a.m.
Mike b wrote:
I think the last sentance says it all-"if it can find the money to pay for its promises." We have a choice to make come next election. Do we continue with a very succesful business man in his own right, to run the country, or do we go with an ex-teacher? I coin the phrase, "Those who can do, those who can't.........."
10/09/2012 8:23:23 a.m.
@TK the current school ranking has been in place for the last 10 years... New Zealands education system has been ranked 2nd best in the world since 2002.
Had absolutely nothing to do with National and in fact if you look at our education rnking it is currently falling very fast as participation and achievement levels have begun to fall in universities across the country.
Dont thank National for something they had nothing to do with.
There is an international rankings site that can be checked... its current ratings show that the lack of university participation is hurting our international ranking and the website states this quite clearly.
National have not improved our rankings, they have worsened them.
10/09/2012 8:17:00 a.m.
First of all, as per Mr. David Shearer's comment we need to acknowledge the current government effort made NZ education to the world best education level. As for the free meal for specific area, I feel it's uneven treatment and rather suggest across the country if the government is going to subsidy the school meal. Japan provide school lunch system with good nutrition and hygiene considered daily menu and parents pay part of it. Partial payment for lunch can be varied depending on house-hold income perhaps. However, some parents chose to spend house-hold income for smoking or extravagant drink and meal or dressing and those should not be supported by other tax payer who are being thrifty for their spending.
10/09/2012 8:08:33 a.m.
I think its a nice idea but it won't fix the problems at home for families who send there kids to school hungry. What i would love to see is public education program regard having a family and budgeting. If you think about it how many families would be able to send their children to school with a full tummy if they had better family planning? meaning if you can only afford to support 1 or 2 kids dont have 3 or more because that will equal an empty tummy.
10/09/2012 6:15:46 a.m.
@ wizl you are a heartless person and should think about help for it. It takes society to provide for children not just parents. You pay taxes? I hope, and where do you think they go at present? hospitals, winz etc. Its a plan to start to look at poverty in nz and as I say its a start. It is being acknowledged. Fix it before we have kids dying of diseases that will cost more in the long run. Be proactive. Id rather spend my money on kids that need a great start than the wealthy adults this moneys being spent on at present. If you are feeling forced then perhaps Oz is the place for you as nz is a caring nation that at present needs more of the caring and less of the money grubbers like yourself.
10/09/2012 6:05:16 a.m.
Where is the money coming from?
Well according to Nationals own figures, by 2015 when labour would get in we would have a surplus of 197 million dollars.
Claw back those pointless top earner tax cuts and you will have a couple of hundred million more.
Funny thing is, National are predicting there will be a surplus a few months after the next general election... its a great way to cook the books win the election.. and then when we discover they lied... and then we will start hearing... revenue was less than anticipated or their other favorite... we couldnt anticipate the global financial conditions (which any half decent corporate banker should be able to do) just as we have every year since they took power.
Isnt it amazing how socialist National are when it comes to handing out free money to business and the wealthy... its like we have a new welfare system for the rich... while National goes about killing off the poor.
What a sad arsed country when people bitch about saving the lives of children but stand there with their filthy corporate overpriviledged hands out... saying please Sir can I have some more to this goverment.
And then saying things like why should i pay to feed a starving child?
10/09/2012 12:46:20 a.m.
If you know there are kids going hungry, why would you be against this?
JK/National is heartless but from some of these comments it seems many kiwis are too.
You wont have to pay any more tax to support this so it wont cost you. You can bash beneficiaries/parents all you want, but your criticism doesn't help fix the problem at all.
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