A working group of MPs from National, ACT and the Maori Party has asked that parents of the 20 per cent worst performing and five per cent best performing students be given greater choice about how and where the child is educated and taking their Government funding with them.They get their crack-pipes out and light up.
The report lays out various options that could be considered where a student identified as low or high achieving could use a "learning broker mentor" to help form a learning plan.A broker? A broker is what you use to arrange your insurance. Or to buy and sell your uranium shares. Why would the working group use the word “broker” to describe this role, unless it was a deliberate attempt to commoditise the education system?
Unless of course they were all stoned to the bone.
But if they weren’t all off their heads, that leaves only one other interpretation. They are attempting to screw over those at the bottom of the heap. That’s to be expected of ACT, and National is always inclined to favour those with the dosh. But it is an indictment on the Maori Party, many of whose supporters are at the bottom.
Choice sounds like a wonderful thing, doesn’t it? However, read the fine print, because there’s a catch. If you’re at the bottom 20%, how much choice do you really have? Under this crackpot scheme schools that compete for these students have to show results are being achieved before they get fully funded.
So would someone in the working group please put their crack-pipe down and tell me this – why would a school take on a difficult student and risk not being fully funded? Isn’t it better to take on the smart, motivated kids whose parents will push them to succeed?
And is it any co-incidence that the smart, motivated kids are more likely to come from homes that are more stable, wealthier and less prone to the pressures of poverty?
So it’s not about helping the bottom 20%. It’s about looking after the top 5%.