451Parents Must Be Allowed to Choose Qualifications
- Mar 22, 2007PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Parents Must Be Allowed to Choose Qualifications
"The news that several prominent schools are considering offering
alternative international qualifications, in response to parental
dissatisfaction with NCEA, was completely predictable" Libertarianz
Spokesman for the Deregulation of Education Phil Howison said today.
"Parents have good reasons to be concerned about NCEA, but the harsh
response from the education bureaucracy suggests contempt for the
rights of parents."
Minister of Education Steve Maharey criticised one of the alternative
qualifications, saying that "When it comes down to preparing a person
for the real world of work and further study, I don't think it does
the same job as NCEA at all." Phil Howison commented: "Maharey is
entitled to his opinion, but it is not his place to force a particular
qualification on parents and students against their will. This is an
important decision - too important to be left to bureaucrats. After
all, tertiary students can choose from a huge range of different
qualifications - degrees, diplomas, various private courses,
apprenticeships and so on. We don't accept the forcing of particular
qualifications on those students, so why high school students?"
John Morris, headmaster at Auckland Grammar, expressed some common
concerns the NCEA in a recent letter to NZQA. Mr. Howison - who sat
NCEA along with School Certificate and Bursary – agrees with Morris.
"John Morris is absolutely correct that the lack of challenge in the
NCEA causes a decline in motivation among top students. Schools all
too often encourage the mere accumulation of credits, while
discouraging students from taking harder courses to improve their pass
rates. And while students can achieve with 'Excellence' or 'Merit',
that has no impact on the number of credits, removing most of the
incentive to improve."
Dr. John Langley, of Auckland University and the NZQA, published an
opinion piece in reply to John Morris. Phil Howison said that Langley
showed a disturbing indifference towards the views of parents. "In
his comment that empowering parents '...systematically undermined the
status of teachers by giving parents and communities the expectation
that... they know best about how their children should be taught.
They don't always,' Langley provides a perfect example of bureaucratic
arrogance. In contrast, the Libertarianz believe that parents have
the right to make decisions for their own children. The state has no
right to your children, and the education bureaucracy cannot be
allowed to override the views of parents."
Libertarianz education policy would return schools to parents and get
rid of state ownership and zoning to allow free choice of schools.
"The separation of school and state will result in freedom of choice,
meaning that parents and students could take responsibility for
education and choose the right kind of schooling to best serve their
needs. A diverse private education market will be far more effective
at serving parents than this one-size-fits-all state system".
Take Back Your Child's Education—Get the Government Out of Schools Now!
For more information contact:
Libertarianz Education Deregulation Spokesman
Phone: 027 437 0308
Libertarianz: More Freedom - Less Government