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451Parents Must Be Allowed to Choose Qualifications

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  • Libertarianz Media Centre
    Mar 22, 2007


      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:
      Phil Howison
      Libertarianz Education Deregulation Spokesman
      Phone: 027 437 0308
      Email: phil.howison@...

      Libertarianz: More Freedom - Less Government