No place for National Standards in education, say Greens

National standards have no place in our schools, says Green Party Education Spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

The Green Party today released its updated Education Policy for the 2011 election, with new policies on National Standards, Early Childhood Education funding, and Public Private Partnerships.

“The National Standards experiment has been flawed, rushed, and forced on schools in an unacceptable way,” Green Party Education Spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“We will remove National Standards, and remove any requirement for schools to report against them.

“National Standards were never necessary, because schools already have and use robust assessment and reporting mechanisms. It is high quality teaching, not restrictive measurement, that will improve educational achievement in our schools.

“All National Standards do is label some kids as failures and undermine the work of low-decile schools.

“The Green Party supports the thousands of parents, teachers, principals and members of the public who have registered their opposition to National Standards.”

Ms Delahunty said the Green Party’s updated Education Policy also included a commitment to restore the goal of 100 percent qualified staff in teacher-led Early Childhood Education (ECE) centres.

“All the research shows how vital ECE is for children’s long-term educational outcomes.

“At the same time, we value Playcentre, Kohanga Reo, and other models of ECE, and reject the market funding mechanism proposed for them by the Government.”

The final addition to the Greens’ updated Education Policy was a commitment to resist moves to use Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the school sector.

“International experience suggests that Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are a bad model for delivering quality public education. Inevitably, taxpayers carry the burden and liability for the projects, while private partners take the profits. There are also concerning precedents of schools losing access to facilities and being required to accept corporate sponsorship.

“The Green Party will oppose any further moves towards PPPs in education, including using PPPs to build and operate schools.”

The Green Party’s full updated Education Policy is available here.

And a one-page policy outline document is available here.

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