Warped education priorities short-changing kids

The Government should be focusing on making sure our kids are at school and learning, rather than have them discuss their white privilege, National’s Education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“Discussions around race and inequality are important and we should be having them.

“But making young children discuss their ‘white privilege’ in front of classmates isn’t the best way to have these discussions. It could end up doing the opposite of intended and divide our kids at such an early age.

“Labour’s priorities in education have become warped and politicised.

“While this Government is focused on deconstructing white privilege, truancy and failing achievement in maths continue to be major problems.

“The best way to improve the achievements of all students including Māori is to make sure they’re at school.

“Then, when they are at school, to make sure they are taught to read and write and do maths, and for their progress to be carefully measured and monitored.

“While this Government has found tens of millions of dollars for programmes on racism, bullying and for a poorly targeted free lunch programme, the day to day business of officers knocking on doors to make sure kids got to school is woefully under resourced.

“Since National Standards have been thrown out, no effective means has been developed to make sure the progress of every child and every school is measured and monitored.

“Getting these basics right will do more to improve the outcomes of Māori students than any anti-racism programme.”