ACT Welcomes National To Education Debate

Published: Tue 23 Sep 2003 10:58 AM
ACT Welcomes National To Education Debate
ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today welcomed the National Party's Education discussion document, and described it as a step in the right direction for New Zealand education.
"I am delighted that National Education Spokesman Dr Nick Smith has embraced ACT's concept of school choice. His announcement today, that National will adopt ACT's vision for education reform, will be welcome news to parents around New Zealand. It is further evidence that ACT is the party of influence in Parliament," Miss Coddington said.
"The introduction of nationwide testing in numeracy and literacy, quality teacher training, the abolition of zoning, greater flexibility of school resourcing, rewarding good teachers, addressing student underachievement and reducing truancy, will create a dynamic education system that will - in a short space of time - be the envy of the world.
"ACT would go further. We would give parents more say in their children's education. Studies of the education system in the Netherlands and Sweden show the best way to improve literacy standards is to allow the funding to follow the child. Parents in these countries can send their children to any school they like - public, independent, Catholic, Montessori - there is no discrimination.
"In New Zealand, 20 percent of children leave school unable to read a bus timetable. This is an appalling indictment on successive government's allowing political correctness to over-ride the teaching of reading, writing and maths.
"National deserves a star for good work for acknowledging that the policies of the past have failed a generation. ACT's goal is to have no child left behind.
"ACT is determined to bring choice to every New Zealand parent. If the National Party continues in today's direction - and its discussion paper become policy - then education in New Zealand can only get better," Miss Coddington said.

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