National welcomes Act education book

Published: Thu 9 Oct 2003 09:51 PM
National welcomes Act education book
Deborah Coddington's new book "Let Parents Choose" adds weight to the evidence that the education system needs major reform to give parents greater choice, and encourage innovation within the sector, says National Education Spokesperson Dr Nick Smith.
"This is a well researched contribution to the debate. It shows that the Government's centralised statist model of education is out of step with best international practice," he says.
"It is disappointing when New Zealand has such a proud history of innovation in education, that we have been surpassed by countries like Sweden and the Netherlands which are at the cutting edge of reform. "There is a strong commonality of view between Act and National on the need for reform in education. Many of the issues identified in "Let Parents Choose" parallel with National's "Schools of Excellence" released a fortnight ago.
"Education is going to become a major area of debate between the centre right and the Government.
"The issue of parental choice has become political because of the Government's rigid zoning laws, its cuts in funding to independent schools, and because the arbitrary way it is closing rural schools is disempowering parents and compromising standards in education," Dr Smith said.

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