League Tables? The only tables our kids need have food on them
While this Government attempt (like they do every time they are in power) to wreck our public education system and adopt systems countries far further down the OECD rankings use, 100 000 kids go to school hungry each week.
The worst part of this 'focusing on the tail' crap used to justify charter schools, national standards and the flawed larger classrooms, is that National are actively ignoring that tail.
CPAG estimate that it would cost us $30million to feed every kid in the 3 lowest decile schools. Doing that would do more to raise the lowest rung of our educational achievement for the largest number of people than any other single thing the Government could do.
When you consider that the Government are spending $120 million on propaganda to con NZers into accepting asset sales, $30million to feed every child in the poorest schools is a cost that is easy to justify.
The counter argument to free school food that I heard at the last election from those on the right was that allowing the State to perform a function that parents should be doing would send the wrong signal.
I always thought that argument was moralistically ludicrous. If parents can't afford to feed their kids, they can't afford to feed their kids. Just because the State steps in and performs that service doesn't suddenly weaken the resolve of those parents to feed their children. To wag ones finger at the 'signal one sends' by feeding hungry children is the sort of ethical calculations pro-active sadists make.
If National were serious about focusing on the educational 'tail', they would feed it.
Hungry kids don't learn anything.