Remove Education Policy from the Politicians

Yesterday I read an opinion piece by Gareth Morgan over at Yes it talked about tax policy which, by any stretch of the imagination, can be about as interesting as the pregnant pause and dramatic music combination between the words, “The person going home is:” and the name of the actual person going home (you pick the reality show – I’m thinking X Factor myself).

There are some very salient points made by Morgan throughout the article. He talks about the distribution of wealth which needs to be realigned because it currently favours those with wealth – in particular property.

We all know this anyway. Poor people have little if any access to the fabled chartered accountants that are so good at redistributing said wealth so it remains un-taxed. The wealthy through their accountants have made an art out of ‘tax minimisation’ as our Revenue Minister calls it (one man’s minimisation is another man’s fraud).

Morgan’s main point is that tax policy is far too important and specialised to be left in the hands of politicians with their ridiculous (my word) ideologies and short-term thinking. He points to Labour setting up of the Reserve Bank 30 years ago to oversea monetary policy as an example of the government realising it was far too important for someone as ideologically unbalanced as Muldoon to be in charge of absolutely everything (carless days!!).

Leave the monetary policy development and implementation to the experts, says Morgan.

This got my brain into a very lateral ‘My Thinks’ mode.

Education is far too important for our country to let it get bogged down in the ideologies of any political party.

Wouldn’t it be better to have educational policy implementation in the hands of a board – like the Reserve Bank board – where the majority of the decision-making is left to the experts and based on the most current pedagogical research?

Isn’t the future of our country, our move to be a 21st century economy that relies less on the might of Fonterra and other primary industries, far more important to be given to the mindsets currently occupied by a financial gambler, a farmer, a radio host and someone so absurdly petty she demands everyone uses ‘partnership schools’ or she won’t answer any questions because she doesn’t know what type of schools you are talking about?

Parents (and soon to be future parents): do you really, really want the education policy for your children to be developed by people with absolutely ZERO educational expertise?

Or to put it another way: would you prefer the policy that dictates the future direction of New Zealand education to be left in the hand of a group of specially trained researchers and educators who bring years of experience in the sector to their policy making OR leave it to people who rarely think beyond the next polling day – a maximum of 3 years away?

Unfortunately this would never happen in New Zealand. It’s far too visionary.

Mr B.

Post Script: being ‘of the left,’ don’t think for a moment just because I’m talking about National, I don’t lump Labour, Greens, NZ First etc into this mix. Each party has their own ideology. What this means is that every time there is a change of government there is a potential change in the direction of education policy. This is even particularly relevant now as we lurch to the far extremes of the ideological spectrum and the mess currently being created has to be cleaned up by the next government (hopefully coming in at the end of next year).

Post Post Script (extra thinks): The reality of my educational nirvana devoid of political interference will never come to pass. Monetary policy doesn’t cost very much while educational spending is in the tens of billions. They’d never let control of that kitty to any expert.

Source: Gareth Morgan wants to take the setting of tax policy away from politicians and give it to experts


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