Friday, March 24, 2023

Mike Hosking: Luxon's speech showed what the polls don't

If everyone in this country watched Christopher Luxon yesterday outline where our education system is at, he would not have the issues he currently does around whether he is getting traction in polls.

He talked about how the system got where it is, how it is measured and how the world sees us.

Ultimately, it is why it will all come right later this year when the campaign properly starts and some decent attention is put on his performance.

There is no question that the media are biased towards Labour.

There is no question that any opposition, at the best of times, has trouble getting attention.

But a campaign and its coverage rules, to some extent, fixes that. In the meantime you are required to sit, as I did, watching a live feed of a policy release and next to no one is doing that.

And by the time the media get to it and hack it to pieces so we can have it delivered in our proffered bite sized chunks, virtually all of the substance and impact of what was said is lost.

The tragedy is this - a lot of what he said wasn’t spin and it wasn’t political. It was just fact, stats, numbers, results of studies and research done by various experts, in various countries over a good number of years.

In really simple terms this country and our education system is shocking. And we know it's shocking because it didn’t used to be that way.

We have, and continue to, go backwards. Now, that shouldn’t be news to anyone, but when you book mark it the way he did it's an eye opener

The teachers, largely, are not to blame. It is the way we teach, the work load they are expected to undertake, the lack of confidence they have in the first place and the expectation of a Government or ministry that has completely skewed what is important.

Essentially what National are advocating in their policy is nothing exceptional. It's simply going back to what we once did, which is basic competency in basic subjects.

When you have the basics you have confidence. When you have confidence you feel you can do more.

There is no magic. Just, sadly, an appalling hijacking of a system by wonks in Wellington that for some reason have been allowed to run rampant.

What we have by way of an education outcome for so many kids is inexcusable and indefensible.

If you watched Luxon prosecute that yesterday you'd see a bloke who gets it and, more importantly, wants to do something about it.

As more New Zealanders see more of that they will see why the election is nowhere near as close as the polls might suggest.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.


Anonymous said...

To hope Mike is right.

Anonymous said...

And those Education wonks and their woke friends are immediately claiming National are returning to failed policies etc etc. The policies NOW are "FAILED" - the proof is staring us all in the face and Labour's planned curriculum "reset", laden with Critical Race Theory ideologies, will only make matters much worse.

Education desperately needs urgent attention - all our futures depend on it.

And by all means return to the basics, but also get some decent expert advice, like from The NZ Initiative, but most certainly not from those in the MoE that have had a hand in creating the current mess we are now in.

Tinman said...

"Teachers are not to blame".


If you ever take time to listen to a "teacher" you will understand that "teachers" and the teachers of "teachers" are totally responsible for the deterioration of educational standards.

New Zealand "education" is now indoctrination and to ensure that indoctrination takes hold literacy and numeracy have to be casualties - can't have the subjects learning to think for themselves until they can only think what the "teachers" want them to think.

It is "teachers" who have introduced this into classrooms, no doubt encouraged by political lightweights in ministries but still, finally, happily engaged in by co-political lightweight and woke "teachers".

No doubt the "fix" needs to start at Ministerial level with a clean-out starting at the top and working down through the Department but only by introducing pay scales based on results can "teachers" be turned into teachers.

Phil Blackwell

hughvane said...

I have to agree with some of what Tinman says.

Some - and a sizeable some - of the problem is in my view, the teachers. Marshmallow and putty, a dire & tragic shortage of tungsten.

Teachers have to comply or risk losing their jobs, albeit with one hell of a fight, and then comes the very real danger of a school not being able to operate. What then?

The wishy washy play way that permeates early childhood education, ie. <Year 5, and, I might add, the paucity of male teachers to provide balanced role models, produces what we see and hear so much of in our streets and parks, for example.

Anonymous said...

If you have ever spent time in a school staff room you may have noticed that teachers rarely openly disagree with one another.
They are conditioned to accept the dogma and won't challenge anything.
However it's hard to blame them when they have to work with the tools they are given.
I would rather point the finger at the Unions and politicians.

John S said...

The teachers are to blame Mike. If they all took a step back and thought for themselves and realised that teaching is about preparing our children for life, rather than blindly following the propaganda of their Marxist union things might change. Unfortunately these Marxists end up in key roles in the Labour and Green parties and therein lies the problem.

Erica said...

I just don't see it being at all easy to implement any of these changes Natiomal proposes. The teacher unions are too strong and the ideology of progressivism - child centered,play-way and constructivist is so entrenched.How do you deprogramme such a large section of society which includes parents who subscribe to the ideology a well?
An acquaintance, who attempted to introduce science and evidenced based phonic reading called structured literacy into her class teaching was ostracized in the staff room and verbally abused by the Reading Recovery teacher. There are teachers out there who wish to do the best for their students but it is difficult. The reading wars have not gone away; they just continue to simmer away.