PPTA President

Image Angela Roberts PPTA president 2013-2014

News and views from PPTA president Angela Roberts.

Includes the PPTA News viewpoint and his responses to various education issues raised in the media.

(Angela began her presidency mid January 2013)



ACT chokes on choice

PPTA president Angela Roberts comments on ACT's stated policy of school choice for all - but hypocrisy of practice when applying it to themselves.

School 'choice' ... for other people's children

Well that was awkward. The ACT party, with its famous avowal of market and choice as the education way-to-go, hypocritically gets up a petition when there is the threat to the property values in the notorious “grammar zone.”

I am not surprised the parents of Epsom chose the certainty and predictability of a "home zone" - probably one that their children can walk to - over the schooling free-for-all that ACT prescribes for other people's children.

Market theory of school choice - failed in practice

There is nothing new in the promise ACT makes that educational nirvana will arise from the unfettered chaos of the market. What would be news is if a jurisdiction emerged that could make the theory work.

New Zealand experimented with a pure market model from 1991 to 1998 and abandoned it, not because of some left-wing conspiracy, but because it was widely perceived to have failed.

Zoning re-introduced by National Party - common sense policy of neighbourhood schools

Zoning was re-introduced not by the Labour Party, as is often alleged by the historical revisionists, but by the then National Party Minister of Education, the Hon Wyatt Creech.

As Creech said at the time, “some schools were half empty and wasting resources, while others were growing at a phenomenal rate and costing the taxpayer. Weakening the zoning requirements would cause the same situation.” And, presaging the concerns of the parents of Epsom, he observed that zoning “reflects, in a common sense way, what I think New Zealanders believe to be the right policy – that is, there should be a broad neighbourhood school principle involved in enrolment schemes.