Monday, 29 July 2013

Labour promises to ditch Charter Schools & TV3 News loses cred

Today David Shearer released news that every teacher and parent who cares about education and the
future of our children will consider music to their ears:  Labour will ditch Charter Schools as soon as they return to government and are currently drafting a bill so it will be ready to roll on day one.

Labour will repeal charter schools legislation

David Shearer  |  Monday, July 29, 2013 - 15:55
Labour will repeal the legislation allowing the creation of charter schools immediately upon becoming government, Labour Leader David Shearer said today.
The National government is expected to announce candidates for the first charter schools this week.
“Charter schools won’t be good for education. They won’t have to have registered teachers, won’t have to teach to the curriculum and won’t be subject to the same accountability as state schools.
“They are an ideological experiment inflicted on the country as the result of a dodgy cup of tea deal between John Banks and John Key.
“Labour has been working with groups in the education sector to draft a Bill repealing recent Education Act changes that allow charter schools to be established.
“We’re not going to wait until we’re in government to get to work on this, we’ll be ready to go on day one.
“I’ll be releasing a draft Bill soon, but in the meantime I want to send a clear signal to anyone considering establishing a charter school that there is no future for them when Labour returns to government.
“Any government that I lead will make decisions in education based on what’s best for kids and learning. The charter schools experiment fails at the first hurdle.”
Labour News

We also know the Greens, Mana and New Zealand First have the same views on Charter Schools as Labour does.  So there will be support for this bill to go through providing New Zealand gets out and votes in Election 2014.

Most main stream media outlets carried this such as Radio New Zealand, the New Zealand Herald and TVNZ.  Surprisingly, neither the Herald or TVNZ had managed to round up a government spokesperson to belittle Labour's announcement and spout their usual GERM lies. 

This is probably because Hekia Parata is currently on a junket visiting education ministers around the world, John Key is in transit from Korea to.... I think he's about to go on holiday.  And I just saw Gerry Brownlee on the news tonight entertaining Tom Cruise, his son Connor and a whole lot of Warner Bros execs with Team New Zealand at the Louis Vuitton Cup in San Francisco.  Goodness knows where Steven Joyce is!  Probably fixing someone else's cock up, while Jonathan Coleman scrambles to deal with the latest debacle of our armed forces declaring investigative journalists as akin to terrorists!!  And does anyone care about what John Banks has to say on Charter Schools?

Meanwhile, as I write this, Stuff (Fairfax) have nothing on it, and TV3's news website, which used to be good, must be suffering from receivership, because it's suddenly become unsurfable and I couldn't find a reference to Labour's Charter School policy announcement at all.

However there is plenty to be had on 3 News over David Shearer's housing policy announcements yesterday - and it is not pretty.

Patrick Gower, 3 News Political Reporter, spent much of tonight's piece on the 6 o'clock news giving John Key time to say that the Labour housing policy was racist and that his advice is that it would breach New Zealand's Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China.

David Shearer was barely given time to state anything about the policy or the advice regarding the FTA he has received.  Luckily we have Mr Shearer's press release to refer to:

Labour to restrict non-resident purchases of homes

David Shearer  |  Sunday, July 28, 2013 - 09:23
Labour will restrict the ability of non-residents to purchase New Zealand houses, as part of its comprehensive package of policies to help New Zealanders get into their first home.
“I will restore the Kiwi dream of home ownership that has slipped out of reach for tens of thousands of Kiwis.  I don’t want to see our kids become a generation of renters,” says Labour Leader David Shearer.
“House prices in Auckland have risen by 28 per cent since June 2009. The problem is clear – there are just not enough affordable homes.  And overseas speculators are adding to the problem.
“That’s why the next Labour government will introduce restrictions so that non-residents will not be allowed to buy any existing house, flat or apartment.
“Many other countries, including Australia, China, Singapore, the UK and Switzerland target overseas speculation in housing.  New Zealand’s lack of regulation leaves the door wide open for international speculators.
“IRD records show that more than 11,000 overseas investors own properties here that they don’t live in.  An estimated 2,600 homes were bought last year by offshore property speculators that had no intention of living here.  That’s a big chunk, given that just 4,700 new homes were built in Auckland last year.
“This policy will reduce demand and help take some of the heat out of the market.  It will put Kiwi buyers at the front of the queue.
“By itself this is not a silver bullet for housing affordability – but it is part of the solution. 
“It sits alongside Labour’s KiwiBuild policy to build 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years for first time buyers, and our plan to tax property speculation.  Together these policies will increase the supply of entry-level housing and reduce speculation-driven demand.
“Labour’s comprehensive housing affordability plan will mean first home buyers get a fair crack at getting into the housing market,” says David Shearer.
Labour News

I hope you noticed the part about which other countries, including China, restrict foreigners owning their houses and land.

I've long watched 3 News.  I've found them entertaining, informative and often they beat TVNZ to the punch on some issues.  Until recently I have considered 3 News to be trustworthy to report the news with honesty.

But that belief has taken a beating lately.

The continued innuendoes about David Shearer's leadership, the constant niggle to make a story out of.... well, what, really.

But what took the cake for me was the story on 3 News of the GCSB protests on Saturday night when presenter Sasha McNeil said that rocks and bottles were thrown at the protest held in Palmerston North (from the 4:30 minute mark).  It was never verified, and I know someone who was there that has categorically stated on social media that no rocks or bottles were thrown, that it was a peaceful protest.  How low have standards sunk at TV3 lately?  And are the receivership troubles a reason for this?

A complaint has been laid with the Broadcasting Standards Authority and police have confirmed that this report was untrue. 

TV3's Auckland bureau chief Keith Slater said an email from a person within the Palmerston North area provided the tip.
He would not comment on why it wasn't verified.
''3 News acted on information provided that was incorrect and we will rectify that error,'' he said before the apology went to air.

Complaints are now being made about the quality of the apology.  (Oh how good it would be to include a link to this apology... but I can't find one!)

So I am going to say here that David Shearer has met the standard on Charter Schools.  There is no place for Charter Schools and their unregistered teachers in New Zealand's quality public education system.  Now step up and make definitive statements on National Standards and PaCT please David.

However, 3 News and a number of reporters are failing the standard.  They need to get their balance back and verify information before broadcasting.  I beg 3 News to up their game... because I like watching you, but if you continue to perform this way I will have to switch channels.

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