Wednesday, October 11, 2006

NZ First support EBs

Apparently the Education Minister is accusing National of a "cash for policy" deal for the Exclusive Brethren regarding independent schools. A pleasant surprise - NZ First has gone in to bat for the EBs.

11 comments:

amoebe said...

Hm, these schools may save the government money, but is it desirable to have such ghettos within society? How do these people get socialized? I mean, they live in NZ society, but they never get in contact with it. Isn't that just a tad weird?

Brian Smaller said...

well actually amoebe, I talk to my EB neighbours as regularly as I talk to my five non-EB neighbours. That is reasonably often. They deal with the wider NZ society on a daily basis. They go around to the same Indian diary as me to get their milk and shop at Pak N Save. They are not as isolated as you think - they don't live in communes you know.

Scotty said...
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Scotty said...

I went to an independent school.

After failing to read in the state school system, I was taught by my mother to read, and then sent to an independent school. What I learnt there gave me a good foundation for my later academic studies.

Amoebe, is it the government's job to socialize children? No. It is the job of parents. And at any rate what kind of socialization forces you to mix with people who are all your own age, and all come from the same 4km radius as you?! I suggest that our precious state schools and their zoning are more likely to create ghettos than independent schools.

It is plain stupid to imply that people who go to an independent school don't get in contact with the society at large. I am more involved in my community than 99% of the young teenage hip-hop influenced taggers who are educated in the public schools of my area.

At least I can talk to people from all ages, walks of life, and try to make my neighbourhood a beautiful place.

Brian Smaller said...

Both my kids are at Independent schools. Which is why we don't have many holidays and live precariously close to Naenae.

amoebe said...

"Amoebe, is it the government's job to socialize children? No. It is the job of parents."
Hm, to a certain extent kids can be socialized by their parents - socialization within the family is certainly important. I was rather thinking sozialization within a wider circle of people, and confrontation with beliefs/ways of life not your/your kids's own.
"It is plain stupid to imply that people who go to an independent school don't get in contact with the society at large."
Well, you will agree that they only get in contact with a select circle of kids/people in their independent school. Mixing with everybody within your 4 km radius is not that bad of an idea - it gives you a nice cross-section of society.
I also think that is "plain stupid", to use your words, to imply that the kids educated at public schools are all "young hip-hop influenced taggers". Why hip-hop? And why bashing the public schools? At least they are open to everybody and try to give everybody an education. I do agree that public schools are far from ideal a place, but I guess a kid who has a strong foundation in the family should be able to survive the "bad influence" it might (might!!) be subjected to at a public school. There might also be a lot of valuable things to learn there, like tolerance of otherness, the lesson that not everybody is like you or your parents, etc.

Brian Smaller said...

Amoebe - I'll tell you you why my kids are at independent schools. For starters, teachers spend about 95% of their classroom time actually teaching instead of spending it trying to discipline kids, deal with tired kids who stay up too late, kids who don't get breakfast etc etc. The quality of education is vastly different. To me it is worth the sacrifices we make to have them there. I wouldn't send my kids to my local school in a fit. A Decile 2 state school? No Way.

Scotty said...

Amoebe - I say hip-hop because of the area I come from. Most kids are trying to imitate losers from the States who are models of what we don't want in a civil society.

And NO. "Mixing with everybody within your 4 km radius is not that bad of an idea - it gives you a nice cross-section of society. " is just not true. The town I come from is not a cross-section of the country. It is a ghetto. Mixing with kids who are all the same age and from the same immediate area is not what I call good socialization.

Why do I bash public schools? I don't bash all of them. But the ones in my town are institutions of collective ignorance. I attended a public school for my first two years of schooling, then I attended an independent school, then I was home-schooled, and then I went back to an independent school, and I finished my last three years of school in a public school. I know what the schools are like round here.

Funnily enough my dad was a teacher and deputy principal in the state school system for a long time. I have many horror stories of what goes on. He moved to become a principal of an independent school - a huge pay drop - but he enjoys it so much more.

At the end of the day - schools are not there to socialize kids. They are there to educate them. We need to evaluate their success in those terms.

amoebe said...

"Most kids are trying to imitate losers from the States who are models of what we don't want in a civil society."
Another blanket statement...so people from the States are losers...certainly not all of them. I've taught at a college in the States for two years and I've encountered far more good than bad people, even if some of them did listen to hip hop. Also, define civil society. What's the criteria for somebody to be a civil citizen? White? Christian?
Brian, I agree with you that choosing an independent school for academic reasons is a good idea. I'd probably do that myself if I saw that the state school in my area was not performing. My initial concern (with the EB schools) was the fact that people put their kids into independent schools (or even build those schools) for more or less ideological reasons and because they think that their world view is superior to everybody else's. That's what I don't really like.

Scotty said...
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Scotty said...

Clarification...I love the US. I am a strong supporter of them and many of their policies. I wasn't talking about every single person in the states....

Most kids in my area (which I should know because I live and work here) are trying to imitate losers from the States (a select group of morons in the hip hop music industry who view women as property, drugs as good, killing and turf wars as normal).

My worldview IS superior to the worldview of these people. If I didn't think that, I wouldn't hold to it. If all people lived out their worldview, where would we be?

A civil society in my mind is definitely not something where youths wander round after dark vandalising property, breaking and entering houses and then tagging throughout them, smashing up letter boxes, tagging vehicles, throwing rocks and bottles at moving vehicles, and beating people to a pulp...just because they can. All of these I have experience with in my neighbourhood.

A civil society is nothing to do with ethnicity as you seem to suggest I must think, and it doesn't have to be about religion either. It is about all people understanding their responsibilities to other people, and respecting them. These things are not often taught in our state schools which focus more on rights.