The headline says Liar, liar pants on fire: the Nelson Speech.
That’s not a good start to mature discussion and what follows is no better.
It’s a vitriolic, politically motivated discourse spiced with personal abuse of Education Minister Hekia Parata.
The speech by which the writer, Kevin Smythe, is so incensed was reported in the Nelson Evening Mail.
It appears to be similar to ones I have heard several times from the Minister. In all of them she has discussed both what is working well in education and what needs to improve.
I have never yet heard her lay all the responsibility for the long tail of under achievement on teachers but I have heard her give examples of schools which manage to help the underachievers.
The causes for the under achievement are many. Schools can’t change the foundation laid by families before children start school nor what happens in the bulk of their lives outside school hours.
But they can do a lot in the classroom and at school. Some schools and teachers do better than others – in spite of or because of factors outside their control, including government policy.
If there is a problem with the policy it isn’t going to be solved by rants like this.
The man who wrote it probably calls himself an education professional but there’s nothing professional in this behaviour.
Is there another profession whose members act in this way, with personal criticism of the Minister instead of reasoned debate?
Is there a public forum where teachers discuss the issues rationally?
If not the score is political vitriol 1 – mature debate 0 and education is the loser.