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  • rmacculloch

Minister Wood just went and insulted the views of The Royal Society Te Apārangi

Today the PM & Transport Minister Wood came out against the National Party's recently-released education policy which, as Newshub report, "introduces compulsory hour-long lessons in reading, writing & maths each day".

Minister Wood portrayed the Nats policy as a right-wing conspiracy by saying - in response to it being supported by a researcher at the NZ Initiative - "I'll listen to the teacher who was at the desk here, not the right-wing hack from the former business roundtable who's got an ideological agenda .. National getting in there & making very specific things about what should & shouldn't be in the curriculum… we need to trust our professionals". PM Hipkins said he'd "hate" to see parties putting "specific curriculum initiatives up in their manifestos".

So let's do a fact check. What is the view of the independent "professionals"? Well, The Royal Society Te Apārangi Expert Advisory Panel on Mathematics and Statistics which was convened in 2021 and was comprised of the leading teaching and research professionals in this country, wrote down a set of key recommendations in their independent report (with a link provided below). One of the most important ones was:

"Ensure every child is given a quality opportunity to learn maths & statistics for at least an hour every day, Years 0–10, and that they are given access to all areas of the curriculum".

That key recommendation is identical to the core plank of National's new policy.

The Royal Society Panel members were: Distinguished Professor Gaven Martin (chair), Prof. Glenda Anthony, Prof. Jennifer Brown, Dr Michelle Dalrymple, Associate Prof. Fiona Ell, Associate Prof. Sina Greenwood, Associate Prof. Joanna Higgins, Associate Prof. Jodie Hunter, Associate Prof. Rua Murray, Associate Prof. Matthew Roskruge, Associate Prof. Tony Trinick and Associate Prof. Caroline Yoon.

A bunch of right-wing hacks, are they, Prime Minister and Minister Woods? What is emerging is that our government doesn't give a fig about what the experts say and instead wants to fan hysteria about right-wing conspiracies in election year. The losers are the school children of this country, particularly those from low income families, who are falling victim to this attempt to politicize their education by Minister Wood.



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