Phil Harding has it all wrong: we’re being betrayed

Dear reader

In Flyer 2 sent to schools this morning, Phil Harding of NZPF, in effect, sells out schools to decades of more control education and curriculum malaise; sells out schools to national standards; sells out the education heritage of primary schools; and sells out schools to more of the present failed policy of managerialism.

The key point in demonstrating this is his tone of grateful wonderment that the government is willing to discuss the details of the control through cluster proposals.

 And the bombshell: in fact a group has been formed, of which NZPF is a member, has already met to do this

Gotcha! says Steven Joyce. They’re laughing at you Phil behind their hands; they’re exulting.

Unless, principals rise up and immediately in opposition, the game will be over.

Phil Harding I want to say that what you have done, are doing, is something terrible.

You and your government friends will have the cliché to gull the public (schools helping other schools), the media, and your powerful, clubby friends in Wellington. That could well be a winning combination.

I, of course, have seen this all before in Tomorrow’s Schools. There was the cliché to gull the public (let communities run schools), the overwhelming media support, and the powerful, clubby friends in Wellington.

The truth was, of course, is that Tomorrow’s Schools was about managerialism to give bureaucrats and governments overwhelming control. The control through clusters proposals is simply an extension of managerialism. In fact it is the end game.

And what powerful new friends you have Phil and associates. This is a well co-ordinated Treasury-Hughes plan to finish the Tomorrow’s Schools job also involving particularly Steven Joyce. Other key components are the changes to the Teachers Council; also the Task Force looking at reducing regulations in education (this is really a task force to allow appointments by contract and to increase privatisation).

Now I have learnt that control through clusters will allow PaCT to be brought back.

They are playing you like a fool Phil.

Managerialism is a lead weight on the curriculum. I weep for the hundreds of teachers who have written to me, so moving in their accounts, about how they are prevented by helping children because of managerialism.

The tragedy is that the children who need help, the children who we could help, are being obstructed from that help by the very policies that are now going to be extended by the control through clusters’ policy.

I regard what the Phil Harding and his associates have done as a putsch.

But what they done will be very hard to reverse.

Phil Harding in philosophical terms you are a little man out of your depth.

The present education system is a control system based on promoting a control curriculum of national standards which feeds back to supporting the control system; we in schools have been seeking an education system which is based on a participation and a free expression of ideas which would allow a holistic curriculum which would feed back to supporting a system supporting participation and a free expression of ideas.

You have betrayed us Phil. May this be recorded for history.


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