Wednesday 22 May 2024

Contestable advice

Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education:
Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – some linked to right-wing think tank the New Zealand Initiative – instead of the traditional so-called experts. The Education Ministry itself is facing heavy job losses – 755 staff. Many of its core functions will be contracted out to consulting firms, especially in areas linked to Stanford’s reform programme: rebuilding the curriculum; an emphasis on reading, writing and numeracy; consistent assessment and reporting; better use of data and analysis.

There’s also a focus on improved teacher training. A recent Education Review Office report said 60% of principals believed their new teachers were unprepared to enter a classroom. It urged the sector to adopt stricter entry criteria for training programmes and to conduct exit exams.

The universities rejected the criticism, and the government is now considering expanding private-sector training.

If one cluster of advisors centered around MinEd has been providing advice that leads to terrible outcomes, good idea to seek advice elsewhere.

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