1 March 2007 – Home Education Foundation – Business as Usual

Press Release
For Immediate distribution

Business as Usual

The violence at Waiuku College is only business as usual. Seasoned
school social workers tell me that the physical, sexual and text
bullying at schools is out of control. Drug dealing at primary schools
is a regular fact today. Kapiti Primary School principal Graham Conner
confessed he used to be naïve, but that the dealing on his campus was
only the tip of the iceberg.(1) Kawerau College principal Steve Hocking
said, “Any secondary school that reckons they don’t have a drug problem
is probably burying its head in the sand.”(2) Post Primary Teachers
Association president Jen McCutcheon said “There are commonly three,
four or five kids who are severely disruptive in every class.”(3)

Compulsory schooling has so alienated parents from their own children
and from their parenting responsibilities, that we now regularly hear
parents rejoicing to have their own children off their hands and back in
school. Dr John Clark at Massey University says the primary reason we
have schooling institutions is as a baby sitting service.(4) Massey’s
past Vice-Chancellor, Sir Neil Waters, said schools exist to socialise
children, “otherwise it wouldn’t take so long. You don’t need 15 years
to educate somebody but you need 15 years to socialise somebody.”(5)

The late Professor Graham Nuthall of Canterbury University said,
“[S]tudent learning is not the focus of what goes on in schools….. Put
simply, the education system is a fraud.”(6) Phillip Capper, past
president of the PPTA, said, “What I would like to see in the political
debate about education is a recognition that public education is an
exercise in social engineering by definition.”(7) So if school
administrators and the MoE want to blame parents or society in general
for the violence on campus, remember that it was the schools that
engineered the parents and society to be the way they are!

The Ministry of Social Development says on its website
that the proportion of New Zealander’s aged
16-65, almost all of whom passed through NZ state schools, who do not
have the literacy skills in English at a suitable minimum for coping
with the demands of everyday life and work in a complex, advanced
society, is a whopping 46 per cent!

This is gross failure by any standard. But this is the New Zealand state
school system. This is in spite of the teachers in the system, most of
whom are thoroughly devoted to the children, some of whom are absolutely
brilliant, all of whom are being asked to do the impossible. Even so,
there’s no reason to abandon our children to such institutions. We’ve
kept all eight of ours at home over the last 26 year and educated them
ourselves. With the one-to-one tutoring of homeschooling, you can hardly

1.Dominion, 24 June 2002, “Primary school drug use tip of iceberg”,

2.Stuff, 14 May 2002, “All schools have drug problems – principal”,

3.Dominion, 21 May 2002, “Five disruptive kids a class, say teachers”,

4.Dr John Clark, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Education, Department
of Policy Studies in Education, Massey University, from his course notes
for Understanding Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand, 1997.

5.LEARN Magazine, Issue 10, November 1996, p. 8, Sir Neil Waters, Past
Vice-Chancellor of Massey University, NZ Qualifications Authority Board

6. Full quote: One of our major findings, based on many years of
research in many classrooms, is that student learning is not the focus
of what goes on in schools. We found that most teachers, most of the
time, do not know what their students are learning or not learning. We
give awards to our best teachers without paying any attention to what
their students learn. The Education Review Office evaluates the
effectiveness of schools without obtaining any direct evidence about
student learning. The Qualifications Authority accredits courses and
institutions without paying any attention to whether students in those
courses or institutions are learning anything or not. The Ministry of
Education carries out “network reviews” of schools (amalgamating smaller
schools) without any evidence about whether the changes will affect
student learning. Put simply, the education system is a fraud. –
Professor Emeritus Graham Nuthall, University of Canterbury, New
Zealand, March 2004.

7.Dominion Sunday Times, 14 October 1990.

Craig & Barbara Smith
National Directors
Home Education Foundation
PO Box 9064
Palmerston North
New Zealand
Ph. +64 6 357-4399
Fax +64 6 357-4389

Serving, promoting, defending, publishing and lobbying for Christian and
secular home educators in NZ and overseas since 1986.


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