Greens have yet another Parliamentary inquiry under way, this one into selected special needs education. ODT reports: Limited scope of special needs inquiry criticised.
The inquiry, announced earlier this month, will focus on improving the learning experience of children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism spectrum disorders.
Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said, ”So many students are missing out on education because their learning differences are not identified early enough and help is not made available. We want to change the system so every child has a fair go.”
However Raewyn Alexander, principal of Dunedin special needs school Sara Cohen, said she did not understand why other ”challenges” such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy were not included in the inquiry.
”If they want a fair go for every child, why have they only focused on those three specific challenges? If they want a fair go for every child, then they should be asking for an inquiry for all kids with needs, not just those three aspects of special needs.”
Alexander points out a basic problem with the Green approach. Selecting three disorders only for their inquiry is odd anyway, but it’s at odds with their “We want to change the system so every child has a fair go” rheotric.
Dunedin Green Party MP and co-leader Metiria Turei said the inquiry needed to be ”fairly clear in its scope” and restricting the investigation to three disorders would keep the focus on understanding what was lacking and what further resources needed to be provided so every child in New Zealand had a ”fair go” at school.
Turei re-emphasises the contradiction. It’s typical Green marketing practice to package things into soundbites of three, in this case choosing just three disorders to investigate. But that clashes with a general Green theme of giving every child a “fair go”.
”We want to hear from families and schools about what they need and what is clearly lacking, we want to hear about all those experiences so we can get a handle on the scale of the problem,” she said.
Except they only want to get a handle on only some experiences, ignoring the overall scale of any problem.
Ms Turei had been invited to Sara Cohen school events on numerous occasions, Mrs Alexander said, and had failed to ever respond.
”We find that pretty disappointing because of her party and also because she is a local,” Mrs Alexander said.
Ouch. Do Greens only want to hear from families and schools who fit the scope of their packaged inquiries?
Turei is a Dunedin based MP although stands in Dunedin North and Sara Cohen School is in Caversham which is in Dunedin South.
Maybe Greens should have an inquiry into why their rhetoric doesn’t seem to match reality.