Surely everyone is a fan of the ever smarmy Alan Shore and our cherished red neck Denny Crane. Well let me paint a scenario, an episode of Boston Legal that just has to happen. Some of the jokes spilling from my somewhat childish mind are too rude to say but im sure HBO wouldn't hold back aka shirley schmito. However I digress. Alan Shore always needs a formidable challenge, a fight against the government would suffice, how about a cause, say the dumbing down of education, how about a fly fishing trip squeezed in for Denny? Are you starting to get the picture. It may be time for another SLEEPOVER. what about a road trip? or even better a visit to the colonies.
Alan : "Denny we are going to New Zealand"
Denny : "don't they shag kangaroos there Alan"
Alan : "they fish"
Denny : "Ive always wondered what happens in the pouch"
Alan : "they fish"
Denny : "do they shoot"?
By now friends of boston legal are salivating, and the rest of you have clicked "next blog" hoping for "extracting-teeth.com - a do it yourself guide".
So Alan and Denny head to NZ to take up the cause of the Boards Taking Action Coalition, he is taking the govt to court. Alan is somewhat bemused how the govt can legislate Nag 2a and have the first educational goal of NZ as "Realise the full potential of every student". Alan plans to fight the law, the law is an ass and he will proove it as he always does in a nice 51 minute slot + advertisements. However Denny is along for the trip, he discovers the lakes, mountains, and is loving it, only distracted slightly by the court stuff and the occasional "denny crane" quote for the media. Now you could only imagine the conversations in the back rooms talking about education, the double breasted suit, the calm folding and endless buttoning of Alans jacket.
Of course Alan plans to call John Key and Anne Tolley to the stand... the ending is all too beautiful, the sharp witted Shore making mince meat of a crime against kids. And Crane, not liking Alan's anti government stance, but the audience loving his endless quips, growls, whistles and looks at Aunty Anne.
I have a few issues about the ability of parents to home school kids.
Its a parents right !
Well I've got a few "What ifs".
What if the parents aren't capable ?
What if the kids are chronic truants and the parents have supported them to miss school ?
What if CYFPS have a long history with the family and they now want to homeschool the kids ?
What if there isn't a single book in the house ?
What if the kids are miles behind at their current school ?
So here is what I have discovered. The MOE helps families write their plans (application) and teaching programmes. They approve nearly all applications (schools get a say but rarely is the information enough to stop the parents rights). ERO visits about 8 kids per year as a "check up". ERO give the usual three weeks notice (time enough to buy some books) when they visit. No families have home visits before allowing home schooling. Checks with CYFPS are not done. The only paper work they need to do once approved for home schooling is a Justice of the Peace declaration that says "we are doing the work". No national standards here, actually no standards at all. Parents get paid in two installments the $700 odd dollars for home schooling (fair enough if the system is not being abused). Some facts above are subject to the podgorani exaggeration methodology however they are believed to be accurate at the time of writing.
So there are a few concerns, no blame here, just concerns. If you want to build a kitchen, move toilets, build a garage, you have to jump through many hoops with the MOE. However a kid can be removed from school to vanish from the system to hide from authorities, deprived an education without a home visit. It needs sorting. I did a quick email around and all of my "what ifs" are true stories that came from my colleagues. Food for thought.
A kiwi Principal with a passion for education, sport, rugby, racing, beer and golf, add a little elearning and a theory or uninformed opinion on just about anything in the news.
The views I express on this blog are my own and personal. They should not be thought of as a reflection of the views of my school or employers. They may also be taken as a piss take.