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Category: Social Issues
The performance of New Zealand school children in international tests has been falling over the years. Meanwhile, countries like Singapore have gone from strength to strength.
I have decided to chance my arm on predicting what will happen in 2017. Before doing so however a word about the media, pollsters, elites, and experts, because overwhelmingly the public’s views on matters of public interest are conditioned by these entities.
There is an on-going debate in New Zealand as to why immigrants are required for low-skill work that unemployed New Zealanders could do. Some say our immigration policy is at fault. Others point the finger at our welfare system.
Two decades ago, on August 22, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, popularly known as welfare reform, into law. At the time, liberals proclaimed that the bill would slash the incomes of one in five families with children and push 2.6 million people into poverty.
The changes currently being undertaken by the Government in the education sector have been described as the biggest shake-up since Tomorrow's Schools set-up school boards in 1989. The driving motivation behind the reforms is a desire by National to improve the quality of educational outcomes - especially for students at risk of failure - and to provide a greater choice of schooling for parents.
I recently read the biography Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It was an excellent portrait of one of the 20th century’s most creative entrepreneurs. But I was also surprised to find some interesting insights into the need to reform America’s education system, both from stories of Steve Jobs’ formative years and in the opinions he expressed.
There has been a heated debate over recent months about whether New Zealand needs so many migrant workers, and indeed whether they prevent unemployed New Zealanders from securing jobs.
From the Far North to Southland areas are awash with jobs with employers struggling to find people with even the basic skills to fill them. This sits hand in hand with the perpetual scourge on our society, unemployment, especially youth unemployment.
The right of candid expression is the hallmark of an open society. The ability to challenge ideas and the perceived wisdom of the day, in a free and unfettered manner - even at the risk of offending others - is the cornerstone of liberty.
Last month the Minister of Social Development, Anne Tolley, announced that the next Children's Commissioner would be New Zealand's Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft. He will be replacing the outgoing commissioner Dr Russell Wills, when his five-year term ends in July.