by Larry Smith
Education is one of today’s celebrity issues. The question of how to fix our failing schools appeared on the radar earlier this year and has become even more controversial lately.
Government held a “secret” national education conference last summer (the 18th so far) and a coalition of private sector employers and trade unions finally released a disturbing report on educational failings after spending months unsuccessfully trying to present it directly to Education Minister Alfred Sears.
We drew attention to some of their conclusions last August. The coalition report (titled the Untapped Resource) was one of several research papers included in the Ministry of Education’s conference journal, which has never been publicly circulated.
Not surprisingly, there has been no word from the government on the results of last July’s expensive conference. But the general idea was to come up with a strategic plan for education in the 21st century, recognising that “knowledge is the most important factor in economic development” today.