John Minto has a long and chequered "activist" history. But surely he and the Herald have hit a new low this morning, even by his standards; check this out:
Nearly half of the Government's Cabinet ministers send or have sent their children to elite schools which are unlikely to feel the effects of changes to classroom sizes.A Herald survey of ministers found that at least seven of the sixteen Cabinet ministers with school-aged children sent all or some of their children to private schools. Four ministers refused to say where their children attended or could not respond, and five ministers said they had enrolled their kids in state schools.Education Minister Hekia Parata announced as part of the Budget the new standardised ratio for Years 2 to 10 would be 27.5 students per teacher - up four students per teacher.Critics of the changes to class sizes point out the National-led Government has doubled state subsidies to private schools in its time in charge, allowing them to keep class sizes smaller.Quality Public Education Coalition chairman John Minto argued in the Herald yesterday that ministers had enrolled their children in schools which were unaffected by the proposed changes.
Politicians work hard, regardless of what party they represent. And their hard work and frequent absences from home take a huge toll on their families. Relationships fail at a higher rate than the general population, and we can think of at least two MP's who have lost children to suicide.
To be fair to Minto, his reference to Ministers' children was a small part of a larger overview of proposed education changes. But it was a part that should not have been written, in our ever-humble opinion.
We all have choices. Most of the Ministers in the current Government come from professions which have given them the means to exercise choice with regard to their children's education. By invoking the politics of envy, and by making sly references to Ministers' children, Minto detracts from what would otherwise be a thought-provoking assessment of the Government's education decisions.