Education vs Education

So in New Zealand the Labour Party are stating they will close down Charter Schools should they ever get back into Government. They are effectively saying that even if Children are doing well, even if parents are happy, even if there are savings made, even if there is public support they will shut off funding to Charter Schools, their reasonings for this are so weak it is embarrassing

  • The introduction of charter schools is based on the failed notion that increased competition will improve student outcomes. There is clear evidence from New Zealand and overseas that this isn’t the case. Even the Treasury has argued that systems with “highly competitive elements” do not produce systematically better outcomes.

  • At a time when the government claims it is focused on quality teaching, charter schools won’t have to employ registered teachers, and the principal won’t even have to hold a teaching qualification.

  • Charter schools will lack public scrutiny. They won’t be covered by the Official Information Act, and although the Ombudsman can now investigate concerns about student stand-downs and exclusions, the overall accountability regime is still very weak.

  • New Zealand’s world-leading curriculum won’t have to be taught in charter schools. Charter schools could be used for indoctrination, rather than education. For example there is nothing to stop a charter school teaching “intelligent design” in the place of science.

  • The Labour Party does not believe that schools should be in the profit-making business. Money that is extracted from charter schools in the form of dividends for shareholders is money that isn’t being invested in education.

  • Charter schools will not have an enrolment zone. While the government claim that charter schools will be targeted to areas of high need, there is nothing to stop such a school accepting a majority of their enrolments from outside their neighbourhood. We remain concerned that charter schools will be able to use underhand methods to “cherry pick” students.

  • We recognise that a number of learners are currently struggling within the education system, and that Māori and Pacific learners are disproportionately represented in that group. That’s why we believe the government should be focused on ensuring that every school is a great school, regardless of where they live. Policies should be based on research and evidence, not ideology.

  • Much of the flexibility that the government claims it seeks through the charter schools model already exists, for example Special Character Schools can already be established with in the existing public school framework.

  • National has no mandate to introduce charter schools. Although it was working on the proposal before the last election, it did not reveal it to the public until afterwards. The fact that the process of establishing charter schools has already started even before the legislation has passed is a real slap in the face to those who took the time to make submissions to the select committee.

Of course the real reason is the Labour Party receives it’s funding from Union Fees that unions pay for you even if you do not want them too and the Unions are scared of schools making their own decisions. Surely though the most important thing at the end of the day is that children are doing well in school? Apparently not for the Labour Party.

Meanwhile in Australian education news the Gonski reforms are falling down. The COAG ministers met on Fridays and unanimously failed to sign up to Julia’s massive education reforms. This is the sound part of the Federation, while I still struggle to understand how states can have such differences and so many tiers of Government can financially be viable I am happy to see that the states are able to slow down erratic policy which at this stage has been so poorly worked through.




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