25 March 2012
Minister Light on Charter School Details
Political posturing should have no part to play in lifting educational achievement; it is too important to be toyed
with, Labour’s Education spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.
"Yet Maori and Pacific underachievement is being used as the primary motivation to introduce the National-ACT
Government’s charter school model.
"The design and terms of reference for the type of model the Government intends to introduce is largely unknown, meaning
communities may end up with something they never wanted or needed, Nanaia Mahuta said.
"International evidence tells us that the outcomes from charter schools are varied across schools, inconsistent in terms
of student achievement, and - in several instances – heavily dependent on the level of private enterprise funding for
the outcomes delivered.
"The New Zealand education system has enough flexibility to provide for the core features of what is offered in other
countries under charter schools, hence it would be appropriate for the Minister to consider whether we need charter
schools in that context, or whether we should roll out the positive gains from schools that are making a difference for
Maori and Pacific learners.
"The New Zealand experience of Maori immersion education is seen as an exemplar to other indigenous peoples, yet Hekia
Parata and her National-ACT colleagues seem determined to look overseas for 'better' solutions,” Nania Mahuta said.
"It's time for detail, Minister - how will charter schools lift Maori and Pacific Achievement?"