The politics of charter schools – oh how political!

Published: Thu 2 Feb 2012 09:31 AM
The politics of charter schools – oh how political!
QPEC Vice President John Minto says that Act’s charter school trial has nothing to do with education and everything to do with politics.
“Catherine Isaac, senior Act party person and Wellington business woman, is to lead the quickfire, no consultation, implementation of charter schools in South Auckland and Christchurch.
“Mr Banks says that Ms Isaac has the educational credentials for this job. But her six years of service on a board of trustees took place in one of the wealthiest secondary schools in New Zealand. She has no experience of working with low-achievers or students living in poverty.
John Minto says that there is to be no pretence of any careful deliberation before introducing this policy. Mr Banks said that the schools will open next term.
“Either this is to be a takeover of an existing school, or huge resources are going to have to be poured in very quickly to get schools up and running,” said Mr Minto.
Act’s anti-union stance is also unlikely to be fulfilled. “It is not possible under New Zealand law to hire a teacher on the basis that they will not belong to a union”.
QPEC members are distressed by what is happening.
“There is a complete negation of New Zealand’s high rankings internationally in education – much higher than the countries this policy seeks to emulate. The huge strides made to improve schooling outcomes for low-achieving students are ignored as if they have never happened.
“Act seeks to impose on us someone else’s authoritarian, right-wing, anti-teacher solutions, which forces top-down discipline on the non-achieving poor in an attempt to up their game. These approaches do not work and are the reason that charter schools internationally are more likely to fail than succeed”.

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