Sneaky New Info on Charter Schools

Poor me. I’ve got a dose of the man-flu and to make matters worse Save our Schools NZ has tweeted an article about charter schools.

Read it here.

In summary: Associate Education Minister John Banks says that the government’s proposed charter schools will not be bound by the current zoning rules. This is quite troubling because it is taking things down the slippery slope we have seen with US charter schools where students are ‘imported’ via those old yellow buses. It doesn’t sound troubling yet, but wait. What this ultimately does is allow the schools to hand-pick their students.

Live in a deprived area of South Auckland? Well come to our brand new charter school! Welcome! Kia ora! Haere Mai! Oh, but not you. You’re a bit too… um… ‘well below’ for our liking.

The upshot is that the school will be able to legally manipulate its assessment data to ‘prove’ that charter schools work when compared to other schools in the same suburb that are required to take all students who live in the zone.

Mind you… it won’t matter because charter schools won’t be required to conform to national standards anyway. Sorry! Ignore last paragraph!

Another story that I’m following today is actual Education Minister Hekia Parata announced the proposed merger of four single sex high schools is off the table. I’m hoping that this is the first back-down of many as National realise there is little appetite from parents for major fiddling with their kids’ education. National are weak on education. I just wish the opposition (Greens, Labour and NZ First) were a bit stronger and were slamming them a bit more.

The fact that both stories came out at the same time just shows how scared National is about the view people have of their education policy. Bury one bad news story (anything with Banks, really) by releasing it at the same time as a ‘good’ news story on the Canterbury back-down. The other point to make here is that Parata and the government never had any intention of closing / merging the secondary schools. They just released plans for many schools so they could close some to make their actions look a bit ‘consultative’ – i.e. we listened and we changed our plans…

Or is that me just getting a bit too cynical about National and their ACTions.

Enjoy your day.

Mr B



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