I read a very interesting (and by interesting I mean insightful in a thoroughly disastrous way) piece on Stuff.co.nz this morning. The upshot? Education Working Group chair Catherine Isaac says she sees the first round of charter schools as places for R&D. If you don’t believe me click on the link above and scroll right down to the end of the article. Isaac is reported as saying:
…the charter school policy is not business-driven, but an experiment aimed at lifting education outcomes for the bottom 20 per cent of pupils….
The article concludes with a direct quote.
“These schools should be looked on as the R&D arm of the education system,”
You can understand why the neo-liberal thinkers want to put these schools in Aranui in Christchurch and the southern suburbs of Auckland. Decile 1 parents are far more unquestioning when it comes to the education of their kids. They tend to accept that teachers are teachers, schools are schools, and the education their kids are getting is fine. Decile 10 parents are a bit more pro-active and questioning of the education of their children. They want to know ‘why’. I’m not saying either way is good or bad, I’m just saying that’s the way it is.
Since most of their kids go to Decile 10 schools, Neo-liberals totally understand the socioeconomic split in parental thinking. That’s why you will NEVER see a
charter partnership school in Remuera, Ilam or Thorndon/Karori.
In short, the charter school policy being developed by the current government isn’t actually developed yet. It’s totally undeveloped or underdeveloped. In any case, Isaac and her working group plan to develop their policy by literally using your children as guinea pigs. When I say ‘your children’ I actually mean the children in the poorest areas whose parents won’t question the experimenting.
This proves that this policy is definitely, and without any doubt, based around ideology and NOT what is in the best interests of the kids (or learners as Hekia-speak calls them).
Also, it’s good to know that Fairfax and Granny Herald appear to have appointed themselves the new PR campaigners for the National Act education policy.
See you next time.
NOTE: if there are any whaleoil types reading this and scoffing saying schools have been R&D houses for years, you are totally correct. We research for BEST PRACTISE by looking at a vast number of teachers plying their trade in the classroom. Then we develop policy and pedagogy based on that BEST PRACTISE. We DO NOT put our kids in an undeveloped, experimental situation and then test a whole bunch of different things on them to see which one might work the best. That’s just plain dumb. Who suffers? The