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Charter Schools: Worst Fears Confirmed

Charter Schools: Worst Fears Confirmed

The recent admission from the Minister responsible for the introduction of charter schools, John Banks, that charter schools will not have to accept students in the local area confirms the worst fears of opponents to the education initiative.

Associate Professor Peter O’Connor from the University of Auckland says that charter schools are clearly just private schools run at the taxpayer expense.

He says charter schools will be able to cherry pick students in privacy without the scrutiny and protection offered by the Official Information Act. This recent announcement removes any fantasy that this was about lifting the achievement of children in the poorest areas. This is all about selling off public education to the private sector.

Dr. O’Connor says we were promised at the introduction of charter schools that the very best of international models would be used in New Zealand. However, the very worst features have been chosen. Unqualified teachers, cherry picking of students, no community connection, for-profit providers, and a lack of public accountability all add up to a reckless and unneeded experiment likely to cause significant harm to a world class education system.

Associate Professor Peter O'Connor
Director, Critical Research Unit in Applied Theatre
University of Auckland

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