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Charter schools unlikely to hurt state schools

media release

Tuesday 27 NOVEMBER 2012

Charter schools unlikely to hurt state schools

The evidence from overseas does not back up concerns about charter schools harming the state school system.

Maxim Institute Senior Researcher Steve Thomas has just completed a review of the best studies available on the impact which charter schools have on regular state schools that are around them. In many cases, the impact is negligible.

“There is high quality research showing both minor positive and minor negative impacts of charter schools on the state system,” says Thomas.

”Overall, the evidence shows the conditions under which charter schools operate affects whether or not state school systems feel their effects.”

Where charter schools have had a positive impact it could often be traced to good systems for their operation, and the development of collaboration with state schools nearby.

Some charter schools relieved pressure by taking the most difficult pupils from state schools, allowing state schools to better focus their resources.

Others shared teaching innovations, or provided healthy competition, which saw state schools improve their own teaching standards.

“Rather than crying foul over all charter schools, we need to ensure we are learning lessons from overseas and make sure we set ours up in the best possible way,” says Thomas.

“That way we can enable New Zealand’s version, Partnership Schools, to really serve the pupils they are being introduced to help.”


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