Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


ACT usurps Parliament’s role in examining charter schools

20 December 2012

ACT usurps Parliament’s role in examining charter schools

The former ACT president and current chair of the Government’s charter schools working group, Catherine Isaac, is pre-empting Parliament’s job of examining legislation introducing charter schools.

NZEI Te Riu Roa says it is writing to Parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee to express its concerns.

“Ms Isaac has created an “indications of interest” process for groups interested in establishing a charter school that mimics a formal authorisation process for such schools before the legislation to introduce charter schools has even been passed,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National Secretary Paul Goulter.

“The Education Select Committee has not even yet held hearings on the Bill that would introduce charter schools. Ms Isaac was appointed to chair a working group to provide advice to the Government, not to usurp Parliament’s right to consider, debate and change proposed legislation, or to set up her own charter school authorising empire,” he says.

Mr Goulter says Ms Isaac appears to be setting up the process in a desperate attempt to drum up business, given the paucity of interest in the controversial ACT-National policy agreement.

A recent Official Information Act request to the Ministry of Education reveals that, up to the end of October, 11 parties had contacted the Partnership Schools/ Kura Hourua Working Group expressing an interest in establishing a charter school (see list below).

“Most of the parties that have expressed an interest have narrow sectarian religious connections, including a transcendental meditation group,” Mr Goulter says.

“It appears few would even meet the Government’s focus of targeting priority groups of Māori, Pasifika learners from low socio economic backgrounds and learners with special education needs.”

“There is a risk we will see groups trying to siphon off taxpayer dollars to fund religious and spiritual schools that can access existing special character provisions of the Education Act.

“Charter schools will allow people who are not registered or qualified as teachers to teach in their schools. This has a high risk of a negative impact on children especially those who are more vulnerable or not achieving – the very children whom charter schools are supposedly going to help.’’

The charter school framework permits private companies and not-for-profit groups to set up schools without being subject to the same outside scrutiny as public schools, even though they are given taxpayer money.

“The Government’s decision to continually put ideology ahead of quality education for students is part of its neo-liberal Global Education Reform agenda. It puts competition and measuring ahead of quality teaching and learning.”

List of parties interested in establishing a Partnership/Kura Hourua:

Maharishi Foundation of New Zealand
Nga Potiki Education Trust
Pacific Christian School
Living Way Centre
Little Ark ECE Centre
Nga Kakano Christian Reo e Rua Kura
Otara Community Preschool
Te Aka (2010) Charitable Trust
Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre
Motueka Rudolf Steiner School
Immanuel Christian School

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Film Awards: The Dark Horse Scores Big

An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach Genesis Potini, made all the right moves to take out top honours along with five other awards at the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards - nicknamed The Moas. More>>

ALSO:

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news