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Quality public education under threat from charter schools

Quality public education under threat from charter schools

Charter schools represent a radical, reckless and dangerous move in New Zealand education.

Education professionals will tomorrow tell the Education and Science Select Committee that the Government’s plans to introduce charter schools into our education system would be severely damaging for public education in this country.

NZEI Te Riu Roa is presenting its submission to the Select Committee at 9.30 (Wed 13 Feb).

The government proposals would allow the setting up of privately-run and profit-driven schools funded by the taxpayer, with no public accountability and no need to employ qualified teachers.

NZEI Te Riu Roa National president Judith Nowotarski says charter schools represent a very dangerous and damaging ideology that has no place in New Zealand’s quality public education system.

“We have one of the best public education systems in the world but this is tragically under threat from by government ideology.

“Charter schools have been tried in other parts of the world such as the United States and the UK. They have not provided better education for vulnerable children. On the contrary, evidence shows that allowing private, profit driven and unqualified people into our education system will undermine quality education.

“Poverty and inequality are the two leading causes of student underachievement. Proposals to bring in charter schools are a diversion from addressing the real issues.

“Educators are very aware of what can be done within our school system to address student underachievement and we would urge the government to work with us to tackle that instead of following failed policies from countries with failing education systems.

"There are great models that we can follow from countries such as Finland with high achieving systems. Charter schools, part of ACT party policy, are the wrong way to go and the Government has no mandate to adopt such a radical and dangerous approach to education.”

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