Government dumps successful programme, backs unproven charter schools
The dumping of a highly successful education programme, Te Kotahitanga, that has been proven to lift Maori student achievement raises questions about how committed the Government is to raising under-achievement, says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President Judith Nowotarski.
She says it is ironic that the Government is embarking on its costly and unproven experiment with charter schools because it says “it’s worth a try”, while at the same time abandoning a programme that has proven success.
“It appears the Government is putting ideology ahead of evidence when it comes to lifting student achievement.” Te Kotahitanga has been successfully running for more than 12 years and has made the very gains in Maori student achievement that the Government says it wants.
“It seems wasteful and extraordinary that any Government would abandon a proven successful programme after 12 years and $35-milllion of investment.”
She says the schools that have embarked on Te Kotahitanga know why it works and how it works.
“Its success can be shown in outcomes across many levels. For instance, research shows that there was a 16.4 percent improvement in Maori students achieving level 1 NCEA in schools that had the Te Kotahitanga programme compared with the national cohort improvement of 8.9 percent.” See http://tekotahitanga.tki.org.nz/About/Results-and-Findings.
Te Kotahitanga is a research and professional development programme that supports teachers to improve Maori students’ learning and achievement by enabling teachers to create a culturally responsive context for learning.