17 May 2013
Government throws more money at failed experiment
The Government’s announcement in the budget that it will spend $19 million on contingency funding for charter schools over four years is funding a failed experiment that will not benefit New Zealand children, says NZEI Te Riu Roa.
“Charter schools have been a failed experiment overseas. They will use public money to prop up private institutions, put unqualified and unregistered teachers in front of our most vulnerable children and will not be subject to the usual scrutiny,” says NZEI president Judith Nowotarski.
“What was needed today was a commitment to lift achievement of all primary school students. It has failed to deliver this. Instead the Government is racing ahead with funding its Global Education Reform (GERM) policies which are based on competition and standardisation like charter schools and national standards.”
After already spending at least $29 million on unreliable and flawed national standards, the Government is spending more money on another GERM policy.
It is doing this by funding the PaCT tool – which is basically an assessment tool to inform National Standards.
“Almost half the ‘quality teaching’ funding goes to PaCT - from $16.2m of $37m. It is just about teaching teachers to use the PaCT tool not about kids’ learning and teacher development,” says Mrs Nowotarski.
National Standards are damaging as they affect teachers’ morale and practice negatively and children’s belief in their own abilities.