Charter schools a costly diversion from supporting success
17 September 2013
Government’s charter school experiment a costly diversion from supporting success
The Government’s charter school policy is another expensive National-ACT educational experiment diverting resources and energy from supporting quality teaching and learning in all schools.
NZEI Te Riu Roa National President Judith Nowotarski says the Government has wasted $19 million establishing the five new ventures which will initially cater for less than 400 students at a cost of more than $50,000 per student.
“Fundamentally, this is about privatising the delivery of education and the Government does not care if it costs taxpayers large sums of money to do so.
“Schools have been asking for better resourcing and support for at-risk kids but charter schools are not the answer.
“Public schools in Auckland and Te Tai Tokerau are the success stories in their communities given the social and economic challenges many of their students face. NZEI wants to see Government support for systemic solutions for all students.”
Mrs Nowotarski says the charter school applicants include a private company running military boot camps for young people for profit, and a private school from Remuera that has student:teacher ratios of 1:15.
“It is ironic that only last year the Government tried to increase class sizes in public schools. Clearly there is one rule for the Government’s friends in the private sector and another for public education.”
She says the charter school experiment is not going to be evaluated by independent researchers. Overseas evidence shows that charter schools do not bring any improvement to a country’s overall educational achievement.