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Government Musn't Waver on Closing Dead Duck Charter Schools

Government Must Not Waver on Closing Dead Duck Charter Schools

By Liz Gordon

Charter schools are unnecessary and a failed experiment and the coalition government must act as quickly as possible to either shut them down, or transition them into the state system, according to QPEC deputy Liz Gordon.

“Most of the schools were opened in areas where the state schools were already suffering a decline in numbers”, she said. “The challenge for the government is to ensure that schools in our poorest communities have enough funding and student numbers to properly educate all of our children”.

She reminded National that the charter school experiment was the price of coalition support by an ACT party that was supported by less than 1% of the population.

“Not only is there virtually no support for these schools, their performance as a whole has not been up to scratch. ACTs idea that all you needed to do to improve school performance was to bring in privatised state-funded education was demonstrably wrong. The experiment has failed. The government needs to move on quickly.

“I notice that National is putting out press releases opposing the closing of charter schools. My advice to them is that now they are free of the shackles of ACT, they should also throw in the towel on these dead duck schools. National should promote success, not ideology – charter schools were never supported by the research evidence”.

Dr Gordon says that QPEC supports a planned transition that considers the needs of the children, the need for schools in the particular location, and the need for some additional funding, resources and support for the state schools which have to receive these children back. It must be acknowledged that the opening of charter schools harmed state schools in the areas concerned, and that such harm must now be overcome.

“Perhaps I can help by summarising what is known from the government’s own assessment of the schools. The Rise Up Academy, which was the only truly community school to become a charter school, is also the only charter school to meet or exceed its achievement goals. This one is worth saving. The rest are not.

“This needs to be a win-win transition for the children and the state school system”, says Dr Gordon.


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