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Don’t make Christchurch kids charter school guinea pigs


10 October 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Don’t make Christchurch kids charter school guinea pigs

Parents and students in Christchurch have every right to be worried about the Government using the education recovery process to experiment with privitised education and charter schools on them, Labour's Associate Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

This morning the Christchurch Press revealed that one of Hekia Parata's relatives is moving ahead with plans to open a new 'special character' school offering Maori immersion education. At the same time, seven out of the ten existing state schools offering Maori immersion education are earmarked for closure or merger.

"People I speak to in Christchurch are rightly worried that the Government seems to be 'clearing the decks' for charter schools.

“Hekia Parata's potential conflict of interest extends well beyond approving or declining her relative’s charter school application. So many of the other decisions she is making will have a direct impact on the number of kids it might be able to enrol.

"Recovery from the earthquakes must not be used as an excuse to privatise Christchurch education. Charter schools are untested, won't have to employ a full complement of qualified teachers, and won't have to teach the same curriculum as public schools.

"Charter schools are an ideological experiment. The students of Christchurch have been through enough in the last two years. They don't deserve to be made guinea pigs as well," Chris Hipkins said.

ends

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