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Govt needs to put an end to failed charter school experiment

29 August 2013

Govt needs to put an end to failed charter school experiment

The Government should cancel its plans to open charter schools next year given the fact most of the applicants had difficulty simply filling out the application form, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

Minutes released under the Official Information Act show the Authorisation Board responsible for charter schools was concerned by the poor standard of applications. Despite this, the chair of the Authorisation Board, Catherine Isaac, put out a press statement praising the quality of the applicants.

“Partnership School Authorisation Board minutes show that, at the same time board chair Catherine Isaac, was publicly lauding the “impressive range and calibre” of applicants in May, she was writing board minutes complaining about “low scores” and a lack of capability regarding the applicants,” Mrs Turei said today.

“Ms Isaac is one of the architects of Act’s charter school policies.

“It is simply wrong that she and the National Government are forging ahead with charter schools despite concerns that the people who want to run these schools couldn’t even fill out the application form correctly.

“The Government’s charter school project poses a great risk to the children that will be the guinea pigs in this experiment.

“Already the charter schools program is way behind schedule. The indicative timetable on the Ministry of Education website had these schools due to be signed up by the end of June.

“The delay in signing up schools shows that shows that, when it comes to the crunch, these schools, with their unqualified teachers, are just not wanted or needed in New Zealand.

“Given the poor quality of charter school applications including deficiencies in operations, legislative knowledge and business planning, it is now time to cancel this disastrous and wasteful experiment.

“We need to put the money being wasted on charter schools back into our overstretched public education system,” Mrs Turei said.

ENDS

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