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NZ model of charter schools” is political not educational

QPEC - Quality Public Education Coalition

3 August 2012

Media Release:

“New Zealand model of charter schools” confirmed as political rather than educational

Yesterday’s announcement of details of the New Zealand model of charter schools is confirmation that the policy is political and ideological rather than educational.

Setting the bar so low for the quality of teachers and the delivery of the curriculum is designed to make the proposal more attractive to private sector “for-profit” providers because teaching costs are the biggest expense in any school. Even if it means lower quality education in the classrooms the government’s proposal will mean cheaper “teachers” and the prospect of bigger profits for providers.

It’s also clear from the announcement and from the list of groups who have registered interest in running a charter school that they will NOT deliver education to those who are failing in the education system now.

The poorest performing 20% of students will be missed. Instead it will be the more motivated parents with their more motivated students from low-income communities who will be enrolled rather than those students who are actually struggling.

For example “partnership schools” will not enrol students in perpetual transience (400 of whom change schools every Monday morning in South Auckland) The students who need extra help are already in our public schools now and it is here that help is needed.

What the NZ and international research evidence shows is that educational achievement increases when:

· class sizes are reduced (This is more important for students from low-income communities where the relationship between teacher and student is critical to good learning)

· education policy is embedded in a framework of student wellbeing – breakfast and lunch at schools for example

· child poverty is targeted. The socio-economic disadvantage of families has been consistently demonstrated to be the strongest predictor of educational outcomes.

For 20 years John Banks and ACT have promoted policies which have taken us in the opposite direction while at the same time showing an arrogant disregard for those they have driven into poverty and deprivation.

John Banks is part of the problem.


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