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Charter school sector underperforms system benchmarks

The 2017 School Leavers data reveals that, across the sector, charter secondary schools have underperformed the original system-wide targets set in 2013.

In a May 2013 policy paper on setting the student achievement performance standards, Hekia Parata was adamant that charter schools would be set the same benchmarks that she had set for the system as a whole.

But the 2017 School Leavers data show that, collectively, charter schools have underperformed the system-wide benchmarks.

For the proportion of School Leavers who leave school with NCEA Level 2 or above, the 2017 system-wide outcome was 80.7%; charter schools were 75.0%, decile 3 schools averaged 74.0% and the decile 1 to 3 average was 70.6%.

Looking at School Leavers with University Entrance, the system-wide outcome was 40.1%; charter schools were 17.9%; decile 3 schools averaged 22.8% and the decile 1 to 3 average was 19.0%.

The lacklustre performance of the secondary charter schools was still better than that of the two middle schools that enrol students in years 7 to 10.

Both of the middle schools operated by Villa Education Trust missed all of their contract student achievement performance standards in 2017. Even comparison against the average of decile 1 to 3 schools shows them in a poor light.

Across the 2 years of 2016 and 2017, and for Reading, Writing and Maths in each of years 7 and 8, the two Villa middle schools exceeded the national average of decile 1 to 3 schools in only 7 of the 24 comparatives.

It is unfortunate that the Martin Jenkins evaluation of the charter school model did not examine student achievement. It fudged the issue of evaluating charter school sector performance and produced an inconclusive report that was of no use to anyone.

In the absence of any substantial analysis, there is little real evidence that the charter school model is delivering results that are better than those achieved in the system as a whole.


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