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Charter School Advocate Steers Ship

Nanaia Mahuta
Education Spokesperson

28 March 2012
Charter School Advocate Steers Ship
By appointing a business leader rather than an education expert to implement its plan for charter schools, the Government is making its intentions clear: charter schools are more about enabling private companies to make a profit from education than they are about improving education says Labour’s Education spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.
“The Government has finally confirmed what has been well known for some time - that Act Party President and businesswomen Catherine Isaacs will head the group charged with implementing charter schools.
“Ms Isaacs’ official appointment will see the charter schools plan rammed through with little regard for best practice in the New Zealand context. Expect a collision course.

"There has been a lot of hype from the Government about charter school models lifting achievement. But research shows that results are variable across schools, inconsistent amongst specific learner groups and there are serious quality issues that cannot be neglected.
"There are also important questions about the design features of the Government’s charter school model. For a start, the timeframe for implementation should be released publically so communities of interest in South Auckland and Christchurch can see what they're in for and reflect their views to the Minister.
“There are basic concerns about transparency and process, but grave concerns about educational outcomes.

“The emergence of a charter school model has the potential to create a two-tier system where there will be stark contrasts between who succeeds and who fails, who will eventually be recruited into charter schools and who will remain in our public schools.

"New Zealand has a very good education system and Labour wants it to be a fantastic education system that leaves no-one behind.

“The terms of reference for the working group and the timeframe for reporting on the implementation of charter schools is a top priority and should be released quickly,” Nanaia Mahuta said.


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