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Govt rushes to open charter schools in New Year

Govt rushes to open charter schools in New Year against advice


18 September 2014


The government’s decision to approve four new charter schools last week to open in January next year goes against the Minister of Education’s own advice that the schools ought to have at least a year’s preparation time.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski says this could result in a big risk for the children attending those schools. US research from Stanford University has shown that charter schools that “start wobbly, remain wobbly”.

“Not only are the four new schools being rushed into opening before a proper evaluation of the five existing schools has taken place, the Minister’s own advice to Cabinet was that the schools should be given a year to get established.

“These new schools will have been given just one term to prepare before opening doors to students at the beginning of 2015. Clearly the schools will not have had the time to be properly prepared for educating new students.”

Two of the schools have qualified and registered teachers in front of children for just 60% of the time, with just over half of their staff registered and others described as “coaches”.

“This is not what a quality education system should be and it is a tragedy that these kids, many of whom are particularly vulnerable, will face an increased risk of their school failing them.”

“Charter schools have been in our system less than a year and already we’ve seen some shocking stories. It appears the government is putting its ideology about competition and privatisation ahead of providing quality education for vulnerable children.

ends

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