Charter schools have no future

Yesterday we announced that I will become the party’s education spokesperson and I am really looking forward to Catherine and I working together to stop the Government’s attacks on our public education system.

Im also pleased that Labour agrees with us, that Charter schools have no future in NZ and that together we will remove them from our education system.

We would put a stop to charter schools, and any charter schools set up by the time we get into Government will have to become state schools, that are free, accessible to local kids, accountable to an elected board, and employ qualified teachers. Some may want to apply to become integrated schools and will need to meet all criteria under the Education Act to do that. If they don’t want to apply or they fail the criteria, then they have to close. It’s a fair approach that protects the families and kids while putting the charter school owners on notice.

This position attracted a critique from Labour, who claim it will create an incentive for charter school operators to quickly set up.

We don’t want to leave kids and communities at a loose end by simply shutting the schools down as Labour would. The kids come first after all.

Our proposal to incorporate them in the public system is a measured approach that means kids education will not be negatively affected by punitive school closures but also puts a stop to charter schools continuing.

How the schools are integrated will need to be looked at on a case by case basis. If there is a local state school, then the charter school may be merged back into that. It may be the school becomes a regular public school, or it may become a state integrated school that has a special character or a kura kaupapa Maori.

Regardless any such school will be public, free, and accessible to local kids and employ qualified teachers. We think this is a constructive way to deal with the problem the National and ACT Government is about to leave us without hurting kids.

Yes we want to stop charter schools now. Yes we hope no charter schools start up by the time we are in Government. And yes, if any do start up they won’t be charter schools for long. There is no future for charter schools under a Green/Labour Government.

80 thoughts on “Charter schools have no future

  1. Sweden’s experience of charter schools:

    “1. Growth of free schools has led to better high school grades & university participation, even accounting for other factors such as grade inflation.

    2. Crucially, state school pupils seem to benefit about as much as independent school ones. When ‘bog standard comprehensive’ face new tougher competition, they shape up. They know they’ll lose pupils if they don’t. As the researchers put it: ‘these positive effects are primarily due to spill-over or competition effects and not that independent-school students gain significantly more than public school students.’

    3. Free schools have produced better results on the same budget. Their success cannot be put down to cash. Or, as they say, ‘We are also able to show that a higher share of independent-school students in the municipality has not generated increased school expenditures.’

    4. That the ‘free school effect’ is at its clearest now because we now have a decade’s worth of development and expansion.”

    Full report:

    http://www.ifau.se/Upload/pdf/se/2012/wp12-19-Independent-schools-and-long-run-educational-outcomes.pdf

    Hat Tip: Whale

    Sounds awful. Won’t anyone think of the children!

    If these schools are working well, and producing good results, then why would you jeopardize that by making them state schools? Ideology?

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  2. No education without the state. No tolerance for alternative forms of education that do not meet the standards of politicians who can’t stand the idea of their monopoly on brainwashing children being challenged. No tolerance for innovative, engaging teachers who don’t meet the standards of the “one size fits all, pay by longevity not performance” rent seeking teaching unions.

    Choice is not an attack on a system that parents voluntarily choose to abandon, but they are forced to pay for.

    You talk of ideological blinkers, but you have them here. You can’t stand the idea that people might get together voluntarily and offer an education to parents that THEY like.

    No – they can be forced to pay for the system you dictate, be forced to send their children there and be happy.

    Monopolies are fine as long as you run them and use the swift hand of state violence to shut down those who dare challenge it.

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  3. So a promise from the Greens to close charter schools – with zero regard to whether or not they have been highly successful.

    That says it all.

    Head in the sand stupidity willing to kill off success because it doesn’t conform within narrow ideals.

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  4. Arana – does the Swedish report say whether teachers are required to be registered and meet a state mandated level of proficiency (i.e. passed TColl) in their charter schools?

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  5. Charter school:

    Do parents like it? Check
    Do kids like it? Check
    Do the teachers at the school like it? Check
    Are the kids doing as well or better than at local state schools? Check

    Greens: Close it down!! Make it state!!

    Well, that’s mature.

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  6. Arana – does the Swedish report say whether teachers are required to be registered and meet a state mandated level of proficiency (i.e. passed TColl) in their charter schools?

    There are many ways kids learn. Not all kids learn the same way.

    Wasn’t there a green/gardening program in schools? Were the people running it qualified teachers? How about home schools?

    I recall from my own school days some of the passionate people who taught us weren’t teachers. I also recall the qualified teachers who taught us, many of whom were awful.

    It really depends on the individual and the outcomes.

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  7. More freedom being taken away from parents.

    Any consultation with the parents of kids at any charter schools being considered?

    Sounds like the rhetoric from the Labour party that all sold state assets will be renationalised.

    Totally unworkable.

    Like the showerhead proposal, this will die at the polls as the Nats will take great delight in pointing out that, by voting Green, your childrens education funding will be removed from you if a desire to have your children attend a charter school is the best course of action for your childrens education.

    More nanny state, less freedom purely for ideological socialist (communist?) reasons.

    State controls you childrens education, they control your kids.

    They will want to feed them breakfast as well, next lunches, after school activities and dinners.

    In fact, why sent them home to their parents, let them sleep at the state schools as well.

    The state knows best it would seem.

    This is a seriously bad policy decision from the Greens.

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  8. If education was free I WOULDN’T HAVE TO PAY FOR IT OUT OF MY TAXES. Yes, of course it should be universally accessible – but spare me this ‘free’ bullshit.

    If I have children some day I would like to educate them myself – or have them educated by a private provider of MY choosing.

    The carefully crafted language of your post hides the fact that state schooling is the most vulgar, intrusive, and arrogant monopoly we have ever known. Intelligent parents should NEVER have to bow down to a state monopoly on their child’s development.

    Who are these people who dare believe they have to right to over-rule how respectable parents bring up their children? Where do you get off?

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  9. There are many ways kids learn. Not all kids learn the same way.

    Sure, but not really the question I was asking.

    It’s a genuine query – not a dig. Anyway, rather than being lazy, I checked myself.

    Since reforms instituted in 2011 with the express purpose of “rais[ing] the level of skills among teachers and preschool teachers so as to improve the quality of educational services.”, the following has applied to all professional teachers (preschool onwards):

    – Registration will require a degree in education or in preschool education and a successfully completed probationary year.

    – To qualify to teach at a school a teacher will need registration with a specialisation in the type of teaching concerned.

    – Teacher’s registration clearly shows in which types of school, which subjects and which years he or she is qualified to teach.

    – The National Agency for Education determine that a teacher is qualified on the basis of the teacher’s education.

    – After 1st of December 2013 only registered teachers will be eligible for permanent employment.

    – Exemptions will only be allowed if there is a shortage of qualified teachers or preschool teachers or on exceptional grounds. A decision to allow an exemption is to be taken by the school board and will be valid for at most one year at a time.

    I’m more likely to accept a comparative benefits analysis of Charter schooling if it starts from a premise of ‘all things being equal’ (if you get my drift).

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  10. As a Green Party member and voter, I am unhappy to see the Green Party loosing it’s previous pretense of principles on some issues and descending into a mouth piece of negativity about anything which is introduced by the National Party.

    Regardless any such school will be public, free, and accessible to local kids and employ qualified teachers. We think this is a constructive way to deal with the problem the National and ACT Government is about to leave us without hurting kids.

    Excellent example of my point. Last time I looked ACT has one MP and was almost in a state of oblivion. Yet, you harp on your soapbox like they are important and worthy of discussion.

    Please spare us the tired old rhetoric. If I wanted that I would vote Labour.

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  11. @Michael 1:41 PM

    Charter schools are an initiative specifically driven by the one-MP ACT Party as part of its confidence and supply deal with National, so despite being dog tucker, I think it’s fair enough in this instance to tar the initiative with the CT brush.

    What’s more, there is no mandate, as charter schools were not even a discussion point before the last election.

    Oh, and the small point that the overseas evidence suggest they are detrimental to educational achievement as well.

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  12. Michael:

    All parties go this way in the end, I believe. The serious original conviction people get replaced with career opportunists.

    If I myself started a political party, and it was successful, I would warn my voters that they might one day want to review their options, and I would stress that they should never vote for brand – always hold your party to account *without* faith.

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  13. Toad says “Oh, and the small point that the overseas evidence suggest they are detrimental to educational achievement as well.”

    Wrong. The overseas evidence shows SOME charter schools do worse than state schools and some do better.

    We can look to the ones that do better, or we could take the Greens simplistic and extraordinarily ignorant stance that anything called a charter school must be evil.

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  14. Children’s education is already suffering, as National stealthily cut teacher aid, reading recovery and other, proven, successful programs, to pay for their blind ideological pursuit of initiatives, which have already failed everywhere else.

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  15. Lets face it, National have set up for profit charter schools where the janitors are all qualified to teach our children …

    Its a flaky right wing attack on the state education system and teaching profession.

    National are incompetent wreckers and this is just more evidence.

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  16. Some! charter schools in the USA, that are allowed to pick and choose their students, have lots tax payers money thrown at them and are the equivalent of Potemkin villages, do better than State schools.

    It is significant that the only place where, any, charter schools have done better than State schools are in places such as the USA where State schools have been run down, and much less effective than ours.
    Even given such a low base for the competing State schools, charter schools on the whole are worse.

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  17. A clear example where blind ideology is dangerous.

    School X should be judged on one thing: outcomes for students. If the outcomes are positive, do more of it. If the outcomes are negative, do less of it. Do not, however, jump to conclusions about results before you have tested. It is even more idiotic to do so on the basis of religion i.e. “state is the one true way, all else is evil”.

    The inference is that state education is already the optimal model in NZ. How can you possibly know this? You simply assume it. Do we not owe it to our kids to *always* be optimizing?

    Optimizing involves trial, testing and reflection. The aim is to do better. Shouldn’t we always aim to do better?

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  18. We already have State schools, the majority, that do better than the best US charter schools. Maybe we should be looking at them, or heaven forbid, places such as Finland that really do have better results, instead of the disaster that is US schooling.

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  19. I think Charter Schools sound like a terrible idea. So I won’t be sending my children to one. If you don’t like them, I suggest you do the same. It’s no reason to force everyone else to make the same choice.

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  20. The cost of having Act as part of this Govt. ?
    It actually sounds like part of the Key-partys neo-liberal agenda :
    User pays, privatise everything possible & slash costs & conditions to the max. Its more of the same : Profit first, profit second, profit third & other issues come afterwards..

    Kia-ora

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  21. Notably, Sweden’s GDP is about 3 times ours so in real terms their education budget is a bit more than 4 times NZs. (S=$40Bn, NZ=$11Bn). Note that this number includes tertiary education.

    FWIW, education through to tertiary level is free in Sweden to Swedish citizens – doesn’t matter what school you go to, charter or otherwise. Oddly, the attainment stats are roughly similar.

    Cribbing from OECD stats [2012], relative ranking in parenthesis:

    Expenditure per student USD:

    NZ-Pre Primary $11202 (2/34)
    S-Pre Primary $6549 (14/34)

    NZ-Primary $6812 (19/35)
    S-Primary $9382 (8/35)

    NZ-Secondary $7960 (24/37)
    S-Secondary $10050 (13/37)

    Total public and private expenditure on education as % of GDP:
    NZ 6.7% (9/37) vs S 7.4% (4/37)

    Total public expenditure on education as a % of govt expenditure:
    NZ 21.2% (1/32) vs S 13.2% (14/32)

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  22. Arana @4:22

    Optimizing involves trial, testing and reflection. The aim is to do better. Shouldn’t we always aim to do better?

    Have you been paying attention Arana? Having forced National Standards on to all state schools supposably in order to measure one schools performance against another, Nact will not require Charter Schools to use them. HTF are Nact to measure their new schools? On what basis will they reflect upon them? Profit?

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  23. Arana.

    Sounds like for value for money our system is already way ahead of Swedens.

    Good Teachers are always “optimising”, When they are allowed to!

    Reflecting on, and improving on every lesson is drummed into all NZ Teachers.

    State schooling was heading until recently, developing a curriculum based on worldwide research and discussion of, evidence based, best practice, which left plenty of room to allow for individual learning.

    Unfortunately things that work are constantly dumped, starved of funds, or reversed, to accommodate some politicians obsession of the week. Or their desire to give tax payer money to their corporate bribers.

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  24. I have a solution that addresses both sides of the issue.

    From the right, the complaint is “clearly state schooling is failing, evidenced by the long tail of underachievement. Charter schools!”

    From the left, the complaint is “charter schools will not be able to measure success or failure meaningfully because (a) they can cherry pick and (b) they don’t require qualified teachers. State schools!”

    Brainwave solution: Test the charter model in areas of underachievement only and don’t allow cherry picking. Model with the same level of funding as state schools. They can employ anyone they like. If they achieve better results over a 5 year period, measured against ERO standards, there should be no objection to rolling out the programme.

    Fixed.

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  25. Great teachers are one of NZs most valuable and profitable resources. I’d pay great teachers like we pay CEOs.

    In order to do this, we need to measure performance.

    Performance can be measured by measuring the child against their own previous performance i.e. the rate of improvement. The higher the rate of improvement, the more the teacher stands to earn. This incentivises the best teachers and administrators into the schools where they can do most good i.e problem schools. The child is also measured against their own decile. It is not straightforward, but the number crunching can be done.

    We also need to fire the worst teachers on the same basis. Education is too important to be left in the hands of Unions where their aim is fight for workers, not students.

    The ideas and techniques of the teachers and administrators who get the best performance out of students is fed back into the system by way of mentoring. The system can be self-optimizing based on measureable, desired outcomes.

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  26. Some comments on Charter Schools from Treasury.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/schools/8254496/Is-competition-in-education-the-answer

    “schooling systems that use strongly competitive elements do not produce systematically better [student] outcomes”.

    “Quality teaching is the most important in- school factor influencing student achievement” and “teacher registration is a reasonable proxy for a minimum level of quality”.

    “It is still unclear whether the potential costs and risks of introducing the charter school model outweigh the potential benefit of trialling these new approaches via charter schools”.

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  27. Treasury has an opinion. Everyone has an opinion, but the only way to know for sure is to test and measure.

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  28. @photonz1 2:33 PM

    The overseas evidence shows SOME charter schools do worse than state schools and some do better.

    But, overall, charter schools perform more poorly, despite some doing better than the mean achievement performance of state schools.

    What statistical evidence would you need, photonz1, to be convinced that charter schools are a failed model?

    From your comment, it seems that you would need ALL charter school to perform more poorly than ALL state schools before you would give a way your neoliberal scholastic dream on the basis of the evidence.

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  29. toad says “What statistical evidence would you need, photonz1, to be convinced that charter schools are a failed model?”

    You you just blew you whole argument that it’s a failed model, by stating that some do better than state schools.

    There are vast differences between the way different charter schools operate.

    So it’s a great example of simplistic and ignorant thinking to condemn all charter schools regardless of how they operate and even if they perform better than state schools, just because they have the title “charter” school.

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  30. What’s fundamentally wrong with letting parents decide if the schools are working for their children? By and large they want the best for their children, they monitor how well they are doing and know if a school and the teachers are achieving results – or not.

    At the moment parents with high incomes or those who work seriously hard to save, can get out of poorly performing local schools by paying twice (taxes and fees) for independent or integrated schools. It would be fairer to parents on lower incomes if the funding from taxes followed the students to whatever schools parents wanted to send their children to.

    The ideological opposition to this can only come from the following perspectives:

    – Non-State schools hire and pay teachers in a decentralised way, which undermines the power of teaching unions, undermining their ability to extract rents from taxpayers and for their pay to be remote from their performance;
    – Parents don’t know what is best for their children, but politicians and bureaucratic agencies do, so parents should be treated accordingly, and the parents who don’t like that are just stupidly submitting to the ideological cunning of profit seeking money grubbers who want to teach their kids for profit, rather than the altruistic state system which has no rent-seekers at all!

    If a charter school performs poorly, the leftwing answer is to close it. If a state school performs poorly, the leftwing answer is to throw more money at it. You can’t accuse one side of being ideologically blinkered, when you come from your own blinker yourself.

    Either parents should be allowed to choose their children’s education, and people allowed to set up schools to service them, or the state should do it for them. Why not be honest and say you prefer the latter, because you don’t trust parents to make the right choices and don’t trust people to set up schools that are any good, but you do trust public servants and trade unions to make choices that are in the interests of children, and not themselves first?

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  31. Religion.

    Just goes to show, if we ever removed organised religion, it would simply pop up in another guise.

    Charter? Evil. Why? Because.

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  32. Do we agree that an education system serves this primary objective: to improve educational outcomes for children?

    So, *if* a charter school does improve outcomes for group of children X, you would close it on the basis of some other consideration, such as ideology, support for Unions, or other tightly held personal conviction?

    If so, then you have just moved improving educational outcomes for children down your list of priorities.

    Expected better of you, Greens. You’re smarter than this, surely.

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  33. Arana:

    It first exists to *define* educational outcomes – turning kids into corporate drones.

    …you are still only touching the very surface of this issue. Check out John Taylor Gatto.

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  34. The news regarding for profit schools where the teachers need no qualifications just gets worse and worse.

    These for profit $chool$ will be exempt from proper regulations and requirements that state schools must adhere too. Because they are for private profit they will be exempt from the official information act.
    From parliaments debating chamber : “.GRANT ROBERTSON to the Associate Minister of Education: Why has he proposed exempting charter schools from the requirements of the Official Information Act 1982, something that the Ombudsmen have described as being “catastrophic”?
    John Banks the bent law breaking Act politician and prime pusher of charter schools ….” then causes much hilarity by claiming that despite those above-stated exemptions..that charter schools ‘will be more accountable to the community’…

    The one clown circus which the Act party has become are behind charter schools

    John Key has shown how low his standards are by standing side by side with John Banks and charter schools are the result of this sleazy alliance.

    And of course charter schools will be implemented by Parata who sets new lows for incompetent ministers, John Banks the associate minister for education can’t even read what he signs and has the memory of a Alzheimer’s sufferer.

    Charter schools if implemented by National will be another one of their attacks on the teaching profession.

    National are the Government who take bad ideas and then deliver the worst possible results on them ….

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  35. I think the Act Party is the excuse for Charter Schools rather than the reason. Not mentioned by either of them last election but essential for National’s ‘free market’ plan.

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  36. “Charter? Good. Why? Because.”

    Arana, if you’ve not yet read any of the many, many intelligent, research-backed arguments against Charter schools, then why on earth are you involving yourself in this discussion? Go away, do the reading and get back to us when you know something about it.

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  37. solkta – I know a man who stood as a candidate for ACT in a recent election and he was a hard-core ‘Charter” school advocate. It’s an idea that fits ACT’s bleak world-view like a skeletal hand in a shrunken vellum glove.

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  38. It takes an extraordinary level of ignorance,
    to take a wide variety of charter school systems,
    including those that perform better than state schools,
    and condemn them all,
    because they have the same name.

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  39. National called them “Charter Schools”. I guess your, ‘extraordinary level of ignorance” comment, photonz1, fits (like the ACToid glove!)

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  40. KIPP graduates—who are 95 percent African-American and Latino and overwhelmingly low-income—far outpace the national averages for similar students: 33 percent of students who completed a KIPP middle school at least 10 years ago have a bachelor’s degree today. Among similar students nationwide, just 8 percent have graduated college.

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  41. It is right to question. It is right to ask “is there a better way of doing things” and to try things out. This is how humans have progressed.

    I do not understand the attitude of those opposed to Charter school trials. If you want the state system – fine – you can choose the state system. If some parents feel their children would be better served home-schooled, private schooled, or Charter schooled, then what business is it of yours?

    Why are you so afraid?

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  42. Greenfly – that the Greens promise to close all charter schools, even if they are performing better than state schools, shows they are not worried about them failing.

    They are worried about them succeeding.

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  43. Photonz1 blurted: “…that the Greens promise to close all charter schools…”

    No they didn’t. Read this, all the while comprehending:

    “We would put a stop to charter schools, and any charter schools set up by the time we get into Government will have to become state schools, that are free, accessible to local kids, accountable to an elected board, and employ qualified teachers.”

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  44. Greenfly – you’re being anal.

    You failed to quote the very next sentence, where Metiria promised that if schools don’t give up their charter school status, they will be closed.

    i.e. all charter schools will be stopped.

    So the Greens will close them down, even if they are far more successful than state schools.

    How ignorant is that?

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  45. I would like to see Turei stand up in front of a charter school catering to poor Maori kids, which is doing well, and tell the assembled parents, teachers and kids she is shutting them down or making them just like all the rest – because SHE doesn’t like the IDEA of it.

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  46. It all comes back to the same question,

    Who has the right to send their children to any type of school, of their choosing, based on the knowledge they possess about the children?

    The parents!!

    Why is the Green party taking away the right of the parent to take the schooling money the state has allocated for the education of the child and force the parents to send their child to a state school?

    Surely the parent has the best interest of the child at heart and will choose the best education path?

    Be it state, charter, private, home, correspondence, etc.

    I really don’t see the reason for the knee-jerk reaction from the Greens regarding charter schools.

    Not going to win them many votes and thus be able to institute the planned “nationalisation” of all independent schools.

    Epic strategic fail.

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  47. I really don’t see the reason for the knee-jerk reaction from the Greens regarding charter schools.

    Do the Unions contribute to the Green Party? Anyone know?

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  48. It all comes back to a sleazy deal between John Banks and John key.

    Key said he had standards and his alliance with John Banks shows that his standards are down in the sewer somewhere.

    Banks the electoral law breaker should not be in parliament let alone being made an associate minister of education.

    Charter schools National style are an example of sleazy political deal making and not much else.

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  49. Would anyone in their right mind trust the National Party to introduce any system at all in education, that wasn’t doomed to failure?

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  50. Our educational establishment largely functions to protect education-providers from people learning things for themselves. The Green party is part of their goon squad.

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  51. If Andrew Atkin thinks the greens are part of a goon squad then one can only presume Andrew was taught at a circus, and he learned how to become a clown :) .

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  52. I know councilor greenfly is an avid reader of the ArchDruid.

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/

    It might be worth proposing as a general rule, in fact, that democratic governance works best when the people directly affected by any function of government have direct control over those people who run that function of government, subject to appropriate oversight by those responsible for maintaining the public commons.

    If we use the freedom, of the democratic parent, in the ability to send their children to school as the example (instead of the Archdruid local sewerage installation) then we clearly see that the state should be subservient to the democratic parent.

    If democratically the parents decide that their children’s state education funds are best spent at a charter school (or at the local state school), the state needs to abide by those wishes.

    Not force the state view onto the people.

    The collapse of educational standards that can be observed here, and in a hundred similar examples, has had many causes. Still, it’s far from irrelevant to note that a similar collapse has taken place in many other areas in which the old system of independent local governmental bodies has been replaced by micromanagement by state or federal bureaucracies. That collapse has been discussed nearly as widely in the media as the implosion of American education, and it’s ironic to note that, just as media discussions of public education’s breakdown have gone out of their way to avoid considering the role of overcentralization in driving that collapse, the media coverage of the parallel breakdown I have in mind has been just as careful to avoid touching on this same issue.

    Worth a read in full in how centralisation and state control leads to bad outcomes, not just educational.

    For that is what the Greens are advocating, continued centralisation through state control.

    Whilst the voting public want decentralisation and local control.

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  53. Centralization and state control are the best mechanism, I believe, for managing prisons, for reasons that are peculiar to the incarceration of our citizens. The best argument for state control (and responsibility) is a moral one – if you are going to deny some of your citizens their freedom, you have to assume responsibility for their well-being at the same time. Privatizing prisons essentially abdicates this moral responsibility. Handing that job over to an American(Japnese, Russian, Chinese, whatever…) company separates the state (us) from some of our fellow citizens in a way that is irresponsible. This is a simplistic description, I know, and there are arguments that nibble away at the details (but the Government will put checks and balances in place to ensure we still have control, etc) but those proviso’s are easily eroded, especially where secrecy is maintained (commercial sensitivity, you know!).
    But schools aren’t prisons (Ha! I hear Andrew choking on his weetbix!).
    The New Zealand education system has been a very successful one, because it promises something that our prison system promises – an agreed-upon result (well educated young New Zealanders) in return for their regular attendance. It’s a system that the country, through its democratically elected Government, has subscribed to. There are however, many exceptions to the rule, but none of them threaten the basic model that we have developed over the decades. Charter school, and the National Party that champions then, do. Not in their ‘simple’ form, but in combination with the general direction and long-held desire of the National Party to change the essential nature of schooling and how schools are managed. Bulk funding is the obvious step-one change. With that come all of the corporatism that National holds so dear; the Coke-sponsored schools, school grounds and buildings owned by ‘foreign investors’ (lovely, lovely prime land throughout the country!) and so on. The reticence around Charter schools is not, I believe, because of the specific examples of schools established by local communities (some would be good, in fact, I’m being pressured by a local community to start my own school, at which those who have spoken with me will enrole their children without delay :-) but the general effect on the historical NZ education system would be one of erosion and loss. Had the Charter school proposals come from someone trustworthy, rather than the appallingly untrustworthy John Banks, or the corporate-brained John Key, there may have been sympathy for the ideas inside of the teaching world, but would you buy anything from those two?

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  54. A comment from Leo, a contributor on the Archdruids blog, is worth a recording here.

    Don’t forget the iron law of Bureaucracy ‘Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy is that in any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control, so that those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.’
    local voting is a good release valve

    Are the Greens totally focussed on state control and not outcomes?

    For to shut down (irrespective of outcomes) a non state selected curriculum school even before they have been created is to maintain control for the sake of maintaining the control.

    The iron rule of course applies to corporations as much as state bureaucracy.

    They both forget what the aims and goals are, and finish up only to satisfy self grandisemant and power.

    Only local control guided (not ruled) by an overarching federally set outcome target will work in the future.

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  55. greenfly,

    Interesting that locals in your area are keen to set up what is a charter school.

    Even though your are ideologically not interested, how long before the local people find a representative to set up the school (though no doubt as a Green party member you would tell them that the school will be closed in 2014) ?

    Just because the charter school system was suggested by someone on your blacklist, does that mean the idea is not worth merit?

    If my most loathed competitor came up with a good idea I would latch onto like a flash.

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  56. Live up to your own charter, Greens:

    “For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.”

    That level is not the distant politician, Turei, in her tower in Wellington, as she is not affected.

    It is the parents.

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  57. If I were National, I’d put some rather large hooks in the legislation as a defense against these types of attacks.

    For example, grant multi-year licences that are treated as a property right. Add a clause guaranteeing eye-wateringly high compensation if any future government takes the type of action Turei describes.

    The legal battle and payout would simply not be worth it.

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  58. Charter $choolS where introduced in a typical sleazy style from Nat /Act .

    That is to say prior to the election neither of the two Johnnys mentioned that they’d hatched a plan where “for profit” schools with teachers who need no qualifications would be imposed upon our community’s.

    Its what happens when you get a sleazy dishonest money trader ( john Key ) doing a deal with a sleazy career politician ( john banks ).

    Not announcing your right wing plans involving money making and removing standard’s in education before the election is anti-democratic.

    And given that everything national touche’s turns to crap this particular bad idea will end up being a huge expensive lemon.

    Its actually deregulation of education …. just like leaky homes or pike river …..

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  59. Arana

    If I were National, I’d put some rather large hooks in the legislation as a defense against these types of attacks.

    I totally disagree with that type of activity.

    Political parties acting with what is best in their own interests rather than what is good for the populace.

    Each time a party is in power they set up legislation that any futher government cannot undo. Think WFF.

    Each time a party is in power they partake in activity that is not to the best advantage for the populace. Think how much over the top KiwiRail was bought for and how little cashflow and capital was at hand to revive the business.

    Charter schools success should be purely judged on the outcomes provided. Not be fish hooked so that it cannot be modified.

    If a small communty in the deep south can approach a Green party member to set up a school, think about the demand around the rest of the country.

    No, the populace (parent) should decide on the success of the school systems, not the politicians.

    If judging by DaddyO comments as representing the Greens, one hopes the politicians are not a blinded by ideology as he/she is.

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  60. Political parties acting with what is best in their own interests rather than what is good for the populace.

    I know, but they’re all like that – do we expect politicians to change? It’s part of the problem with centralised political control.

    When there is rhetoric like this…

    Yes we want to stop charter schools now. Yes we hope no charter schools start up by the time we are in Government. And yes, if any do start up they won’t be charter schools for long.

    ….then hooks will follow.

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  61. If judging by DaddyO comments as representing the Greens, one hopes the politicians are not a blinded by ideology as he/she is.

    Suggest you re-read Turei’s post.

    I’d also follow the money.

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  62. “The Education Minister has announced that this government will be ‘seeking expressions of interest’ from organisations wanting to operate ‘partnership schools’ in the affected areas.”

    Lovely.

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  63. Arana,

    Having lived until recently in the UK where they’re actively pushing the ‘free schools’ idea (as well as Charter schools, which they call Academies), even the advocates there have backed away from holding Sweden up as a shining light because if you looked at from an non biased an idealogical perspective the results are at best mixed.

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  64. Gerrit,

    Of course charter schools are popular amongst some people, namely people determined to provide their children an elitist education based upon their own narrow ideological outlook, at the expense of others they couldn’t give a toss about.

    We’re supposed to be won over by this argument?

    It’s also slightly nauseating watching people pretend that those pushing this are doing so on behalf of all kids. I’d have slightly more respect for them if they were at least honest, and admitted that’s it’s generally wealthy privileged people trying to stack the system in their own favour, but smart enough to dress it up in the language of ‘community’ and ‘equality’.

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  65. “More freedom being taken away from parents.”

    No, just certain usually wealthy parents who think their money, privilege and power should afford them and their kids more opportunity than anyone else, they’ve earnt it right?

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  66. KIPP expels 20% of their students for non-performance every year. Who then have to be taken in by the same State schools that have lost their funding to KIPP. 20% tail anyone?

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  67. “I would like to see Turei stand up in front of a charter school catering to poor Maori kids, which is doing well, and tell the assembled parents, teachers and kids she is shutting them down or making them just like all the rest – because SHE doesn’t like the IDEA of it.”

    If your ability to read is an indication of the quality of the education you’re arguing for then it doesn’t bode well for the Charter & Free schools.

    Go back read what she said, namely that they’d look to integrate them back into the state system, and assess them on a case by case basis. In fact, she sighted Maori schools as one possible example where they’d probably look to just reintegrate, but ensuring they’re free, accessible to all, and employing qualified teachers.

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  68. The State should ensure a minimum standard, the curriculum, then let local Teachers, parents and students get on with it. Works best everywhere else.

    National is doing the opposite. Their ideas are completely incoherent, unless you realise it is all about profiting from the tax paid for education. More rigid and centralised control for the State system. And no control/deregulation for privatised schools. We all know how well that works. We are not even to be allowed to use the OIA to find out how they are doing.

    Exceptions to the State system means that some people are no longer interested in an excellent State system, and we end up with a fragmented and extremely variable levels of education.
    Of course that suits the John Keys of this world, who would rather the children of the proles do not get an adequate education to challenge their kids for the top jobs.

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  69. Of course charter schools are popular amongst some people, namely people determined to provide their children an elitist education based upon their own narrow ideological outlook, at the expense of others they couldn’t give a toss about.

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  70. Kerry Thomas said: “. . .Of course that suits the John Keys of this world, who would rather the children of the proles do not get an adequate education to challenge their kids for the top jobs.”

    shonKey has a future mapped out for those unfortunate kids – victims of a failed charter school wet-dream. The private prison industrial complex will be there to care and bed these future clients. . .

    The Serco’s of the world indeed have a bright future with a National government there to support them.

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  71. In fact, she sighted Maori schools

    Cited.

    Go back read what she said, namely that they’d look to integrate them back into the state system, and assess them on a case by case basis.

    How benevolent of glorious future leader! Here’s a thought – it’s none of her business. It’s the parents decision how to educate their kids.

    It’s the states business to set standards, monitoring and guidance regarding outcomes.

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