by Catherine Delahunty
The Bill that will facilitate charter schools went through the second reading last night. It relies on the Māori Party for support as no one else apart from National and ACT will vote for it. The Bill is a privatisation device to assist education franchises and groups who do not want to be accountable under the state education system. It is using the need to improve results for Māori, Pasifika and children with learning disabilities as an excuse to privatise.
The Green Party has a positive vision for supporting all children to get the public education they need. It is based on concepts of equity and quality and support for the cultures of all our communities. We utterly reject the concept of unregistered teachers, business models in schools and the lack of scrutiny that the Bill sets up. John Banks claims to be the champion of Māori students despite ACT’s inability to support collective benefits for any community, let alone tangata whenua.
Hekia Parata is also chanting the mantra of choice without answering the serious questions around accountability, quality and the lack of evidence that Charters can deliver even the narrow vision of the National/ACT Government. Their constant cry is that flexibility and innovation are impossible within the state system and they are silent as to why kura kaupapa Māori education is not being supported. Do they ever visit schools and kura and listen?
The Green Party will be promoting a positive vision between now and the election which focuses on quality public education and proven successes such as kura kaupapa and Te Kotahitanga that address inequity and bias. We won’t be supporting secret contracts and teaching staff with no registration. We think all children deserve access to the best we can offer not failed imported models.