John Banks: learn a little history?

Charter schools are no joke. What’s funny, however, is John Banks’ referring to the opponents of charter schools as “Cassandras”, seemingly unaware that back in the day, poor old Cassandra was famous for her prophetic insight and the fact that her accurate warnings were ignored.

John Banks probably didn’t intend to suggest the Green Party and parents up and down the country are right to warn of the dangers of privatising state education through charter schools, while the Government ignores us.

But Banskie should be forewarned, if I can stretch the Cassandra metaphor even further, that such slipups happen when non experts involve themselves in stuff they know nothing about. Like teaching. And history.

18 Comments Posted

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

    “Importing ideas, such as charter schools, from countries that do less well than our own, fails to identify and protect the best things about New Zealand schools and puts the well-being of all New Zealand children at risk.”

    “the only reason for charter schools to proceed was the single vote the Epsom electorate supplied.”

    Neither Act ( the 0.1% party ) or National mentioned their charter school plans before the election

    “The proposed bill shows that charter schools will have little transparency and no accountability for the spending of public money, ”

    “Their annual accounts won’t be scrutinised by the auditor general, the Official Information Act won’t apply and the ombudsman will have no power to investigate”

    “even the Government’s own policy advisors do not support the charter school proposals.
    Treasury documents released in December question the value of charter schools and whether they will achieve the gains the Government is claiming. Meanwhile the Ministry of Education is opposing the proposal allowing unregistered people to teach at charter schools.”

    ” private organisations will be able to make money by siphoning funds from the taxpayer. On top of that, charter schools will be able operate in secrecy, will not be accountable under the Official Information Act or by the Office of the Auditor General.”

    Charter schools Nact style are just a sleazy deal between John Key and John Banks enabled by Crony Government appointments

  2. Mahomed Allam:

    “In the name of Allah”? Not quite. If an individual were to be the only one to believe in their religion (like if everyone else believed your bible was just ancient myth, fabricated in the age of radical superstition), then you also would not believe in it. People only believe in their religion via the authorization of the group – otherwise they just look (and feel) insane.

    So, the “true god” is the mob. Because it’s the mob that qualifies our given religious beliefs. That’s what you speak in the name of – the mob. “Allah” is just an ideational extension of it.

  3. Those who think that charter school are a new and innovative idea also need to learn a little History. Charter schools have been around for a very long time in one form or another and every time the result has bend the same. They are a disaster. With no regulations, and little in the way of pedagogical disciplines to maintain a satisfactory curricula, they ultimately fail and have to be abolished. A typical example of the “charter school” in early industrial Britain for instance were the Dame Schools. ‘Dame’ schools were usually run by one woman. The ‘dame’ often did her best, but she was a child-minder not a trained teacher. Often quite poor herself, she took as many children as she could cram into her house. Poor parents working hard to earn a living paid her a few pennies a week to look after their children, and perhaps teach them the alphabet or how to sew. Most of the time, the children amused themselves and did not learn very much.

  4. In the name of Allah, the most magnificent, the most merciful.

    It is none of the business of the Green godless party how I educate my children. If I wish to send them to a charter Arabic Qur’ranic school in Mt Roskill I respectfully ask Metiria to butt-out.

    Muslim are sick and tired of Western imperialism and the ‘Greens’ are just as bad as the Christians, Imperialists, Colonialists, Capitalists in telling us how to live our lives.

    In the name of Allah we will not tolerate this and we are working behind your backs to defeat you thanks to the oil bounty Allah has bestowed upon Saudi Arabia and which is being used to spread the message of Islam and his messenger Mahomed (PBUH). Inshallah (God willing) Allah will protect us from any global warming problems – after all Muslims were originally desert folk used to the extremes of heat and cold. Allah created everything and if it is his will he will breathe life again into any extinct species.

    Go back to your taxpayer funded lavish lifestyle Metiria and leave us alone. We neither want nor need your help, pity, condescension or busy-bodying.

  5. when non experts involve themselves in stuff they know nothing about

    That’s interesting.

    On that basis, you need to stop Russel talking about economics, Gareth talking mining, and you can no longer speak on education as you are all non-experts in these fields.

    In fact, any politician talking about much of anything, ever again.

  6. Metiria:

    How far do you want to go back in history? Did the human animal evolve to learn in an institutional format? No. This is why we learn far better and faster in a natural way, in a natural context.

    Or maybe more recent history? Institutional schooling as we know it came from Prussia and was specifically designed to produce obedient soldiers (goons) who do not think for themselves. Nothing fundamentally has changed.

    …and do you know something about teaching? Are you the expert? If so, then explain please why my nephew did on his own, in a couple of weeks, what school and ‘special classes’ could not do – learn to read. And explain also why I instinctively knew he had to just be left on his own and find his own way, and was right, even though I am no “expert”. Good. luck.

    Now stop being a pathetic product of your own schooling and THINK FOR YOURSELF, Metiria.

  7. solkta says “photo, a comment from you here surely telling us how we need ALL schools to use the same speedo.”

    The proposed charter schools I’ve heard about for NZ mainly seem to be secondary, and may not even teach main stream subjects.

    However if they are primary, I’m waiting to hear a compelling arguement why they should be excluded National Standards in reading, writing and maths (haven’t heard one yet).

  8. John Banks is surely a bit of a joke now, isn’t he? To my mind he is a has been…. he really should get a job outside of politics.

  9. solka,

    a comment from you here surely telling us how we need ALL schools to use the same speedo

    That is what the national standards regime is set up to do. That scheme so hated by teachers.

    I notice that Metiria Turei has not raised the issue that the Greens will close all charter schools when in government with labour.

    Quite word from Chris Hipkins perhaps?

    Or the reaction against the proposal was so severe it has been quietly dropped?

  10. Now before anyone suggests this is because the schools cherry-pick the students…

    Now if only we can get the government to agree to standards for charter schools to ensure their results were measurable against the state system like NYC.

    Oh wait…

  11. It is true, charter schools are no joke.

    A report on the Stanford Uni website notes that:

    With the students they have enrolled, New York City charter schools provide significantly better results for the following groups of students:

    All Students
    Students enrolled for 2 years
    Students enrolled for 3 years
    Blacks Students
    Students in most starting deciles

    At the same time, the analysis showed they performed significantly worse with the following groups of students:

    Students enrolled for 1 year
    Retained students

    For the remaining groups in the analysis, there was no discernable difference between charter school and traditional public school performance.

    Now before anyone suggests this is because the schools cherry-pick the students, or only the rich kids go to these better schools, I should point out there is a rule:

    New York’s charter law requires charter schools in NYC to give preference to returning students, siblings of students already enrolled in the school and students who reside in the local Community School District in which the charter school is located. In addition, charter schools are permitted to give preference to students at risk of academic failure. This includes English Language Learners (ELL), students who are eligible for free or reduced price lunch and students who did not score at the proficient level on the state tests.

    And heres the killer: If there are more student applications to a charter school than seats available, the school must choose their students through a random lottery.

    Concluding, the charter system can work, you just need to set it up right.

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