Charter Schools – looks like the left’s right

The left has finally got something right (ha), but I really don’t think they’re going to get much airtime, after their comments about national standards. Charter Schools – they’re a terrible, terrible idea.

The problem with Charter Schools is there is little or no regulation around them. Anyone can run them. You can teach whatever you like in them. Who benefits from that? Certainly not the students. It’s the owners of the Charter Schools.

Here’s what I see happening. Destiny Church and their self proclaimed pope bishop, Brian Tamaki, will create a number of these schools. They will be taught nothing that is relevant in today’s world. They’ll turn up at school about 6am. They’ll be preached to until 8am. They’ll then have Religious Education until 10am. Then they’ll have morning break. They’ll come back at 10:15am for some Religious Education. 1pm they’ll have lunch. At 2pm they’ll have some Religious Education. At 5pm they’ll break for dinner. At 6pm they’ll have some Religious Education. At 8pm they’ll have another preaching session. Finally, about 10pm, they’ll be allowed to go home.

What do students benefit from this? Destiny Church benefits from Government funding. The students get nothing. They certainly don’t get an education.

Unfortunately, because educators have decided to rant on about national standards and talk a bunch of nonsense, all people will think is they’re just on another tirade of Government abuse. Quite frankly, that’s just very, very disappointing.


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Posted on December 7, 2011, in New Zealand Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. James Rawiri Meager

    You’ve jumped the shark mate, many assumptions made without knowing any of the detail.

  2. Why should state funding go to schools which don’t have rules about their behaviour, who they enrol, how much they pay teachers etc? If the right want private schools they should start their own private schools and not have mr and mrs tax payer pay for what are effectively state funded private schools.

    I think you kind of like national standards? One big issue with the standards is that special needs kids are not exempt from the standards. Because special needs kids who are being mainstreamed are subject to them the inevitable league tables will mean that school which take on kids with special needs will seem to be doing worse than schools with no such kids (or fewer). This will give schools a disincentive to take on kids with special needs ( or retain students with special needs) much the same problem exists with charter school except the ministry can’t tell them to take a kid that the ministry refers to the school.

    • I agree with you about Charter Schools. There’s no sense with them.

      I think that’s where special schools comes into it. No National Standards for special schools and no league tables – just an education system tailored to students with special needs. That then leaves the mainstream schools to ensure that every student works to their ability.

  3. Have any of you ever been to a charter school ? I work in educational sales and spend equal parts of my time in public, private and charter schools. I am continuously amazed by the caliber of students’ education at charter schools in my state of California. I’ve only been to nonsectarian schools and am stunned by the quality of the New Tech Charter School network and many of the University College Prep charter schools. These schools serve low income areas and offer amazing opportunities to their students and local communities. They are full of excited young students and passionate teachers who have actively made the decision to be there. It’s quite beautiful actually.
    Of course these schools are all WASC accredited and fulfill basic accredidation requirements, but they also do so much more than just this because there is innate flexibility and ability to tailor programs to students’ specific needs.

    Now our public schools, on the other hand, are a disgrace. Administrators are terrified of “thinking outside the box” for fear of displeasing their superiors. Teachers who have been doing the same old thing and teaching to the test for years. And students who feel the adults’ lack of passion and never develop their own passion for education.

    Dear right winged friend, please do some research before you bash some of the best educational resources in our nation,

    • Funny that you’re saying this is a right wing thing I’m saying when Charter Schools are a very, very right wing policy…… My understanding is they were brought in to the US by the Republicans, but regardless, they’re being brought to New Zealand by the right.

      I can’t say I have been to a Charter School, given we currently don’t have any and I haven’t really looked into the US education system, but just looking at how Charter Schools are being proposed here, they cannot be a good thing. There are no academic requirements. There’s no regulation around them. Basically, it’s the corporatisation of education. It’s simply not going to work. I don’t know how that compares to the Charter Schools that are present in the US, but to me, that doesn’t sound like a positive thing.

      Let’s put it this way. If the way you’ve described these schools is how they end up in New Zealand, I can’t say I would be against the idea. I agree that having passionate teachers who want to be there is a good thing. I went to a school where the teachers were like that, and I believe I got an excellent start because of that. And while that will probably result from Charter Schools, I don’t think that will cancel out the negatives that seem will definitely happen.

      Our public schools have their problems, but they are getting better. There’s currently the infrastructure in place to get them into a position where they’re benefiting New Zealand’s youth.

      Let me finish by saying I am far from a scholar when it comes to education. My profession (or at least, future profession) is law and accounting. But I can comment on what is logical or illogical, and not me, commercialising our schools can only result in harm.

      Regardless, thanks for your comment. It’s good to have some perspective from someone who’s experienced charter schools. What we’re getting in New Zealand at the moment is a whole bunch of people making assumptions of what will happen – myself included.

  4. My concern with charter schools is they are only being proposed for the low socio economic areas in NZ South Auckland and East Christchurch. The children in these areas are at risk and vunarable. Please do not experiment on these kids. If it is such a good idea trial it in the more affluent areas first prove it works and then expand. My understanding of the US education system compared to ours is that we at the moment are achieving higher results than the US.My background in education is I was on a Board of Trustees for 6 years 3 spent as the Chair. The achievment data that the Ministry of Ed and ERO require is quite extensive and I would be concerned if the reporting through to the ministry was not required under any “Differant” system.

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