Dunne abandons charter schools

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, April 19th, 2013 - 32 comments
Categories: education, schools, united future - Tags: , ,

For the second time in a week I have to congratulate Peter Dunne on having the sense to oppose the Nats:

Peter Dunne opposes charter schools

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne says he will vote against legislation establishing charter schools. …

Dunne says he’s not convinced by the charter schools model and he is particularly concerned at proposals which will allow charter schools to employ teachers who are not registered or nationally certified.

The United Future leader is also worried the schools will not be compelled to follow the National curriculum.

Two of many good objections to charter schools. Below the line I’m going to repost the content of an earlier post on the issue of qualified teachers…


The Nats’ inconsistency on the importance of having well qualified teachers is one of their most brazen examples of naked political opportunism. Hekia Parata:

Focus on quality will raise achievement

Education Minister Hekia Parata today said the National-led Government’s focus on teaching quality will raise achievement and ensure our young people get the skills they need to reach their potential. … “The single most important thing we can do to raise achievement is to improve teaching quality.”

John Key:

Key: Don’t worry about unqualified teachers

Prime Minister John Key says people should not be “hung up” on the fact that teachers without qualifications will be able to teach New Zealand children at charter schools.

Key’s self-serving dismissal of qualified teachers should by all rights be impossible to maintain in the face of a stinging report from the Ministry of Education, here reported by 3 News:

Ministry’s warning over charter schools

The Government is pushing ahead with allowing charter schools to employ unregistered teachers, despite the Ministry of Education warning against it.

… A regulatory impact statement from the ministry says anything less than 100 percent registered teachers “does not align with the government’s quality initiatives”.

“Teacher registration is one the most influential levers in raising teacher quality across the profession in both state and private schools,” it said.

“Allowing charter schools to stand outside this work will significantly damage the credibility of the crown.”

It said the potential for negative impacts on students’ education from unqualified or unregistered teachers is “high”.

The Nats won’t listen because the Nats don’t care about the quality of education, they only care about privatising it.

32 comments on “Dunne abandons charter schools”

  1. karol 1

    And the ball is in the Maori Party’s court and the heat is on Sharples.

    The Maori Party looks to be flexing its muscle now it holds the future of the Government’s charter schools policy in its hands.

    Without their three votes, legislation enabling the schools won’t be able to proceed through parliament now United Future has withdrawn its support.

    Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says there are things they are still looking at regarding the policy but for the moment they are still supporting it.

    Come on, Pita. Do the right thing, and do the right thing now your political career is nearing its end.

    There is nothing a charter school can do, that couldn’t be done better in the state system, and without greedy profiteers taking their cut.

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 2

    Blowing the National Party’s destructive education “policy” out of the water in the same week as sabotaging their greedy asset sale plans? Pricelsss. 🙂

    PS: Time for the Maori Party to decide whether it supports ACT or not 😆

    • Mongoose 2.1

      Unfortunately the Maori Party will most likely vote for it because they support the concept of Chartered schools raising Maori achievement levels. They wish to open their own schools with government funding.

      • karol 2.1.1

        Maybe they should go for a policy that gives them more control of Maori schools/ing in the state sector. What they are doing is supporting all the other dodgy things that the Bill will spawn, in order to get some control over the education of under-achieving Maori

      • ordinary_bloke 2.1.2

        They are kidding themselves. How can they be ‘their own’, if funded by the government, any government. Governments change, priorities change ..

  3. Dunne is the ultimate political survivor. He can sense the political winds shifting and is thinking of his survival. Stand by as he changes tack on a few issues and the opposition should be working on him.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Should be working on screwing him out of his seat.

    • geoff 3.2

      Eaxctly, Micky. The title of this post could easily have been, “Dunne will say anything to get re-elected”

    • felix 3.3

      See him heaping praise on Helen Clark on Back Benches the other night? Greasy fuckwit.

  4. Ennui 4

    Buddying up to the teachers and their union on the quiet? Preparing to jump ship again? Which way is the wind blowing Peter?

  5. prism 5

    The NACTs haven’t thought this charter schools nonsense through. They are so dumb that they can’t chew gum at all. And they think that making intelligible sounds is equivalent to making wise, effective and far-seeing policy. They are ignoring what follows from the old adage – “Give me the child till the age of seven and I will show you the man.” .. But the maturing goes on till 25 years apparently. The NACTs are playing round with the moulding of our society from one aiming at good living in the moral sense, to fractured blinkered groups competing in a wild west breakdown of social cohesion, yet being funded to do that by the country’s tax putea.

    I look into my trumpet-shaped telescope with a wide-angle lens, as opposed to their looking through the wrong end of a normal telescope. So I see a wider future. I see black garbed stormtroopers trained at the Destiny academy. (Already had a taste of this.) I see Maori gangs controlling charter schools and teaching the things that Tuhoe was only looking at in passing. Then military academies such as in the USA where some parents push their children off their hands at an early age, even about seven, this provides training for what has become that country’s major enterprise.

    I see hard-line Muslim schools with fiery fervent preachers as in Britain, and amongst other things, demanding the right for girls to cover themselves in public in a half-tent, the full one for when they become women, say at 15 years. I see a growth in the sort of cult following that led to Branch Davidian in Texas (an earlier Waco tragedy), and Centrepoint here.

    I see a growth in anti-education, against facts and curiosity such as we see in the USA where the fundamentalist Christians have been allowed to dictate their own brand of medieval learning. I see a diminishing interest in facts, with feelings and beliefs taking over as the facts become harder to face (this has been so for decades but is at present a fringe approach.)

    Schools at present don’t give us the teaching in critical thinking and decision making and the study of what our society is, which is the pedestal on which we build our lives. A study of the use of suppression of unattractive information came to the conclusion that it was rife in modern ‘informed’ societies and another form of repression. http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/86is/introduction.html This will snowball with the ability of many groups able to choose what and how to instruct children yet who can’t be questioned or examined themselves.

    And what about the sex scandals? There can only be a scandal if the wider public with higher ideals and standards gets to know about goings on. The deputy principal from Far North Pamapuria who has just been tried has had an extensive stable of children with no-one prepared to examine the hints of his moral weakness. And the spending of government money, who is going to examine the recipients of that? Slush fund anyone?

    If our education had been balanced between knowledge and practical decision making with a moral compass, ethics, and the best for society in mind, we wouldn’t be having this type of disaster looming over us. The very government considering this education approach that undermines our country’s spirit and beliefs, our democracy’s fair and supportive approach to fair standards for all people in a united and thriving country, is its own terrible example of education failure.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Schools at present don’t give us the teaching in critical thinking and decision making and the study of what our society is, which is the pedestal on which we build our lives.

      Actually, they do and NACT are trying to take it away because, from what I can make out, it makes being dictatorial thieves difficult. People pick up the lies and BS that NACT try to spin when they’re well educated.

      • prism 5.1.1

        DTB
        Maths alone isn’t the answer to finding the best way to cope with life’s little problems.
        Critical thinking has to go beyond how to share out three Mars bars with four people. So what was your thinking?

        The difficulties of deciding on a path when it will please nobody, but it is necessary to take action, that’s the type of thinking I’m talking about.. How to analyse the possible outcomes to reduce the negatives, how to choose the best of a number of not completely satisfactory alternatives. Lots of practice at looking the problem real, in the face. Less of maths working out the speed of two trains if they left at….

        And learning practically – the school being run on a day to day basis by the pupils with defined responsibilities and training of course. That wouldn’t seem to be education, but it is practical learning – living, decision making and organising and finding out how to meet others’ and one’s own needs within all the parameters.

        If NACT are trying to reduce the education process to a lower level as far as making clear judgements is concerned, at the present level, heaven help us if we get a poorer one. People were thirsty to be educated and think at the time NZ was settled. Some Maori men threw aside adult mana and settled down with the children to learn English and anything else that would be useful. Far-flung sheep stations had their own lending libraries. Lady Barker used to ride out on her property to distant shepherd’s huts to take them books. They were keen to advance their education and didn’t take it for granted. I’m worried about our complacency that we are learning what’s needed to cope with our modern ever-more complex society.

        • Northshoreguynz 5.1.1.1

          Haven’t been a classroom for a while Prism? Most schools I know incorporate critical thinking into as many lessons as possible, and in a structured way that students understand.

    • ghostrider888 5.2

      we share some of the same pages from the future prism; the two trains heading towards each other and what colour is the smoke blowing. and despite the apologists for our education system, many facets are not adding up…

  6. emergency mike 6

    Something about leaving a sinking ship…

  7. Agora 7

    The meaning of ‘maori’ is “normal, usual, natural, common” (http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz)
    .. so why this claim for exceptionalism by the remaining supporters of the ‘maori’ party ?

    They should declare their allegiance to Banks.

  8. prism 8

    I’ve done an extensive piece on my concerns about this awful charter schools debacle. It’s in moderation and will get the okay I think sometime. I have to go away now and attend to my own affairs. But I hope that it will get read by at least a few people. It took me a while and I put in a link of some good research, so it’s worth reading!

  9. BLiP 9

    Given the “no surprises” mandate, Dunne will have cleared this with National Ltd™ and may even have provided advance warning of what he was going to say about. He would never have done this if National Ltd™ didn’t believe they had it sewn up. What I’d like to know is how its even got this far. The policy apparently came from ACT which had never mentioned it before. A bit convenient if you ask me. Here, in my tinfoil lined, mum’s basement, it looks like this is pay packs for the teachers and the thin end of the corporatisation of education.

    Still, its good the charter schools are being discussed . . . but what else is going on. Fridays are great days to drop bad news. Hmmm . . . off to Scoop.

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