ImperatorFish: The Two Most Powerful Arguments They Can Muster

Written By: - Date published: 3:36 pm, December 10th, 2011 - 5 comments
Categories: national/act government, schools - Tags:

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here 


The Two Most Powerful Arguments They Can Muster

Let’s sum up the arguments by the main players for and against Charter Schools.

Educational experts:

  • There’s little evidence that Charter Schools will make a difference to those who most need help. The evidence from overseas is mixed, and while some studies have shown that kids from Charter Schools can do well, there is also evidence to show that this is very often at the expense of disadvantaged kids, who are often discouraged from attending such schools because they drag the averages down. The evidence is inconclusive at best.
  • Schools already have a degree of autonomy under existing legislation, although they must still adhere to certain minimum standards if they want state funding. So what will Charter Schools give us that the current system does not already provide?
  • If Charter Schools are to be trialled to see if they work, why weren’t National Standards also trialled first?
  • OECD rankings regularly rate New Zealand near the top for quality of primary and secondary education. This shows that the generally the problem with learning is not poor schools or teachers.
  • Children who come to school hungry and have major issues at home are harder to teach. That’s why low decile schools on average do worse than high decile ones. The key to lifting performance is to address poverty-related issues.
  • If schools were better funded they would be able to devote more resources to those children who struggle with learning. If the aim of the policy is to focus on struggling children, why not just give more money to existing schools?


  • If the teachers unions are against it then, by God, it must be a good idea!
  • Oh well, bad luck, that’s MMP for you.


5 comments on “ImperatorFish: The Two Most Powerful Arguments They Can Muster”

  1. ak 1

    It’s policy by the most venal marketing firms that Big Money can buy:

    They found that swing voters fear Maori – so we got Orewa One.

    They found that swing voters fear strong women and intelligence – so we got John Key.

    They found that swing voters fear complex health services – so we got jacked-up caseweights and misleading raw numbers.

    They found that swing voters fear crims – so we got more jail time.

    They found that swing voters fear the poor – so we got welfare reform.

    They found that swing voters fear teachers and unions – so we got Charter Schools.

    Running out of scapegoats; next step, stoke new fears. It’ll be very, very interesting to see what happens if the Maori Party reminds them of the welched-on billion-dollar Whanau Ora promise….

  2. Hilary 2

    Hekia Parata, if she is Minister of Ed as rumours suggest, will be quite different to deal with. I think she will make a lot of making them attractive to Maori and Pacific groups as deregulated kura.

    • seeker 2.1

      Oh dear Hilary- and with her perfumed key smile and expensive attire she may well succeed. Celebrity glam marketing (beguiling) all the way. Hard to resist.

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