web analytics

Lining up for charter schools

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, May 23rd, 2013 - 34 comments
Categories: accountability, education, religion, schools - Tags: , ,

Charter schools are a bad idea:

Charter schools ‘harmful’ says study
Former director: Introducing charter schools ‘horrendous’
Charter schools a ‘failed experiment in New Orleans’
Charter schools damage students and teachers

To make them even worse, they aren’t going to be subject to the usual checks and balances:

Untrained teachers at charter schools
Charter schools escape scrutiny

The Nats have the gall to foist these unaccountable schools with possibly untrained teachers on the country (the Ministry of Education thinks that’s daft) while simultaneously insisting that the quality of the teachers is the most important factor in education. Hypocrites.

Yesterday the PPTA published a list of organisations that have expressed an interest in running a charter school:

PPTA outs charter school hopefuls

A list of organisations that have expressed interest in running charter schools has been outed, revealing a high proportion of religious groups, including a Manawatu church arguing it has the right to teach creationism using taxpayer money because state schools teach evolution.

The Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) has defended its decision to print the list in this month’s edition of its members’ magazine, which names 21 organisations that registered interest – almost half of them religious groups – with president Angela Roberts arguing that the process had been shrouded in secrecy. …

However, the PPTA yesterday named organisations including The Sabbath Rest Adventist Church. The church had been interested in the options presented by partnership schools but had decided not to make an application this year while charter schools legislation remained before Parliament, trustee Jill Friar said.

Asked if she thought taxpayer money should be allocated to schools teaching creationism, Mrs Friar responded it was tantamount to funding secular schools to teach evolution.

“Look at the state school system – they teach evolution as if it’s a fact and it’s not a fact. Even scientists say it’s a theory, so what’s the difference at the end of the day? Why should we teach evolution as if it were a fact when there is a theory that is an alternative?” Mrs Friar said.

“It’s education and caring for children that is important – to me that’s what the argument should be all about.”

PPTA president Angela Roberts said taxpayer cash should not go to schools teaching creationism. “They have the right to teach that in their school, of course, but they have no right to do that with money for the public education system.”

Labour education spokesman Chris Hipkins said it was an example of why critics feared the charter school model. “Those are their beliefs – but the state should not be paying for it. Those parents and kids can choose to believe and to receive a religious education. But not to the exclusion of other sciences, and I think in this case that is really inappropriate,” Mr Hipkins said.

See also: ‘Church and state’ defines debate.

Not all of the groups listed have actually applied yet, but the PPTA list gives an indication of the kinds of groups that are interested in starting charter schools, and the kinds of issues that are going to arise. Do we really want scarce state education funding being used to teach creationism?

Final note, check out these videos on charter schools.

AN excellent speech in Parliament by Dr Megan Woods (Labour Wigram):

CHARTER SCHOOLS – things we need to know, by Assocociate Professor Peter O’Connor:

34 comments on “Lining up for charter schools ”

  1. ianmac 1

    Ominous development. Peter O’Connor says it all.
    I have yet to hear just what a NZ Charter School will actually do. I have not heard that question asked.
    What will it not do that State Schools currently do?
    What will it fill the school day up with?
    What will happen to the kids who do not respond?
    And perhaps those parents who work long hours, might welcome a long school day. Baby sitting?

  2. Dv 2

    I saw a Parata comment the other day that charter schools will improve NZEA passes BUT they are not obliged to offer the national Curriculum.

  3. Winston Smith 3

    Good call, gotta protect the teacher unions…

    • Te Reo Putake 3.1

      It’s actually about protecting children (and taxpayers), but then, you knew that already.

      • Winston Smith 3.1.1

        No its about protecting unionists, using kids and scare tactics.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          Sorry, do you have a problem with teachers joining unions? Who do you think you are, trying to trample all over their freedoms of speech and assembly? Piss off to North Korea.

        • Colonial Viper

          Unions and union membership is critical for the balance between employers and employees, Winston. Unions should be encouraged and supported.

        • framu

          really? – you of course have evidence of this i expect

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          …scare tactics.

          Really? Funny that, I thought they were using pedagogy and overseas experience from multiple countries. Do you think we should just check to make sure you aren’t a mendacious wretch?

          Yep, I checked, and they’re using pedagogy and overseas examples. You need better lies.

          • McFlock

            Nah. The chap who believes Orwell was only talking about left wing totalitarianism is being straight with us.

            References to educational studies and overseas experience scare the shit out of tories.

            Tories are afraid of references to the real world, what with reality’s known liberal bias 🙂

      • Rob 3.1.2

        Yes we must protect them and ensure that their studies do not drift away from the important issues of being able to pack a bowl of K2.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          Is drivel the best you can do?

          Why is it that no wingnut can use facts or reason to explain why they want the National Party’s clients to run schools? Is it a case of “failed NCEA level 2, join the National Party”? Because that’s what it looks like.

          • Rob

            Maybe if you looked at the way you frame your questions, you might get a more engaged coversation if that is in fact what you are after.

            People who think that charter schools may offer a large percentage of low acheivers and ultimate under qualified leavers an alternative method do not think that it’s all about Nationals clients.

            In regards to evolution debate I am struggling to even recall any more than a few periods on it in the 5th form for School C. The ammount of time devoted to evolution was almost non – existant and in fact I learnt more of it watching David Attenborough “Life on Earth” .

            Also why would you pour scorn on me for failing NCEA 2. Plenty of kids are doing that every year and some us are concerned. You are obviously not because you will just use it to demean them even further.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              Oh, you’re concerned? What is it that’s concerning you? The fact that we’re copying failed right wing education policies from countries with worse education systems than ours, as opposed to successful education policies from countries that do better?

              Or the fact that (despite the excellent work that our teachers do) household income is the largest factor in education outcomes?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.2

      Yes Winston, strong teachers’ unions help protect education standards and are well worthy of support, but this is about protecting children from the National Party’s clients.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Let the “Lord” provide for these religious nutters experiments surely, not us secular taxpayers.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      They can allready use their own funds to establish semi private schools, with the government only paying the teachers salaries.

      But , hey throw money at a problem, and the answer is there all along , apparently

  5. tracey 5

    Will they be like Private schools which don’t have to publish results the way Public schools do.

  6. ghostrider888 6

    Give ’em enough rope. Just another step down on the slide into the abyss; Consider the conflicts that will arise in the near future between institutionalised, radicalized, worldview bearers. Another gang-nail in the corpse of democracy, and as Draco concurred some time ago, hopefully in the carcass of capitalism as presently practised.
    One thing about a small country social laboratory, the effects are magnified.

  7. ghostrider888 7

    Furthermore, from the “Church and state, defines debate” link;
    “let the funding of religious studies … be in the context of theology…” – those church leaders that do have a sound theological understanding appear to keep it amongst themselves and not release it to empower the body; those that do not have a sound theological understanding- they are the majority!
    If they teach scripture to adults as “bed-time” stories, then it will be nursery rhymes for the students.

  8. prism 8

    Centrepoint Potter was very interested in girls’ education. Passionate even!

  9. Descendant Of Sssmith 9

    So when the NZ education was set up it was clearly secular and funded from taxation.

    Several private schools set themselves up for fee paying elites and several groups of Christians, predominantly Catholics, set up their own schools rather than have a state funded secular education.

    Both groups consciously opted out of a state funded education system – although some like Wanganui Collegiate still relied on the state to give them their land.

    In the 70’s as religious beliefs started to decline the religious schools were not able to sustain themselves due to both declining rolls and increasing costs. They then started filching funds from the state by becoming “integrated” when in fact they simply should have shut their doors.

    Since 85 as the middle class have slowly vanished due to neoliberal reforms private schools are struggling for enough pupils to fund their fancy schools, their lower to student to teacher ratios and their expensive property and despite the wealthy have more of the countries income than ever they don’t apply the market philosophy they profess to love (stand on your own two feet, if no demand for your service then market forces say shut the business down, reduce taxation esp on the wealthy, user pays) they instead look to also filch from the taxpayer whether via lump sum payments, integration or voucher systems.

    The religious schools have integrated and accessed taxpayers money and benefited by way of student numbers from white flight in the last 15 years or so many parents of such pupils lying about their religious affiliation, still faced declining rolls still don’t want to close and now want unique funding specifically for them. Minority religions also want to jump on the bandwagon.

    Neither of these groups are advocating that increased taxation pay for the schools they set up independently. Quite the contrary they predominantly advocate for less tax and less government.

    This can only get worse if we keep going down this track.

    It’s time we went back to a clear unequivocal govt only funding free secular education and non secular and private education rising or falling on it’s own merits.

    Public schools are closing due to reduced demand in both population size and location and their is no good reason why these independently set up schools shouldn’t do the same.

    What is needed is a no more than 10 year plan to remove state funding from all private and religious schools. No ifs no buts.

    • Populuxe1 9.1

      “Since 85 as the middle class have slowly vanished due to neoliberal reforms private schools are struggling for enough pupils to fund their fancy schools, their lower to student to teacher ratios and their expensive property…”

      Given that the expensive property is actually a big part of what funds the fancy schools, I’m calling bullshit. Kings and Christs seem to be doing just fine.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Yes they are…but a bit of extra tax payer funding is pretty handy too.

  10. Descendant Of Sssmith 10


    Collegiate is the most obvious but if you look you’ll easily find evidence that it’s the case.

    • Nordy 10.1

      Yes DoS – a ‘no-brainer’ really…probably why P1 is having real difficulty with it……

      One of the ‘wonderful ironies’ of the hollowmen is that the so-called ‘price signal’ of the market never applies to them (only everyone else), they clearly think that a govt subsidy is OK for them but not for anyone else……pure unadulterated hypocrisy.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 10.1.1

        And we should also remember that despite being private they do receive government subsidies which are increasing at alarming rate while the state school my kids go to for instance has lost over 100,000 dollars in funding in the last three years.


        2009 2010 2011

        Kings College 1,663,585 2,152,669 2,325,587

        St Cuthbert’s 2,027,070 2,553,203 2,836,908

        Kristin School 2,222,284 2,734,602 2,912,394

        AGC Parnell 789,880 1,206,459 1,426,547

        Diocesan School 2,057,681 2,740,298 2,940,455

        Scot’s College 1,072,920 1,378,084 1,509,437

        Christ’s College 1,172,637 1,461,804 1,633,170

        Rangi Ruru 1,160,013 1,446,897 1,580,950

        Kings College has had it’s funding increased by $700,000 dollars – no wonder it’s doing just fine.

        • kiwicommie

          I never went to those schools, even though I could have. They appeared to be snobbish, homophobic and pretty boring.

  11. Descendant Of Sssmith 11

    From memory schools like Woodford, Iona and Lindisfarne in Hawkes Bay also became integrated in the 90’s as rolls and finances dropped.

  12. Murray Olsen 12

    It worries me that Hipkins says this: “Those are their beliefs – but the state should not be paying for it. Those parents and kids can choose to believe and to receive a religious education. But not to the exclusion of other sciences, and I think in this case that is really inappropriate,”

    This indicates that he considers creationism to be a science. To be fair though, it’s far from being my biggest worry about the authoritarian little git.

    • peterlepaysan 12.1

      Hipkins is the final straw for me. I have voted labour all of my adult life.

      While hipkins and his cronies control the caucus cabal I will never vote labour.

      hipkins is why

  13. What New Zealand has to look forward to:

    A charter school mogul has been charged in a multimillion-dollar charter school fraud…

    Charter School Fraud: If This Were Public School, Libertarians Would Scream

  14. I grind my teeth with amger every time I drive past St Peters Cambridge which is about 3 times a week . Because the place is flood lighted like a city and must spend more on lighting than Cambridge High Schools spends on any single subject .Yet recieves taxpayers money to subsidy it’s wealthy clients,,

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Jump starting research careers
    The Government is investing up to $10 million to support 30 of the country’s top early-career researchers to develop their research skills. “The pandemic has had widespread impacts across the science system, including the research workforce. After completing their PhD, researchers often travel overseas to gain experience but in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Project protects jobs and nature
    A Waitomo-based Jobs for Nature project will keep up to ten people employed in the village as the tourism sector recovers post Covid-19 Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “This $500,000 project will save ten local jobs by deploying workers from Discover Waitomo into nature-based jobs. They will be undertaking local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Minister Shaw speaks with U.S. Presidential Envoy John Kerry
    Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw spoke yesterday with President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. “I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kerry this morning about the urgency with which our governments must confront the climate emergency. I am grateful to him and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today announced three diplomatic appointments: Alana Hudson as Ambassador to Poland John Riley as Consul-General to Hong Kong Stephen Wong as Consul-General to Shanghai   Poland “New Zealand’s relationship with Poland is built on enduring personal, economic and historical connections. Poland is also an important ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major redevelopment of Wainuiomata High School underway
    Work begins today at Wainuiomata High School to ensure buildings and teaching spaces are fit for purpose, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Minister joined principal Janette Melrose and board chair Lynda Koia to kick off demolition for the project, which is worth close to $40 million, as the site ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New expert group appointed to advise Government on Oranga Tamariki
    A skilled and experienced group of people have been named as the newly established Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis today. The Board will provide independent advice and assurance to the Minister for Children across three key areas of Oranga Tamariki: relationships with families, whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago