Charter schools are a bad idea:
To make them even worse, they aren’t going to be subject to the usual checks and balances:
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: