Two days ago, this happened:
Government under fire for charter school ‘rort’
The government is under fire for awarding a charter school a contract before ensuring it had somewhere to teach its kids.
Villa Education Trust was unable to find a big enough site to lease before it opened its Middle School West Auckland in January, and is now operating part of its school from ministry-owned land in Henderson. It is has not paid rent there for the first half of the year.
The Ministry of Education said having premises to teach from were not required as part of the school contract, and the rent for its land will be repaid.
Having actual premises is not required for charter school funding, so they got (rent free to date) state owned premises – that were too small for their roll. Unbelievable. And in today’s news:
KFC ‘used as charter school reward’
Ministry investigates complaints of bullying and cultural problems made by teachers and parents.
Fried chicken, pizza and cakes were used as rewards to keep a handle on spiralling student behaviour, according to angry parents and teachers from a new charter school. The claims, and further concerns about behaviour policy, bullying, lack of cultural awareness, safety and drugs at Middle School West Auckland, are under investigation by the Ministry of Education.
Mrs Allen said that on average, each year level had been fed takeaways four times over three weeks, with some promised KFC if they scored well on behaviour tracking sheets.
Another staff member wrote to the Education Review Office, saying the behaviour policy “highlights a lack of leadership management and lack of effective teaching practices”. The staff member informed ERO that bullying was rife at the school, and that there was drug use. She said one student had attempted suicide. Students were ejected from class, and left in the hallway with no supervision.
Imagine the uproar if these things were happening at a state school. Russell Brown takes the right-wing commentariat to task in this excellent post:
Political palatability and charter schools
It’s abundantly clear that [Villa Education Trust spokesman] Poole believes in what he’s doing, but whether we ought to is another matter. The trust’s website offers almost nothing in the way of background to or evidence for its practices and Poole’s default response to what are now very substantial and troubling questions seems to be to claim he’s misunderstood.
I think it’s time for Poole’s ideological enablers to stop providing space for his long, muddled manifestos and acknowledge that mere political palability is not an excuse for obscure, arbitrary and possibly damaging educational practices.
With both charter schools and private prisons, National can't blame the previous Labour government. Labour were totally opposed to them
— James Macbeth Dann (@edmuzik) July 21, 2015
Prisoner safety debacle. Charter School failing experiment. Both shd be a caution to the social bond privatisation of mental health.
— Helen Kelly (@helenkellyUnion) July 21, 2015