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More charter school hypocrisy

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, October 9th, 2015 - 21 comments
Categories: education, Hekia parata, national, schools - Tags: , , , ,

Remember back in the day when National announced increases in class sizes, and argued that it wouldn’t damage educational outcomes? Bollocks of course. When it turned out that Key sent his kids to private schools because of the smaller classes that was pretty much the last straw, the U-turn followed and bigger classes were dropped.

Now we’ve come full circle:

Small class sizes a key factor in charter school success – report

Small class sizes have been hailed as one of the key conditions to charter school success in a first report into how the controversial education model is working.

Splendid. Lets give our regular schools the benefit of this astounding new academic insight and reduce their class sizes too then!

(Gotta love DPFs “flexibility” as he spins 180 degrees on class sizes. While we’re at it, let’s fund public schools at the same levels as charter schools too – howzat for flexibility.)

However, all this is just a prelude to the main event, as it emerged yesterday:

Education Minister overrules ministry’s advice on charter school report

The Education Minister shut down comparing student achievement results from charter schools with those of state schools despite ministry advice to do so.

A report by consultancy firm, Martin Jenkins, was commissioned by the Government to look at whether three of the first five charter schools set up in 2014 were delivering anything new.

But on March 18 Parata overruled the ministry and its intentions to supplement the independent report with information about student achievement. …

So the Education Minister overrode Ministry advice to protect National’s pet charter schools from being evaluated on their actual outcomes – all the while trumpeting national standards and accountability for public schools of course. Hypocrites much?

To be fair of course, such comparisons are going to be pretty tricky in the future, given the evidence of runaway grade inflation that is going on. Make an education system and its drivers all about naive measurement instead of learning and you end up with a broken system. Brilliant.

21 comments on “More charter school hypocrisy ”

  1. tracey 1

    The report suggests those things which are contributing to good performance are actually down to resourcing, such as class sizes, rather than a new innovative way of teaching (or having non teachers) etc.

    Parata or Seymour say sit is not fair to impose a further requirement on partnership schools but her own Ministry said that Isaac’s suggestion actually aligned with what Ministry and Board is trying to achieve with the schools.

  2. ropata 2

    National’s attacks on education are worse than anything in the TPPA or Dirty Politics. This is the future of our children and our society that they are playing with. What a bunch of dangerous fuckwits.

    • tracey 2.1

      Seymour told Isaac the review parameters would be revisited in July, most certainly to give her the impression the evaluation comparison might still happen. It did not.

      One of the points of the Charter Schools, as I understand it, is the supposition that they give better outcomes than state schools. So, some kind of comparison is required, in whatever form?

      Out of all the Charter Schools, does anyone know how many have a majority of students from below what we might call decile 5 homes?

      • dukeofurl 2.1.1

        It seems that the Vanguard school in South Auckland, one of the better run charter schools, still has 20% of the NCEA cohort who dont get any qualification. They dress it up a bit by talking about ‘pass rates’ but exclude those who would be eligible but arent counted to pump up the pass rate.

        This was supposed to be the be all of charter schools, they would not ‘lose the 20% of pupils who fall through the cracks’ that was supposed to be happening to our nasty state schools.

        • tracey

          I was just looking at the military School. Interestingly on their website they don’t mention getting MOE funding, only Tertiary funding and MSD funding. An oversight I am sure.

    • J Ryan 2.2

      Give them a go. State schools have a percentage of non performing deadbeat teachers. Can’t get rid of them because of a strong union and so they rot the system and the kids they endeavour to teach. The Teachers Union is not about the children, more about their own selfless needs.

  3. red-blooded 3

    Interesting to hear the head of the Education faculty at Massey criticising the ineffectiveness of the “independent” report (only ONE short on-site visit!) on Morning Report this morning and saying there should be much more stringent reviews, but also saying the promised “apples with apples” review isn’t really possible either – because the families opting to send their kids to such schools were obviously motivated and involved in their education and that doesn’t hold true for all families.

    Sorry no link – it’s not up yet.

    • tracey 3.1

      I DO think Seymour has a point about the schools being new BUT students don’t get that lee-way, they have had a year or more of education and that needs to be properly assessed. IF it comes down to school and class size, funding of staff and Boards then that is NOT a success of Charter Schools per se, but a failure by us all to get the right resources into all our schools.

  4. vto 4

    far right wing people don’t see the hypocrisy

    the reason they don’t see the hypocrisy is that they simply don’t care about others so it doesn’t even hit the drawing board



  5. AmaKiwi 5

    Would you do business with or work for someone who is as deceitful, lying, dishonest, and crooked as a NZ politician in power?

    We need a way to remove them from office when they act so offensively. It’s called a “recall referendum.” (Look it up on Wikipedia.)

    Let the people decide. Stop the elected dictators.

    • tracey 5.1

      Legally proving it is the issue to achieve that. Most of what Key says can be taken more than one way. That is not by accident.

      • AmaKiwi 5.1.1


        You don’t have to prove anything except that the majority of voters want Joe Blow out of office.

        You get the required signatures on a petition. The referendum question is straightforward. “Should Joe Blow remain in office?” If the voters say, “No,” a new election is called.

        A cornerstone National policy is flexibility in the workplace. That’s what I want. If our employee (MP, Mayor, etc.) is not performing, his/her employers (the people) need the means to be able to fire him/her.

        • tracey

          which section of the Act allows for a recall referendum Annakiwi?

          • AmaKiwi

            @ tracey

            I don’t understand your question: “which section of the Act allows for a recall referendum Annakiwi?”

            NZ does not have recall referendums. My point is that our politicians would behave a lot better if we did.

  6. tc 6

    Given the constant pummelling the eduction sector has taken since NACT rode into the treasury benches 6 guns a blazing is this any surprise.

    What is very dissapointing is the feckless opposition not taking this, novopay, national standards, leaky schools etc etc sharpening their rhetoric and opening up some wounds.

  7. savenz 7

    +100. Charter schools are death to kids education and our way of life. In addition a good one for the opposition to be campaigning against (like Serco). But again the opposition seem missing on action on this one.

    Most Kiwis are parents, grandparents etc. Charter schools is a very mainstream issue as a point of difference.

  8. Smilin 8

    And the amount of govt money poured into the success of these charter schools when all the public state schools are always scratching for money and its left for them to find the extra or die ,out of balance to put it mildly who runs this shit system, thats right the 1% of the 10% of the richest, all for them and none for all

  9. NZJester 9

    New Zealand used to have one of the best school systems in the world designed with input from by actual teachers. National got in to power and said Teachers what do they know about education and slowly stared to impose there own ideological ideas on education. Most of those ideas came from overseas and did not work in the original countries they got tried in. The places using the ideas National was saying we should try had been envious the the system National dismantled.
    Our education system has been decimated by Nationals mismanagement and under funding.
    All that money wasted on charter schools if pumped into the regular public schools would have had just as much or even more influence of improved the grades of those same students.

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