Leader David Seymour said it was “ideology over evidence … and payoffs to union backers as the government seeks to massacre partnership schools despite their popularity and success”.
The government had no clear alternative, Mr Seymour said.
“They know that Māori and Pacific achievement is abysmal, a stain on the promise of opportunity for all, but they are so focused on helping the ‘sector,’ read unions, that they have forgotten about the kids.”
Note to David Seymour. None of the education sector unions are affiliated to the Labour Party or make donations to the Labour Party.
And his claims of charter school success need to be considered carefully.
There is an international study suggesting that only one in five charter schools performed better than its state equivalent and two in five performed worse.
And in 2015 charter schools received $888,000 more than they would if their funding were strictly based on their enrolments thanks to the provision of generous guaranteed minimum roles. In some cases charter schools were paid $27,000 per annum per child compared to $7,000 per annum per child for the state equivalent. And not all of the extra money was used for education purposes.
And there has been major concern about education standards in charter schools. One prospective Manawatu charter school wanted to teach creationism.
Our education system has always been very successful and very cost effective. Sure it has its problems. But failure of kids to achieve are primarily to do with the ravages of child poverty, not our education system.
As for chartered school success well it appears this was a result of it interpreting data in a different way to state schools and once the same method was used chartered schools did not do so well.
National are pushing this though because within the Labour Party there are some who have expressed support for charter schools, notably Kelvin Davis and Willie Jackson. Kelvin wants two existing schools to be able to operate as special character schools and I am sure as long as they qualify this will happen.
Willie complained about a system that marginalised those tamariki, mostly Maori, who don’t fit in. But there are state system alternatives, for instance the Hoani Waititi Kura which is a designated character school under the Education Act and which offers high quality education to Maori without the baggage that a charter school would bring.
The schools and the models are there. They just need better resourcing not experimentation with libertarian models tried in nations with worse education standards than ours. And for the Government to do something about child poverty. Like get rid of it.
David Seymour has organised a public protest this afternoon against the closure of charter schools. I suspect the turnout will be in accordance with a political party polling at 0.1%.