Not so long ago I visited South Auckland Middle School, one of two partnership schools with a total enrolment of 280 operated by the not-for-profit Villa Education Trust.
Because I had read of President Obama’s recognition of the benefit which partnership schools have for disadvantaged Afro-American kids, I was predisposed to like what I saw.
At the same time, I had heard of the strong opposition to such schools on the part of the teacher unions, and I assumed that at least part of their opposition was motivated by genuine concern for the effect of such schools on the children who attend them.
If that opposition is indeed based on a genuine concern for the children, they should visit South Auckland Middle School with an open mind.
I was blown away by what I found.
Yes, the school is effectively bulk-funded, in principle enabling the school to employ unregistered or unqualified teachers. In reality, all their teachers are fully registered and fully qualified. Classes are limited in size to 15.
The school provides a school uniform and all basic stationery without charge, and no fees or “donations” are charged.
Erm. Question: How can they have smaller class sizes, registered teachers, school supplied uniforms and no need to “donate” anything. Another question: How are state-run schools not able to do this? Read more »