A reader emails – The Trojan Horse

A reader emails about Charter Schools. I found this email very interesting, something for other readers to discuss.

You have run a number of blogs over time about the unions and charter schools.

The unions obviously want to block charter schools. Perhaps it is because these big huge organisations with thousands of teachers are afraid they may be brought down by a small army inside a Trojan horse called “Charter/Partnership Schools”.

Perhaps it’s because education in NZ still revolves around the adults, not the students as we profess it does. Notice how, while unions, principals groups, Massey University, etc. pontificate about charter schools they all ignore the hard statistics relating to NZ kids becoming disengaged, dropping out of school, failing to achieve NCEA or any other school qualification, failing to enter university or the work force….least of all to mention the teen suicide rate … 

But hey, I am in the education sector and am yet to attend an NZEI meeting that hasn’t ‘told’ members how to think. I don’t recall being asked by them how I view charter/partnership schools and yet I constantly hear them speaking on my behalf!  It’s not just the unions though who can’t get their heads around the fact that it is time for someone to try something different for those kids who are in the hunt for education that fits their needs.

The latest KIPP results tell a very good story, one that we shouldn’t ignore. Remember that the top KIPP schools are just a few of many successful charter school stories.

Politicians, however, will quite possibly create the ultimate block … Chris Hipkins has already made it quite clear that Labour would close all charter schools if they go ahead.

He is part of the Select Committee looking into charter schools and he is coming out with these comments before the committee have announced their findings – talk about John Banks talking before the committee reports back……hmmmm!

 


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  • peterwn

    But hey! education problems and “child poverty” can be simply fixed by throwing wads of money at it – no worries – Russell Norman can crank up the printing presses.

  • Psycho Milt

    The unions obviously want to block charter schools.

    Well, duh. One of the govt’s main aims with charter schools (possibly the main aim) is union-busting, so it’s hardly surprising the unions aren’t co-operating.

    Notice how, while unions, principals groups, Massey University, etc.
    pontificate about charter schools they all ignore the hard statistics
    relating to NZ kids becoming disengaged, dropping out of school…
    etc

    So, this person works in the education sector but has remained ignorant of what the groups mentioned are saying about those things? So ignorant in fact that he/she thinks they aren’t saying anything about them? I smell bullshit. They’re saying plenty, and some of the things they’re saying are so obvious that they were obvious even to people who don’t work in the education sector, eg that the failures the govt claims to be so upset about are strongly correlated with poverty, not with teacher or school performance. Which makes the govt’s pretence that the problem is one of school performance the strongest-smelling bullshit of the whole thing.

    • JC

      “eg that the failures the govt claims to be so upset about are strongly correlated with poverty,”

      Which, if I’m reading data right for New Orleans and some of the big US inner cities is where charter schools are having their bigger successes.

      JC

      • Psycho Milt

        The US actually does have the sort of public school system that right-wingers like to pretend NZ has. The American system does need some kind of sweeping reform – just, not the kind of reform that involves taxpayer-funded private schools working a filtering system to extract the most capable kids from the public school system, getting predictably good results and declaring themselves an awesome success.

        • JC

          Which is why New Orleans looks good, the majority of all schools are charter thus reducing the liklihood of filtering being a significant issue.

          JC

  • thehawkreturns

    I hope that there is no Charter for Religious Schools, for soon we shall hear of the local Koranic Charter School of Islamic Intolerance and the local Charter School of Creationism and Anti-homosexuality. Let this be no Charter for Religion.

    • thor42

      I agree.

    • johnbronkhorst

      This will depend on the rules for setting up a charter school. After all we have religious PRIVATE schools with no detrimental effects.

      • thehawkreturns

        This is exactly what I mean John. If someone wants to set up a school that brainwashes children then they need not have taxpayer’s money to help them create their army of robots.

        • johnbronkhorst

          Brainwashing is what we have now…teachers teaching kids WHAT to think instead of HOW to think…..dragging them along to protest marches, class room assignments promoting union doctorine etc….

      • Teachersrock

        But they have rules they have to follow. Charter schools will be answerable to no one but themselves.

        • Mediaan

          Nonsense, as usual.

          • Teachersrock

            Yes I know National is putting nonsense in place and it is their usual thing to do. And it is usual for the anti we hate teachers but send our kids to school crowd on here to put forward mistruths and pretend they are true. But we should still point the lies out so that way when it all goes pear shaped we can say we warned you.

        • johnbronkhorst

          Bull shit… look up the word C H A R T E R you idiot!! They right the rules and methods for their school and that CHARTER has to be approved by the MEd and is reviewed by the MEd and can be withdrawn or refused by….guess who…..MEd….agin I call you ….I D I O T!!!!

          • Ururoa

            John, Charter schools will be free to teach Creationism as fact, to teach Islam as fact, to teach anything that the Board of the school want to teach as fact. They have no obligation to follow the NZ Curriculum, nor do they have any obligation to teach alternatives to their own dogma. So your taxes will go to subsidise the advancement of religious fundamentalism. Well done, another great leap forward in the drive for quality education.

          • johnbronkhorst

            bull shit…they will be free to teach what is in their CHARTER, which MUST be approved by the MEd.And the part you are forgetting…..parents are FREE to withdraw their children from those schools if they don’t like what they are teaching.

          • Teachersrock

            You mean like parents can pull their kids from one public school and move them to another now? Where there is actual accountability as opposed to the free for all that CS’s will be.

          • Teachersrock

            And I call you a naive idiot. The MoE (as opposed to MEd= Masters of Education degree) will approve almost all charter schools because ACT will demand it of National and National will obey. And if you think for one moment setting up schools who get to do as they please with no government oversight is a good thing, then you are a massive naive idiot.

    • Teachersrock

      Under charter schools, all those things are possible.

      • Mediaan

        I reckon you are afraid that charter schools will show clearly we give too much public money to religious schools.

        How much do we pay for the taxis to carry catholic students to their chosen Catholic school each school day? Because we do, apparently. Unbelievable!

        Someone should tell those Otago High School people that their nervous request for more bus money is a joke, by comparison with the travel costs to get Catholic girls to, say, St Mary’s in Thorndon Wellington daily. They travel by taxi. We pay, out of education funding.

        What do we pay for that?

        Heard a driver complaining about school holidays being bad for business. And why.

        • Gazzaw

          Re the taxi costs. You don’t pay.

          • Mediaan

            This driver was in an ordinary taxi. No van. He was speaking of individuals. He was saying all the taxis suffered in school holidays, from what I heard.

            I also asked the Education Department about it. They referred me to the person who organises it. Haven’t yet been in touch.

            Your vague assurances to the contrary are based on … what?

        • Teachersrock

          I would like all private schools to get zero funding from the government.

          If they are private, then let them stand on their own feet. Put that money back into public and special education.

    • AnonWgtn

      In Auckland we already have Charter Schools, Jewish and two Muslim Schools (boys and Girls separate of course).
      Wha is different ?

      • Gazzaw

        AW, I can tell you that Catholic schools get no more state funding than regular state schools based on the Decile system. What is different is the additional funding & finance that may be available from the Catholic church for special projects approved by the BOT. Additionally, the local Catholic community, parish and parents are legendary for their fundraising skills. Their BOTs too seem to be highly professional – invariably plenty of legal, financial & management nous.

        By the way I’m not a Catholic but I do have regular contact with their education system and by & large they have it well and truly sussed. Charter schools could learn a lot from them.

    • Mediaan

      Disagree. Was just on the British Ofsted site looking at reports on some schools. One was Moslem, independent. Seemed fine. Not perfect, but fine. And the best quality teaching included Arabic. It was something SIPS in Southampton.

    • GeorgeRomero

      Exactly thr , religion OUT of any charter schools , especially the ”religion of peace” , a national curriculum is the first requirement of any schools that teaches our kids.

  • Ronnie Chow

    I would like to see Charter Schools like Outward Bound for every child .

  • thor42

    The whole bloody attitude of Labour and the left is sickening.

    * Anti-competition, patch-protection (no charter schools)

    * Nanny state, “we know best” (again, shown with the “no charter schools” policy and their interest in a “sugar tax” )

    * Pie-in-the-sky ideas (sugar tax).

    * Constant moaning without ever coming up with good, constructive and *workable* alternatives.

    • johnbronkhorst

      It will have to be a sandwitch in the sky now….as we won’t be able to afford the sugar for a pie.

      • Patrick

        Wholemeal or rye – couldn’t possibly be white, processed/refined carbs & all that mallarky

  • johnbronkhorst

    “Chris Hipkins has already made it quite clear that Labour would close all charter schools if they go ahead.”……and hipkins has a MANDATE from …who????

    • thor42

      Exactly!

      • Mediaan

        Be the Monopolies Commission, Dept of Commerce? Do we still have one? But, it is sure to say, the Crown is excepted from these regs. Pointless to take it to court, except for the publicity and public discussion aspect. Better to swim naked up the Waikato River with an orange rubber ducky on your head, if you want attention. (Never underestimate the triviality of tomorrow’s headlines.)

    • Teachersrock

      When Labour form the next government, that will give them the mandate.

      Where is Nationals mandate to put kids at risk by putting this failed policy into place? They never ran on it. Nor did ACT, and yet Key needs Banks, so kiwi kids get used as pawns in a right wing ideological play, using a system that all best research shows is amazingly bad for learning.

      • When Labour form the next government, that will give them the mandate.

        In your dreams Teachersrock; which incidentally are nightmares for most sane people!

        • Teachersrock

          National will have a hard time forming a Government as they will not have the parteners.

          Labour on the other hand will. All the left needs is one more seat than the right and it is all over. And there is a very good chance they will get it. Then NZ can start to recover from Nationals mismanagment.

      • minarchist_kiwi

        Funny how in marxistland 49% of the votes for National is NOT a mandate whereas 31% of the votes for Labour is…

      • Dumrse

        You need to be careful. I think you would struggle to find evidence of National using kids as pawns in a game. Unlike, the teachers using valuable class time to have the kids make up banners and placards in support of your union activities. I’m sure you won’t need me to put up the links.

        • Teachersrock

          National Standards, Charter Schools, closing special schools, Christchurch, all examples of National putting ideology first and kids second.

          And while I do not support kids making banners in class time, who do you think takes them to the rally’s Not the teachers, that would be illegal, it is the parents of the kids. Do not think for a moment that the comments on this blog represent the thinking of most parents.

    • AnonWgtn

      He is still tipped to be Minister of Education when Labour, Greenpeace and Winston take over power in 2014.
      Under MMP you cannot stop it.

      • Teachersrock

        Good. We need a decent Minster of Education to clean up Nationals mess.

  • Dr Wang

    Chris Hipkins may well wet dream that he will be the foaming zealot leading Labour’s crusade as they close down those evil Charter Schools, burn all their books…but Chip is a very sick puppy.

  • Mediaan

    UK teachers are being encouraged to boycott Ofsted inspections, says the Daily Telegraph. Some teachers (and unions) don’t want to be inspected!

    That is the UK service that inspects schools and child services and reports to the British Parliament on standards. They put out very full reports. See ofsted.gov.uk.

  • jeremy

    Charter school sare basically all about dumb f–ck creationists, and soccer players, who when they have no better time wanking over guns, are trying to pretend to be teaching our kids intellectual curiosity. And by the way I don’t have much time for teacher unions, but I do have time for stopping trying to package tax payer money for education in a way that will let the destiny churches of the world buy new Harleys and poison the minds of our kids with superstition, bigotry and fairy tales. If you came clean on our agenda I might respect you, but you don’t. Does Alaska beckon?

  • Ururoa

    Other than being permitted to ignore the NZ curriculum and hire anyone as a teacher, what is a charter school other than a state subsidised private school? This Nat government seems to be convinced that the way to run the country is for the state to subsidize it (Sky city gets more machines for a convention center, Rio Tinto gets subsidised electricity, farmers get drought relief). There are plenty of successful private schools; if a business can make a business case for setting up a school, then let them; the state (i.e. your and my taxes) shouldnt subsidise it.

  • Time For Accountability

    It’s all ok folks all she needs to do is run the Anita Killeen defence.
    Google it.
    It is was a farce.

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