Jacinda Ardern short on explanation long on mis -information

There is nothing I enjoy more than good debate. I can argue both sides of an argument which allows me to hit the opposition hard as I know what justifications or facts they are going to use to try to convince the audience.In previous posts I have clearly outlined the points the Teacher unions and Labour make when criticising charter schools. I am very disappointed with Jacinda Ardern’s effort. She was given the opportunity to counter what David Seymour has said in defence of charter schools and her response was brief in comparison to his and used lies mis information about the funding of charters and their obligation to follow the National curriculum. She also did not respond to all of the issues he raised. To illustrate what I mean more clearly I have quoted the points David Seymour made and put Jacinda Ardern’s relevant response to each point in italics beside it.

333688d8-50d3-41b7-b913-b6908a77bc3eNew Zealand’s state school system works well for the average student, but still leaves too many disengaged and not achieving their potential.For Labour and the teacher unions, the solution will always be to throw more money at the problem and hope for the best.  Unfortunately, National and Labour governments have spent billions doing exactly that and have barely dented the problem.  International comparisons show that beyond a certain point more money stops making a difference to kids’ achievement.

download*NO response to this point about money by Jacinda.

333688d8-50d3-41b7-b913-b6908a77bc3eLabour’s approach to education is best summed up using Jacinda’s own words: “every single local state school should be the very best school for your child.”The question is obvious: kids are a diverse bunch, so can a single local school cater for the needs of every student?  Or do they just default to helping the ‘average’ student, asking the rest to conform (or become frustrated, disengaged and slip through the cracks)?William Butler Yeats said education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

An approach that works for one student may not work for another.  Some thrive  in a structured traditional environment and others prefer more freedom.  Some love open-plan bustle and others need quiet learning spaces. Some are engaged by the arts and others by hands-on engineering.The state should fund a range of schools, letting kids and parents choose what lights their fire, not just what school is closest to them.  Let’s celebrate diversity, not one-size-fits-all thinking.  Let’s engage every student

downloadI have a middle ground for you though, David, because I do agree we need an education system that caters for the diverse range of kids we need to educate for tomorrow. If your charter schools can meet the test of becoming a special character school, they won’t need to close. And with the extra funding that could be saved, why not put that into Alternative Education – a system created to give the range of educational options you talk about, but has been desperately underfunded for years. Your partnership schools could survive David, they just won’t get the preferential treatment you negotiated. And if we build an education system that caters for diverse needs within every local school, why should they?

333688d8-50d3-41b7-b913-b6908a77bc3e..…The sad thing is that Chris has never visited any partnership school.  I assume Jacinda hasn’t either.  They aren’t interested in seeing the life-changing work happening at these schools and facing up to the students and parents who choose to attend them.

download*NO response to this point by Jacinda.

333688d8-50d3-41b7-b913-b6908a77bc3eThe critics will try any attack line to belittle this choice.  They called the schools unaccountable, until one was closed for not meeting targets.  They’ve said the schools get extra funding, but schools of every type get extra funding at start-up.  They’ve tried to say charter schools are failing overseas, yet studies show students are thriving – US President Barack Obama champions the policy and calls charter schools “incubators of innovation”. Chris’ bill shows that the current Labour leadership is siding with the teacher unions and abandoning those students failed by the state education system.

downloadIf charter schools are the shining light you suggest, David, why not ensure they have the same quality controls that the rest of our schools follow, like making sure they use registered teachers? Or even teaching the curriculum? Instead, they’re so protected they don’t even come under the scrutiny of the Official Information Act. It’s hardly surprising that one was recently closed down after two years of operation.

And let’s be honest, you can hardly compare the outcomes for a charter school with state schools when they receive up to five times the funding.

333688d8-50d3-41b7-b913-b6908a77bc3eLabour MPs who visit partnership schools in their areas will likely form a different view as they see the positive impact school choice can have on young lives. Over to you, Jacinda. Will you promise to visit a partnership school before you back the bill?

download*NO response to this question or point by Jacinda.



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