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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  • Sailor Sam

    So how come Jacinda cannot answer simple questions?
    Is it because they are not fluff pieces in a women’s magazine?
    Just shows how useless she would be as a member of a little green/lab government.

  • Seriously?

    Labour get their funding differential by including start-up money alongside annual funding. Because charter school are all recent start-ups, and state school are mostly not, a funding differential is artificially created.

    The annual funding is worked out with exactly the same formula for state and charter school. For that matter, so is the start-up funding. They are treated equally.

    Labour opposition to charter schools is nothing more than a patch war being fought on behalf of Labour’s donors – the teacher unions. That, to use Mr Little’s favorite phrase, creates the perception of corruption and perceptions matter don’t they Mr Little.

    • Dog Breath

      I don’t think they are big donors. None of the unions influencing Labour provide large sums of money to Labour relative to their influence an issue that has been debated in other threads.

      • Seriously?

        You only need peanuts to pay monkeys.

  • benniedawg

    Perhaps she finds the questions she has not answered confusing and has therefore decided to err on the side of caution. Maybe???

  • Orange

    Good ol quality controls on the teachers. You can see why WO is so hard on the “registered teachers” issue when people like Jacinda try to make a point about any real world difference it makes to quality.

    • spanishbride

      I am not currently registered. To become registered again all I have to do is part with a large sum of cash in order to have my name once again added to the register. Does that make me a better teacher than I was before I paid?

      • MichaelW

        Yes it makes you a better teacher from Labours point of view. This is because it makes you a poorer teacher which makes you more likely to be voting for them ;)

  • Graham Pilgrim

    If charter schools are funded similarly to state schools, why did Seymour allow her to get away with:
    “Your partnership schools could survive David, they just won’t get the preferential treatment you negotiated.”
    “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.”

    • Seriously?

      Seymour was not responding to her in the comments above, she was “responding” to his comments. If you gave him a right of reply he might well point out the misleading comparison of apples with oranges.

    • spanishbride

      It was an opinion piece on Stuff. They posted David’s one and gave Jacinda the right of reply. As you can see from my break down hers was brief in comparison and did not address all the issues he raised.If she had done the first one I am confident David would have addressed all of her mis-information adequately.

  • Muffin

    Shes a scum list MP… just like their leader, dont know why we even have to listen to her opinion.

  • Just me

    This supposes a “registered” teacher is a competent one. If Jacinda thinks that’s true she’s not only ill-informed, but naive in the extreme.

    • Tiger

      WO have pointed out time and time again, that a “Registered Teacher” demands no more reverence than a chartered school employee teacher, inasmuch a (list) “Member of Parliament” demands no more reverence than a contributing member of the public.

    • Dog Breath

      It’s my understanding that most charter school teachers are registered. They have the option to hire Non registered teachers for speciality areas of the cirruclum they offer. Jacinta”s arguement falls flat because most are registered.

    • SlightlyStrange

      And that a registered teacher is a safe one.
      We’ve seen ample evidence that this is not always the case.
      I guess the advantage in a charter school is that the union wont be bullying the school boards into letting naughty staff go quietly so they can continue their poor behaviour elsewhere?

  • localnews

    My mother is a retired teacher. I love telling her that in a couple of years my kids are going to charter schools. It is guaranteed to cause heart failure

    • Aucky

      I have family members who are teaching right now (neither belong to the union) who would go and work at a charter school tomorrow were it not for the union vendetta against teachers looking to further their career after their time at a charter school.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    The weight of the Media party expectations of how far her star will rise is starting to show. No surprise for the majority based on performance to date which is consistent with only pesky list MPs.
    These are people who think it is an achievement to form a “clever” question in the house that they do not hear the answer to. They just do answers good and again evidenced by her responding with the same union vernacular.
    Likewise no surprises that as well as dictating leadership they are moving to dictating proposed legislative changes.

  • D.Dave

    This is the same Jacinda that Duncan Garner was holding up this afternoon, as the savior of the Labour Party. I anticipate a small seismic event, at Labour Headquarters, caused by a ‘dead cat bounce’. After this unmitigated use mistruths I expect the sound of the gagging from the swallowing of dead rats, also.