Two Pro-charter school MSM articles in one day: I feel faint


For years the New Zealand MSM have published negative post after negative post about Partnership schools. We at Whaleoil have provided the media balance on the topic, publishing many posts pointing out the misinformation and even lies in the media about them as well as showing all the positives of charter schools.

Yesterday I felt quite faint when I spied not one but two pro-charter school articles in the NZ Herald (of all places). Has the worm finally turned?


Some highlights from the two articles include:

This in essence is the purpose of Kura Hourua. It is to acknowledge that despite the very best intentions of those who run them, regular state schools are not always able to meet the diverse needs of all their students, and too many children are falling through the cracks. A large proportion of these children are Māori and Pacific.

Kura Hourua must enrol at least 75 per cent priority students. They must also commit to high standards of academic achievement, student and whanau engagement, and financial management. In return they have significant freedom to use their resources (which are equivalent to the per-child rate spent in regular state schools) in innovative ways to achieve these standards.

Early academic results from the schools are very encouraging and in many cases outstanding.[…]

This diversity of offering, albeit on a small scale at present, is surely reflective of our country’s increasing diversity, and the need to acknowledge and respond effectively to the wide range of differing needs and preferences of our communities and their children.

It is for this reason that at a 2015 meeting of the Iwi Chairs Forum, iwi leaders resolved to actively support the establishment of Kura Hourua in their rohe, and to advocate publicly for the concept in our communities and with the Government.

While Kura Hourua are but one of many initiatives aimed at closing the educational achievement gap between Māori and non-Māori, they offer the greatest scope for communities to be part of the solution. And they are working.

It is noteworthy that charter schools in the US, and academies/free schools in the UK, enjoy the active support of both sides of the political spectrum. Let us hope that our new Government, with its commitment to reducing poverty and disadvantage, will look at the facts dispassionately, rise above politics, and acknowledge that this initiative is one that should be preserved and embraced. […]

I have been a critic of charter schools over the years. […]

But several years ago I was approached by Alwyn Poole who has set up several charter schools. He was passionate and sincere about wanting to provide an alternative education for those students who were being failed by mainstream schools. He seems to be succeeding. If this Government were to destroy his efforts without examining his apparent success that would be a tragedy. If he is succeeding then his model should be replicated.

No one goes teaching for the money. The vast majority of people I have met in my time in education are motivated by a desire to do something meaningful with their lives in serving others. But sadly, we have a political system that treats education like a football which is kicked in different directions depending on who has possession of political power. […]

-NZ Herald

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