Another great candidate for a Prime Minister’s scholarship unless…


A 12-year-old girl who dropped out of school for a year says a charter school turned her life around.

Luciana Wheeler, who at one time hated school, said Middle School West Auckland helped her fall in love with learning again.

[..] Luciana said enrolling at a charter school was the best decision her family ever made.

The year 8 student said she struggled at a state school and dropped out in 2016.

She said she was home-schooled because she couldn’t cope with the pressure to learn in a school environment.[…]

“When you’re in a class of 30 the teacher does not notice you that well, I just felt so lost,” Luciana said.

“I didn’t feel like I was learning, that I was constantly behind in my work and it made me feel really discouraged.”

Luciana’s mother Ange Wheeler said normal school was a disaster for her daughter – she felt out of her depth and fell behind in her work.

“She struggled with learning to read and maths,” Wheeler said.

“Luciana learns a little differently than other students and most teachers don’t have time to deal with that.

“She thought she wasn’t smart, that she wouldn’t have a future and that she was not good enough.”

After joining Middle School West Auckland, Luciana’s view on school and learning improved.

The classes were smaller and teachers had time to work on individual students learning capabilities, Wheeler said.

“It was a miracle. It wasn’t an overnight thing and it took a lot of work but her teachers were great.

“It’s so different from mainstream schools, there’s a wonderful community of learning and a great sense of belonging here.”

Villa Education Trust, which runs Middle school West Auckland and South Auckland Middle School, met with the Ministry of Education on February 13 to discuss the schools’ future.

Karina Abadia/STUFF
Villa Education Trust’s Alwyn Poole says they want the Government to retain three aspects of the charter school model, including its staff pay levels.

Alwyn Poole, the trust’s academic advisor, said they were hopeful the ministry would retain three aspects of the charter model, including keeping teachers pay structures outside of the union’s collective.[…]

 – Stuff

As the Lorax from Dr. Seuss famously said, nothing is going to get better unless someone cares a whole awful lot. At the end of the day it comes down to whether or not Jacinda Ardern cares about Charter school students. If she doesn’t, the hundreds of students currently thriving in a Charter school environment are going to be thrust back into the State school system that has already failed them once.


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