Is the MOE deliberately torturing these schools or simply incompetent?

A recent press release leads me to form one conclusion. Chris Hipkins and his ministry are either deliberately prolonging the agony of particular charter schools for having the temerity to speak out about the terrible way they have been treated, or they are completely incompetent.

As an outsider looking in it appears that charter schools with Maori names or that sucked up the mistreatment and kept away from the media have been protected and had their applications processed within the deadline.

In contrast, certain schools that were promised a decision this month along with all the other charter schools have been told that they now need to wait until September! This will leave them with only two or three months to prepare for next year.

Either incompetence or malice has caused the delay. The continued stress and uncertainty is putting the schools’ staff retention at risk and is preventing them from being able to enrol students for the 2019 school year. Hipkins’ uncaring attitude combined with the incompetence or malice of his ministry has hit these schools like a wreaking ball.

Credit: Luke

It is appalling how they are being treated. Chris Hipkins, in my mind, is the worst Minister of Education in New Zealand history. His callous disregard for students, teachers and their families is the stuff of evil legend, and the current Ministry of Education isn’t much better. I imagine it is run by a bunch of clipboard-wielding, union-supporting despots who snort over their tea and biscuits at the hoops they are forcing charter schools to jump through.

Six more applications from charter-school sponsors to establish designated character schools next year have been approved, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced yesterday, and two applications for state-integrated schools have been approved to go through to the final stage. Quote.

“I have sought further information from the sponsor of two further schools, and work is needed on property options for the remaining application. The applicants for these three schools have met all other criteria for becoming a designated character school,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Vanguard School was approved in May. I have now approved the following six schools to be established as designated character schools from Term 1 2019:

Pacific Advance Secondary School, Auckland
Te Aratika Academy, Whakatu
Te Kāpehu Whetū (Teina), Whangarei
Te Kāpehu Whetū (Tuakana), Whangarei
Te Kōpuku High, Hamilton
Te Rangihakahaka Centre for Science and Technology, Rotorua

“To help these schools be ready for the start of the school year, I have also appointed their Establishment Boards of Trustees. They include members of each charter school’s governance board, to provide continuity and support its character.

“I have approved the first stage of the state integrated school applications relating to Tūranga Tangata Rite in Gisborne and Waatea School in Auckland. This means the Ministry will begin negotiations on integration agreements with these schools’ applicants, from which I will then make a final decision,” Chris Hipkins said.

Decisions will be made as soon as possible about the two remaining sponsors’ applications to establish three designated character schools, when more information is available. The schools are Rise UP Academy in Auckland, Middle School West Auckland and South Auckland Middle School.

“I expect to make final decisions on the two state integrated and three designated character schools in September, but have asked the Ministry to try and ensure this happens earlier if possible. This is still enough time for the new schools to open in 2019. End of quote.

I have zero faith in Hipkins and the Ministry of Education’s ability or desire to stick to this latest movable deadline. What is the bet that they will fail to meet it and then will be ever so sorry that the schools do not have enough time to get ready to open next year? That way they can claim that they approved their applications but that the schools were unable to get ready in time so had to close.

I feel ill.

 


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