Charter schools through the back door?

PHOTO-Supplied to Whaleoil
Dominic Elliot holding a sign: “Jacinda where is your support now?”

Question:

What do you do when you have publicly rejected a very successful educational model that benefits the demographic that your political party claims to care about and have closed down all the schools that are using it?

Answer:

You get the Ministry of Education to tender for suggestions on how to deliver charter schools without calling them charter schools!

Here is the overview from the tender document.

We wish to seek expressions of interest from expert providers to develop and implement innovative approaches to foundational learning including oracy that support more students to experience effective learning.

This will be followed by an RFP [request for proposal] to shortlisted suppliers.

The intention is to broaden the delivery of foundational curriculum supports from the current focus on reading, writing and mathematics to approaches that better support rich curriculum learning opportunities. This will include a stronger focus on foundational knowledge, skills and capabilities, including oracy and key competencies, to enable students to be successful across all learning areas of the curriculum. It will also seek to better support students requiring additional learning support, including those with dyslexia, dyspraxia and ASD [Autism spectrum disorder].

The proposal should demonstrate how it will support more students to achieve the outcomes of The New Zealand Curriculum .

We are interested in investigating and testing innovative approaches that align with this broadened focus, and explicitly address the interactions between teachers, culturally responsive pedagogical practices, students and their parents and whānau, that is the instructional core.

We expect to monitor time-bound approaches so we can understand the impact on learners in particular but also on teachers, schools and the system, of innovative approaches to foundational learning, and opportunities for their further development, in particular for those students not making expected progress.

The proposal should offer approaches that can lead to sustainable acceleration for students. Any approach that is selected will need to be able to provide a sound evidence base that can be shared and built upon across the sector.

We are committed to excellence and equity and support should be cognisant of diverse needs where a range of approaches may be required.

We do not want approaches focused on teacher professional learning and development (PLD) although work with students should leave behind a footprint of sustainable classroom, school/Kāhui Ako practices.

We do not want projects that require a long lead in time before they can be implemented. The proposal must be able to be developed and delivered from March/April 2019. It is expected that projects will continue for varying periods up till December 2021, and in various parts of New Zealand.

We do not want respondents without demonstrated experience in delivering education related service

The now-closed Charter schools were all about innovation and accelerating the learning of students who were behind.

The now-closed Charter schools all have “demonstrated experience in delivering education-related service.”

The now-closed Charter schools would not require a long lead-in time before they could deliver the required innovation and sustainable acceleration for students.

Is it possible that this is a backdoor attempt by the government to secretly gain the benefits of the Charter school model while publicly rejecting it? After all, if they change the name and call it a ‘project’ then the government can take all the credit.


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