Charter schools were a failed, expensive experiment on kiwi kids

8 February, 2018

NZEI Te Riu Roa has welcomed the Education Act Amendment Bill released today which will bring charter schools back into the state school system.

“Charter schools were ACT and National's failed experiment - integrating them back into the state school system is good for kids and teachers because kids in mainstream state schools do better,” says NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter.

Mr Goulter says that there was never a solid evidence-based case for what the charter school model would add to the NZ system.

“This was just privatisation by way of contract. They did not produce outcomes that were better than the system-wide results, they costed more, and were a distraction that stopped us focussing on real challenges.”

He said wider societal forces outside school, including inequality and poverty, mean that teachers need to keep building a system that is even more responsive to all students, if they are to achieve their full potential.

Sixty percent of children in charter schools are Māori.

NZEI Te Riu Roa Matua Takawaenga Laures Park says that charter schools did not serve tamariki well and she looked forward to them coming back into the fold.

 “We also want to hear more from the Minister about support and resourcing for bilingual/immersion education so that all learners have their identity, culture and language valued and supported at school.”

She says there is no credible evidence charter schools are better for Māori than kura kaupapa or mainstream public schools.

The Bill will get its first reading in Parliament next week.