I find this just weird, myself.
The Green Party reshuffled its portfolios today and co-leader Metiria Turei is now in charge of speaking on education for the party.
She came out swinging saying the Government was undermining the public school system through national standards, Novopay, the Christchurch schools announcement and charter schools.
Charter schools were a “deliberate attack on the public education system” …
I consider the public education system to be a necessary evil. We consider that all children should go to school, but not all parents can afford school, or have the time or motivation for home-schooling.
So we have public schools that are paid for by the state. They provide a basic level of education, ensuring that no one misses out on the fundamentals.
It’s like the welfare system – if we can get people off welfare and into work this is a good thing.
So when someone uses words like “a deliberate attack on the public education system” I must confess that I find myself nonplussed.
Then there’s this:
and Turei said the Government should be on notice that she would seek their reintegration.
Turei had not discussed the matter with Labour.
“If a charter school is established, they need to expect that a change in Government is likely to mean a change in their status,” she said.
This is even weirder.
Charter schools are private schools paid for by the state, with certain flexibilities that other schools are not allowed. Some will be started by private companies, others by trusts or societies.
The are not public schools. They are private institutions, private property.
Now, Turei can announce that the Greens would de-fund charter schools. She’s welcome to that policy. The Green party can write whatever policy it wants. If the public approve, they will get votes. Good or bad, that’s democracy.
But the Greens can’t write their own facts. You cannot reintegrate something into something it has never been integrated into in the first place.Stating that the green party will “reintegrate” is not a factual statement.
You can confiscate it however and remove the property from it’s owner.
This raises the question: are the Greens lying, or are they just incompetent? Actually, there’s a third option: they’re politicians who’re saying what they think will get votes regardless of any other consideration.
Charter schools would make the educational achievement of the most vulnerable children worse, she added.
Proof presented? None. Again, you don’t get your own facts. Logic suggests that with greater teacher ratios and greater flexibility, charter schools will do very well with those students currently being failed by the one-size-fits-all state education system. But Turei doesn’t seem to understand the role of that system any more than she understand’s it’s points of weakness.
The entire point of charter schools is that they have a free hand in their education model. Time will tell if a given school model will work for the students who attend. But a blanket statement that they can only make things worse is ridiculous as it assumes that our current system is near perfect.
The numbers tell us the opposite - it is the state system that is failing the vulnerable, with one in five children failing to complete an adequate education. If you’re following, that means that the state education system is failing in what should be it’s core objective.
“We make to make that really explicit to the Government and to business,” Turei said
In other words, Turei is firing a shot across the bows of “business”. Here by “business” she means any private group that dares to provide education not approved in detail by the officials of the state. (Turei, of course, believes all businesses are evil, so she uses that term because she knows her supporters agree with that self-contradictory and bizarre world-view.) She is demonstrating that she knows full well that her earlier statement was untrue, and that she intends to hurt those who disagree with her on this issue, should she gain the influence in a future government.