Charter School – results matter, the crown doesn’t

Charter schools seem to be some sort of weird obsession with the left. Witness the latest attempt.

Before the announcement was made, the Education Ministry’s documents warned the overall potential for a negative impact on students’ education from teachers who did not meet the minimum standards for the profession was high.

“Teacher registration is one the most influential levers in raising teacher quality across the profession in both state and private schools. Allowing charter schools to stand outside this work will significantly damage the credibility of the Crown.”

This is the bureaucratic equivalent of saying “this idea is a stinking pile of shit”, and a competent Minister of Education would take it seriously. Hekia Parata didn’t, and instead allowed the ACT vision of unqualified staff – which would somehow assure higher quality teaching – in order to keep her coalition partner happy. [snip]

Let me say this with all sincerity.

I don’t give a flying rats backside about the credibility of the Crown when it come to education. Mainly because they have none to start with.

I don’t care about the quality of a teacher’s paperwork. What I care about is the quality of their teaching.

Besides, what Idiot doesn’t seem to understand (as his ideology doesn’t allow him to consider the possibility) is that allowing unregistered teachers does not mean a school will hire fewer registered teachers.

I know someone who has a school and is planning to turn that school into a charter school. His plan (as I understand it) is to have (at least) the usual ratio of students per registered teachers. But he plans to have in the classroom several additional unregistered teachers, with the intent that each pupil will get significant teacher face time. That means that pupils may be able to have up to a third of the day in one-on-one tutoring with their teacher

The unregistered teachers will not be teaching rocket science. They’ll be teaching the basic reading and writing (skills almost all adults have more than mastered) under the supervision of a registered and experienced teacher.

Quite how such a formula is going to deliver worse results is beyond me. In an area where many kids fall behind in their first year, his kids will instead be delivered the sort of accelerated learning that the private school down the road does – but for those who can’t afford it.

For many of those kids, that teaching will allow them to succeed later on when/if they re-enter the state system. It’ll give them a boost, putting them at an educational advantage for their future years. Instead of languishing confused at the back of a classroom, kids will be one-on-one introduced to the joy of reading, the power of mathematics and the wonders of the world. It is not hard to see that for some, it may be the difference between a successful life and a life completely wasted by drugs, alcohol and jail.

I for one find it very difficult to defend a system that is having the results that are being dealt to kids in that community today. I know many suggest Idiot defends that system because the left want to keep their beneficiary voting base, but I suggest that it’s simply because they are blind to the failings of the current system.

The ministry staff who wrote the above do not have that excuse.


  1. This obsession with registered teachers is nothing but a slap in the face for thousands of homeschooling mums and dads, volunteer teachers and all those who provide extra-mural lessons. It is patently absurd to suggest that all these people have somehow provided inferior education because they have not received a year of teaching college indoctrination.

  2. Yeah, understand your points, but there does need to be regulations in place for the few that will try to spoil it for the rest. Your friend who has a school has honourable intentions but not everyone does. For example, some semi-private schools are semi-private merely to make money. They have a small percentage of atheist students but mostly Christian students and they are able to both get substantial Government funding and charge private school fees to all students. It’s a money-making scheme, arguably, for the trust that the school operates.

    As for homeschooling, one could argue that there needs to be more regulations in place in regards to it. It’s the government that picks up the tab for the (once again, few) homeschoolers that turn out to be complete failures in their adult lives, some of them recluses. There’s also the need for kids to have a certain amount of social interaction with other kids.

    1. I don’t recall ever stating that charter schools should have no scrutiny – in fact I’d expect quite the opposite.

      As for your point about making money, you seem to be implying that money making schemes are wrong somehow. Might it be that such schools are indeed intended to make money, so that the trust can use that money to fund other areas of their charity work?

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