The Ministry of Education’s recommendations, released yesterday, are that all teaching staff in charter schools be qualified and registered, asserting that this would be the best way to ensure students get the best learning opportunities.
It stated that “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.“
Parata happily spouted that “…there will not be a requirement that 100 per cent of the teaching staff have registration as a full teacher.”
I am yet to meet anyone, anywhere that can see any good educational reason for this.
First of all, the government itself has gone on and on and on about needing to raise the standard of teachers. They’ve spent ages trying to convince anyone who will listen that it’s all about quality, quality, quality. So just how does that tally with this move? It’s beyond bizarre. All of the usual suspects, including John Banks, Hekia Parata and John Key have curiously failed to offer anything even approaching an explanation or justification for this rather random decision.
Secondly, there is already the ‘limited authority to teach’ provision, for people who want to teach and are deemed to have relevant skills but who have not been through formal teacher training. Yet charter school staff won’t even have to pass the criteria for ‘limited authority’. Why not? How come there is going to be one rule for charter schools and another for other schools? What possible reason is there?
Why would the Government ignore its own Ministry, teachers, unions, parents, professors of education and lord knows who else and just forge ahead with this folly?
Could it be that Charter Schools can be run for profit and therefore cost cutting is deemed of more importance than quality?
Is it okay to use our children as guinea pigs in an experiment that is not succeeding world-wide?
Or are our children being sold down the river for a profit?