“Education bill for privateers not pupils
16 October 2012
Unregistered teachers, double-bunking and the usual spin were all characteristics of the bill which PPTA president Robin Duff said favoured privateers over pupils.
“It appears the government is not proud of the steps it is taking towards privatising New Zealand’s education sector. Why else introduce the bill the night before parliament actually sits?”
The bill was yet another step towards the privatisation of New Zealand’s education sector, Duff said.
“It claims to introduce a different type of school – a ‘partnership’ school – which is just a private school with 100% public money. It might be more accurate to describe these as ‘parasitic schools’,” he said.
Parents, teachers and students in Christchurch should also be very worried, Duff said.
“Not only will they have to contend with unwanted charter schools but the bill’s reference to ‘multiple timetables’ seems to open the door to more ‘double bunking’.”
Two schools sharing the same site at different times was a measure taken during a disaster situation, but it was fraught with difficulty.
“It is not a practice we would advocate being rolled out across the country,” Duff said.
“The minister of education’s crowing about the importance of teacher quality rings hollow when she is now legislating to excuse charter schools from employing registered teachers.
“It invites questions as to whether the minister has any belief at all in the need for teachers to be trained and qualified. If this is okay for charter schools then perhaps this is the plan she has for all teachers?”
Duff said it was disappointing that with all the serious issues facing education in New Zealand the minister insisted on focussing on a red-herring solution like charter schools.
“After 20 years of operating in the USA there is no evidence of charter schools providing better outcomes for students.
“It’s not better, it’s not innovative and it’s not for New Zealand,” he said.
CONTACT: PPTA PRESIDENT ROBIN DUFF 04 913 4227 OR 021 636 108″