Dear Dr Sharples,
Increasing achievement for Maori and Pasifika students is of great importance. The issue is at the forefront of many educators’ and parents’ minds, thanks to the charter schools debate, and for that and that alone I am grateful charters were set before us as an option.
But they are not the answer. Charters have been shown even in the best of countries, such as Sweden, to increase inequality. It is telling that even normally right-leaning bodies such as the Maxim Institute and SNS have spoken out against charters being the answer. SNS are a business think tank and said charters “had increased segregation and may not have improved educational standards at all” in Sweden. In England it is even worse, and worse still in the USA.
It is far more important that we as a country look to improving schools for all children and that we focus very purposefully on Maori and Pasifika. ALL schools need to be giving students the best they can. An unproven experiment is not the answer.
Please say no to charter schools and instead join the fight to raise the whole game for everyone.