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Charter Schools, Education, Government Policy, Teachers' Own Words

Principals express concern about charter school

charter fooledThe Mangere Principals Association, says the Government’s decision to finance a Charter School in the area without any consultation with neighbouring school communities flies in the face of the community efforts to raise educational achievement. The Chair of the Association, Fiona Cavanagh, says that the Ministry of Education’s failure to engage with the educational community of Mangere over the matter has damaged trust.

“We had no idea that there was a plan to license a new school in our neighbourhood,” says Fiona Cavanagh. “There are 23 schools in our Mangere cluster and the professionals who work in them know, more than anyone, the educational needs of our community. Yet we were not consulted.”

Ms. Cavanagh says the Principals’ Association wants to know what criteria were used to decide that money be put into a charter school in the area, rather than towards funding innovation and achievement in existing schools.

“Schools in Mangere are very focused on student success. We are working collegially and students’ results this year show that we’re making a real difference in raising achievement in our schools,” says Fiona Cavanagh.

She points to cross-school professional development as an example of the kind of innovation being made across Mangere.

“Collective professional development enhances teaching and improves the learning of children throughout Mangere. We are about to hold a workshop of 130 teacher-leaders who will develop a strategy for schooling improvement across our low-income community. The Ministry of Education ought to be putting its resources into supporting initiatives like this, rather than pouring money and energy into a small school that will cater for a limited number of students.”

Ms. Cavanagh also points to the partnership between the schools and the Mangere-Otahuhu Sports Association, which has improved the quality of sports days in the area and created opportunities for students to excel.

“There are so many good things happening here that are about helping all of our children and are pro-active and forward thinking. Sadly the same cannot be said of the Ministry of Education’s actions in putting a lot of money and resource into a small charter school.”

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"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi


4 thoughts on “Principals express concern about charter school

  1. Hang in there guys. The evidence against Charter Schools is definitive – they don’t do any better than state schools and in many cases – worse.
    The way to win this war is to stick together. Congratulations on the level of collegiality that you have already fostered. Keep it up.
    To other readers that doubt the failure of Charter schools – just watch and learn.
    The only way they achieve good or better results is by excluding the more challenging students. They may well enrol them all but the dump the hard to teach ones – no prizes for guessing where the end up!!
    These systems are well proven failed. It is all about money – and not money deliveriing to students. A simple Google search shows that.
    Dianne Ravitch is a good blog to follow about USA status.


    Posted by Kelvin Woodley | December 20, 2013, 8:11 pm
  2. Please do all you can to keep charters out of your city. Charter schools are a disaster to communities. They are the gateway to destroying public education because they force schools to compete for the best students. This means your struggling students become a liability and get tossed from school to school and don’t get the help they need.


    Posted by Karran | December 20, 2013, 8:56 pm

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