There’s barely a day when more revelations don’t come out of charter schools being investigated, and not a month goes by without fraud being mentioned, and yet New Zealand’s Education Minister is still touting them as a good way forward. It really does beggar belief.
In the USA this week: “The Ohio Board of Education ordered an immediate investigation of a chain of 19 charter schools in the state today after hearing allegations of test cheating, attendance tampering, sexual misconduct and other misdeeds.
Former teachers from the Horizon Science Academy Dayton High School in Dayton testified at the board’s monthly meeting in Columbus about years of misconduct. Some said they had been afraid to come forward before finding new jobs.”
““I know of one student who failed the 7th grade and then had to repeat the year with the agreement with (an administrator) that she would be promoted to the 9th grade if she passed 7th grade during the second attempt. She indeed completely skipped 8th grade and all associated curriculum,” [testifying teacher] Kochensparger said.” Source
England’s Academies and Free schools are faring no better, again with revelations of shenanigans week on week.
This week’s bombshell is that the former Education Secretary, Michael Gove’s favourite Academy chain run by Haberdashers’ Aske’s Federation Trust, is in the middle of a £2m (~$4m NZ) fraud investigation.
The Guardian reports “The alleged fraud, which comes after Haberdashers’ Knights Academy was judged by Ofsted in November to have “serious weaknesses”, is likely to raise questions about the freedom given to academies. ”
So, both fraudulent and not providing a good education. Marvellous. I can see how that’s likely to raise standards and give children better opportunities.
Okay, so given that they don’t perform any better than the original systems they replaced AND they are a breeding ground fraud and other goings on, why do politicians still forge ahead with them? Here Mark Naison explains why charters are so popular with certain groups. It’s a short but rather good overview and well worth watching:
It seems to me that in the mark of the new millennium is that anything is okay if it makes someone money.
As Diane Ravitch said: “Sometimes it is hard to believe that anyone cares anymore about old-fashioned things like integrity, honesty, accountability, and transparency…”