The swelling chorus of outrage against charter schools is to be expected.
It is coming from the education sector – a group which is bridling against the very real prospect of being found out.
They have rallied in a desperate bid to avoid that calamity.
We were treated yesterday to an expression of their collective concerns in a media statement (here).
The major education sector groups are united in their condemnation of the Government allowing unqualified and unregistered teachers in charter schools.
This statement was a response to the Government’s announcement last week of its intention to proceed with the introduction of charter schools.
Alf looks forward to playing a part in this because his vote in favour will be called on when the Education Act is amended to facilitate the charter schools initiative.
The educationalists say they are bothered that the teachers in charter schools would not necessarily be qualified or registered.
The G7 group says the move is an attack on teaching and its professionalism.
They say there is no place in New Zealand’s quality public education system for unqualified teachers and allowing them into the school system will potentially expose New Zealand children to poor and unsafe practitioners.
No, there isn’t a place in our quality public education system for unqualified teachers.
Not now under the current legislation.
That’s what charter schools and the law changes are all about.
They will create a place.
But these education groups say
…the professionalism and quality of teaching in New Zealand is world class with New Zealand having one of the best public education systems in the OECD.
This doesn’t mean it can’t be and shouldn’t be improved.
And Alf has been persuaded that charter schools are the way to do it.
But the educationalists have another grouch.
The aforementioned group is concerned about the governance arrangements for the new charter schools.
Its statement goes on –
Under the charter school model there is no obligation for parents or the community to be directly elected on to school boards. This “flexibility” around charter schools effectively allows the sponsor to decide how the school is governed. This may mean that it could be governed by the sponsor directly or delegated to one or more people to carry out some of governance functions.
A charter school “sponsor” could nominate an individual, body or any group or organisation to act in the governance role, rather than have a board directly elected by the parents from the school community.
But parents won’t be compelled to send their kids to these schools.
If they don’t like the governance arrangements, they will send their kids somewhere else.
The same consideration applies to the unqualified teachers.
If the parents are bothered by that, again, they will stick with public schools.
But imagine what will happen when we find the kids taught at charter schools by unqualified teachers are better educated than those at nearby public schools.
No wonder our unionised teachers are in such a tizz.