We don’t need Treasury – surely – to tell us not to bank on Banks to turn out smarter kids

Funny thing about Christmas day is that Alf has a serious compulsion to find something to read, while Mrs Grumble gets on with cooking the Christmas turkey.

And his Christmas Day reading today led him to something he missed the other day.

Something about charter schools.

Dunno if we needed a set of Treasury papers to find expressions of scepticism about the charter schools improving student performance.

For good measure, the Treasury boffins are warning these charter schools could affect other nearby schools by sucking away teachers and students, and therefore funding.

The Government has gone ahead anyway with plans to introduce charter schools from 2014 and groups including Destiny Church and Tuhoe are interested in running them, which – for starters – makes them look like a bad idea.

But worse than that, the schools are part of National’s confidence-and-supply agreement with Act leader John Banks.

He says they are aimed at raising achievement among disadvantaged communities.

But the imprimatur of John Banks did it for Alf.

If he says it’s a good idea, chances are it’s a bad one.

End of argument.

The test is to ask him if he can remember coming up with a good idea.

He gets about one out of 10 in the memory department, as was made obvious during the fuss over his mayoral election funding.

And he only gets the one for turning up to answer the question.

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