Ending charter schools sparks debate
The NZ Principals' Federation is standing behind the Government's decision to end charter schools. The development comes as a group supporting charter schools is threatening to make a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal.
Graeme Osbourne of E Tipu E Rea, an advocacy group for charter schools, says the Government’s actions are not consistent with the Treaty.
“In the absence of evidence, in the absence of consultation and with the closing of partnership schools representing a loss of autonomy, a loss of self-determination, a lack of consultation I’ve talked about, then clearly the values that are espoused in the Treaty are being ignored.”
But Whetu Cormick of the NZ Principals' Federation says it supports the Government closing down charter schools and questions their argument seeing as they will still have the option to continue as a special character school.
“I’m just wondering what argument would these business sponsors have through the Waitangi Tribunal if we have a Minister of Education and a ministry who are prepared and willing to enable the school to continue [as a special character school]?”
The New Zealand Principals' Federation says it hasn't seen any statistics of Māori achievement, but Osbourne says he has the evidence.
“Te Kapehu Whetu up north and Vanguard Military School have delivered superior results in University Entrance. The national average for Māori in UE is 30% pass rate on a roll based measure, but both of those schools…are around the 50% mark.”
Cormick says there are already schools that cater for Māori language and culture.
“We already have the platforms or mechanisms for young people to be involved in kura ā-iwi, or kura kaupapa Māori learning settings. So, right from the outset, we’re against the whole idea of charter schools because they follow a privatisation model from the United States and the United Kingdom.”