The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“The Education Minister must release all of the information about charter schools she has been sitting on for months.
A botched Government contract has allowed an Auckland charter school to double dip by getting funding for students it has accommodated for free, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Information received by Labour through written Parliamentary questions show the Ministry of Education failed to check whether the Villa Education Trust had enough room to house the 160 students it is being funded for at the new Middle School West Auckland.
Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“New Zealand school students are already amongst the most tested kids in the world. We don’t need more assessment to tell us who the kids are that are falling behind. What we need is more targeted support so that they can catch up.
At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for.
Student learning will suffer and parents will be asked to fork out even more for their children’s education because of National’s underfunding of education in this year’s Budget, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“A survey of principals found cash-strapped schools have had to stop classroom activities, cancel field trips and drop some courses. One school even had to ask the Qualifications Authority for special permission to alter its assessment requirements so its students wouldn’t fail NCEA.
New reports from the Ministry of Education further highlight what parents and teachers have known for ages – the National Standards data being touted by the Government isn’t worth the paper it is written on, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“A study of 15,838 children at 100 schools found that 60 percent of teachers’ judgments against the standards were wrong. National has repeatedly ignored advice from teachers that the standards are flawed and inconsistent. Their chickens are now coming home to roost.
The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.