The PPTA (Post Primary Teachers’ Association) has raised the spectre of Charter Schools attempting to recruit students for their schools in South Auckland shopping malls. At a recent meeting the ire of the audience was raised at such a prospect. There were accusations of racism made and the Chair (A National MP) had to try to calm the participants down.
What’s the big fuss? I say let them. Are not many kids absent at any one time? I have heard some pretty high figures (around 18% plus on some days) for absenteeism. If these Charter School enthusiasts think that they can make a dent in these figures and reengage the students in education, then let’s see if they can succeed.
The argument that they will be taking resources from mainstream schools will be a transitory issue as the same kids start showing a similar reticence to attend school as they are doing now. Anything (although I would prefer to see the alternate education as we have it now, being tweaked and better resourced) that can be done to get these kids back into education is worth a go.
I see that some sections of the debate worry about such schools being called ‘McDonalds’ or some other name representing other business sector. I know there are philosophical arguments against this practise and I do not trust the reasoning for their involvement as being anything other than wanting to increaser their market share, but----- let them do it and see what happens.
Instead of constantly trying to block these initiatives, let them flow on a small scale. If they take some kids off the streets, then that is good. I just don’t believe that they will achieve anything lasting.
I hope that my musings stimulate some feisty replies. We need this discussion --- so hit back, repudiate and shoot me down. If it helps to raise the level of discussion around Charter Fools---oops---- schools--- then good.