Saturday, July 14, 2012

The rediculous spectre of Charter Schools recruiting kids at shopping malls

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.