Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why revisit the mistakes of the past with Charter Schools?

Sometimes getting older just means getting more frustrated; not with the physical degradation, but with having to witness our ‘Leaders’ making the same mistakes, albeit under a different name. John Key is not worried about using ‘unregistered’ teachers.
The teacher unions in tandem with the Ministry of Education spent a great deal of time, coming to an arrangement where teachers could only teach if they were registered. There are good reasons for this, namely: keeping our kids as safe as we can, making sure that our teachers are trained and maintain quality teaching practices.
I am not saying that there not people ‘out there’ who would make great teachers, but isn’t it better to find ways of helping these individuals to undergo the training they need to teach and work with our young people. Yes, there may be other ‘professionals,’ working with our students: Social workers, counsellors and youth workers, but they too belong to organizations that oversee their membership and work.
One cannot help but be left with a strong suspicion that My Key and MS Parata are merely finding ways to keep the costs down with their Charter Schools. Have we not seen something similar with our prisons? Take a stroll back over the last year and ponder just how well that initiative has worked out.
So why do we have to suffer the failed experiments from beyond New Zealand. Put the resources in to tried and true facilities--- that is, well-funded state schools that employ a variety of methodologies to seek better futures for our students. The bottom line is money and the need for the present Government to placate the feelings of Mr Banks and his Act Party. I believe that if the Government didn’t need the solitary vote of Mr Banks; the whole idea of Charter Schools would not even make the back-burner.