If John Banks believes so ardently in the efficacy of Charter Schools, then so should we---- right? I mean, let’s face it, such schools will allow the ‘less fortunate’ to have access to all that these wonderful new schools bring to the ‘new education scene.’ Those ‘lucky’ students from decile one schools will be able to hook in to a vast new network of privilege and ‘connection.’ Isn’t this what John’s new model promises? So, why are we so denigrating of his efforts to bring good schooling to the masses?
Therein lays the main (and there are so many) week point and downright dishonesty of the proposed new schools. Just how many of the students of South Auckland will be invited to take part in this experiment? What happens when behaviours and deficits in cultural capital (go look it up to save time here) get in the way of the ‘direction’ in which these schools wish to travel? What happens if absences and poor grades start to reflect on the ‘reputation’ of the new schools? Just watch them (if they get off the ground) slowly transform into elitist institutions, where poor kids are gradually discarded as ‘cannon fodder’ for the distorted political agenda of those like John Banks.
Listening to him on the radio this morning was like hearing something akin to Alice lost in Wonderland. He places his political livelihood on the success or otherwise of his Charter School experiment. The trouble with that is that a whole lot of resources will get sucked into yet another bad dream, one that has shown itself to be of dubious quality in many overseas situations. Must we go down the same path, all in the name of thinly disguised political survivalism on the part of the National Party and the Act Party?