Press Release – PPTA
The PPTA plans to fight the establishment of the newly announced charter schools every step of the way, with a paper heading to the annual conference in Wellington which will explore how this will be done.
PPTA junior vice president Hazel McIntosh said today marked the beginning of a terrible experiment on New Zealand’s children that must be stopped in its tracks.
The association plans to fight for the abolition of the charter school legislation and the paper will explore a number of options including instructing members to refrain from all professional, sporting and cultural contact with the schools and their sponsors and advising them not to apply for positions in them.
It also demands that the $19 million set aside for charter schools be returned to the state sector to fund programmes which are demonstrated to raise achievement for at risk students.
“The evidence of just how destructive charter schools will be to our public education system is overwhelming. It beggars belief that we would introduce them here in the face of all the damage they have done to vulnerable students in communities overseas,” McIntosh said.
Charter schools will be fully taxpayer funded profit-making private schools, with limited protections for students, operating in secret without little or no representation by parents and little oversight to ensure taxpayer funds are spent appropriately.
“There has been no transparency, no honesty and no electoral mandate. Handing students over to untrained teachers who don’t have to offer the New Zealand curriculum is a social experiment driven by ideology, not research. It is the Act Party’s desperate attempt to ‘unleash the forces of the market’ in the education sector,” she said.
McIntosh described the introduction of charter schools as a “dirty little deal” that had been shrouded in secrecy for months.
“The whole process, from the surprise announcement after the election in 2011, to the perfunctory way the matter was dealt with in parliament has been an unwelcome demonstration of how easy it is for the rich and powerful to manipulate the political process,” she said.
PPTA’s annual conference will be held at the Brentwood Hotel in Kilbirnie, Wellington from October 1 to 3 and media are welcome to attend. It will be web-streamed live at www.ppta.org.nz
The conference papers can be found at http://ppta.org.nz/index.php/events/annual-conference