A reader e-mails:
Had two opportunities to hear KIPP schools founder Mike Feinberg yesterday.
I thought he was positive and balanced and clearly had done significant research on the NZ system and where the Charter/Partnership concept could enhance outcomes. His use of the NZ stats in terms of outcomes for Maori and PI students through to tertiary education makes a compelling case for change. He is not advocating the model for all, nor KIPP as the only Charter model.
It is clear that he has enabled people to achieve incredible things and has experiences that could be highly valued in NZ. He was clear that he believes they still have massive improvements to make.
There was an interesting sideshow in the question time where some of the Partnership opponents (all of them European and one an American) said we already have choice in NZ and this is unnecessary. Feinberg pointed out that the outcome statistics do not support that the level of choice is effective. The argument was then closed by one of Auckland’s Pacifika leaders who stood and announced that their people are sick of being told that they have “choice” when in practice in doesn’t exist and that they are desperate for change and for new opportunities for their children and grandchildren.
Some people see charter schools as opportunities, and some as threats. I am staying with my prediction that parents in low income areas will see them as an opportunity and ballots will be needed to select students as they will be so popular.Tags: charter schools