Herald on PPTA ads

January 18th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

The timing of the deadline for submissions on the education amendment bill is probably not as devious as the association suggests. Parliament’s select committees set these deadlines and some bill has to start the year’s work.

The editorial could have mentioned that the submission period was set for three months, almost twice the normal six to eight weeks. Also that the Government doesn’t have a majority on the select committee that sets the date.

The is attempting to widen concern by presenting as “the dismantling of New Zealand’s public education system”.

I think their worry is how popular they may prove to be.

They are, in fact, nothing of the sort. Charter schools would be fully funded from the public education budget. They would have to accept pupils on a first-come-first-served basis, they could not select them. In that sense they will be much more like state schools than private schools or the “integrated” schools that receive public grants and can charge fees.

Unlike state schools, they will not have to give preference to pupils in a designated zone. They will be able to accept them from anywhere. If a charter school receives more applicants than it is allowed to enrol, it must hold a ballot.

No hand picking of students. And best of all for students from low income families, it means that you don’t have to buy an expensive house in a school zone to get a choice about which school to attend.

Their right to employ some unregistered staff has been a point of contention for the teachers’ unions. So is their lack of accountability to the Auditor General, the Ombudsman and the Official Information Act. Those elements of the legislation should not survive the select committee’s examination.

So long as the schools are spending public money they ought to be subject to the usual instruments of public scrutiny.

If that is the principle, then can I advocate that every NGO in New Zealand that receives over 50% of its funds from the taxpayer, be subject to the Official Information Act? Also arguably any unions where more than 50% of their members are public sector, and hence they are indirectly publicly funded.

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11 Responses to “Herald on PPTA ads”

  1. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    We don’t need to be concerned in the slightest: Hekia Parata is a “great communicator” (JK’s words) and will defeat and break the back of this socialist union.

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  2. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Manolo, the paper-edition of today’s Herald carried a photo of Parata standing, and beaming from ear-to-ear… while the onlookers scowled in her general direction. It was quite telling. Can find this image online.

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  3. scrubone (3,074 comments) says:

    Perhaps the screaming emitting from the teachers’ unions works for some people. It doesn’t work for me. All I see is people trying to character assassinate the education minister.

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  4. Nick K (1,102 comments) says:

    NZ Last MP Tracey Martin was so outraged by this she issued a press release: http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/education-system-under-attack-while-nation-holidays-martin/5/145140

    In it she said:

    Education spokesperson Tracey Martin says all those directly involved in education are on summer break – apart from those fixing the Novopay stuff ups – during the entire submission period.

    “We must not let this Government destroy our education system while we are all at the beach,” says Ms Martin.

    She forgot to add that she voted for this timeframe while sitting on the Select Committee!! I know she did. I have checked.

    She is outraged at herself.

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  5. david (2,547 comments) says:

    Ssssshhhhhhh Nick K, we wouldn’t like the MSM to get the idea that they should provide balance. In fact during the holiday period one editor was clearly overheard to say “we don’t do balanced reporting, we prefer to be all over the place and keep everyone guessing. It is just so much fun trying to shape the political landscape in this piss-ant little country that used to pride itself on fairness and democracy – not much further to go, we are nearly there”

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  6. thor42 (961 comments) says:

    No matter what the dinosaur-like patch-protecting teacher unions may say –
    **One size does not fit all** when it comes to education.

    Charter schools can be a very valuable part of the education system in this country (as they are in so many others).

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  7. kiwigunner (221 comments) says:

    Like where Thor?

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  8. kiwigunner (221 comments) says:

    Where is the post about Parata?

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  9. itstricky (1,681 comments) says:

    The PPTA is just drumming up interest. And they’ve done that, because I’m now thinking about it.

    For all the pandering around about how successful charter schools will be etc, I would listen to what the teachers think – I mean they got into the business for one reason (and that reason wasn’t the money) right? But sure – the PPTA as a whole organisation might have a completely different agenda.

    I’m not opposed to greater choice for parents. I do think sometimes parents could do with -less- choice as it’s hard enough as it is.

    I don’t understand two aspects of charter schools:

    (a) If a business can run a charter school and not be accountable to the Ministry or other mentioned groups what’s to stop the charter school from becoming modus operandi? i.e. “sorry Johnny, you’re not making the grade, we’ve got to let you go buddy, we’ll find someone else who can spell”. Works in the coroporate world well, but it’s not really the best for the kids, is it? Seriously – businesses exist for one reason only – so, do kids = profit? Probably not the way we should be looking at it, I would think?

    (b) If a business, non-profit, or religious group can run a charter school and there’s little control over the content, unregistered/untrained teachers or accountability to the Ministry what’s to stop them preaching their view of the world? And why should the general public pay out of the public purse for the views of that business, non-profit or religious group to be seeded in youth?

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  10. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    If a business, non-profit, or religious group can run a charter school and there’s little control over the content, unregistered/untrained teachers or accountability to the Ministry what’s to stop them preaching their view of the world?

    Parents not sending their kids to that school. The whole point of these schools is choice.

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  11. itstricky (1,681 comments) says:

    Parents not sending their kids to that school. The whole point of these schools is choice.

    Think I agree with choice based on percieved quality of education etc but not choice based on “our random idea of how the world should be” – that’s just detracting teaching time from the real, core, subjects (as defined by the Ministry etc in set curriculum)

    Why should the teaching of non-core subjects (or beliefs) be funded from the public purse?

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