I’ve made Labour’s position on the future of charter schools very clear – there isn’t one. We will not guarantee on-going funding to any charter school established under the present government, nor will we necessarily offer them integration into the public system. The legislation allowing for their establishment will be repealed.
I’m glad Labour is so clear in stating that regardless of how well charter schools perform, how many under-achieving students they assist, how popular they become, that Labour will close them down regardless. Parents need to know that Labour will not let any amount of success, stand in the way of appeasing the unions.
Recall these facts on charter schools in New Orleans:
- The Harvard Business School found 19 of the 20 highest performing non-selective schools were charter schools and “The overall percentage of schools performing below the failing mark of 60 fell from 64% in 2005 to 36% in 2009″
- That the biggest supporters of US charter schools are African-Americans at 64%. Only 14% of African-Americans oppose charter schools.
- That the overall performance of all schools in New Orleans has improved from 56.9 in 2004 to 70.6 in 2009.
- 82% of parents with children enrolled at public charter schools gave their children’s schools an “A” or “B”, though only 48% of parents of children enrolled in non-chartered public schools assigned A’s or B’s to the schools their children attended
- The Cowen Institute finds significantly higher test scores in charter schools in New Orleans than non charter schools
- That 78% of students in New Orleans have chosen to attend charter schools
- That prior to charter schools, 96% of the city’s public school students were below basic proficiency in English and “In 2002, only 31 percent of fourth graders were deemed at or above basic in English/language arts. By 2009, that number had swelled to 59 percent.”
- The Democratic Mayor of New Orleans says charter schools have meant “the achievement level of the kids in the inner city is now beginning to match the kids on the statewide level in a very, very short period of time”
- The Mayor also says “Before Katrina, the graduation rate was less than 50 percent. Now it’s more than 75 percent. Test scores are up 33 percent.”
One can see how desperate Labour is to stop charter schools at all costs. Imagine what it could do to union membership, if charter schools in New Zealand did as well as they have done in New Orleans!