The Herald reports:
Concerns were raised about an evaluation of charter schools by the head of the Government-appointed board overseeing the model and former Act Party president Catherine Isaac, documents show.
Ms Isaac, a strong supporter of the controversial schooling model, wrote to Education Minister Hekia Parata to say that the authorisation board had concerns about an external evaluation of the model by consultancy MartinJenkins.
The recently released report is the first evaluation of the model as a whole, but it did not compare the achievement of students in charter schools with how they would have been expected to perform had they stayed in public schools.
That level of evaluation had been called for by both the PPTA – bitterly opposed to charter schools – and David Seymour, leader of the Act Party.
I think there should be a comparison. Arguably you may want to wait a year or two until the schools are more settled in, but I think a comparison would be very interesting. I suspect most charter schools would welcome it also.
Labour’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins said that intervention was bizarre and showed Ms Parata was scared of what a proper evaluation would reveal.
“Why would she not want them to carry out that evaluation if the Government was confident that charter schools are going to deliver better results that state schools, why would they be afraid of that sort of analysis?
Nice to see Chris supporting a comparison. I wonder though why he is so against comparisons for all other schools?
Mr Seymour, Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education, said that, despite his initial request for MartinJenkins to re-scope its first evaluation, he was now happy with a decision for more quantitative comparison of partnership students with comparable students in state schools to be carried out in future reviews by the consultancy firm.
“I believe and I think the Minister believes that we want to do a quantitative comparison that answers the question – looking back several years as it is too early to say now – has the partnership school model led to gains for kids that they might not have made without the model?
Sounds like it will happen, just not yet.