Charter school axed

The Herald reports:

The Government has spent $4.8 million on a charter school it now plans to close.

Education Minister Hekia Parata announced this afternoon she is proposing to terminate one of the country’s first because of poor teaching, low achievement and an inadequate curriculum.

Te Pumanawa o te Wairua, at Whangaruru in Northland, has until January 15 to give feedback on the proposal, but it seems unlikely the school will continue.

This is the right decision, and if anything should have happened earlier.

There’s nine charter schools now, and eight of them are doing well and a couple excelling. This one has been a basket case, and there should be scrutiny as to why it was thought capable, and what happened.

However this is absolutely a strength of the charter school model – a non performing school gets closed down – and quickly. In the state system we have scores and scores of non performing schools that never get closed down – they just carry on for years and years and years – and students are forced to attend them due to school zones.

I’d love to see state schools go down the charter school model more – greater flexibility of funding, and explicit performance targets they must meet.

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