May 29, 2013
Māori Party charter stance not good enough
Māori academics are rejecting the Māori Party’s justification for backing charter schools.
The Education Amendment Bill could be passed this week with the support of the Māori Party and ACT, which is promoting publicly-funded private schools.
Māori Party co-leader, Pita Sharples, says it’s important to try new things, and they can be ditched if they don’t work.
But Waikato University Education Professor Russell Bishop, who is one of more than two dozen prominent Māori educationalists who have signed an open letter against charter schools, says Dr Sharples himself has shown what can be done within the state system.
"We don’t actually need to give these charter schools a go. If somebody wants to set up a separate school, the current legislation is quite sufficient to do so. Kura kaupapa Māori, special character schools, all these can be set up under the current Education Act. You don't need to set up charter schools – so just to say 'let's give it a go' is not good enough," he says.
Dr Bishop says the Māori Party should look overseas at the way charter schools have failed to deliver promised benefits to minority and indigenous pupils.
Copyright © 2013, UMA Broadcasting Ltd