PPTA president Angela Roberts reflects on the annual conference decision to refrain from professional, sporting and cultural liaison with the sponsors, managers and employees of charter schools.
Charter school resolution at Annual Conference carefully considered by members
Our annual conference decisions on charter schools were not made lightly — and that is as it should be.
The recommendations under discussion, that PPTA members should not seek to work in charter schools and should avoid all professional, sporting and cultural liaison with the sponsors, managers and employees of said schools, tested the resolve of members.
It wasn’t that members were in any doubt about their implacable opposition to charter schools, the challenge was to turn that opposition into effective action. As members of the close-knit community that is secondary teachers, delegates had to overcome a natural tendency to provide support and succour to their teaching colleagues wherever they are.
They felt for PPTA members who could be forced by their financial circumstances to take jobs in charter schools; they were concerned the instruction to PPTA members not to treat with charter school management or employees could impact on the students and they worried that the hard actions would fall most heavily on members in Auckland and Northland.
Equitable access to good quality public education for all New Zealand children is not the goal of charter schools
On the other hand, everyone understood that the PPTA commitment to the principle of fair and equal access to public education was incompatible with the notion of selective, secretive, profit- driven charter schools. Delegates were also fully aware that the five New Zealand charter schools are simply “useful idiots” to the politicians whose real goal is to open up our public system to international charter school chains.
And that’s why you shouldn’t feed the bears. In North America, they have to run extensive “don’t feed the bears” campaigns to remind people that bears are carnivores so inviting them into your community is unlikely to end well.