What are we to make of the two multi-millionaire politicians - the two Johns - signing an agreement whereby the state abandons any responsibility for education in poor communities and instead hands it over to various churches, charities, American multinational franchises and any fly-by-night concern that sniffs a buck to be made. Apparently, the two Johns think poor communities are disadvantaged by having to learn what everyone else learns, do the same qualifications and have trained and qualified teachers so they are giving poor kids that chance to miss out on all the the things that wee Keys and the little Bankses take as their birthright.
Amazingly, lowering standards like this is apparently going to lift achievement even though that's not what has happened in the US which invented charter schools. The studies don't show any educational benefits for the model, once you control for the tendency to manipulate the school's roll to keep out the more challenging kids.
I have just read your party education policy. This letter is written in disappointment that National Party education policy can so blithely ignore the best evidence in education research and policy, and dismay that you appear not to have heard the education hopes, dreams and aspirations that teachers have for their students.
National takes credit for all improvements in the education sector over the past three years; some achievements - such as retention rates in school, are unlikely to have been influenced by National education policy, others are simply manipulations such as 'employed 1600 more teachers"; shuffling funding from one education area to another doesn't double it; league tables encourage some particularly unpleasant uncooperative competitive behaviours so how on earth can your policy blithely state "ensure schools make the most of their facilities and resources and they collaborate rather than compete with each other" or does this only apply to Canterbury?
We'd like you to know that all actual improvements in the secondary education sector can be attributed to school communities, the hard work of parents, boards, students, teachers and, most importantly, quality teaching.
Nothing much to do with education - but everything to do with stereotypes and, of course, what is published under the heading 'research'.
The trigger was the ongoing conversation in this office about stereotypes: gender, age, ability, ethnicity, technological prowess, looks i.e. physical characteristics (eye of the beholder of course) ... good schools, bad schools, good teachers, bad teachers, unions .... got the picture?