The Dim-Post

February 18, 2013

The spectre

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 1:15 pm

I know even less about educational needs in post-earthquake Christchurch than I do about most of the things I write about. It seems reasonable that there needs to be closures and mergers given the millions of dollars in property damage and the huge population shifts. But for me the spectre hanging over all this is the charter schools policy. The Education Minister has announced that this government will be ‘seeking expressions of interest’ from organisations wanting to operate ‘partnership schools’ in the affected areas.

So are these changes tragic but necessary? Or are they opportunistic – a change to proceed with the part-commercialisation  of the Education system using the earthquake as an excuse?

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33 Comments »

  1. Shock doctrine

    Comment by Leopold — February 18, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

  2. The Education Minister has announced that this government will be ‘seeking expressions of interest’ from organisations wanting to operate ‘partnership schools’ in the affected areas.

    Cato the Elder would be proud.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 18, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

  3. @ Leopold. Yup they certainly did that in New Orleans. Having said that charter schools may not be that harmful (or that beneficial).
    This is quite a cool article by an educationalist looking at what happened to New Orleans – long story short he say’s it’s too early to draw conclusions.

    http://shankerblog.org/?p=5695

    The problem is a lot of these policies are being driven on an ideological basis. Case in point this article from the Economist (http://www.economist.com/node/21558265) that pays some lipservice to being balanced – references the well known CREDO study on Charters (which showed some were better some were worse and overall little net benefit from Charters), it notes that where there is minimal oversight and governance and things are left to market forces (as would almost certainly be the case in NZ given the political party pushing for charters) the outcomes are poor, but then the article goes on to conclude that the Charter model is proven and should be expanded to the other 96% of schools in America not currently serviced by it. *sigh*

    Comment by Richard29 — February 18, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

  4. Or are they opportunistic – a change to proceed with the part-commercialisation of the Education system using the earthquake as an excuse?

    How unfair. If you can’t trust politicians, who can you trust?

    Comment by Psycho Milt — February 18, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

  5. Disaster capitalism

    Comment by Andy Fraser — February 18, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

  6. The white middle class are against charter schools because they fear Destiny Church and the Mongrel Mob will set up schools.

    That’s what the white middle class think.

    Comment by NeilM — February 18, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

  7. Well, that’s what they fear. Having not much to do with reality it’s more an insight into them.

    Comment by NeilM — February 18, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

  8. From the Greens:

    I feel deeply sad for the schools announced for merger and closure today. They are being singled out for no other reason than they had the bad luck to be hardest hit by the quakes.

    It’s not particularly reassuring that that’s the alternative.

    Comment by NeilM — February 18, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

  9. “That’s what the white middle class think.”

    Bollocks. They don’t think and that is part of our problem. Little kids are saying they are going to chain themselves to buildings if their parents let them etc… I smell unions at work and it stinks. I support charter schools because I can’t see them being consistently worse than the current system. That it will impact on the union control is secondary but quite appealing.

    Comment by Brown — February 18, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

  10. And Labour chooses Hipkins to go up against Parata.

    Supercilious twit. Have they nothing better or do they think it warrants nothing better.

    Comment by NeilM — February 18, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

  11. And who pushed our little truther’s button today, eh, NeilM?

    Comment by paritutu — February 18, 2013 @ 11:42 pm

  12. NeilM: “The white middle class are against charter schools because they fear Destiny Church and the Mongrel Mob will set up schools.

    That’s what the white middle class think.”

    You forgot the very white and (upper) middle class Scientology.

    Comment by deepred — February 19, 2013 @ 1:19 am

  13. It depresses me I had to Google to remind myself who Labour’s education spokesperson is, and it depresses me that person has been unable to link charter schools and shock doctrine in the minds of the public when a university scientist can do so in 112 words.

    Labour’s front bench – missing in action. Again. To busy selecting the muffins to go with the 10.00am morning coffee circle where they’ll discuss their response to the school closures, pending a press release hopefully in time for checkpoint, if no one has to go to the gym early that is, in which case it’ll be in time for morning report tomorrow.

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 19, 2013 @ 8:24 am

  14. Nice to know that Neil knows what every single middle class Pakeha thinks. Mongrel mob setting up schools? What a ridiculous idea, they can already give members in training all the education they need in prison.

    Comment by awbraae — February 19, 2013 @ 9:08 am

  15. @Sanctuary: Still raging at bourgeois sensibility from your lifestyle bloc, huh?

    Comment by Hugh — February 19, 2013 @ 9:20 am

  16. The white middle class are against charter schools because they fear Destiny Church and the Mongrel Mob will set up schools.

    Why? Wouldn’t the white middle class send their kids to Satan’s Slave run outfits?

    Comment by Gregor W — February 19, 2013 @ 10:31 am

  17. I don’t live on my lifestyle block, I only go there on my long and frequent holidays. The rest of the time I spend in a tastefully renovated Edwardian villa in an inner city Auckland suburb, where I delight in torturing kittens in my soundproof bunker.

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 19, 2013 @ 11:04 am

  18. That’s because it’s not actually your lifestyle block, is it Tom?

    Comment by Rob — February 19, 2013 @ 3:46 pm

  19. Let’s not derail Danyl’s nice thread :)

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 19, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

  20. ban semmens, ban hugh

    quote this if you’re down with that

    Comment by Trouble Man — February 19, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

  21. The good news is that by moving the school closing/merging date to next year is a government admission that they don’t think they are going to be in power after the next election.

    Comment by Andrew R — February 19, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

  22. So are these changes tragic but necessary? Or are they opportunistic –

    There has been no consultation with affected communities. In fact there’s been no recognition of how vital schools are to communities. Doesn’t that make your question a bit academic at this late stage? Whether the changes are necessary or not has been taken in an entirely top-down, wonk-driven fashion. Six schools that would have been closed under last year’s scheme have now been reprieved. While the forces behind Hekia didn’t seek any expressions of interest from those affected, they certainly blinked when faced with concerted opposition.

    The decision to close Central New Brighton School reeks of putting the boot into the vulnerable. Imagine if Wellington had copped the kind of damage that Chch sustained, with the worst concentrated on Porirua. Now imagine that two years later the government closes their biggest primary school, despite there being no significant fall in enrolments. Considered in that light, perhaps the screaming disparity between that kind of social vandalism and finding funds to bail out Wanganui Collegiate might be a bit more apparent.

    Comment by Joe W — February 19, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

  23. My crude photoshop skills aside, the areas where the closing schools are located do seem to fit reasonably neatly into the electorates that don’t vote for national candidates.

    There are a couple of exceptions – most notably phillipstown and shirely intermediate, however any cynic with a passing knowledge of Christchurch demographics and schools wouldn’t find this result very surprising.

    Sure these suburbs with the closures are also the ones most damaged by the earthquakes, but the central city would definitely be a candidate for the electorate that suffered the most damage and virtually all of it’s schools seem to have missed out.. Anything to do with how convenient central city schools are to drop past in your Prado with the kids on the way into work?

    Comment by Rob — February 19, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

  24. This govt seems hellbent on destroying our perfectly adequate education system. Every week another cut, restructure and insult. But why? Are they tryin to drive people to the struggling private schools, foster more charter schools (same diff actually) or just provide cover from bad media elsewhere?

    Comment by nigelsagentinthefield — February 19, 2013 @ 11:43 pm

  25. “There has been no consultation with affected communities. In fact there’s been no recognition of how vital schools are to communities. Doesn’t that make your question a bit academic at this late stage?”

    While I share your concern for process, I think it’s a bit much to say that concerns over process render outcomes meaningless.

    The right decision reached without consultation is still the right decision.

    Comment by Hugh — February 19, 2013 @ 11:50 pm

  26. While I share your concern for process, I think it’s a bit much to say that concerns over process render outcomes meaningless.

    The right decision reached without consultation is still the right decision.

    It’s not a “concern for process”, it’s the reality of being directly affected by the situation. Something a tedious little monument to pomposity such as yourself obviously hasn’t the faintest grasp of.

    Comment by Joe W — February 20, 2013 @ 12:06 am

  27. Hey, let’s try to keep it civil, right?

    (Unless you’re secretly Pete George or Paul Buchanan, in which case, it’s on like Donkey Kong)

    Comment by Hugh — February 20, 2013 @ 12:39 am

  28. Hey, let’s try to keep it civil, right?

    Hugh, until you’re able to treat the plight of those who’ve been cynically misused in Christchurch as something other than an opportunity to strut your fine mind, don’t expect anything but contempt from those who have to deal first hand with the situation. You want respect, try showing a little.

    Comment by Joe W — February 20, 2013 @ 1:10 am

  29. Andrew R @ 21: Wouldn’t guarantee that Labour govt would not continue same policy (remembering Trev’s go at closing down schools right left and centre during last Labour govt). The Wellington-based Min Ed will be there. Whether the Greens can temper Min Ed’s obsessions is another matter…

    Comment by Leopold — February 20, 2013 @ 9:12 am

  30. “You want respect, try showing a little.”

    Actually, he said let’s keep it civil. The degree of respect I have for you or anyone else who comments on this site is my own business, but let’s be courteous.

    Comment by Mark — February 20, 2013 @ 10:36 am

  31. The degree of respect I have for you or anyone else who comments on this site is my own business,

    As if I care. The kind of contempt I feel for patronising nonsense posted from the pits of ignorance is of course my affair, not that I’d expect or encourage you to give a damn.

    Comment by Joe W — February 20, 2013 @ 11:09 am

  32. Yo9u can trust the National party to take functions from the state and pas them to private business. It doesn’t matter whether the result is good or bad. If it bad, they will declare it to be good.

    Comment by Steve Withers — February 20, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

  33. Listening to Natrad’s item today about middle class schools not wanting to merge with working class schools didn’t exactly cure me of my allergy to the liberal middle class.

    Which votes have Labour and the Greens been after.

    Comment by NeilM — February 20, 2013 @ 11:49 pm


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