Opinion: Mike Hosking
It looks like the charter school debate-come-debacle, might have come to a good, and if not good, a satisfactory end.
All of them, bar maybe one, will get to see another year.
To bring you up to speed if you have not followed the drama, this Government hates charter schools.
Charter schools are not unionised, with union rules, curriculums, and pay details. And with this Government being beholden to the unions, the most powerful of which are the education unions, it was always on the agenda that a fight would ensue.
Labour ran the line that they’d be merely rejigged into what they call ‘character schools’.
And that, as it turns out, is what has happened.
So in that sense you could argue Labour have been good to their word. No, charter schools are not what they were, or what they really want to be in an ideal world, but they aren’t closed either.
Which is what they could have been.
So Labour, to their credit, have backed down having heard the outcry from those who run these places, and there are still only a handful, sadly. And even more sadly there will be no more under this Government.
They should still be able to differentiate themselves from the mainstream, even given the restriction they now operate under, they will for example (they hope) be able to pay their teachers more through fundraising, they’ll be able to keep class sizes down.
And hopefully run a curriculum more suited to those who attend, as opposed to the one stop shop of public education.
And if they can do that, and here’s where we keep our fingers crossed, is it beyond the realms of possibility that Labour might just see the merits?
Because after all these schools are successes, they have managed to target kids that have been let down by the state, scoop them up and offer a level of help and service that would appear to be turning lives around.
You would have to say, if you approached this with an open mind that charter schools are a hit, they have worked, they are working, which has always been the argument to save them, why take something that’s good and positive, and close it for ideological reasons?
That never made any sense.
Here’s your comparison – Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday challenged business to look at a couple of fair pay deals, and let them develop. And her belief was people would see the benefits.
Her compromise was there would only be a couple, because she had heard the concern of business.
Well how about Labour look at charter schools, and see if they work, and if they do promote them?
You reckon that’s too much to ask, a bit of quid pro quo?
Why would a government be against a good idea?