‘Hard to see harm in a little more choice in education’ was the first line in a recent NZ Herald editorial regarding charter schools. On this issue the mainstream media has taken cues from the National government and presented the introduction of charter schools as harmless, not to be worried about, almost not worth debating.
The announcement of policy introducing charter schools arose from the coalition process between ACT MP John Banks and the National Party. It was a surprise for the public.
The policy has brought heavy criticism from teachers, parents, and everyday people who are concerned with social equality. Prime Minister John Key has shrugged off the criticism by laying the blame with the ACT Party.
He claims the policy is a consequence of having to enter coalition government. However the Act Party did not have a strong position in its negotiations with National.
In reality ACT play the role of pushing the National Party from the right. ACT puts forward extreme policies and the National Party waters them down and gives them a PR spin which makes them sound more acceptable. This gives National the appearance of being centrist or moderate when in fact they are pursuing a right wing economic agenda. [Read more...]