Thursday, December 08, 2011

The obvious question on charter schools

As we all know, National's support agreement with ACT included an out-of-the-blue infliction of charter schools. This failed American model will be trialled first in Christchurch East and South Auckland - both strong Labour electorates. Which invites an obvious question: why aren't National and ACT trialling these schools on their own kids? Why aren't they trialling them in Epsom, Helensville, and the North Shore? Surely if these schools are all they claim they are, then they should be beating down the door?

Sadly, the answer is equally obvious: not even their supporters believe the schools will work - or at least, not strongly enough to risk the future of their own children (or their political career) on it. So instead we have the usual story: the children of the poor get to be guinea pigs for the crackpot theories of the rich. And if it doesn't work out, well, its not as if anyone important suffers, is it?

If Key and Banks want to run this experiment, they should put their money where their mouth is: run the trial in their own electorates, and send their own kids to them. The fact that they won't speaks volumes.