Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Pure cronyism

That is the only way to describe ACT MP John Banks' decision to select Catherine Isaac to head the charter schools implementation committee. Isaac is a former ACT Party President, and was a list candidate for the party at the last election. She has no relevant skills and no experience in the education sector. Despite that, she'll be overseeing the infliction of charter schools on the children of Christchurch and South Auckland (ACT being unwilling to subject their own precious offspring to such madness), and getting a fat government payment into the bargain.

But apart from the "jobs for the girls" aspect, there's another disturbing element to this case as well. Overseeing and assessing the outcome of an educational experiment should be done by neutral experts, not by ideological cronies. The fact that Isaac has been appointed makes it clear that the government isn't actually interested in the evidence on whether charter schools work (if they were, they would never have imposed them in the first place), but rather in imposing its ideological views regardless of that evidence. Its a strapped chicken, with other people's kids as the victims.