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Proven programmes sacrificed for charter schools - Greens

Published: 12:23PM Wednesday April 24, 2013 Source: ONE News

The Green Party has accused the Government of sacrificing a programme that raises the achievement of Maori children to put more money towards charter schools.

Co-leader Metiria Turei says the Te Kotahitanga programme has been proven to lift the achievenment of Maori kids over 12 years but needs more resources and commitment.

"But with each charter school sucking up millions of education dollars, the Ministry is replacing it with a mish-mash programme with no evidence to back it up."

Turei described charter schools as "unproven experiments" that wealthy families wouldn't consider.

"Charter schools have created havoc in minority communities in the United States and will offer an inferior choice to Maori, Pacific and poor kids," she said.

Te Kotahitanga was a success, she said, and supporting a proven programme should be a priority instead of "schools with untrained teachers".

Prime Minister John Key has previously said unqualified teachers would be allowed to teach in charter schools.

"I say if you look at the history of New Zealand schools we have had plenty of people who have been teaching our youngsters who haven't been registered qualified teachers." he said.

He said the schools will be closely monitored.

"If those partnership schools don't succeed the Government will be just as quick to close them down as we have been to establish them."