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  • rmacculloch

On President Obama's criteria, PM Hipkins ended the dreams of countless poor Kiwi school children

It was the new NZ Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, that ended Charter Schools in this country in his capacity as Minister of Education. Why? He disliked the degree to which they were independent of State control. He disliked the degree to which they were free of union control. He disliked how Charter Schools gave students and their families, especially for low income families and ethnic minorities, free choice.


Hipkins' preference is for a "one-size-fits-all" education model, regardless of a child's background, regardless of their ethnicity, regardless of anything - everyone gets taught the same. Not unlike the model that existed in the Soviet Union before it collapsed.


From what I have read about his objections to Charter Schools, the PM appears not to understand the nuanced academic literature about why they play a vital role in education.


But don't listen to me. Here is the argument in the words of .. President Obama:


"Our Nation has always been guided by the belief that all young people should be free to dream as big and boldly as they want, and that with hard work and determination, they can turn their dreams into realities. Schools help us uphold this ideal by offering a place for children to grow, learn, and thrive. During National Charter Schools Week, we celebrate the role of high-quality public charter schools in helping to ensure students are prepared and able to seize their piece of the American dream, and we honor the dedicated professionals across America who make this calling their life's work by serving in charter schools.


Charter schools play an important role in our country's education system. Supporting some of our Nation's underserved communities, they can ignite imagination and nourish the minds of America's young people while finding new ways of educating them and equipping them with the knowledge they need to succeed. With the flexibility to develop new methods for educating our youth, and to develop remedies that could help underperforming schools, these innovative and autonomous public schools often offer lessons that can be applied in other institutions of learning across our country, including in traditional public schools".


(Emphasis added).


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