Independent evaluation of Charter Schools needed

A genuinely independent, expert evaluation of the Government’s charter schools programme is needed in light of revelations that Education Minister Hekia Parata interfered to prevent evaluators comparing the performance of charter school students with students at normal state schools.

“It’s time for education specialists to provide honest, expert opinion on whether or not charter schools are working for New Zealand’s kids,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“New Zealanders need a genuinely independent expert evaluation of National’s charter schools experiment that is totally free from interference by the Education Minister, carried out by people who have the knowledge and experience to compare educational models.

“When the Minister’s advisors specifically recommended a comparison of how student achievement at charter schools compares to other schools, why on Earth would she prevent such a comparison unless she was worried that it would show charter schools aren’t performing for their students?

“If you ask for analysis that requires comparison, and then veto that comparison, it’s gross political interference that wastes time and money,” Ms Delahunty said.