The submission calls charter schools “a travesty” and warns that adopting them would lead to “a corrupt web of political patronage and private profit”.
The submission says Act party leader John Banks, who sponsored the bill, “rejects not only evolution but also the scientific understandings about geological time and presumably all the physical laws about the origin of the universe” – and raises the prospect that children could be taught these “medieval beliefs” in charter schools. Catherine Isaac, who Banks chose to chair the working group on charter schools, is criticised for her “fatuous comments” and “total ignorance” of education research, and the Maori Party is panned for supporting the bill after MP Pita Sharples initially raised concerns about it.
The union urges the Select Committee to put charter schools on hold until more research and public consultation can occur.
Failing that, it makes 13 recommendations for change before the “experiment” does go ahead. Many of these are to do with increasing the transparency and accountability of the proposed system. Others cover banning the hiring of unregistered teachers and ensuring that students have equitable access to the schools, and are taught the New Zealand Curriculum.
Written submissions to the bill close on Thursday 24 January.
The document was released exclusively to the Listener and can be read below:
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