TeachFirst – privatization by stealth?

teach first

By Shomi Yoon

At a time when the National Party have overseen cuts to student allowance eligibility and continued underfunding of education, there’s one educational provider that they’re happy to put millions into: Teach First NZ.

But their plans for Teach First NZ have recently hit a snag. The Employment Relations Authority ruled that all this time employing Teach First teachers has been illegal. This is because all teaching vacancies must be advertised by law. Teach First allows trainee teachers to be bonded to a low-decile school for two years, without the position being advertised.

[Read more…]

Mana College Under Attack

Mana CollegeBy Martin Gregory

Government moves to put Mana College into statutory management smacks of the racism and contempt for workers and the poor that is prevalent throughout the government’s approach to public education. All working people should take an interest in these developments.

Mana College, Porirua, had of last year a student composition that was 65% Māori , 18% Pasifika, 8% “Other” and 9% NZ European/Pākehā . On 9 March this year the Minister of Education, Hekia Parata, put the school under statutory management. This is yet another example of pinning the “Māori under-achievement” label on Māori and teachers. The decision is a smokescreen to the real explanation for comparative educational achievement statistics. And what ulterior motives might Hekia Parata have? [Read more…]

The Charter Schools Debacle



Three years on, Christchurch people are still struggling with the aftereffects of the 2011 earthquakes – insurance, lives disrupted, homes damaged. Workers and the poor, struggling to get by with less and in an insecure, uncertain city, feel all of this particularly keenly. Schools – the centres of community – should be places that give some reassurance and stability. But that’s now how National sees it. Education Minister Hekia Parata is happy to threaten school closures and kick communities while they are still reeling. Take Phillipstown School, a decile one school supporting some of the poorest students in need. The damage to the school was allegedly too expensive to fix and so closure was concluded. This was a decision that would “destroy the community,” as one parent put it.  A High Court Judge has agreed and ruled that the Phillipstown School closure was “unlawful.”


So cost cutting and closures are National’s plans for public education. That’s not the whole story, however. When it comes to charter schools, National and Act’s joint vision for a “private-public partnership” model – in other words, for an attack on public education – then there is plenty of money to go around. [Read more…]