Monday, 13 May 2013
Charter Schools? Why not?
I have just listened to two TED talks - one by Geoffrey Canada and one by Bill Gates. Both these educators have set up charter schools in the States and both have had huge success. Geoffrey Canada talks about the school he went to himself that had a 48% failure rate and now so many years later still has a 48% failure rate. Bill Gates talks about feedback for teachers and that the only way to improve teaching is by making the feedback more sophisticated than just 'satisfactory' or 'not'. None of this is rocket science but the point I would like to make is that as a schooling system in New Zealand we are not catering for 1 in 5 of our students. The PISA results are very clear about that. If we carry on doing what we are doing, then for sure we will be having the same conversations in 5 years, 10 years and 20 years. Why not try charter schools ? They don't have to be "bad' schools - maybe we could see it as an opportunity to model some excellent and effective practice for our 1 in 5 students. Let's set up 'great' charter schools. There's enough high quality research in New Zealand to guide us. It could quite possibly be the best solution.