What is the difference between a poorly performing state school and a poorly performing charter school?

When a charter school does not perform it is shut down. This is one of the many strengths of the charter school model. Charter schools are accountable. Charter schools either succeed or they fail. If they fail they are shut down. A poorly performing state school, however, is allowed to continue to fail year after year after year, yet education unions have focused all their energy on wiping out charter schools no matter how well they are performing.

Thousands of children are spending most or all their years of education in a poorly performing school, a new report has found.

A third of New Zealand’s underperforming schools are persistent low achievers, some of which have been that way for up to 10 years, says a report put out this morning by think-tank New Zealand Initiative.

…Many schools were failing to meet Education Review Office (ERO) quality measures, the report said. It also warned that “some schools, despite intervention, perform poorly for as long as, and in some cases, longer than, the entire school career of their students – with possibly serious implications for the students in them and the state of our nation”.

…ERO classified almost 8 per cent of state schools as poor performers – that equated to 35,500 students in 58 secondary and 127 primary schools.

There was “evidence of chronic poor performance by schools despite having had external intervention and an external evaluater telling them they were underperforming”, the report said.

…The report said: “The history of school non-improvement suggests New Zealand needs to seriously reconsider alternatives to identifying and managing failing schools, before failure becomes persistent.”

…”The Government needs innovative solutions to address this history of non-improvement. Knowing which are the weakest schools in the country is not enough.”

….Lisa Rodgers, deputy secretary of early learning and student achievement at the Ministry of Education, accepted the report’s conclusion that “more needs to be done to help poorly performing schools as well as Maori, Pasifika and students from low socio-economic backgrounds”.

…Labour’s education spokesman, Chris Hipkins, said the Government had to step in where schools are failing.

…Green Party education spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty said it was unfair to draw the conclusion that underperforming schools were “terrible” when inequality in New Zealand was rife.

-A Newspaper