In praise of partnership schools
Let’s face it: most media coverage on partnership schools kura hourua has been negative. If we track press releases, news articles and opinion pieces, it seems almost all oral submissions before the Education and Science Select Committee have opposed the partnership school model. Here are two (admittedly anecdotal) notes to balance the fiction of this looming monolith.
First, before we presented to the Committee on Friday, two parties expressed their support of partnership schools and the benefits they may provide to pupils not captured, or extended, by the current education system. One was an academic; the other was a potential partnership school operator.
Second, the Iwi Education Authority (Te Maru o Nga Kura-a-Iwi o Aotearoa)
has recently come out in support of the model. The Authority, which administers over 20 schools, has highlighted the potential of partnership schools to raise the achievement of Maori. It will present before the Committee this week.
Notwithstanding the predominant focus of the press, then, there are indeed supporters of the proposed partnership schools. And they seem motivated by an impulse to counter two issues: pockets of continuing academic underachievement, and the lack of provision for children not suited to (and/or desirous of) the instruction imparted in the present education system.