As everyone knows by now, thanks to ACT, our government is experimenting with charter schools, using the children of Christchurch and South Auckland as guinea pigs in their ideological experiment. That's bad, but it could be worse - at least they're only experimenting. In the UK, the government jumped in on this ideologically-driven policy with both feet - and the result has been a disaster. The good news is that there are very few of the new "free" schools. The bad news is that tens of millions has been wasted on failed projects already, while the successful ones have increased social and religious segregation. As in the US and Sweden, there are two primary groups wanting to establish "free' schools: rich parents wanting to exclude the poor, and religious quacks wanting a government handout to teach creationism, bigotry, and anti-vaccination quackery (and we're seeing the same trend here). Neither has any sort of place in a state-funded education system.