Misleading Data used by Chris Hipkins for another hit on Charter Schools

I was disappointed but not surprised to see another attack on Vanguard military school yesterday by Chris Hipkins. I have written many articles about Charter schools as part of my investigative series and I have time and time again pointed out the truth and have shown that the critics were not comparing apples with apples.

Misleading data has again been used in order to try to make very successful schools look bad.

Labour Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins, who obtained the documents, said it showed charter schools have been “massively overstating” their pass rates when compared with the rest of the country’s schools.

…In one case a school reported a 93.3 per cent pass rate when the facts show only 6.7 per cent of leavers achieved NCEA Level 2.

-NZ Herald

Since Vanguard Military school was one of the charter schools smeared by the article I will use it as an example to show the problem with the data that Chris Hipkins has referred to.

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Map of the Day

Shearer – the leader Labour squandered through in-fighting

David Shearer is a loss to our politics. One of those rare parliamentarians held in high regard on both sides of the House, the Government has readily enlisted his knowledge and experience of the United Nations in the campaign to win a seat on the Security Council and other international projects. He was almost certain to be foreign minister in the next Labour Government whenever that might be. He must have made his decision to leave Parliament for a UN post long before John Key caught almost everyone by surprise on Monday.

Suddenly, the odds on the next election have narrowed and Shearer may be wishing he was staying, but probably not. He has had a good taste of political life in the seven years since he won the Mt Albert seat vacated by Helen Clark. He was elected Labour’s leader just two years later, the last to be chosen by the party’s MPs alone. His quiet manner and diffident mode of speaking was blamed for Labour’s continued poor polling, though it has to said it was polling better under him than it has under his successors so far.

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Key’s divisive management exposed during leadership pitch

…14 MPs more or less agreed on English as Leader but were apparently divided over the deputy leadership between Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges.

English apparently convinced them that he was willing to “refresh” the Cabinet and to open up other Government positions such as the Whips and Select Committee chairs.

But it appears that he was unwilling to budge on moving the core inner Cabinet — Paula Bennett, Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce — out of their Ministerial offices.

However, he did undertake to run a more inclusive Government where opinion from the backbench would be listened to.

That’s telling.  Under Key, the backbench have been out in the cold.   Just like it happened under Clark.  You were either part of the elite, or… cannon fodder.   Read more »

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch… another byelection

David Shearer’s bombshell announcement he’s off to sort out problems in another country has been overshadowed by National’s leadership contest.

Mr Shearer, the MP for Mt Albert since 2009 and Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman, has been put forward to lead the United Nations’ mission in South Sudan.

His departure would prompt a by-election in the Auckland safe Labour seat – its second since Mr Shearer replaced Helen Clark in 2009.

It would be the third this parliamentary term, and right on the back of the Mt Roskill by-election, where Labour’s Michael Wood claimed the seat vacated by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff by more than 11,000 votes, though the Electoral Commission will release the official result next week.

Last year, NZ First leader Winston Peters stomped to victory in the Northland by-election. That was six months after voters elected Mike Sabin (he resigned for personal reasons).

Each by-election costs the taxpayer about $1m, the Electoral Commission says. By comparison, the flag referendum cost $26m and a general election costs about $30m.

Perhaps we should encourage MPs thinking of leaving to get it all over with so we can get a three-for-one deal.   Read more »

Photo of the Day

We all know of “the luck of the Irish” but this strange escape tale shows us just how lucky some Irish can get.

The Wild Geese

The Catalpa escape created a dazzling international sensation in its day. Its intelligent heroes were celebrated as using Irish wit and ingenuity to extricate themselves from their perceived injustice

This is the most successful prison break in Australian history. It was an international rescue effort that took years to organise, and which finally freed six Irish prisoners from Fremantle gaol. The rescue ship was an American whaler called The Catalpa. The escape was so dramatic that it’s now a symbol of human resilience, even resurrection.

In 1876, after 8 years of incarceration in Western Australia, six Irish political prisoners escaped on board the American whaler Catalpa. Under the pretext of a whaling voyage, the Catalpa and its unassuming captain had sailed from New Bedford to liberate the prisoners.

On Easter Monday, 1876, six Irish political prisoners, known as military Fenians, were rescued from ‘a living tomb’. This was how the world’s toughest prison, Fremantle gaol, was described by its inmates. The rescuer was one Captain Anthony, a Quaker sea captain who had no connection with the Irish cause. He put his crew, his family, his financiers and his own life in danger to sail from New Bedford in America to Perth in Western Australia on a trip that was disguised as a whale hunt. Why? Because, as he told his grandson, it was the right thing to do.

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Bill English has a super power

-whaleoil

-whaleoil

I came across this comment on the Trademe message boards yesterday.

Funny watching the leftards adjusting their focus to Bill English and scrambling for things to hate him for. #goodluckwiththat

Maybe Bill English being so damn boring will be his super power. He will do nothing new and will say nothing controversial and will send people to sleep when he talks. The Left-wing will struggle to pay attention long enough to come up with reasons to attack him. He won’t need to be bullet proof because they won’t be able to find any bullets. Kim Dotcom will have him hacked and the most damaging thing they will find is a slightly terse e-mail to a senior MP explaining why he hasn’t got the time to meet him for a drink after work.

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Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  BoomSlang

Credit: BoomSlang

How dirty is Bill playing?

You’ve got to admire Bill English. He has managed to achieve a coronation. His team worked hard, but then again they had two months to plan to gazump everyone else.

But there are some concerning anti-democratic tendencies starting to emerge from the fog of war.

By convention whips are supposed to stay out of the fray. Of course, John Carter broke that in rinsing Bill English the first time. However, the whips were very active in backing Bill English, especially Jami-Lee Ross who was running the numbers for Bill English and was the person who leaked to Patrick Gower.

What was astonishing however was the appointment to two other MPs to act as scrutineers in Monday’s vote. Hekia Parata and Chester Borrows were appointed and there were cries of foul deeds. Hekia Parata is well known as a Bill English supporter and so is Chester Borrows. Hekia told caucus that she could be trusted and fair to much sniggering behind people’s hands.

You might think that isn’t too bad, so what, why am I making a big deal?   Read more »

The three strikes rule should be applied to this serial litigant

Colin Craig has had three serious legal losses, one after the other this year and he has three more ahead of him that he refuses to settle or withdraw from. In the past, he has instigated five legal cases. He has made legal history with the record amounts that have been awarded against him yet he refuses to accept defeat even though it not only is staring him in the face it has chopped off his arms and his legs.

The Dark Knight AKA Colin Craig-Pinterest

The Dark Knight AKA Colin Craig-Pinterest

Loss One:

Colin Craig was ordered by the Human Rights Review Tribunal to pay his ex-press secretary more than $128,000 after portraying her as a “mistress, trouble maker, mentally unwell, a liar, and a blackmailer”.

He paid her $128,780 in damages plus costs- the highest sum the Human Rights Review Tribunal has ever awarded for emotional harm.

The dark Knight loses an arm.

The dark Knight loses an arm.

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