Alternative education

Registered and selling drugs at pre-school

The teacher unions and their proxies in parliament, the Green party and the Labour party, all oppose charter schools. The one main issue they have is that there is no requirement for all teachers at charter schools to be registered.

Apparently registration is there to protect the kids.

Yet there isn’t a day that goes by where one registered teacher or another is hauled before the courts or the Teachers Tribunal for a range of offences.

The latest is two registered drug dealing pre-school teachers.

A “one-off” drug deal at a Wanaka preschool has resulted in two teachers having their registrations torn up.

Wanaka early childhood teachers Catherine Ngaire Williamson and Gemma Ward were deregistered by the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal and censured for serious misconduct after Ecstasy changed hands at Oanaka EduCare in the resort town.

In November last year, Ms Williamson took to the preschool three Ecstasy tablets, which were bought by Ms Ward.

Oanaka EduCare owner Sandie Dodds said she felt the right decision was made.

“I don’t think there’s any room for any teacher to have drugs at an early childhood centre,” she said.

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The Economist clarifies why Unions hate Charter Schools

The Economist gives us a good insight as to why it is that unions hate Charter Schools.

Just two points suffice:

1. Outcomes for children improve.

Under the new regime, schools have sharply improved. In 2004 just 16.5% of pupils in New Orleans’s schools beat Louisiana’s state performance score; by the end of the most recent school year, 31.1% did, according to the Cowen Institute at Tulane University. High-school graduation rates have risen from 55% before Katrina to 73% now; drop-out rates have fallen by half.

The way the NZ Unions have tried to bluff this out is to repeat ad nauseam that it is a “failed policy overseas” and hope that they public is as stupid as they are.   Read more »

Time for Secondary Teachers to flee the PPTA

Angela Roberts and her cohorts in the PPTA have lost the plot.

It is time for secondary teachers to quit their union.

Firstly they waste massive funds opposing charter schools. Money that should be spent for the benefit of their members. Secondly they denigrate their own members through lying to the NZ public and treating the parents of kiwi kids like idiots. Thirdly they crap all over the lower end of the NZ education system where predominantly Maori and Pasifika are failing massively.

In terms of money spent on opposing Charter School Robert’s recently refused to tell Guyon Espiner on Radio NZ how much they had spent.

In terms of lying to their members and the NZ public they have produced another disingenuous document that tries to say State Schools get less than Charter Schools. They fudge the numbers – leaving out centralised services for State Schools, ignoring that Charters are in their start up phase, and ignoring the State Schools get approximately $30million to start while Charters get approx. $1m. They also ignore the official ministry figures.

The PPTA, of course, fail to highlight high per unit funded State schools. The data is easily accessible, you ahve to wonder why the PPTA fails to include these schools in their jihad…but then again they are union controlled schools:

Kia Aroha College: $12,000

Tikipunga High School: $12,300

Portland School: $10,200

Excellere College: $10,400

Pukepoto School: $10,400

Te Rangi Aniwaniwa: $14,600

Awanui School: $9,300    Read more »

Rodney Hide calls out Greens and their Charter Schools hatred

Rodney Hide gives Catherine Delahunty and her pals in the Green taliban a good kicking.

Parliament is a House of Representatives and, with the Green’s Catherine Delahunty, the stupid and the rude have a voice.

Ms Delahunty this week attacked a partnership school, Vanguard Military. She did so without visiting, talking to students, parents or teachers. That’s despite having an open invitation to do so.

The Greens have never let facts spoil their politics. Ms Delahunty continues the tradition.

Ms Delahunty’s complaint was Vanguard’s high turnover. The roll had “plunged.” Hers was no throwaway line. It was a prepared media hit.

She delivered it publicly and viciously. Green hugs and cuddles don’t extend to partnership schools, their students, staff or parents.

Had Ms Delahunty made rudimentary inquiry, she would have learned that Vanguard’s high turnover is a consequence of its phenomenal success.

Vanguard students are passing in unprecedented numbers at unprecedented speed. The school has a 91% success rate. And remember, Vanguard is targeting the very students the state school system is failing.

It takes a special stupid to read success as failure and do so publicly. It takes a special rudeness to attack a new school – and thereby the school’s students – when both are working hard to achieve against the odds.

Yes and Catherine Delahunty is a special kind of stupid.

But wait.

Ms Delahunty attacks Vanguard for failing – when it’s not. She then declares partnership schools a success but only because of “over-funding.”

“If state schools received the same amount of resources, they would be able to achieve amazing things for their students as well.”

Hang on, she just said Vanguard is failing (when it’s not). Now, she says, partnership schools are achieving “amazing things.” In Ms Delahunty’s world partnership schools are both failing and succeeding.

And, either way, she’s against them.

“The problem with charter schools is that they suck resources and students away from public schools.” It doesn’t occur to Ms Delahunty that parents are choosing Vanguard Military School. It’s not a black hole. It has no field of force sucking parents and children in. Parents are choosing Vanguard because it’s succeeding with the very students state schools are failing.

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Greens dead wrong in attack against successful charter school

Yesterday The Greens and their crazy edjakayshun spokesperson and member for Mars Catherine Delahunty attacked charter schools and launched an attack against one in particular.

One of the five Charter schools lauded by the Government as a success has lost a quarter of its school roll this year, with each student now costing four times as much to teach than children in a regular public school, the Green Party said today.

Latest Ministry of Education roll count data shows that Vanguard Military College had 79 students attending in October this year – 25 percent below the 108 students it is funded to teach and the 104 students it started the year with. Unlike state sector schools Charters don’t lose funding when they lose students.

That means the school is paid the equivalent of $27,000 in annual operation funding for each student, compared with the $7,000 a year schools in the state sector are funded for each student.

“Charter schools are a hugely expensive experiment that the Government is determined to continue with despite a lack of evidence they’re either successful or needed,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“Plans to open four more of these schools next year must be put off till Government can prove they’re value for money, good for students and aren’t damaging neighbouring schools.

“Vanguard has been trumpeted by National as a success yet official data shows it is struggling to hold on to its students.

“Principals in state schools are concerned about the disproportionate amounts of funding Charter schools are getting, saying that they’d be able to achieve amazing things for their own students if they had access to a similar amount of resources.

“Charters are able to pay for transport, uniforms, stationary and even food for their pupils. Even if they were succeeding, it’d be no surprise given the level of resources.

“The problem with Charter schools is that they suck resources and students away from public schools.

“Government pumps huge resources into them initially, but the real problems come a couple of years later when nearby schools have been undermined and the extra resources given to the Charters in the early days dry up,” Ms Delahunty said,

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A very important article on the public school benefits of Charter Schools

Eva Moskowitz writes in the Wall Street Journal about the positive impact of charter schools…and shows clearly the much improved outcomes for children/families.

This is the sort of stuff the teacher unions don;t want you to hear.

Upon his re-election in 2006, then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein offered the free use of underutilized school facilities to a bumper crop of charter schools opening that year—including my first. Fueled by this policy, charter-school enrollment in the city grew from 11,000 to almost 70,000 by the end of Mr. Bloomberg’s second term in 2013, and my one school grew to 22.

As the founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools—free public schools open to all children in New York City through a random lottery—I’ve seen firsthand how allowing “co-location” with district schools has helped charter schools and their students thrive. Success Academy currently has 32 schools spread across the Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Queens boroughs and recently was granted approval from our chartering authority, the State University of New York, to open 14 more.

Three-quarters of our students are poor enough to receive subsidized lunch, and 94% are children of color. Our students have excelled. They not only rank in the top 1% in math and top 3% in English among all state schools, but they take top honors in national debate and chess championships. They compete in ballroom dancing, soccer and track and field.

The unions can’t possible deny those stats…but they do, and they continually try to destroy a system that is clearly working.

Critics charge, however, that the academic successes posted by our schools and other charters result from cherry-picking the best students—and that since the harder-to-educate students are dumped in district schools, any academic gains by charters are offset by losses in district schools.

It is now possible to evaluate that claim.

New York City has 32 community school districts. The availability of free facilities in some of them has spurred rapid charter-school growth, while in others, the absence of such facilities has thwarted it. As a result, charter enrollment varies widely, from nearly half of students in the Central Harlem district to none at all in other districts.

This divergence, much like Germany’s division after World War II into a free-market West and a Communist East, has created perfect conditions for a real-world experiment. We can examine the 16 districts where charter school enrollment is highest (charter-rich districts) and the 16 districts where it is lowest (charter-light districts) and see how their relative rankings, based on their results on statewide English and math proficiency exams, changed between 2006 and 2014.

Of the 16 charter-rich districts, 11 rose in the rankings. And of the eight among those 16 with the highest charter enrollment, all rose save one. The district that jumped furthest, rocketing up 11 spots between 2006 and 2014, was District 5 in Central Harlem, which has the city’s highest charter-school enrollment (43%).

And what about the 16 charter-light districts? Thirteen fell in the rankings, and not one rose. For example, District 12 in the Bronx, which in 2006 ranked higher than Central Harlem, now ranks 13 spots lower. District 29 in Queens, which in 2006 ranked 15 spots higher than Central Harlem and has fewer poor students, now ranks lower.

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Rodney Hide on union fear and loathing of charter schools

Rodney Hide writes in the NBR about the fear and loathing of charters schools by doctrinaire unions.

On cue with last week’s column explaining why lefties are a miserable lot, the principal of Bruce McLaren Intermediate, Roy Lilley, hit the papers having a moan.

His gripe? Charter schools. His worry? That they will pinch his pupils with inducements of a free uniform and a policy of no donations. The new charter schools, he says, will have a “huge” and negative impact.

The newspaper reports Mr Lilley’s school having 416 spare places. The 2013 Education Review Office Report confirms the roll at 248. His school’s almost two-thirds empty.

Why isn’t Mr Lilly offering free uniforms? Why isn’t he having a “no donations” policy? Why isn’t he offering what students and parents want, so a charter school is no threat? Why isn’t he offering to rent his spare capacity to the new charter school and achieve synergy?

Why aren’t we laughing at him?

We would if he was the local supermarket whining about a rival opening up down the road. We would be laughing and looking forward to sharper prices, better service and higher quality produce.

Teachers, and their unions aren’t interested in any of that, they are interested in protecting their own hegemony of the system.

But schools are different. Here we have never known choice and competition. Our schools are run like the Soviet economy. The Ministry of Education is our Kremlin.

The Soviets were frightened: who would feed, clothe and house them if not the government? We are the same. We can’t imagine schooling in the absence of government direction and control.

Who would build the schools? Who would feed the teachers? Who would decide what is to be taught? And how?

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The refreshed Labour’s bizarre education/poverty views

Maybe being upset at finding out she is spokesperson for nothing Louisa Wall has put out a rather strange and confused education release along with the NZEI.

The confusion starts with the heading:

South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings

Ummm – if comparative socioeconomic markers go down in a location the schools get more money. Does the release mean Labour doesn’t want them to get it?

It then becomes hard to know who is speaking as the release is confused and badly written but one of Wall or NZEI President Judith Nowartaski goes the way of the Bruce McLaren Principal Roy Lilley http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/tag/roy-lilley/ (he of the 416 spare places in his school caused by a Charter School that hasn’t begun yet) and complains about Charter Schools easing financial burdens for families.

“For new Charter Schools to be able to offer free uniforms and stationary will significantly affect the ability of South Auckland schools to match this offer.”

What? Does someone in the Labour party read what they write? Yep – the intent is nonsense but they could at least write a correct sentence.  Read more »

An Embarrassment to the University of Auckland

Drama Professor Peter O’Connor goes even further than his indulgent self interviewing on Charter Schools by getting his comments published in the University of Auckland alumni magazine. (Interesting to note he appears to have disabled/deleted comments on his youtube post. Such a supporter of free speech).

– He again states the nonsense that they could have been started under old legislation.

– He “mis-states” re funding.

– Despite ERO reports to the contrary he says they are struggling (wouldn’t imagine he has visited even a single charter school).

– And then he names a private school – Mt Hobson Middle School – as a Charter School.

Even more telling – he is unhappy about a Maori name:

“You can dress them up with a Maori name….”

Wonder what Willie Jackson and others involved with Charter schools who are passionate about Maori achievement feel about these statements.  Read more »

Even in a city where Charters are flying Unions can’t do it

New York City has an acclaimed Charter School system.

Unions decided to get in on the act and show the rest how it is done. Results predictable.

Almost a decade after the United Federation of Teachers launched a charter school to prove that a school could thrive under the city’s union contract, new data show the school continues to struggle.

Kindergarten through eighth grade of the UFT Charter School in Brooklyn failed to meet the city’s targets for student achievement, progress, environment and closing the achievement gap, according to the Department of Education’s School Quality Guide, which was released Monday.

Among nearly 1,700 schools reviewed under the city’s new reporting system, the kindergarten through eighth grade part of the charter is one of a handful of schools citywide that didn’t meet goals in four out of five categories.

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