Alternative education

Being able to choose proves a winner for kids & parents at Vanguard Military School

DSC02877-copy

Vanguard Military School this morning released the results of last years academic year.

They are impressive and shows that while the media and opposition wishes to ankle tap charter schools they are just getting on with providing excellence in education for their students.

A quick summary of their results shows that from their official results from NZQA 96.2% passed at NCEA Level 1 and 100% at NCEA Level 2. 

I’m sure opponents will try to discredit these results but I note the following also:

  • 31 students had previously failed NCEA before attending Vanguard and have now passed.
  • All students at Vanguard get enrolled to sit NCEA regardless of baseline testing data, an example of this are students who still don‚Äôt know their full times tables are enrolled in NCEA Level 1 Maths.
  • They¬†teach the NZ Curriculum.¬† Read more »

US Charter Growth 14% in one year

While PPTA, NZEI, the LAbour aprty and other assorted loons are still holding to their “failed model overseas” lines, while producing no evidence to support their claims, it appears no one appears to have told parents who are voting with their feet and sending their =kids in increasing numbers to charter schools.

The Washington Post reports:

The National Alliance of Public Charter Schools estimates in a new reportthat 2.9 million children now attend U.S. charter schools, up 14 percent from last school year.

More than 500 new charter schools opened in the 2014-2015 school year and 200 charters were closed for reasons ranging from poor academic performance to financial problems, according to the organization. ¬† Read more »

Former charter school foe tells why he changed sides

The teacher unions and the vested interests of the current education system oppose charter schools.

They dream up all sorts of horror scenarios and push them onto a compliant media in order to oppose changes in education.

Brian Lewis was one of those people…until as he put it “life happened”.

From 2008 to 2013, I was the front line of defense against all proposals before the General Assembly that would privatize public education, including tax credits for students with special needs, opportunity scholarships for children living in poverty and charter school expansion.

I opposed all efforts to “drain funds from public schools,” especially for private schools that I described as “unaccountable” and “scams” for the North Carolina taxpayer and the children they served.

Then life happened.

In December, my daughter enrolled in a private school in Raleigh, a heart-wrenching decision our family made after six great years in public schools. This past fall, Isabel found herself in a middle school environment for which she was unprepared and ill-suited. She was sinking in a new setting nearly void of the nurturing teacher-student relationships we enjoyed a year ago.

From the start, we advocated within the system for Isabel through emails, teacher conferences and calls with administrators. Eventually, testing accommodations were made. Still, Isabel was slipping away. She dreaded school, we dreaded school, and it was clear the teachers dreaded it, too. We hit the wall in November and came to the conclusion that public middle school was not the answer. In fact, it was the problem.

Read more »

Charter Schools are Cost Effective

A new State Primary School opened in Hamilton recently – Endeavour Primary School. No doubt needed and a good plan. In terms of costs:

– Set up costs approx. $21million

– Number of students at start – approximately 100 (eventually to be 600).

The PPTA/NZEI/Labour and assorted hangers-on¬†have banged on about how expensive Charter Schools supposedly are and have compared them, in their establishment phase to long established State schools.¬† Read more »

Willie Jackson comes out punching on Charter Schools

Willie Jackson refuses to drink the Labour and union Kool Aid on charter schools and has established his own charter school.

He has hit out at the status quo.

Radio New Zealand reports.

A new south Auckland charter school has taken a swing at state schools but another says it wants to support its neighbours rather than compete with them.

Te Kura Maori o Waatea in Mangere said it has been set up because some state schools are failing their Maori students.

In contrast, Pacific Advance Senior School in Otahuhu said it will be helping local secondary schools by taking on the teens they are struggling with.

The schools are among four new charter schools that have opened this year joining five that started last year.

Chief executive of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority Willie Jackson said its bilingual school, Te Kura Maori o Waatea, started this week with 40 students.

He hopes the publicly-funded private school will grow to 200 children within five years, but in doing so he does not want to run the two other kura in the area out of business.

“We’re not in this game to shut down other schools, we’re in this game to offer better options for our people. We need to find ways of supporting each other rather than looking at each other as cutting each other’s throat,” he said.

Read more »

If she ever had the “plot” Catherine Delahunty loses it

It is bizarre, but consistent, that Catherine Delahunty is the Education spokesperson for the Greens….she is also the Member from Mars.

Here she loses the plot at a Charter School and then decides that the whole model needs to go Рdespite the many successes and the growth already.

She has missed several points.

The problem she tries to exploit was created by the systems of a state integrated school and their delays with submission to an official body (the very type of schooling and system she half-wittingly advocates).

The Charter school closely followed all recommended processes and gets glowing reports from official bodies. She may even note that parents clearly think they have high credibility and can do what schools are meant to do – educate their children (as opposed to Green indoctrination).

Then again the Greens are against people making any choices for themselves – they know better. ¬† Read more »

Angela Roberts really is very funny, and that is funny strange, not funny haha

Angela Roberts is upset, as usual, about Charter schools.

Post Primary Teachers’ Association president Angela Roberts said it was frustrating to see charter schools growing when they offered little that was different to regular state schools.

“They’re not doing anything particularly innovative,” she said.

“We have service academies, which provide that access to the military training. We have cross-curricular … studies happening in schools around the place and we have really culturally responsive schools that have immersion classes for Pasifika and Maori kids, so I haven’t seen anything too new.”

Ms Roberts said parents were being attracted to the charter schools by the small classes they were able to offer thanks to their small scale.

So, she won’t visit the schools but watching from afar she says “nothing [innovative] to see here”.

Last year the complaint was that the Charter Schools rolls were too low. Now she complains they are too high.

The organisation award for utter stupidity in the face of reality goes to the PPTA.

Well done to a growing group of families making a great choice for their kids. ¬† Read more »

PPTA points the finger – 3 pointing back at them

State school costs hit hard at this time of the year. Every kid having a laptop at school is highly debatable in terms of its educational worth but Principals clearly think they need to keep up with the school down the road.

Fairfax and the Herald both carry articles this morning on school costs.

In the Fairfax article Angela Roberts of the PPTA throws the blame on the taxpayer (via the government):

Post Primary Teachers’ Association president Angela Roberts said costs for parents were rising as the Government “abdicated responsibility” for costs of learning essentials.

“There is a mismatch between what New Zealand really wants for their kids and what the Government will fund,” she said.

Charter Schools are a lot cheaper for families – no donations and many costs such as uniform,stationery and IT covered. ¬†¬† Read more »

Another Nail in the “Charter Schools are over-funded” coffin

PPTA, NZEI and opposition parties have tried to establish the myth of Charter Schools being over-funded in the minds of what they consider to be the gullible public.

For the first 4 Years of the first 5 schools the whole Charter School budget was $19 million (i.e. less than $5 million a year). Charter School start-up funding is approximately $1 million per school.

Hekia Parata has just announced a new State School in Takanini. Start up funding $20 million.

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced that $20 million has been set aside for the establishment of a new primary school in Takanini, Auckland.

Takanini is a fast-growing suburb and anticipated population growth is expected to generate approximately 4000 additional pupils by 2020.

Ms Parata says Takanini is a sought-after area because of special housing and private land development and there is a need to cater to the booming school-aged population. ¬†¬† Read more »

In NZ too – Teacher Unions against helping if they lose control

The opposition and teacher unions continue to rail against charter schools despite mounting evidence overseas that charter schools massively help amongst the poor and disadvantaged.

Forbes magazine has an article about charter schools that shows that charter schools are doing well for their student and the unions are a road block to success.

They look at a recent CREDO study that found:

While overall charters and public schools compare relatively closely, both the 2009 and 2013 study found that charters did better for students in poverty. In addition, performance gap is growing over time:

Charter school impacts with students in poverty and English language learners were positive in 2009 in both reading and math. These positive results have sustained and in fact increased in 2013.

And the results are especially strong for black students in poverty. As the CREDO study reports:

‚ÄúBlack students in poverty who attend charter schools gain an additional 29 days of learning in reading¬†and 36 days in math per year over their [traditional public school]¬†counterparts (see Figure 30). This shows the impact of¬†charter schooling is especially beneficial for black students who in poverty.‚ÄĚ

You see this result repeated on other studies as well. Using randomized study results from charter school lotteries in Massachusetts, Angrist, Pathak, and Walters find that non-urban charters don’t outperform public schools and may even do worse, but urban charter schools benefit black students and poor students:

Black and Hispanic students benefit considerably from urban charter attendance in middle school, but the estimated math gains for whites are smaller, with no increase in whites’ ELA scores. Urban charter middle schools appear to produce especially large achievement gains for students eligible for a subsidized lunch and for those with low baseline scores.Attendance at urban charter high schools increases math scores in every group and raises reading scores for everyone except whites, though estimates for small groups are imprecise.

It’s hard to imagine it another policy being called a failure because it only benefitted poor students and black students but the overall scores were held down by non-urban schools and white students.  

Read more »