Charter school

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:

“Black 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.”

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.  

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High Quality Staff at Charter Schools: PPTA NIghtmare

Back in February the PPTA were in full panic mode, and still are, about Charter Schools in NZ.

Their recommendations and comments:

- that PPTA members should not seek to work in charter schools and should avoid all professional, sporting and cultural liaison with the sponsors, managers and employees of said schools

– that the five New Zealand charter schools are simply “useful idiots”

The PPTA exec must have wept when the new schools attracted staff and must be apoplectic when schools like Vanguard Military School and South Auckland Middle School generated quality ERO reports (not a bad effort for “useful idiots”).

For kids who need choice this is clearly good news (a point lost on teacher unions) and there seems better to come. The new Middle School in West Auckland recently announced their leadership and highly academic intent.

James Haggett has been appointed Principal of West Auckland’s newest school, Middle School West Auckland, opening in February 2015.

The new school, based at 4341 Great North Rd in Glendene, is for boys and girls in Years 7-10.

Mr Haggett brings experience in two educational examination systems (NCEA and Cambridge), as well as the context of teaching in both the UK and New Zealand.

“I am delighted to lead the establishment of Middle School West Auckland. I identify strongly with the absolute academic drive of the school.

“My experience in the secondary school sector will be useful to ensuring our students are well prepared and transition effectively to the high schools of their choice.”

Mr Haggett’s early teaching career was in low socio-economic schools in the UK. Emigrating to New Zealand seven years ago, he was the Deputy Headmaster in charge of Curriculum at St Peters College, a Catholic secondary school for boys. In addition, he has operated an education consultancy, tutoring students to Excellence level.

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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 »

Free thinking people and student success terrifies Teacher Unions everywhere

The teacher unions oppose charter schools, they can’t tell you why, just that they don;t work.

The Labour party opposes charter schools, they can’t tel you why, just that they will abolish them.

The Green party opposes charter schools, they can’t tell you why, and they haven’t even visited a single one, but they don’t want them either.

What those three groups are all afraid of is people thinking for themselves and giving people choice.

But everywhere in the world where choice exists charter schools flourish and so do the students.

In November 2003, Eva Moskowitz, then a freshman member of the New York City Council, held explosive public hearings about how union contracts imposed inane work rules on public schools. The city’s political establishment was astonished.

Mosowitz—a former history professor, public school teacher, and self-proclaimed liberal, whose politics up until that point seemed to resemble those of every other Democratic politician in New York—was sacrificing her political career to take on organized labor. Exposing the consequences of teacher union contracts was a direct affront to the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), which wields enormous influence in New York City elections.  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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What could Delahunty’s excuse be for Charter School Lie?

catherine-delahunty-1200

When trying to attack NZ Charter Schools on RadioLive on Monday Catherine Delahunty was trying to sound at least a tiny bit credible. So when Duncan Garner asked her if she had even bothered to visit one – she lied and said she had.

On Tuesday afternoon Garner exposed it.

Here are 6 things that may be offered as excuses in a situation like that.

– as the Greens spokesperson for education I am not expected to tell the truth.    Read more »