Charter school

ERO can’t fault three new Charter schools. What will Chris Hipkins spin this as?

Chris Hipkins is going to find this hard to spin his way.

Three new Charter schools got a good grade from the Education Review Office.

Radio NZ’s John Gerritson obviously didn’t get the union memo.

Three new charter schools have made a good start, according to the Education Review Office.

The reports covered two of the publicly-funded private schools in Auckland, Te Kura Māori o Waatea and Pacific Advance Senior School, and one in Whangarei, Te Kāpehu Whetū -Teina.

The reviews were generally positive, but identified problems such as the need to increase enrolments or develop curriculums.

The report for Pacific Advance Senior School said it had 105 students in Years 11 and 12 at the start of this year and the school had done a good job of engaging them in their learning.

It said many students started at the school well below achievement expectations for their age level and to get students confident and able to complete Level 1 NCEA qualification was a significant success for the school.

It said 36 students were awarded Level 1 NCEA, which was 57 percent of the student body.   Read more »

Two questions for Chris Hipkins

It's a crisis I tell you!

It’s a crisis I tell you!

Following on from Chris Hipkins declaring a crisis in education, I have two questions for him to answer.

  1. Isn’t the real “crisis” in education that PPTA-staffed schools ensure that only 14% of Maori school leavers (20% of Pasifika) have University Entrance?
  2. Charter schools use their funding to provide uniforms and stationery and do not ask for donations. States schools have that choice and don’t do it. Will Labour require them to?

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And yet Charter schools do it on decile 3 funding

As a perfect example of how out of touch unions and the opposition are on education witness this:

School fees and donations are rising at almost 10 times the rate of inflation, new figures reveal.

The latest figures from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) show a rise of 3.7 per cent in what schools are asking parents to pay – more than nine times the overall inflation rate of 0.4 per cent.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) tracks changes in primary and secondary school fees and donations each year.

Labour’s education spokesperson Chris Hipkins said education costs have really “started to bite” in the last year and a half.

“We know that parents are being asked more and more to put their hands in their pockets to help fund the costs of their kids’ education,” he said.

“We’re seeing a transfer of costs from schools onto parents.”

Hipkins said more money should be put into education. Funding shortages had “moved far beyond the days of sausage sizzles and cake stalls”.

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The PPTA brings up an old chestnut so I give it a roast

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Tom Haig, on the PPTA blog, has brought up an old chestnut. The PPTA are fond of bringing up the same old chestnuts against charter schools. It is almost as if they have an approved list.

PPTA-approved charter school attack chestnuts:

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  1. Students at risk because of non-registered teachers
  2. Charter schools get more money than State schools
  3. Charter schools steal students from other schools
  4. If you want to help the students who are falling through the cracks give more money to State schools
  5. It is privatisation by stealth
  6. They have higher expulsion rates than State schools.

Chestnuts one to four I have already covered in detail in previous posts. Today I have responded to number six by discussing one of the Charter schools they attacked: Vanguard Military School.

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While Chippy is trying to end Charter Schools, he might like to close this one too

Chris Hipkins wants to end charter schools, despite never even visiting one, ostensibly because he says that kids aren’t safe at the schools…and, because of the risk of unregistered teachers, they should be closed down.

While he is trying to pass that legislation, he might like to add an amendment to close this school in Hamilton where a registered teacher gave a student a blowie.

A Hamilton high school teacher has resigned from her job after she allegedly performed oral sex on a Year 13 boy the same night as his school leavers’ dinner.

The dinner was held in November and the teacher allegedly performed the act on the boy the same night, but not at the venue.

The schoolboy complained to the school but no action was taken.

A source said the student then presented a sworn affidavit to the school board.

The incident was witnessed by other students and it was widely discussed among senior students and on social media.

The teacher is now reportedly under investigation by the Education Council.

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Are you ready for the Labour party grandstanding?

Chris Hipkins’ anti-Charter Schools bill has been drawn from the ballot:

Legislation which would abolish charter schools has been drawn from the ballot at Parliament.

The member’s bill is in the name of the Labour MP Chris Hipkins.

Mr Hipkins says charter schools are a threat to the country’s education system because they allow unregistered and unqualified people to teach children.

The charter school system was set up under an agreement between National and ACT.

ACT party leader David Seymour says he welcomes the debate but has a list of questions for Mr Hipkins, including whether he had ever visited a charter school.

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Ministry of Education wants some of its money back from failed Charter school

One of the huge benefits of a Charter school over State school is that when it goes bad, or is providing dud results, it gets its contract cancelled.

And the Ministry of Education can demand its money back.

The Ministry of Education is still negotiating with trustees of a failed Northland charter school about what happens to the valuable coastal farm it was built on.

Whangaruru school officially closed on Monday.

The government paid an establishment grant of $1.3 million to Nga Parirau Matrauranga Trust, and it used much of that to buy the farm which it still owns.

The ministry said it’s in discussions with the trust about the decision to close the school and the farm property is included in those talks.   Read more »

Are you sick of this yet? Yep. Another registered teacher resigns over “inappropriate relationship”.

Labour opposed charter schools on the basis that compulsory teacher registration was not necessary. They said that kids would be at risk.

Yet every week there is another teacher before the courts or the disciplinary tribunal on charges of a serious nature…like inappropriate relationships.

A Wellington Girls’ College teacher has resigned after allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a student.

The teacher, has interim name suppression while the Education Council investigates, Fairfax reported.

It was reported the man had a close group of “favourites” at the school.   Read more »

Teacher unions are the same the world over

I’ve found that bullying teachers and union bosses damage more self-esteem than anyone else.

Teaching unions have called on schools to boycott tests for four-year-olds claiming they can damage self-esteem and make children cry.

Campaigners say the government’s new ‘baseline assessments’ can be ‘damaging’ to children who are not ready for the literacy and numeracy checks.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) said pupils had been left tearful and frustrated by the tests.

The assessments are taken by infants just weeks after they start school, to allow the government to see how far they have progressed by the time they leave.

They are intended as a way to measure performance of schools – rather than pupils – but teachers say the experience is too stressful for such young children.

Around 2,000 schools in England already failed to administer the tests last autumn, when they were trialled for the first time.

The checks, which are officially introduced this September, are technically optional, and the unions urged more schools to boycott them.

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: ‘One of the things that we do have a genuine concern about is what the effect of this is on children.

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Where are Maori and Pasifika students achieving 20% above the National average?

Maori and Pasifika students are excelling at Vanguard Military School, one of the three Charter schools that I visited last year and did a series of investigative articles on.

Press Release:

Vanguard Military School is pleased to be able to release its provisional NCEA results for 2015 as confirmed by NZQA.  The school achieved a 93% pass rate at NCEA Level 1, a 100% pass rate at Level 2 and a 93% pass rate at Level 3.  All of these results are well above the national average for NCEA and, in the case of Maori and Pasifika students, they are 20% higher than the national average.

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