Charter school

Charter schools what do they offer?

Graphic showing how AMERICAN Charter schools intersect with public schools

Graphic showing how AMERICAN Charter schools intersect with public schools

 

Cards on the table, I have been invited to visit two Charter schools in Auckland. I suspect that I have been invited because of frustration at both Politicians and the MSM who discuss/ criticise  Charter schools but refuse to actually visit any.

I will be visiting them to find out for myself their points of difference. I have never before been to a Charter school and at present know no more about them than any average person on the street. I know that they offer an alternative to mainstream schooling and that they have more flexibility in how they deliver their education to their students. What that flexibility actually translates to is what I will be finding out.

I do not have an agenda to either make them look good or make them look bad. My task is to report back to our readership what exactly they do offer and how they are different to Mainstream. I am taking my home schooled 16 year old daughter with me to interview the primary school students. She will be asking them what she as a teenager wants to know about Charter schooling. What a teenager values in education may be different to what I as a parent, a home schooler and an ex mainstream High School teacher and tutor in Alternative education values.

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A Challenge to Chris Hipkins

Hipkins! ...eyes front and pay attention!

Hipkins! …eyes front and pay attention!

Chris Hipkins, apparent opposition spokesperson for Education refuses to visit New Zealand’s successful Charter Schools.

Instead he prefers sitting in parliament, being fed nonsense by Tom Haig of the PPTA and taking pot shots at the one Charter School that has struggled. The best he has managed is to follow the teacher union’s 2011 talking point – i.e. the ¬†“failed model overseas” nonsense.

Tennis great Andre Agassi is putting his heart and soul into the model and runs a highly acclaimed Charter School in Las Vegas. He aims for 99 more.

The challenge to Hipkins – please publicly tell Agassi that his is a failed model and that he isn’t really helping all of the kids who are going to college through the education he is helping to provide.

Call him up, send him an email, take a delegation to his school and tell him to his face, invite him here.

Do what ever it takes to lift from him his misapprehension before he damages thousands more children.

It is time to take a stand Mr Hipkins. ¬† Read more »

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

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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.

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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.

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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 »