Charter Schools

Face of the day

Tom Haig PPTA Blogger and critic of Charter schools

Tom Haig PPTA Blogger and critic of Charter schools

Today’s face of the day is Tom Haig a blogger at The PPTA Blog

Screenshot-Facebook

Screenshot-Facebook

Tom appears to be a master in the Art of ‘ Dirty ‘ Politics. Nicky Hager has explained to us all what Dirty Politics is. It is when someone whose views he does not agree with successfully influences public opinion by getting their stories/narrative into the Mainstream media.Tom has clearly achieved that as his blog post on the $100,000 Waka story went live on the exact same day it broke on the New Zealand Herald. Collusion? You betcha.

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Charter Schools Perception Series: The Advocates Part TWO

Karen

Image – Whaleoil.co.nz

Background: Karen Poole has a B.B.S. (Marketing) and is a Business Manager for the Villa Education Trust with over 25 years administrative and business experience in the education sector. She implements strategy, provides development and compliance, and has worked within a number of education establishments around New Zealand.

TELL me how this all came about and why you wanted to do it?

I am the Business Manager for the Trust so I am in charge of  the resourcing, the teachers, the enrollments, the building facilities. Alwyn will have already discussed with you what his vision was and he does the curriculum and the academic side of it. I help facilitate all that. Mount Hobson Middle School being a private school was obviously where we started, it was the only way to start. Then when the Partnership schools agreement came into force it was an opportunity for us to be able to provide what we do, for other students which was always our aim.

NOTE: Karen and Alwyn are a married couple who sold their home to 
fund Mount Hobson Middle School. 

YOU put a lot on the line at the start, with selling your house.

Yeah we did, but it was something we very much believed in and could see that there was a real need for it and it was just something we wanted to do.

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Teacher Unions (and the Left’s) Motivation Laid Bare

Recent teacher union protests in the USA make their basic life philosophies clear:

They do not like successful people.

They do not like generosity.

They love tax and spend.

Children come a distant second to protecting their patch.

New York City is the centre of change for Charter Schooling in the USA. Recent Stanford University data is pointing out how well urban children are doing under Charter schools as opposed to traditional public schools – and the unions are hating it.     Read more »

State Schools Cost 500% More to Set-up than Charter Schools

The Press in Christchurch have the details of a new school being developed in Rolleston. The cost is $53 million to set up and then high costs per student through until 2021 when it may finally become full – after starting with a projected 225 students in 2017.
You would expect the Left to be sreaming about cost in a situation like this but Labour and its teacher union allies (PPTA/NZEI) are desperately trying to protect their patch from Charter Schools and one claim is that the Charters are more expensive. The Charter schools get approximately $1 million to set up per 200 students. Rolleston is getting approximately $5 million per 200 students. All State schools currently being developed are in that price range.

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Charter Schools Perception Series: The Advocates Part One UPDATED

Image- Whaleoil.co.nz

Image- Whaleoil.co.nz

WHAT is your background in education Alwyn?

I started teaching in 1991. I taught at Tauranga Boys, which is a good school, then did a little time at Hamilton Boys and then taught at Saint Cuthbert’s college. During that time I worked really hard in the background doing some study looking at some other countries. In the end the questions were, what is really good about the New Zealand education system and what could change?

The bottom line is that for the vast majority of children in New Zealand if you place them in year eleven in good shape they will do fine.

Alwyn Poole has a BBS, MEd (Hons), Dip Tchg and a PG Dip Sport Mgt. He is a Principal and Academic Manager.

WHY is there a need for a new Middle School model?

I think one place that we are incredibly remiss in New Zealand is that we don’t ask our Primary School applicants to have a minimum NCEA level of two or three in Maths and a Science therefore we have got a whole heap of Primary teachers who are unable to be strong in those areas.

Children are coming to year seven quite often without a good background in those subjects.

So where do we fall down? The answer is in years seven, eight, nine and ten.

I think for many people Intermediate schooling has done its dash. And the first two years of secondary schooling are under valued and under resourced. You have got bigger classes and you put your less able teachers and you don’t put as much emphasis on it because the Schools are judged on year eleven, twelve and thirteen.

So at that year nine and ten time when the kids really need help developmentally and intellectually to be catered for at their best, is when in our New Zealand education system we choose to give them the least.

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Charter Schools Perception series: The Teachers Part Two

March this year  I was invited to visit three Charter schools, South Auckland Middle School, Vanguard Military school and West Auckland Middle School. Before I visited them I also visited a private school, Mt Hobson Middle School that has been in operation since 2003.

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Art in the hallway of Mt Hobson Middle School -Photo Whaleoil.co.nz

I did that because the Charter schools of West Auckland and South  Auckland are based on the model that Mt Hobson Middle school established when it opened in 2003.

West Auckland Middle school opened its doors for the first time this year but it has the 12 years experience of Mt Hobson Middle School behind it. Both Charter schools have a ratio of one teacher to fifteen students. Mount Hobson has a ratio of one teacher to twelve students due to space constraints.

Below is a transcript/ summary of my interviews with three teachers at West Auckland Middle school. Every teacher I interviewed was a registered and experienced teacher who had worked before in a State school.  The teachers at West Auckland Middle School on average are paid 3% more than their counter parts in State schools although one who is very experienced took a pay cut because he/she wanted to work there.

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Charter Schools Perception series: The Teachers Part One

March this year  I was invited to visit three Charter schools, South Auckland Middle School, Vanguard Military school and West Auckland Middle School. Before I visited them I also visited a private school, Mt Hobson Middle School that has been in operation since 2003.

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The model on which two Charter schools have been based, Mount Hobson Middle School which opened in 2003 -Photo Whaleoil.co.nz

I did that because the Charter schools of West Auckland and South Auckland are based on the model that Mt Hobson Middle school established when it opened in 2003.

South Auckland Middle school was opened in 2014 but has twelve years of experience behind it because of Mount Hobson Middle School. West Auckland Middle school opened its doors for the first time this year. Both Charter schools have a ratio of one teacher to fifteen students. Mount Hobson has a ratio of one teacher to twelve students due to space constraints.

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Science class at Mt Hobson Middle School. -Photo Whaleoil.co.nz

Below is a transcript/ summary of my interviews with two teachers at South Auckland Middle school. Both teachers that I interviewed are registered and experienced. The teachers at South Auckland Middle School on average are paid 3% more than their counter parts in State schools.

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Part of the Middle school model is community service.

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Charter schools work, so get out of their way

The latest CREDO (Center for Research on Education Outcomes) study has some interesting perspectives on charter schools,

and the left-wing and teacher unions are ignoring it because…well…charter schools are working and helping “their people”.

The Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), at Stanford University, has done that in a new study, and it turns out that charters, in general, are strongest exactly where the need is greatest—in urban areas. In some cities, such as Boston, students are achieving six times the growth in math knowledge as are their traditional school counterparts; in reading, four times as much.

The CREDO study also fingers cities where charters are plainly failing, although on average in the 41 urban areas it studied, charter students are clearly outpacing traditional-school peers. Notably, the methodology employed by CREDO seems to rule out the persistent accusation that charter schools get better results merely by “cherry-picking” abler or more motivated students.

The beauty of charter schools is if they aren’t working, then you simply close them…try doing that with a state school and watch the wombles march in the streets, irrespective of the results achieved by those schools. Every state school is perfect don’t you know.

Although forests have been leveled for all the studies on charter schools, CREDO’s new study took an unusual tack. It studied students in multiple areas of the country—and exclusively studied urban areas. Three points emerged. When suburban charters were excluded, the smaller average gains registered in previous studies were suddenly magnified. In other words, charters seem to be remedying a particular defect of schools in the most challenged areas. Second, within those schools, gains were greatest among students—those in poverty, African-Americans, Hispanics, English-as-a-second-language (ESL) students—whose performance typically lags. Disadvantaged students gain the equivalent of months (or more) of extra learning for every year in a charter school.

And the third point was the great divergence among charter organizations (each of which has its own board and often a distinct approach, with varying levels of community engagement). Some are offering a superior alternative; some are not.

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Will the PPTA protest this?

The government has announced a $5.2 million upgrade of Tolaga Bay Area School. Which is on top of its ongoing running costs of $12,500 per student.

Students at Tolaga Bay Area School, East Coast, are set to enjoy a $5.2 million classroom upgrade, Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced today.

“New blocks will be built at the school, to replace four older buildings and classrooms that are no longer fit for purpose,” says Ms Kaye.

“The new blocks will comprise 12 new learnings spaces, with ICT and wifi technology to enable learning in a digital age.

“Other work as part of the upgrade will include structural improvements to the school’s gymnasium, along with a new roof and upgraded shower facilities and repairs to the library.

“As with all major school upgrades, the Tolaga Bay project will see traditional classrooms replaced with more flexible, open plan learning spaces.

“This is about providing students with an environment that excites and inspires them to learn and achieve more.”

Local MP Anne Tolley visited Tolaga Bay Area School this morning to share news of the upgrade with students and teachers.    Read more »

Catherine Isaac on charter schools

The Dom Post yesterday published a piece by Catherine Isaac on charter schools.

For some inexplicable reason the masses can’t know about this because they haven’t put it online.

Lindsay Mitchell however has scanned it.

Bold educational initiatives deserve a fair go 1 Read more »