Education

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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A remarkably insightful, level and sensible Herald editorial. (I think I need a lie down)

With the recent OECD report being used by Labour and National alike to beat each other around the ears, and used by the Greens as a “told ya so” exercise, you’d think we’re all going to economic hell in a hand basket.

Not so.

The OECD, often described as a club of rich countries, has produced a report supporting a view that a widening gap between rich and poor within its member states is not only bad for their society but also harms their economic growth. The report is of particular note to New Zealand because it names this country as one of those in which income inequality has widened most since the mid-1980s. It estimates that rising inequality has cost New Zealand more than 10 percentage points of possible economic growth since 1990, which appears to be more than any other member of the club.

In one sense this is not a surprise. New Zealand was a highly protected economy until the mid-1980s with a strongly unionised labour force, high taxation and universal benefits. It had removed these arrangements rapidly by the mid-1990s, conscious that it was opening itself to world markets later than most and with trade disadvantages of distance and scale. Even now, with its income gap having grown more than most, inequality in New Zealand is no worse than the OECD average.

Well, isn’t that a welcome bit of info?   And the editorial gets even more calming.   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 »

Faces of the day

We need systematic change in the Muslim world

-Nazie Eftekhari

 

Nazie Eftekhari was born in Iran, and is a board member of the Iranian-American Political Action Committee as well as founder and CEO of The Araz Group. Hear her unique perspective on growing up in Iran, how the 1978 revolution impacted women and what she’s doing to continue to fight for equal rights for any and all oppressed communities.

She is one of a number of human rights activists who joined together to make the Honor Diaries:

  1. Sixteen year old Education activist, Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head by the Taliban.
  2. Muslim-American human rights activist Raquel Saraswati
  3. Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President of Stop Child Executions
  4. Raheel Raza,  the author of “Their Jihad…Not My Jihad,” professional speaker, President of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, and founder of Forum 4 Learning, which promotes learning in the fields of cultural and religious diversity and interfaith harmony.
  5. Manda Zand Ervin, Founder and President of the Alliance of Iranian Women, is an Iranian political refugee working to bring attention to the plight of Iranian women under Islamic Sharia laws.

You can listen to them all but if you only have time for one speaker, make it Malala Yousafzai the 16 year old who was shot in the head by the Taliban.

Delahunty Needs to Withdraw and Apologise re: Charter Schools

It is a disgrace that the Greens have Catherine Delahunty as a spokesperson. She is proud of not having completed a degree – brilliant example to NZ youth – and she talks nonsense and treats the NZ public as idiots.

Yesterday she banged on about the high apparent cost of a Charter School and the falling role of a Year 11 – 13 situation without finding out that many of those children have moved out because they had come in, achieved the qualifications (which they hadn’t done in State Schools) and moved on. I wrote earlier about that precise example, but have now done some more research to show out of touch the member for Mars is.

Delahunty would prefer they failed and stayed – which is what the Greens do in Parliament.

She also knowingly compares vastly different funding situations – i.e. lies to the public by omission. The Charter Schools are in start up situations and their costs include all costs (i.e. buildings and centralised services). Ask Delahunty to do a similar comparison with the two Hobsonville Point schools for instance.

The Charter Schools average around $1.3million for all aspects of set up. Here are some comparative figures for State School set-up;

Ormiston Senior College: $50m

Murupara upgrade: $10m

$350 million for 9 new Auckland schools; $50 million for Western Springs re-build.

$22 million for Gardens School Manurewa rebuild

Albany Senior High $47+million

Hobsonville Points PPP (2 schools) $113million

All of this is publicly available information and yet the lazy Green party and equally lazy media just repeat their tired old lies.  Read more »

Greens dead wrong in attack against successful charter school

Yesterday The Greens and their crazy edjakayshun spokesperson and member for Mars Catherine Delahunty attacked charter schools and launched an attack against one in particular.

One of the five Charter schools lauded by the Government as a success has lost a quarter of its school roll this year, with each student now costing four times as much to teach than children in a regular public school, the Green Party said today.

Latest Ministry of Education roll count data shows that Vanguard Military College had 79 students attending in October this year – 25 percent below the 108 students it is funded to teach and the 104 students it started the year with. Unlike state sector schools Charters don’t lose funding when they lose students.

That means the school is paid the equivalent of $27,000 in annual operation funding for each student, compared with the $7,000 a year schools in the state sector are funded for each student.

“Charter schools are a hugely expensive experiment that the Government is determined to continue with despite a lack of evidence they’re either successful or needed,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“Plans to open four more of these schools next year must be put off till Government can prove they’re value for money, good for students and aren’t damaging neighbouring schools.

“Vanguard has been trumpeted by National as a success yet official data shows it is struggling to hold on to its students.

“Principals in state schools are concerned about the disproportionate amounts of funding Charter schools are getting, saying that they’d be able to achieve amazing things for their own students if they had access to a similar amount of resources.

“Charters are able to pay for transport, uniforms, stationary and even food for their pupils. Even if they were succeeding, it’d be no surprise given the level of resources.

“The problem with Charter schools is that they suck resources and students away from public schools.

“Government pumps huge resources into them initially, but the real problems come a couple of years later when nearby schools have been undermined and the extra resources given to the Charters in the early days dry up,” Ms Delahunty said,

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Rodney Hide on union fear and loathing of charter schools

Rodney Hide writes in the NBR about the fear and loathing of charters schools by doctrinaire unions.

On cue with last week’s column explaining why lefties are a miserable lot, the principal of Bruce McLaren Intermediate, Roy Lilley, hit the papers having a moan.

His gripe? Charter schools. His worry? That they will pinch his pupils with inducements of a free uniform and a policy of no donations. The new charter schools, he says, will have a “huge” and negative impact.

The newspaper reports Mr Lilley’s school having 416 spare places. The 2013 Education Review Office Report confirms the roll at 248. His school’s almost two-thirds empty.

Why isn’t Mr Lilly offering free uniforms? Why isn’t he having a “no donations” policy? Why isn’t he offering what students and parents want, so a charter school is no threat? Why isn’t he offering to rent his spare capacity to the new charter school and achieve synergy?

Why aren’t we laughing at him?

We would if he was the local supermarket whining about a rival opening up down the road. We would be laughing and looking forward to sharper prices, better service and higher quality produce.

Teachers, and their unions aren’t interested in any of that, they are interested in protecting their own hegemony of the system.

But schools are different. Here we have never known choice and competition. Our schools are run like the Soviet economy. The Ministry of Education is our Kremlin.

The Soviets were frightened: who would feed, clothe and house them if not the government? We are the same. We can’t imagine schooling in the absence of government direction and control.

Who would build the schools? Who would feed the teachers? Who would decide what is to be taught? And how?

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Charter Schools helping families is wrong says principal of rival school

A Henderson intermediate school is upset that Charter Schools are not allowed to charge for donations and also make the audacious move of providing uniform and stationery to save families money in January and help make education genuinely free (a lefty ideal?).

Roy Lilley, principal of Bruce McLaren Intermediate, which had 416 spare places, said he was concerned about the new partnership school.

“They are offering free uniforms, no donations … totally free. The impact on local schools could be huge.”

Bruce McLaren Intermediate already has 416 spare places….and this is somehow the fault of a small Charter School (Middle School West Auckland) that will begin in 2015 and have – when the roll is full – a maximum of 120 intermediate age children from the whole of West Auckland (Charter Schools don’t have zones).

If uniform and stationery is really the problem then the Bruce McLaren Principal could check those numbers.

Lets say – generously – the wholesale cost of uniform and stationery is $200 per student. Mr Lilley has 240 students to cater for – therefore the provision would cost $48,000. According to the Fairfax School Report his school receives $1,760,000 (plus buildings and centralised services). Therefore to provide for these families he only needs to re-prioritise 2.7% of his annual budget – problem solved – his school will be full again.    Read more »

Some more thoughts on today’s watershed Charter Schools article from Fairfax

A reader emails about Charter Schools:


Simon Day of Fairfax has gone where few have gone before him in NZ and gets some depth into the Charter School situation.

He notes the good beginning for Vanguard Military School and South Auckland Middle School (which comes out of Newmarket’s successful Mt Hobson Middle School.

Day even bothered to read the official ERO reports of the positive starts for Vanguard and SAMS.

Even better, and perhaps more astoundingly – he went to the schools and found out things from Vanguard like:

The talented BMX rider spent most of his time at the skate park. This year at the Vanguard school, Berry has discovered he also has academic talents. “It was when I got my first excellence I realised how far I could push myself,” he says.

Now he has 70 credits and is certain to to pass Level One NCEA.

and from SAMS like:

At SAMS his teachers have reached him and motivated him. They know his needs and personality. His grades have lifted. “They are more like role models to me. I am not afraid of them any more,” he says.

Day even read overseas research (unlike the PPTA) and found that:

[I]n its 2013 report on the 6000 US charter schools, Stanford University found dramatically improved results, where achievement was either ahead or at the same level of public schools. It also showed key benefits for black students, students in poverty, and English language learners.

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