Education

Over time Charter Schools getting better and better

In the USA Charter Schools have had time to bed in. Those that fail get closed and progress occurs in the others and the approval and evaluation systems.. The Stanford Credo studies of 2009 and 2013 showed significant growth and improvement.

A new nationwide US study produced from the University of Arkansas also paints a picture that will challenge the half-baked assertions from the NZ left/unions.’

A first-ever report released July 22 by the University of Arkansas, which ties charter school funding to achievement, finds that public charter schools are more productive than traditional public schools in all 28 states included in analyses of cost-effectiveness and return on investment.

The national report, titled “The Productivity of Public Charter Schools,” found that  deliver on average an additional 17 points in math and 16 points in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam taken by students for every $1,000 invested. These differences amount to charter schools being 40 percent more cost-effective in math and 41 percent more cost-effective in reading, compared to traditional Read more »

What dead rats will Labour have to swallow?

The Labour election year Congress was every bit what was expected.

They preached to the choir, and didn’t get around to addressing the fundamentally important question of how they are going to appeal to middle New Zealand. They even managed to get their donors on stage proudly showing that they sell access, parliamentary seats and their soul to donors.

What they didn’t get around to doing was work out what dead rats they would have to swallow before they could become government.

Before National won in 2008 they had to swallow a whole lot of dead rats, ideologically appalling policies Clark had put in place but the public liked. Working for Families and Interest Free Student Loans, two of the biggest dead rats.

This conference Labour didn’t actually get around to swallowing any dead rats.

They managed to keep their factions suppressed, so the Man Ban didn’t come up, and nor did any dumb gay issues like gay adoption that are largely irrelevant to middle New Zealand and affect barely 100 people nationwide.

What they did not do was actually swallow any dead rats.

The most obvious dead rat to swallow was teacher quality, where Labour’s donors manage to protect all teachers no matter how useless they are. Their policy on class sizes is a classic example of policy being driven by donors, not by research.    Read more »

Education: Quality vs Quantity

The Labour party has made a fundamental error with their education policy.

They have confused quality with quantity.

In their mad rush to appease the NZEI with increased teacher numbers they have failed to understand that there are literally hundreds of studies world-wide that show that reducing class sizes do almost nothing to increase the quality of outcomes.

Even Damian Christie understands this:

Studies show that by increasing the quality of the teacher, rather than some journeyman, union hack, and put them in front of the classroom, then that has much more of an impact than reducing class sizes. In Finland, the country Labour used to hold up as the example for education, they focused on quality and have a requirement that every teacher have a minimum of a Master level degree. Imagine the howls of outrage from teacher unions in NZ if a political party mandated that for teachers.

Which brings me to an email from a reader that explains what Labour have missed.

In Hi Cam,

I was an English teacher in China for a couple of years at a private school that taught classes spoken English in-house and away at local state schools. This was all prior to the 2008 Olympics.
Class sizes ranged from between 12 to 25 students in-house and averaged about 40 in the state schools.    Read more »

Adding less than one teacher per school will not reduce class sizes

Labour has said they are going to reduce class sizes by adding 2000 new teachers to the pool.

Today, I am proud to announce that Labour will reduce class sizes by employing 2,000 more teachers. This will help all our kids get a world-class education.

This policy will reduce secondary school class sizes from 26 students or more per class to just 23. Year 4-8 classes will shrink from 29 students down to 26.

Unfortunately his maths doesn’t work.

There are currently 2539 schools in New Zealand.  Read more »

No.1 Reason why the Left rant about Charter Schools: Fear of Success!

There are only 5 Charter School in NZ so far. The unions rant about them, misrepresent them and exaggerate their funding. Hipkins and Cunliffe (who also exaggerate their funding) refuse to even visit, let alone explain – face to face – to parents and children why they threaten to close down something that is working already. See South Auckland Middle School or Vanguard Military School.

As the data set grows for Charter Schools the NZ Left’s biggest fear is exactly what is occurring – success and community empowerment without union or centralised control. Keep in mind that the NZ Left is years behind the play (best guess – 1970s) – Obama’s administration does understand that education is for children and their families.

The other thing that is clearly frightening NZ’s left is that major philanthropists in the US are seeing that the schools are avoiding the bureaucratic black holes of time and money and are actually getting results for needy kids – therefore they are prepared to help.

The Philanthropy Roundtable of the USA have just issued a book: From Promising to Proven about Charter Schools in the USA. It will frighten the unions and the political Left in NZ so much that they will avidly avoid reading it (as will most of the MSM). They prefer to blame the economy for any education failure and to see schools and teachers as helpless victims. The book has a different message so a number of points are summarised for them here (full references are in the book):

Bill Gates explains that after his foundation decided in the mid‑1990s to focus on U.S. schooling, it poured about $2 billion into various education experiments. During their first decade, he reports, “many of the small schools that we invested in did not improve students’ achievement in any significant way.” There was, however, one fascinating exception.

“A few of the schools that we funded achieved something amazing. They replaced schools with low expectations and low results with ones that have high expectations and high results.” And there was a common variable: “Almost all of these schools were charter schools.”

Other philanthropists had the same experience. Eli Broad, one of the biggest givers to education in the U.S., observed that “charter school systems are delivering the best student outcomes, particularly for poor and minority students. They are performing significantly better than the best traditional school district systems.” Ted Mitchell of the NewSchools Venture Fund drew some bold bottom lines: “Good charter schools have pretty much eliminated the high-school dropout rate. And they’ve doubled the college‑going rate of underserved kids.”

Some broad strengths of charter schools

  • They attract more entrepreneurial principals and teachers into the field of education
  • School autonomy allows wide experimentation with new ways of educating
  • This same flexibility is used to circumvent bureaucratic obstacles that often block conventional schools from succeeding
  • Charters sidestep the dysfunctional labor relations of many urban districts
  • They erode monopolies and introduce competitive energy into public education
  • Research shows that charters are more effective at recruiting teachers who graduated in the top third of their college class
  • Charters give parents who cannot afford private schools, or moving, another choice besides their neighborhood school
  • They give nonprofits and community organizations practical opportunities to improve the education of local children
  • Their emphasis on student outcomes fosters greater accountability for results
  • By functioning as laboratories and alternatives, charters foment change in conventional schools as well

In the 2013 U.S. News and World Report rankings of public high schools, for instance, 41 charters made it into the top 200. Read more »

Labour promising to cut ACE…oh wait…increase…no it’s a cut…oh I’m confused

Matthew Beveridge busts Labour on yet another policy SMOG…these guys are so stupid…they bollocks up almost every announcement.

Many will remember that back in 2009, the National Government instituted an 80% cut in the funding to non literacy program courses. This caused a lot of debate at the time. It was something that Labour felt strongly about, they blogged about it on Red Alert herehere,hereherehere and here (there may have been more, but that is all I found).

Today’s graphic is as follows:

Untitled-22

Read more »

Planning “roots” in “helicoptors” – modern spelling from Cambridge High

via the tipline

No wonder our edukayshun systim is in seerius troubel.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Thomas Sowell Slams Anti-Charter School Crap

Thomas Sowell is someone who knows a good thing for minority groups when he sees it.

In this article he makes clear the fantastic changes occurring for poorer children in the US through Charter Schools and the philanthropy that goes with it.

“The Walton Family Foundation — created by the people who created Walmart — has given more than $300 million to charter schools, voucher programs and other educational enterprises concerned with the education of poor and minority students across the country.

The Walton Family Foundation gave more than $58 million to the KIPP schools, which have had spectacular success in raising the test scores of children in ghettoes where the other children are far behind in academic performance.

D.C. Prep, in Washington, whose students are mostly poor and black, has also received grants from the Walton Family Foundation. Its test scores likewise exceed those of traditional neighborhood schools, as well as the test scores of other local charter schools. Other wealthy people across the country have been doing similar things for years, including high-tech tycoons like Bill Gates and Michael Dell. It is one of the great untold stories of a unique pattern of philanthropy that makes America truly exceptional.   Read more »

Good things already from NZ Charter Schools

Even apparent Charter School opponents have had to acknowledge some good progress and potential on this front already. From the Save our Schools team: http://saveourschoolsnz.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/hoping-for-some-honest-answers-on-charter-schools/

At the Quality Public Education Coalition forum, chairman Bill Courtney caused heads to swivel when he greeted Alwyn Poole in the audience before giving an update on charter schools. Poole is the principal of Mt Hobson Middle School. He’s also a member of the Villa Education Trust, whose South Auckland Middle School is one of the first in the charter schools pilot.

Courtney’s talk used South Auckland Middle School’s figures to explain how funding has been allocated. He also made the point that the charter school model has been hijacked by the privatisation movement. One of the first proponents of the idea, Albert Shanker, saw it as a way to allow teachers greater autonomy, to engage the students who weren’t being served by normal schools

This sounds like what Poole’s schools have been able to do: Poole said he works with children with needs like dyslexia or Asperger’s, or kids who need a “boost” at middle school level. He was asked why couldn’t he achieve it within the system as a special character school. In 2002, that option was “blocked”. They were looking for “ways of expanding what we do”, so applied for the partnership school option.   Read more »

Debunking the myth that poor will fail at school

The NZEI and PPTA aren’t going to like this news, neither are the naysayers in the Labour party, who all claim that it is poverty that is holding kids back educationally.

That, it turns out, is a myth.

There is nothing inevitable about the weaker academic performance of poorer pupils, says an analysis of Pisa tests by the OECD’s Andreas Schleicher.

Mr Schleicher, who runs the tests, says the high results of deprived pupils in some Asian countries shows what poor pupils in the UK could achieve.

The most disadvantaged pupils in Shanghai match the maths test results of wealthy pupils in the UK.

Mr Schleicher says it “debunks the myth that poverty is destiny”.

On Monday, Education Secretary Michael Gove said individual schools in England should take Pisa tests, so that they could compare themselves against international standards.

The latest Pisa – Programme for International Student Assessment – test results were published last year by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ranking developed countries in terms of how well 15-year-olds performed in tests in reading, maths and science.   Read more »

Tagged: