Education

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 »

In NZ too – Teacher Unions against helping if they lose control

The opposition and teacher unions continue to rail against charter schools despite mounting evidence overseas that charter schools massively help amongst the poor and disadvantaged.

Forbes magazine has an article about charter schools that shows that charter schools are doing well for their student and the unions are a road block to success.

They look at a recent CREDO study that found:

While overall charters and public schools compare relatively closely, both the 2009 and 2013 study found that charters did better for students in poverty. In addition, performance gap is growing over time:

Charter school impacts with students in poverty and English language learners were positive in 2009 in both reading and math. These positive results have sustained and in fact increased in 2013.

And the results are especially strong for black students in poverty. As the CREDO study reports:

“Black students in poverty who attend charter schools gain an additional 29 days of learning in reading and 36 days in math per year over their [traditional public school] counterparts (see Figure 30). This shows the impact of charter schooling is especially beneficial for black students who in poverty.”

You see this result repeated on other studies as well. Using randomized study results from charter school lotteries in Massachusetts, Angrist, Pathak, and Walters find that non-urban charters don’t outperform public schools and may even do worse, but urban charter schools benefit black students and poor students:

Black and Hispanic students benefit considerably from urban charter attendance in middle school, but the estimated math gains for whites are smaller, with no increase in whites’ ELA scores. Urban charter middle schools appear to produce especially large achievement gains for students eligible for a subsidized lunch and for those with low baseline scores.Attendance at urban charter high schools increases math scores in every group and raises reading scores for everyone except whites, though estimates for small groups are imprecise.

It’s hard to imagine it another policy being called a failure because it only benefitted poor students and black students but the overall scores were held down by non-urban schools and white students.  

Read more »

Would you like some Propaganda with your education?

The Land of the Free is already having its educational institutions infiltrated. A few lone voices are ringing the alarm bells but is anyone listening? This is how it starts, small changes that are hard to fight, creeping Islam is what I call it.

 

Parents in Farmville, North Carolina want to know why their children were given a Common Core vocabulary assignment in an English class that promoted the Prophet Muhammad and the Islamic faith.

“It really caught me off guard,” a Farmville Central High School student who was in the class told me. “If we are not allowed to talk about any other religions in school – how is this appropriate?”

The Islamic vocabulary worksheet was assigned to seniors.

Muslim Worksheet

Muslim Worksheet

“I was reading it and it caught me off guard,” the student told me. “I just looked at it and knew something was not right – so I emailed the pages to my mom.”

I asked the school district to provide me with a copy of vocabulary worksheets that promoted the Jewish, Hindu and Christian faiths. The school district did not reply.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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 »