Education

David Cameron makes extension of charter schools programme key to his government

In David Cameron’s speech to the Queen he made a focus of education and the expansion of their charter schools programme.

The second big focus of this Queen’s Speech is championing social justice. That starts with education: a decent schooling for every child, no matter where they’re from. Our school reforms in the last Parliament were bold; one million more children are now learning in good or outstanding schools. In this Parliament they will be bolder still: taking over and turning into Academies not just failing schools but coasting ones too, as part of our new Education and Adoption Bill; opening not just a few more Free Schools, but 500 more.

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PPTA President Loves Education that brings Systemic Failure of the Poor

Angela-Roberts

In a “my job is tough please cry me a river” article PPTA President Angela Roberts closes by stating:

Public education is important for a nation. We have a great system in New Zealand and these challenges come about so we can improve our great curriculum.

So she is happy with:

– many decile 1 & 2 schools getting Year 13 UE pass rates of less than 20% while decile 9 & 10 are almost uniformly above 60%.

– ongoing gaps for Maori and Pasifika compared to the rest of the New Zealand population.   Read more »

Tories take on teachers’ unions with crackdown on useless schools

The Tories aren’t wasting any time after winning the UK general election and gaining an outright majority.

First order of business is whacking the teacher unions and their protection of dead head teachers and principals.

The Conservatives have opened a new front in their war with teachers’ unions and Labour politicians who are trying to block radical education reforms, promising to change the law to force through hundreds of new academy schools.

Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, announced plans to intervene immediately in failing state schools, warning that it is “unacceptable” for children to be given inadequate teaching for even one day after failings have been identified.

Writing for The Telegraph, she said an Education Bill in the Queen’s Speech next week would give her new powers to send in hit squads to replace failing school leaders “from day one”.

In a further move, she declared she would accelerate plans to turn hundreds of struggling primaries and comprehensives into semi-independent academies, and open 500 more “free schools”, despite militant opposition from teachers’ unions and Left-wing councils.

The proposals represent a major escalation of the Conservative Party’s battle with the education establishment, after Michael Gove’s free school and academy reforms infuriated union bosses throughout the last parliament.

At Westminster, the plan will be seen as a clear signal of David Cameron’s intent to use his new Tory majority to pursue “true blue” policies, unhindered by being in coalition with the Liberal Democrats.   Read more »

Why we need more Charter Schools here

New Orleans has had what amounts to a learning revolution for the children there. The sort of revolution many schools need here.

In the decade since then, things have really turned around.  Most students are black (90 percent) and low-income (80 percent). The quality of graduation rates have dramatically improved from 54 percent in 2004 to 80 percent today, as well as gains in math and reading. Why? Because it’s not about the schools, it’s about the kids.

Local autonomy is the key to the success of charter schools. Roemer Shirley emphasized the importance of “making decisions as close to kids as possible,” rather than leaving decisions up to distant bureaucrats: “When we empower parents and teachers, we can create a better outcome.” This means fighting the status quo “every day to continue to innovate.”

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Don’t laugh Labour will push this here given half a chance

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If you thought controlling which light bulbs to use or forcing you to have dribbly cold showers was bad wait until they adopt the no running in school playground rules.

Children at a primary school have been ‘banned from running in the playground’.

The head teacher at Riverview Juniors in Cimba Wood, Gravesend, Kent, said pupils risked injury from a chasing game

But angry mother Rachael Sparks said it was “a step too far”.

She said her son, 11-year-old Diesel, returned home on March 27 upset because he and other children had been told they could no longer run in the playground.

Ms Sparks, 41, said: “My son came home on Friday and said ‘they’ve banned running in the playground mummy’.

“I thought I am not going to react too much, too quickly, because kids do get it wrong sometimes.

“I thought I’d check with the receptionist when I took him to school on Monday.   Read more »

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Good lord, another two good reports from charter schools

Of the five foundation charter schools 4 of them have had good reports after their first year in operation…one has some problems and will likely be closed down.

If only we could close down non-performing state schools.

Radio NZ reports:

Two more charter schools have been given positive reviews by the Education Review Office.

The office has published its first reviews for the Rise Up Academy in Auckland, and Te Kura Hourua o Whangarei Terenga Paraoa.

The reviews are new-school assurance reviews, which are normally made in the first year of any new school.

They say both of the publicly funded private schools have made good starts.   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 »

It’s ok, she’s registered

Being a P smuggling drug dealer is no impediment to teach as once again our teacher registration process is shown up for the farce that it is.

Labour and the Greens oppose charter schools, mainly on the basis that teachers don’t have to be registered.

A former childcare worker and P addict caught smuggling methamphetamine into New Zealand has been cleared by her professional body to return to the classroom.

Haley Carol Jacobs, 37, was sentenced last year in the Auckland District Court to six months’ home detention for importing bags of P from her South African homeland.

She lost her job and her husband and feared that she had blown a promising early learning career.

But now, a New Zealand Teachers Council disciplinary tribunal has concluded that her “very serious” offending should not result in her being struck off the teaching register.

There were “mitigating circumstances”, the tribunal found, including that she had admitted her offending and took responsibility for it from the start.    Read more »

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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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’t know their full times tables are enrolled in NCEA Level 1 Maths.
  • They teach the NZ Curriculum.  Read more »