Education

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 »

Former charter school foe tells why he changed sides

The teacher unions and the vested interests of the current education system oppose charter schools.

They dream up all sorts of horror scenarios and push them onto a compliant media in order to oppose changes in education.

Brian Lewis was one of those people…until as he put it “life happened”.

From 2008 to 2013, I was the front line of defense against all proposals before the General Assembly that would privatize public education, including tax credits for students with special needs, opportunity scholarships for children living in poverty and charter school expansion.

I opposed all efforts to “drain funds from public schools,” especially for private schools that I described as “unaccountable” and “scams” for the North Carolina taxpayer and the children they served.

Then life happened.

In December, my daughter enrolled in a private school in Raleigh, a heart-wrenching decision our family made after six great years in public schools. This past fall, Isabel found herself in a middle school environment for which she was unprepared and ill-suited. She was sinking in a new setting nearly void of the nurturing teacher-student relationships we enjoyed a year ago.

From the start, we advocated within the system for Isabel through emails, teacher conferences and calls with administrators. Eventually, testing accommodations were made. Still, Isabel was slipping away. She dreaded school, we dreaded school, and it was clear the teachers dreaded it, too. We hit the wall in November and came to the conclusion that public middle school was not the answer. In fact, it was the problem.

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Charter Schools are Cost Effective

A new State Primary School opened in Hamilton recently – Endeavour Primary School. No doubt needed and a good plan. In terms of costs:

– Set up costs approx. $21million

– Number of students at start – approximately 100 (eventually to be 600).

The PPTA/NZEI/Labour and assorted hangers-on have banged on about how expensive Charter Schools supposedly are and have compared them, in their establishment phase to long established State schools.  Read more »

Willie Jackson comes out punching on Charter Schools

Willie Jackson refuses to drink the Labour and union Kool Aid on charter schools and has established his own charter school.

He has hit out at the status quo.

Radio New Zealand reports.

A new south Auckland charter school has taken a swing at state schools but another says it wants to support its neighbours rather than compete with them.

Te Kura Maori o Waatea in Mangere said it has been set up because some state schools are failing their Maori students.

In contrast, Pacific Advance Senior School in Otahuhu said it will be helping local secondary schools by taking on the teens they are struggling with.

The schools are among four new charter schools that have opened this year joining five that started last year.

Chief executive of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority Willie Jackson said its bilingual school, Te Kura Maori o Waatea, started this week with 40 students.

He hopes the publicly-funded private school will grow to 200 children within five years, but in doing so he does not want to run the two other kura in the area out of business.

“We’re not in this game to shut down other schools, we’re in this game to offer better options for our people. We need to find ways of supporting each other rather than looking at each other as cutting each other’s throat,” he said.

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