Maori and Pasifika embrace Charter schools, the unions must be having kittens

Maori and Pasifika are embracing charter schools with 18 of the 25 applicants for new charter schools coming from those communities.

Clearly there is massive dissatisfaction with current education models.

The authorisation board said 25 organisations had applied to set up more of the publicly funded private schools to open in 2017.

It said much of the interest was from educators and community groups representing Māori and Pasifika people, and most of the applications were from the North Island.

The board’s chair, Catherine Isaac, said the level of interest reflected confidence in the charter school system and showed it worked well.

“We do see it as a vote of confidence in a policy that is connecting innovators with disadvantaged students whose needs are not being met by the existing state school system.”

Ms Isaac said the board would evaluate the proposals over the next two months and announce its decisions by next year.

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What does he have to hide?

A formerly registered teacher won’t let anyone into the school’s laptop he has encrypted…I wonder why?

A former teacher accused of serious misconduct refused to open his fingerprint encrypted school laptop, despite investigators saying it was the best way to dismiss allegations of inappropriate conduct with students.

The man’s teaching was called into question for inappropriate conduct with boys – he received multiple warnings about letting students get too physically close, and there were reports of him favouring a certain student and adding others as Facebook friends.

The man worked in a rural Waikato school from late 2007 to early 2014, mostly with seven and eight-year-olds.

He also had IT responsibilities.

He has not been teaching since about March 2014 but appeared before the NZ Teachers’ Disciplinary Tribunal at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

The majority of concerns about his behaviour were from 2010 to early 2014, and included observations of a student stroking the teacher’s hair and one resting his legs on the teacher’s legs.

One parent felt their child had developed a “sense of entitlement” after being treated as a teacher favourite.   Read more »

About time, Hekia comes good on sorting out dud teachers and dud schools

Watch the howls of outrage as the teacher unions gather strength after Hekia Parata’s announcment that she is going after dud schools.

Schools with persistent student underachievement will face a broader range of action from officials, including possible closure, under a proposed revamp of education law.

Education Minister Hekia Parata also wants to reward high-performing schools with much more flexibility in how they plan, and more discretion in the use of funding.

Short of putting in a commissioner or statutory manager, there were limits on what could be done with “floundering” schools, Ms Parata said – particularly if a board or principal was not keen to co-operate.

“Schools that are struggling the most often are the least willing to be helped. They get quite defensive … Unless you strike a principal who has a relationship with the ministry, it is quite hard to go into a school. And a board can tell you to naff off because they are in charge of the school.”

Under wide-ranging proposals for an overhaul of the Education Act 1989, released today in a discussion document, the Ministry of Education could be given power to step in earlier – a “graduated response” that could avoid a more radical intervention later.   Read more »

Hipkins misses the point in his bid to increase union membership

Chris Hipkins has missed the point in his one man bid to increase union membership for the NZEI.

Labour would introduce a minimum qualification requirement for all early childhood educators, seeking to curb the rapid growth of taxpayer-subsidised nannies and au pairs.

The party’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins says early childhood funding should be focused on boosting participation in quality, free services, and ensuring value for money.

“Instead it is going on subsidies towards nannies and au pairs for those who can afford to make that choice, while children from low-income families still top the statistics for non-participation,” he said.

“Surely the Government should be just as focused on ensuring that services are delivering quality as they are on increasing bums on seats.”

Mr Hipkins’ comments follow a Herald report from the weekend which revealed rapid growth in the home-based sector, with a record number of children – 25,000 – now in government-subsidised services which don’t require educators to have have any qualifications.   Read more »

Registered and re-hired, despite violence toward children

Teacher registration should be mandatory for all educational facilities say the teacher unions and labour. They object to voluntary registration for Charter Schools and say that kids will be left unprotected.

Meanwhile registered teachers are lining up before the authorities on all sorts of charges. And one centre even employed a teacher accused of striking children.

So much for registration protecting kids.

Education officials are “extremely concerned” a Porirua early childhood centre has re-employed a teacher accused of striking children.

The centre has again hired one of the teachers at the centre of allegations three years ago.

Katrina Casey, the Ministry of Education’s head of sector enablement and support, said it put the centre on a provisional licence and barred the teacher from having any contact with children.

“We’re extremely concerned that the early childhood education service has chosen to re-employ a teacher who had previous allegations of hitting children still unresolved,” Ms Casey said.    Read more »

A newspaper editorial ticks off the PPTA

A newspaper has an editorial this morning that gently ticks off the PPTA. It clearly wasn’t written by Kirsty Johnson.

The secondary teachers’ union has welcomed one Auckland school’s decision to abandon international examinations and offer only the NCEA. The Post Primary Teachers’ Association would like to ban schools using the International Baccalaureate and the Cambridge exams entirely, believing they undermine our homegrown educational credentials for school leavers.

It is concerned that schools offering the alternatives tend to imply the national qualification as not sufficiently challenging and lacking credibility. But it also blames the Government for using the NCEA to set national achievement targets as a measure of the return on educational investment. The union says the targets encourage “credit farming”, by which it means schools siphon students into courses that offer the most credits, though they might not be the courses the students need most. A paper circulated by the PPTA claims students “seek out courses which are perceived to deliver the most credits for the least effort”.

This is a concern if true. But it seems not to have occurred to the union that its portrayal of “credit farming” in the NCEA also reinforces the very perceptions it resents. The public should be insisting the PPTA’s members – who are professionals, as it often reminds us – do their utmost to encourage students to take courses that let them reach their educational potential.

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PPTA agrees that Charter Schools get better results.

Well knock me down with a feather and call me Martin, the PPTA apparently always knew and acknowledged that smaller class sizes and the ability to choose how to allocate your government funding was always going to get better results.
In a response to my post ‘ How the PPTA should have spun it ‘ a reader called Sensiblecentre who has previously acknowledged that he is on the PPTA executive said…

The PPTA position has always been that the first round of model charter schools would indeed get better results than local state schools.


Given that the PPTA were totally against bulk funding in the past this is a very strange position to take.

Sensiblecentre then goes on to say…

Instead the success of the pilot schools will be used as justification to massively expand the charter system and condemn state schools as failures, ignoring the advantages charters have in funding.


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Face of the day


Kelvin Davis, Associate Education Spokesperson for the Labour Party

Today’s face of the day is Kelvin Davis for choosing Whanau over Politics.

The next time you hear Labour hate on charter schools, don’t believe them.

Because the truth is a wedge of Labour actually thinks charter schools are all good. And this group is led by none other than its associate education spokesman Kelvin Davis.

The attendance of Davis and fellow MP Peeni Henare at a fundraiser for a Whangarei charter school is about much more than them defying the orders of Andrew Little.

It shows a major policy divide within Labour.

One side, led by education spokesman Chris Hipkins and the teacher unions have a pathological hatred for the privately run schools.

The other side, led by Davis, see that the schools can work particularly in Maori education.

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Oh look, the NZEI want more money because Midwives want more money

Tell me this isn’t a union organised full court press against the government, nicely coordinated to inflict damage.

It’s all drama for the sake of weighing the government down.

Now the NZEI wants pay equity as well…after they demanded pay equity with the PPTA first.

The country’s largest education union says it too will take legal action over gender discrimination in the workforce.

The New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI) said it would seek legal redress over pay for education support workers, in the wake of a case filed by the College of Midwives at the High Court in Wellington today.

The College has said it had been “left with no choice” but to take the legal action.

Its statement of claim argues that pay levels for midwives breach gender rules under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.   Read more »

A newspaper slips up – reports Charter School success

The PPTA’s embedded education reporter will be apoplectic about this slipping through.

The school ” badly flooded and facing closure ” fought to stay open as a new charter school and was in the process of reopening when Bush came. When Warren Easton reopened in 2006, nearly every student who attended was considered “homeless” because they lived in trailers sent to hurricane victims by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or slept on couches, school officials said.

Back then, Bush talked about the need for school reforms. His speech was a nod to the city’s efforts to expand charter schools to break up what was widely seen as a failing neighborhood school model. The old public school system was riddled with broken buildings, failing grades and pervasive corruption.   Read more »