Labour, the Greens and the teacher unions all hate charter schools.
They can produce no evidence to support their claims, they just hate them because they do not like the challenge to the hegemony and control of the unions in our schools.
OF THE 658 schools in Chicago, only 126 are charter schools‚ÄĒpublicly funded but independently run and largely free of union rules. Fifteen more are due to open this year. More notable, though, is that four of the most recently-approved charters are in areas where the city recently decided to close 49 public schools‚ÄĒthe largest round of such closures in America‚Äôs history.
Most of the closed schools served poor black children, and were in parts of the city with a shrinking population. The city government argued that these schools were under-used, and that closing them would save $233m that could be reinvested. So it has been: in new science labs, computers, wireless, libraries, art rooms and air conditioning in the charters that took in children from the closed schools.
Charters have worked well in Chicago. Most parents like them, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Board of Education are behind them. The Noble Network, which already runs 14 charter high schools, has just been given permission to open two new ones. Around 36% of the 9,000, mostly poor, children enrolled with Noble can expect to graduate from college, compared with 11% for this income bracket city-wide.
A 2013 study by Stanford University found that the typical Illinois charter pupil (most of them in Chicago) gained two weeks of additional learning in reading, and a month in maths, over their counterparts in traditional public schools. One city network of charters, Youth Connection, is credited with reducing Chicago‚Äôs dropout rate by 7% in a decade. Overall, however, the city‚Äôs public schools are in a sorry state: 51,000 out of 240,000 elementary-school pupils did not meet state reading standards in 2013.
Some will always argue that charters cream off the brighter children and leave sink schools, deprived of resources, behind. The teachers‚Äô unions hate charter schools because they are non-unionised. So they remain a rarity nationwide, with only 5% of children enrolled in them. But a PDK/Gallup poll last year found that 70% of Americans support them. Small wonder: a study of charter high schools in Florida found that they boosted pupils‚Äô earning power in later life by more than 10%.¬† Read more »
Wellington can no longer fill up its stadium for the Rugby 7s. ¬†And now this
Wellington is the worst city in the country for dealing with graffiti, a frustrated councillor says.
A graffiti vandalism audit has found that – despite a $580,000 effort to erase Wellington’s graffiti problem – tagging is out of control in the city and compared unfavourably with other cities.
“It’s a pretty sad day for Wellington. We’re the worst city in the country. We’re meant to be ‚Äėabsolutely, positively’,” Wellington city councillor Paul Eagle said, unveiling a new graffiti strategy yesterday.
Despite spending more than half a million dollars painting over tags last financial year, Wellington City Council’s effort was called “barely adequate” by global standards in the audit by Tasman Research and Consultation.
The council was rated at 79 out of 100 for cleaning its own buildings of tags, while Hutt City Council received 90. British councils generally target 96 per cent, and usually achieved about 92, the report said.
The audit also found Wellington’s Lambton ward was as graffiti-covered as its rail corridors.
Council figures show that, in 2012, 11,712 tags were removed across the city but the audit suggested that many more went unreported.
It’s slowly turning into a dump. ¬†It wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for the Picton ferry and some weird historical decision to base government on the least practical, land scarce earthquake prone part of the country. ¬† Read more »
How about we need cyclists to follow the road rules?
Yesterday a cyclist found out that his lycra force field isn’t much protection at all from close interaction with a truck.
Police are investigating how and why the collision occurred, but revealed last night the truckie had the green light at the intersection.
“When I looked back I saw this [man] flying off [his] bike and at the same time the truck just kept on rolling over [him],” said Mr Maamaloa.
It was only when other motorists alerted the truck driver by tooting their horns that he stopped about 70m down the road. …
Police said it appeared the cyclist had been riding down Parnell Rise and was turning left into Stanley St when he collided with the truck, which was travelling straight through from The Strand.
Inspector Cornelius Klussein said the truck driver, who had the green light, did not know the cyclist had come under his wheels until being alerted by other motorists tooting their horns.
“He assumed that maybe something had come off the truck so he parked up to see what was going on. It was only when he got out that he saw that something had happened.”¬† Read more »
After Colorado moved to full legalisation and licensing of cannabis other states are rushing to join in.
Uruguay has legalised and put in place a regime similar to that of tobacco and alcohol. It is only a matter of time as state after state embraces legalisation.
Most of the western world will follow suit. I predict that some states and countries will move to a halfway house of decriminalisation first…which will lead Police to stop enforcement anyway, followed by legalisation. That is probably what will happen in Maryland.
Amsterdam, Vancouver, and Silver Spring?
Maryland could become the latest destination for legal marijuana, joining the states of Washington and Colorado, if an effort to allow the regulated sale of the drug in the Old Line State becomes law.
In¬†an interview with¬†The Washington Post¬†on Friday,¬†Mike Miller, the powerful president of the Maryland Senate, said, ‚ÄúI favor the legalization and taxation of marijuana, with restrictions.‚ÄĚ Miller, a relatively conservative Democrat who has opposed both same-sex marriage and abolishing the death penalty, said he believes his position is the way of the future. ‚ÄúI know where people are going to be a generation or two from now,‚ÄĚ he said.¬† Read more »
¬†The James Dean Death Car was just a stopping ground for Dean, he thought, waiting for his ultimate racing machine a superior Lotus MK X that was delayed. So it starts with the Spyder, it wasn’t even the car Dean was after. But being able to race again Dean wanted a car for the races at Salinas California. Read more »
Several news items suggest that despite the moaning and propaganda of the warmists it appears that global warming is nowhere to be seen, even in the summer of the Antarctic.
An Antarctic-bound ship spent Christmas awaiting rescue after the ship became wedged in thick sheets of sea ice.
The ice-breaker Akademik Shokalski set sail for the sub- Antarctic and Antarctica from Bluff on a mission of science and discovery, which sailed on November 28.
The month-long Australasian Antarctic Expedition is following in the footsteps of explorer and scientist Sir Douglas Mawson, one century on.
Central Otago woman Nicole Kerr is one of the crew members.
Omakau-raised Ms Kerr was on board the Akademik Shokalski as a chef.
The ship had been on a multi-day tour from New Zealand to visit several sites along the edge of Antarctica.The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) received a distress call on this morning, notifying the rescue co-ordination centre that the ship was trapped in ice and would need help.
It is not known how long the ship has been unable to break free from the ice floes. ¬† Read more »