Partnership Schools

David Seymour calls Labours bill against Charter Schools “Ground Hog day”

Last week the Labour Party brought yet another bill to the House to try to undermine New Zealand Charter schools (Partnership Schools .) Act Party leader David Seymour called the bill ” Ground Hog day,” referring to a film of that name where a man finds himself caught in a time loop and forced to relive the same day over and over again. Poor David had to defend Partnership schools from yet another attack bill from the Labour Party who appear to be forced to do the biddings of their Union masters over and over and over again. As with previous attempts, Labour’s attack was neutralised. Act, National, United Future and the Maori Party voted against it and it was defeated 63-57.

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All Political parties should be supporting Charter Schools

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says charter schools are having a positive impact and he’s calling on all Maori MPs to vote against the bill.

“They know in their heart of hearts that actually kura hourua are delivering for our people,” he said.

Charter Schools are getting results and the students who are being helped come from families who vote for a range of political parties. If something works political parties should put people before political point scoring like the Maori Party have.

Would the Labour Party put up a bill to abolish hospitals if they only existed because of a policy of the National Party? Would they ignore the need for hospitals and the demand for them and agitate that they be abolished simply because it wasn’t their good idea in the first place?

Why can’t they take a leaf out of John Key’s book and instead of going against good policy ideas introduced by other parties they instead steal them and make them their own? A number of families who would otherwise vote Labour will not be doing so this election because Labour has promised to destroy the Charter schools where their children are currently doing so well.

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Face of the day

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, right, meet with fourth-graders at Sophie B. Wright Charter School in New Orleans, Friday, March 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber)

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, right, meet with fourth-graders at Sophie B. Wright Charter School in New Orleans, Friday, March 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber)

Former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is today’s face of the day for this gem.

Yet I absolutely reject the idea that poverty is destiny in the classroom and the self-defeating belief that schools don’t matter much in the face of poverty.

Sadly, much of the current debate in Washington, in education schools, and in the blogosphere about high-performing charter schools is driven by ideology, not by facts on the ground. Far too often, the chief beneficiaries of high-performing charter schools—low-income families and children—are forgotten amid controversies over funding and the hiring of nonunion teachers in charter schools. Too often, the parents and children who are desperately seeking better schools are an afterthought.

Successful Partnership schools have a serious challenge ahead of them *UPDATED

Partnership schools haven’t been around for very long  but a number of them are already facing the challenge of demand exceeding supply due to their outstanding results and popularity. Yesterday I chatted on the phone to David Seymour  about the challenge that these successful schools are facing.

One of the things we discussed reminded me of a choice I was given as a child.  I wanted two things but was told I could only have one.  I had to ask myself which of the two was the most valuable.

Imagine that a rich relative has given you two choices:

1.The ownership of a house valued at $500,000 for the rest of your life that is built on land belonging to your relative that you are never allowed to sell. If your family grows and needs more space the relative will either rebuild the house to suit you or build a second house on the section.

2. A weekly income from a Trust fund equivalent to the average rent charged on a $500,000 house in the same area that will be adjusted annually to reflect inflation.

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Two new Partnership Schools to open

We received the following press release from Act this afternoon. Clearly, the Maori community sees a lot of value in Partnership schools as both new schools are targeting Maori students.Politically the more Maori see their children getting a better deal, the more marginalised Labour’s “solutions” will become. In some electorates the extended families vote alone could be devastating for Labour who will run with a policy of closing the one positive thing in their family’s life.

Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education David Seymour today announced that two new Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua will open in 2017.

“The new sponsors submitted strong applications and we look forward to seeing this reflected in the learning outcomes of their students,” says Mr Seymour.

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Hekia says Potato, Unions say Potardo

Teacher Unions love to be contrary.  You can guarantee whatever position Education Minister Hekia Parata takes, the unions will take the opposite position. Teacher Unions’ staunch and ongoing opposition to charter schools is just one example of this kind of behaviour.

Education Minister Hekia Parata is “somewhat surprised” that teacher unions have come out in strong opposition to the Government’s proposed new funding system for schools.

The PPTA and NZEI say their 60,000 members will hold paid union meetings next month to discuss a response to the “global budget” proposal.

They say it’s a back door attempt to bring in bulk funding and larger class sizes, which has failed in the past.

Remember that these are the exact same unions who claimed charter schools were only doing well and able to have smaller class sizes because they were bulk funded. The three Partnership schools I visited managed their limited budget successfully because they all employed a financial manager as well as a Principal.  They liked bulk funding because it gave them choice.

But the Post Primary Teachers Association said encouraging results were only because charter schools were better resourced and able to have smaller classes

Ms Parata says it isn’t bulk funding and she’s been discussing the proposal with the unions and other sector representatives since May.

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Why are Maori doing so well in Partnership schools compared to the National Average?

Image- NZ Herald

Official targets for Maori primary pupils are likely to be missed by as much as 20 per cent in some cases.

The Ministry of Education has published its four-year plan, including five indicators that it says provide a “litmus test” of its progress in lifting student achievement.

At the primary school level, the official target is to have 85 per cent of Maori students at or above the national standard in reading, writing and mathematics next year.

The most recent Maori results available from 2014 show that will be missed by a considerable margin.

-A Newspaper

The National government set a very ambitious target for improving Maori achievement. While they are no where near  achieving their goal of 85% in traditional state schools some Partnership schools are making significant progress. The Partnership schools of course are an Act Party initiative so it is Act that Maori can thank for the improvement. The Maori Party and the Maori community in fact are very supportive of Act’s initiative which is no surprise given the results.

Just look at the difference when you view Vanguard Military School’s results.

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Good evening, this is your Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education speaking

David Seymour at Vanguard Military School-PHOTO Vanguard FB page

David Seymour at Vanguard Military School-PHOTO Vanguard FB page

By any objective measure, partnership schools have been a success for this government, and ACT specifically.  And now more could be on the way

Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education David Seymour has announced a fourth round of applications to establish Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua (Partnership Schools). The fourth round will open in August, with successful Partnership Schools opening in 2018. Read more »

The inconvenient truth about Vanguard Military school

I will let the percentages and students speak for themselves. Vanguard Military school is a Partnership school ( charter school ) that is achieving exactly what it set out to do. It’s success and the success of other charter schools like West Auckland and South Auckland Middle school is an inconvenient truth that the Teacher Unions and the Labour Party choose to ignore.

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Vanguard Military school hosts David Seymour’s big announcement

PHOTO-Vanguard FB page

PHOTO-Vanguard FB page

Yesterday I covered a story unknown to the MSM as Chris Hipkins did not invite them. In a historic move after years of turning down invitations, Chris Hipkins finally visited two charter schools; Vanguard Military School and South Auckland Middle School. We need wonder no more at the reason for his change of heart as yesterday David Seymour made a big announcement at Vanguard Military school, the day after Chris Hipkins visited it for the first time.

Now that Charter schools will once again be in the news, I think Chris Hipkins has decided to protect himself from the questions that have been asked of him repeatedly over the years.

” Have you visited a charter school Mr Hipkins? ”

” Why haven’t you ever visited a charter school Mr Hipkins?”

It really has been a bad look that as Labour’s spokesperson for education, he has criticised partnership schools for years despite never having set foot in one. Now with David Seymour’s big announcement it has become clear why the pressure was on for Mr Hipkins to quickly visit two schools.

The Government has announced seven new charter schools will open in 2018 and 2019.

The new schools will expand the flagship ACT policy that saw five schools open, mostly in Auckland and Northland in 2014 – one of which, in Whangaruru has since been closed by the Education Minister – and another four in 2015.

A third round of applications is currently underway and more schools are expected to open as a result early next year.

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