A charter school in action

The Labour party opposes charter schools, the teacher unions oppose charter schools.

They don’t really have any evidence other than pity union style slogans they have borrowed from the US. Even the studies they have about New Orleans and the supposed failure of charter schools there have been thoroughly discounted as wonky beyond usefulness.

Meanwhile across the world kids are succeeding in charter schools…terrible I know…but this is what the unions oppose…success.

In news that’ll actually give you hope for the future, a bunch of inner city Brooklyn high schoolers took a field trip this week to learn the basics of coding.

Around 20 students from Achievement First University Prep High School travelled to Codeacademy‘s Chelsea office on Wednesday to participate in an Hour of Code. The event was held in the spirit of Computer Science Education Week, an annual initiative to get all those stinkin’ American schoolkids off Instagram and increase their interest in computer science. 

Achievement First is a network of rigorous schools that aims to put underserved, urban kids on a pathway to college. So for the first portion of their Codeacademy visit, students listened as a front end developer, app developer and web designer explained what they learned in college, and how they first got into computer programming.

Next, they split into groups to do their hours of code, where they created fun, simple programs like virtual holiday cards for their families.

It was exciting for Codeacademy to be able to provide programming opportunities to kids who might otherwise not have the necessary access.

“Our education system is trying to get better, and there are some places in the country where there just aren’t the teachers or technology to make that happen, and were hoping to equalize that,” Codeacademy’s head of business development, Nikhil Abraham, told Betabeat. “We want to provide…access to a future where [kids] know they can provide for themselves and their families.”

Ninth-grader Rebekah Canty, 14, reportedly told Codeacademy she felt it was specifically important for kids in Brooklyn to learn how to code, because it’s not something her peers generally know how to do.

Yes, Rebekah, it is great that you know how to code, because now you’ll have a much better chance of getting a job than all your friends majoring in, say, journalism?

“There’s such an enormous gap between unemployment and jobs that go unfilled,” Mr. Abraham said. “We have a hard time finding developers…And the gap is just getting bigger. There are more and more jobs that require a computer science background, and were not graduating enough kids who have that background.”

Mr. Abraham said the Achievement First students expressed a strong interest in studying computer science in college.

Oh No! Student led learning?

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.