Louisiana

The Economist clarifies why Unions hate Charter Schools

The Economist gives us a good insight as to why it is that unions hate Charter Schools.

Just two points suffice:

1. Outcomes for children improve.

Under the new regime, schools have sharply improved. In 2004 just 16.5% of pupils in New Orleans’s schools beat Louisiana’s state performance score; by the end of the most recent school year, 31.1% did, according to the Cowen Institute at Tulane University. High-school graduation rates have risen from 55% before Katrina to 73% now; drop-out rates have fallen by half.

The way the NZ Unions have tried to bluff this out is to repeat ad nauseam that it is a “failed policy overseas” and hope that they public is as stupid as they are.   Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: REUTERS Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, off Louisiana, in this photograph taken on April 21, 2010. The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and spewed oil for 87 straight days, soaked hundreds of miles of Gulf Coast shoreline in caramel-colored oil. Picture taken April 21, 2010.

Photo: REUTERS
Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, off Louisiana, in this photograph taken on April 21, 2010. The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and spewed oil for 87 straight days, soaked hundreds of miles of Gulf Coast shoreline in caramel-colored oil. 

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

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KKK’s former Grand Dragon caught nuts deep in black male hooker

History of violence: Cross originally went by the name Frazier Glenn Miller (pictured in 1985) and created two racist and anti-Semitic groups and was once caught with a black prostitute who was a man masquerading as a woman

History of violence: Cross originally went by the name Frazier Glenn Miller (pictured in 1985) and created two racist and anti-Semitic groups and was once caught with a black prostitute who was a man masquerading as a woman

Authorities have uncovered a lot of astounding details regarding former Ku Klux Klan leader Frazier Glenn Miller, who is accused of killing three people this month at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas.

The former Grand Dragon of the KKK was been caught nuts deep in a black male hooker back in 1986.

Frazier Glenn Cross, the man accused of murder in the shootings of three people outside Jewish facilities in Kansas last week was, for all practical purposes, born at the age of 49.    

The federal government gave him that name when he was released from prison in 1990, along with a new social security number and a new place to live, not far from the Missouri River in western Iowa.

The idea was to erase any connection to the man he had been before: Frazier Glenn Miller. White Nationalist leader. Spewer of hate. Federal informant.

“I joined the family in Sioux City, Iowa,” Miller wrote later in his self-published autobiography. “I enrolled in truck driving school…and I’ve been trucking ever since. And I love it. After prison, the freedom of the open road is gloriously exhilarating.”

This guy is a piece of work, going back decades. A life of hate…that is likely to be ended by the death penalty in Kansas.

In the early morning hours of April 30, 1987, more than three dozen federal and state law enforcement agents surrounded a mobile home in Ozark, Missouri.  A van recently purchased by Miller in Louisiana had been spotted outside by an agent the day before.

A volley of tear gas was fired and then, just after 7 a.m,  four men emerged and gave themselves up.

Among them was Miller, the founder of Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the paramilitary White Patriot Party in North Carolina. The United States Marshals Service had issued a nationwide bulletin seeking Miller’s arrest after he disappeared while appealing his conviction for criminal contempt.

Agents recovered hand grenades, automatic rifles, pistols and flak jackets inside the trailer, according to FBI statements at the time. Explosives experts from nearby Fort Leonard Wood were called in to detonate a box containing about twenty pipe bombs.  Read more »

NZEI Motive Revealed – Control – not kids

Education is for kids. Almost as soon as the government announced the introduction of Charter Schools in New Zealand the NZEI bought an activist from New Orleans – Karran Harper Royal – who complained in all sorts of ways about the schools.

Wrong state and wrong person to bring. Latest out of New Orleans is:

“Our model is about empowering educators that are closest to the children, to give them the autonomy to have great schools, but to have a strong accountability system in place,” says RSD Superintendent Patrick Dobard. One of the RSD’s key roles is “ensuring there is equity and access throughout the whole system.”

The academic gains have been dramatic. The city has surpassed the state average for high school graduation by several points, with 77.8 percent of the class of 2012 graduating within four years – up from just over 54 percent in 2004.

One measure regularly used in Louisiana is the Growth School Performance Score, which is based on test scores, graduation rates, and other factors. Based on those scores, in 2004-05 only 12 percent of students in New Orleans attended ‘A’ or ‘B’ schools while nearly 75 percent attended ‘F’ schools, reports New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), a nonprofit that incubates and supports charter schools. By 2012-13, just 17 percent of students were in ‘F’ schools, while 34 percent were in ‘A’ or ‘B’ schools.

Yet another bright point: the percentage of students qualifying for college scholarships from the state based on ACT scores and grade-point averages. Prior to Katrina, less than 6 percent of students in 14 high schools later taken over by the RSD qualified for these scholarships, NSNO reports. In 2013, 27 percent did.

While there’s still a long way to go, “on the whole, the schools are unequivocally better,” says Michael Stone, a spokesman for NSNO.   Read more »

You have never seen this before. Guaranteed.

 

Tip:  After the “main event”, you can stop watching.  Nothing else as exciting happens.

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The Dehogaflier – Hunting pigs. At night. With drones.

Drone hunting is here…pig hunting with the Dehogaflier.

Wild hogs have become a huge problem in places like Louisiana, rooting up fields in their quest for food and generally being extraordinary 200 pound pests. Given their size, smarts, and tenacity, feral hogs can be hard to kill—and that’s when you can even find them amid all the vegetation. So how do you deal with the problem? If you’re like electrical engineers Cy Brown and James Palmer, you strap a $5,000 thermal imaging camera to a remote-controlled airplane, then fly the thing around farmers’ fields on weekend evenings until you spot a hog. Then you shoot it from the ground with a night vision-equipped rifle.  Read more »

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Now this is gun control

Concealed carry saves a cops life…proving gun control…all rounds fired hit the target is an effective crime prevention tactic:

There were two big developments Monday in the case of a motorist who was shot and killed along Greenwell Springs Road Friday after a fight with a police officer.  Investigators say an autopsy shows the deadly bullet was fired by a bystander, not the officer.  Police also announced that no charges would be filed in the case, either against the police officer involved or the bystander who fired the fatal shot into the head of George Temple.

East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s spokesman Greg Phares says Officer Brian Harrision was escorting a funeral procession Friday when he pulled Temple over and wrote him a ticket for breaking into the procession.  According to Phares, that’s when Temple attacked Harrison.  Police say Perry Stevens was walking outside of the Auto Zone on Greenwell Springs Road when he heard Harrison yelling for help.  Harrison was reportedly on his back with Temple on top of him.  That’s when Stevens went to his car and grabbed his .45 caliber pistol.  Read more »

Removing income tax entirely, can it be done?

English: Governor Bobby Jindal at the Republic...

Governor Bobby Jindal at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Could it be possible…no income taxes at all? Bobby Jindal thinks so:

Governor Jindal has unveiled a specific proposal.

The plan will eliminate two major tax types: personal income tax and corporate income and franchise tax. Eliminating income taxes in a revenue-neutral manner and improving sales tax administration will dramatically simplify Louisiana’s tax system and reduce administrative problems for families and small businesses. The effective start date of the program is January 1, 2014. …The plan will ensure revenue neutrality by…[b]roadening the state sales tax base and raising the state rate to 5.88%.

This is a superb plan.

Of all the possible ways for a state to generate revenue, the income tax is the most destructive.

That’s why researchers consistently have found that states without this punitive levy grow faster and create more jobs.

It’s also worth noting that jurisdictions such as MonacoBermuda, and the Cayman Islands manage to be very prosperous in the absence of an income tax, though the incredible wealth of these places is partly a function of bad policy elsewhere, so the comparison isn’t perfect.

Anyhow, Gov. Jindal expands on this research with some very powerful data.  Read more »

NZEI/PPTA Arguments – based on New Orleans – DESTROYED

The Partnership Schools model is aimed at helping the bottom 20%. New Orleans is a city in the US historically struggling in the education of children.

The teacher unions brought Karran Harper Royal from New Orleans to say how bad Charter Schools had been for that state. First thing she admitted on Close Up was that some are working well (Ian Leckie and Robin Duff must have choked).

Turns out that there was a lot more for her to admit – as things mature in New Orleans for this model there is plenty of good there too:

Some key parts of the article:

The goal in New Orleans is to reverse years of educational decline. Before Katrina, state schools here had become starkly segregated on race and class lines as white and middle class families removed their children.

In the years since Katrina, student performance in tests has improved, and fewer students now go to failing schools. Students have achieved a higher average score in the ACT test, which measures readiness for college.

John White, Louisiana’s state superintendent of education, argues that decentralisation has freed schools to act in children’s best interests. Charter schools, state-funded but independently run by non-profit groups, are now the norm in New Orleans. In the past school year, 78% of public school students were enrolled in charters. The proportion will rise this year. Such schools enjoy great flexibility in managing their time and allocating resources.

Lee said: “Schools receive a report card now, parents are savvy – they research online and see how a school is performing. It’s no longer the neighbourhood school; it’s really parent choice.”

In Louisiana, the state sets clear limits on the marketplace. In the end, accountability to its testing regime trumps choice: the government will close a chronically underperforming public school even if parents continue to choose it.

The change in two years is evident to the students, who come up unprompted to tell outsiders of their pride in the school. One student, Henrietta London, said: “This school used to be a mess; children were learning nothing. My mum sent me here because they’re rebuilding the school and changing the culture.”

The pale blue corridors of Sci Academy, housed in a cluster of prefabricated blocks in New Orleans East, are lined with inspirational mottoes: “Chase perfection, catch excellence,” reads one. Another declares: “We’re never done, we’re never finished”.

Parents will love the next one – Duff and Leckie hate it.

The words are directed at students, but could apply just as well to the teachers, who are evaluated on each lesson. Staff here are regularly observed and receive constant feedback on their performance.

White is uncompromising about the virtues of choice, even if that means weak schools being driven to the wall. “I think competition is always to some degree destabilising to those who can’t compete,” he said. “I have no problem with a school that is failing parents and kids being essentially destabilised because parents aren’t choosing it.”‘

And the headline of the Article:

What the opponents of this model in NZ have not even begin to grasp is that education is about children and their families. The scare mongering crap being talked by NZEI & PPTA is exactly that…crap. it is time to put kids first and not to keep protecting their patch for political gain. Time also for Labour and NZ First to put children ahead of using this for their own political aspirations. Labour need to stand against the unions on this one – caring for kids may even help them.

Time for parents in NZ and all organisations involved in working for children in struggling areas to also see this opportunity and make a public stand for it. Don’t let the unions stuff up one fifth of the next generation just to retain their power base and maintain their protection of mediocrity.