Charter school successes

Three charter schools (the ACT Party calls them partnership schools) have received positive reports from the Education Review Office.

Radio NZ: ERO reports on three charter schools

Three new charter schools have made a good start, according to the Education Review Office.

The reports covered two of the publicly-funded private schools in Auckland, Te Kura Māori o Waatea and Pacific Advance Senior School, and one in Whangarei, Te Kāpehu Whetū -Teina.

The reviews were generally positive, but identified problems such as the need to increase enrolments or develop curriculums.

If they are succeeding in what they are doing then they should be able to increase their rolls.

“A good start has been made in determining children’s foundation knowledge in maths, reading and writing. The challenge for teachers is to ensure that strategies to support learners to make age-appropriate progress or better are in place.”

“Students at Te Kura Māori o Waatea are benefiting from focused and purposeful teaching that supports them and their whānau to engage in learning. Effective leadership and shared commitment from the adults on site are helping to make the sponsor’s vision come to life. ”

“Most of these students had been out of school for at least half a year prior to coming here. The ongoing challenge for staff is to accelerate formal student achievement.”

That last comment highlights one of the main points about these schools – they aim to cater for young people who had been failing under the main state run education system.

If the succeed in getting students on track to better future prospects and divert them from paths to failure then they will have been a success.

I wonder if more alternatives for younger children who struggle in the existing state system would help.

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68 Comments

  1. duperez

     /  4th May 2016

    Do all of the schools have a prime aim to cater for those failing under in the state system or are they simply ‘special character’ schools? Sure on their list they can say they will help those who failed elsewhere but that is incidental.

    Reply
  2. Pantsdownbrown

     /  4th May 2016

    The stance by Labour and it’s allies is that Charter Schools should never have been tried here at all. A strange postion considering if Charter schools were such ‘dogs’ as they would have the public believe then why not trial them, let them fail and then say “I told you so”?

    Instead the reason for them to be anti-Charter schools is the distinct possibility that Charter schools work and it is the self-interest & protectionism of Labour’s union masters that is the real issue. Our children’s education should come first.

    Reply
    • Eliza M

       /  4th May 2016

      You’ve answered your own question.
      Q .”why not trial them, let them fail and then say “I told you so”?”
      A .”Our children’s education should come first.”

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  4th May 2016

        Considering the children going to these Charter schools are there primarily because they are already failing in our state schools makes your argument non-existent……….

        Reply
        • Eliza M

           /  4th May 2016

          And yours is that because they’ve been failed once we should fail them again by running a doomed experiment?
          105 students and 2 teachers in an old industrial building, still establishing a curriculum, doesn’t sound like the greatest solution to me.

          Also, these are “New School Assurance Review’s” not ERO reports proper-they come in 12 months, we will see then how they’re going. These reports are a baseline for future reports.

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  4th May 2016

            Eliza: “And yours is that because they’ve been failed once we should fail them again by running a doomed experiment?”

            Two things
            *Your suggestion therefore is that we ‘give up’ on them after they fail once without the 2nd chance of a charter school. If children have the opportunity of a 2nd chance at education we should take it.
            *Labour knows that charter schools overseas, specifically the one’s working with those children that have failed in the state system, do have excellent success rates (not the ‘doomed experiment’ you paint). Again the left’s opposition to charter schools is purely ideological.

            Eliza: 105 students and 2 teachers in an old industrial building, still establishing a curriculum, doesn’t sound like the greatest solution to me.

            Even getting them to class is a significant achievement considering a state school couldn’t even do that…….

            ““Most of these students had been out of school for at least half a year prior to coming here”.

            Reply
        • Eliza M

           /  4th May 2016

          I’m referring more to you asinine statement about labour than anything.

          Reply
        • duperez

           /  4th May 2016

          They are not. You are wrong.

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  4th May 2016

            My comment is reply to “children going to these Charter schools are there primarily because they are already failing in our state schools. “

            Reply
            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  4th May 2016

              Um…..you are wrong.

              PG: “That last comment highlights one of the main points about these schools – they aim to cater for young people who had been failing under the main state run education system”.

            • Eliza M

               /  4th May 2016

              You quote PG to prove your point? That’s dangerous ground, he’s no authority.
              2 of the three schools mentioned are bi-lingual primary schools.
              So please explain how a year one pupil has fallen through the cracks and been out of school for up to 6 months. Or are those children there to get a bi-lingual education from year one?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th May 2016

              @Eliza, you read the source report of course?

              The report for Pacific Advance Senior School said it had 105 students in Years 11 and 12 at the start of this year and the school had done a good job of engaging them in their learning.

              It said many students started at the school well below achievement expectations for their age level and to get students confident and able to complete Level 1 NCEA qualification was a significant success for the school.

              It said 36 students were awarded Level 1 NCEA, which was 57 percent of the student body.

              “Most of these students had been out of school for at least half a year prior to coming here. The ongoing challenge for staff is to accelerate formal student achievement.”

              It said the school also needed to work with other education providers so it could offer students a broader range of subjects.

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  4th May 2016

              Eliza: You quote PG to prove your point? That’s dangerous ground, he’s no authority.

              Maybe not but in this case he is correct – maybe read down to see ‘Vanguards’ response…….

  3. Iceberg

     /  4th May 2016

    If you’ve ever been on a school board and had to deal with incompetent, ineffective teachers who you can’t get rid of because of union protection and enabling of mediocrity you’d be voting for all schools to be charter schools.

    Think about your own workplace. What percentage of the staff are lazy, ineffective or dishonest? Schools are no different. Your kid could be in front of one of them right now?

    On top of that we’ve got failure rates amongst Maori that made me weep when I first encountered it. If charter schools can fix that, then put one in every town.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th May 2016

      That’s going to be the key determinant of whether they have any chance to succeed I reckon. If charter schools can fix that. It has yet to be demonstrated, but we do know the state system’s not working for these kids. I’m just not convinced the bureaucrats charged with evaluating proposals to establish charter schools, and with monitoring and evaluating them, are really up to the job. Time exam results pass rates & in what subjects will tell I guess.

      Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  4th May 2016

        Time has passed, and the NCEA results are in. It’s all good. Just get on with it.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  4th May 2016

          Yeah I just read Alan’s comment Iceberg. I wonder what the subjects were? Reason I ask is we need more Maori teachers, scientists, economists, accountants, lawyers, doctors, nurses, business-people, that sort of thing.

          Reply
          • Iceberg

             /  4th May 2016

            No doubt, but getting those failing to the employable stage would be a good start.

            Whether more Maori are required in the professions is a separate debate. These days there’s not much getting in the way of anyone wanting to take on a professional career, academic ability aside. The barriers at the bottom are immense, and entrenched by the left. They think everything they do is virtuous and beyond criticism. Schools are broken for Maori, that’s why so many Maori leaders see charter schools as a glimmer of hope.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  4th May 2016

              Vanguard’s post further down is instructive and good to see.

    • @ Iceberg – You make some good points.

      What makes you think Charter School staff won’t be “lazy, ineffective or dishonest” too, since, as you say yourself , “Schools are no different”? If privatisation was the ‘cure all’ the “your own workplace” you cite wouldn’t be like that, would it?

      There’s plenty of examples of incompetent Boards of Trustees as well.

      Let’s hope Charter Schools can “fix” the failure rates whoever the students may be? And if we can enable this option – bearing in mind it was a concession to the ACT Party, not necessarily ”Our children’s education should come first” – hopefully we can also enable more home schooling and possibly other alternative forms of learning?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  4th May 2016

        What makes you think Charter School staff won’t be “lazy, ineffective or dishonest” too

        If they are the school will fail and go broke in a competitive market. The successful ones will survive.

        Reply
        • Eliza M

           /  4th May 2016

          “will fail and go broke”
          How can you go broke when you’re being over-funded by the government? Remove the funding if it’s all about a competitive market, or call it a corporate handout if it’s really about the government money.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  4th May 2016

            How can you go broke when you’re being over-funded by the government?

            I understand they are not being over-funded when setup costs are removed. They will go broke if they lost the confidence of parents and thereby roll numbers just as Whangaruru already did – and as I predicted it would fail as soon as it was announced.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  4th May 2016

              I don’t know the details of that failure yet, but it suggests my concerns about whether whoever in the bureaucracy is charged with the task of assessing charter school proposals for approval are actually competent to do so, is not unfounded.

            • Eliza M

               /  4th May 2016

              “as soon as it was announced.” As soon as what was announced?

              This?…

              As part of the specialist audit, ERO identified:

              * student achievement concerns remain and the quality of teaching remains poor
              * inadequate curriculum leadership continues to impact negatively on students
              * the curriculum is not and has not been consistent with the broad ranging curriculum vision articulated in the contract
              * a lack of basic literacy and numeracy underpinning qualification credits achieved

              Or this?…

              The school has received $3.2m in operational funding in the last two years and prior to its opening, the trust received $1.6m for establishment costs, which the school used to buy a farm.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th May 2016

              When the Minister first announced the approval of the first five charter schools including Whangaruru I said it was doomed: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/09/the_first_five_charter_schools.html#comment-1202280

            • Eliza M

               /  4th May 2016

              This dude got a nice farm out of the deal though.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th May 2016

              I bet they wouldn’t have got it if they were not Maori, Eliza. Too many PC know nothings in the Dept of Ed.

            • Eliza M

               /  4th May 2016

              Alan’s on fire with his casual racism this week.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th May 2016

              Nothing racist about it, Eliza. I lived at Whangaruru where the local Maori Trust executives turned up in suits and flash cars to explain to the locals living in garages that the trust farms had sadly made no profits to distribute to them again. These guys were world experts at playing the systems.

            • Gezza

               /  4th May 2016

              I don’t think that’s casual racism Eliza. I suspect it’s true. I don’t think the problem is that they were Maori so much as whoever approved in Dep Ed it didn’t have a clue whether it could work and how it would work.

      • Iceberg

         /  4th May 2016

        The difference in a charter school is that a bad teacher can be managed out. It’s next to impossible in a public school. Bad teachers last until retirement. Reflect on that for a moment. Not to mention that a bad charter school can be closed down.

        Who is citing privatisation as the cure all? Not me, but if I was, I’d prettty quickly point to the results of private schools.

        “There’s plenty of examples of incompetent Boards of Trustees as well” Yep, and they all should have been ditched long ago in favour of people who have some chance of knowing what they are doing.

        Reply
  4. Vanguard

     /  4th May 2016

    Maybe I can shed some light on the performance of charter schools. Vanguard Military School has achieved the following NCEA results over the past 2 years. 2014 NCEA Level 1 96% and NCEA Level 2 100%. 2015 NCEA Level 1 at 93%, Level 2 at 100% and Level 3 at 93%. It is compulsory to take Maths, English and PE in every year. We offer Science, Maori, Engineering, History, Computing and Defence Force Studies as electives. Maori and Pacific Island students are achieving at around 30% above the national average and a previous commentator is correct with regards to us engaging with students who had stopped attending school. Our stats have shown we have enrolled 60 students so far that were previously not attending any school.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  4th May 2016

      Well done, Vanguard. Keep up the good work and spread the word far and wide.

      Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  4th May 2016

      Yes – thanks for the input Vanguard – great results that should be a blue-print for future charter schools of a similar nature.

      A second chance at education for children that have fallen through the cracks at our state schools is better than no chance at all from those opposing charter schools.

      Reply
  5. Zedd

     /  4th May 2016

    In light of the recent ‘revelations’ about IANZ (private college) & their misinfo.
    Is it ‘possible’ that other private/charter schools are all telling porkies about their ‘successes’ : “show up the money & we will tell you everything.. you want to hear” !?

    go on call me cynical (again) 😀

    Reply
    • Zedd

       /  4th May 2016

      oops typo; “Show US the money….”

      Reply
    • @ Zedd – I guess that’s where Eliza M’s comment above comes in. The official ERO reports are yet to come. It’s a legitimate question though, “follow the money”, just as it’s a fact that state schools have review and improvement services, professional development etc and are not simply cesspits of lazy left-wing unionists promoting mediocrity, as some would have us believe …

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  4th May 2016

        NCEA results are independent, publicly reported and verifiable.

        Reply
        • Okay, I admit to ignorance about NCEA etc. Is it “scaled” like School C and UE used to be?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  4th May 2016

            No (officially). That was the entire reason for it – to be objectively achievement based and attainable rather than relative to everyone else and therefore unattainable for a fixed percentage.

            Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  4th May 2016

        “are not simply cesspits of lazy left-wing unionists promoting mediocrity”

        Correct, that’s not all they are. But they certainly are.

        Unions are not interested in the kids. It’s not their raison d’etre. Get them out of the process.

        Reply
        • This’ll be great for reducing school running costs too, right? Indeed, a new profession might develop, the ‘para-teacher’, comparable to teacher-aide, who basically monitors students being delivered online courses? They can all be on individual employment contracts, pitted against one another in a fiercely competitive corporate educational environment just as the children are … Let’s call it ‘Big Brother’ shall we?

          I’m exaggerating, of course, but seriously I do think we must watch out for tossing the baby out with the bathwater, which, since 1984, has become New Zealand’s second most popular pastime behind all-hours shopping.

          Do you genuinely think a person can’t be a union member AND have the children’s interests at heart? Like, hold both those ethics at once? Who brainwashed you … ?

          Reply
          • Iceberg

             /  4th May 2016

            You’re conflating nonsense with more nonsense.

            “Do you genuinely think a person can’t be a union member AND have the children’s interests at heart”

            How is that relevant? I’m sure many good teachers are union members, and good for them. The unions have done a good job on pay and conditions. Just look at all the holidays, teacher only days and late start days.

            The point is that they’ve also done a very good job at protecting poor teachers, and giving schools no option but to wait until they retire. It’s nothing more than a protection racket for these teachers.

            Reply
            • @ Iceberg – Fair enough on the “protection racket” point. I know of at least one example of that.

              I believe you conflate derision with more derision, perhaps in a similar way to my “nonsense”? You do tend to paint with a broad stroke, as in your original comment, “union protection and enabling of mediocrity”

              What do you think of my slightly ‘Sci-Fi’ description of future education, the ‘para-teacher’? It will come to pass I reckon, and our communities shall be all the weaker for it …

              Interesting interview on RNZ this morning about the ‘white collar’ professions threatened with radical technological change or replacement by computer-robo-tech, lawyers, doctors, pharmacists … Add teachers I reckon … It’s one way to standardise them …

              Anyhow …. beside the point …. I should probably have put all that on the ‘ChemTrails and Vaccines’ topic? Cheers.

            • Iceberg

               /  4th May 2016

              “I believe you conflate derision with more derision”

              I’ll wear that with pride.

              The future is choice.

              For “progressives” not to want choice, is a sick joke being played out on our kids.

            • @ Iceberg – It’s like so-called freedom I reckon. All by itself its dangerous. It must go along with responsibility.

              I’ll agree with ‘responsible choice’, certainly, but the situation at the likes of Affco and in so many other employment situations tells me choice alone is an invitation to exploitation and excess by ‘capital’; which is not to say it can’t or won’t happen the other way around.

              I believe that to some considerable degree the Charter Schools movement is founded in the ‘Religious Right’ with overt political agenda to de-secularise politics and is therefore “regressive”. Just MHO.

            • Iceberg

               /  4th May 2016

              “I believe that to some considerable degree the Charter Schools movement is founded in the ‘Religious Right”

              Ok that just retarded

              “I’ll agree with ‘responsible choice’”

              No doubt the kind of choice made by a left government.

              Schools are already politically captured. But not by the right. I challenge you to attend an intermediate school speech competition and then come back here and tell me that every single child you listened to has been not been brainwashed by the “progressive” left.

              Except that you won’t see it as brainwashing, you’ll be filled with joy about how inequality is going to be solved and recycling will save the planet.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  4th May 2016

      Anything is possible but truth will out just as it did for IANZ.

      Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  4th May 2016

      “show up the money & we will tell you everything.. you want to hear”

      If you don’t think that happens at public schools on a grand scale, you’re deluding youself.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  4th May 2016

        @ice

        you maybe correct.. BUT when money is the ‘main driving force’ : profit first.. then it likely opens things up to ‘cost cutting’ & even corruption, (dont be fooled) ?? :/

        @AW

        again I generally agree ‘… truth will out..’ BUT by the time it has, the money will be long GONE (maybe to a another private trust.. overseas ?) 😦

        Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  4th May 2016

          “BUT when money is the ‘main driving force”:

          I know right, people making money out of educating our kids is a travesty?

          To that end we should stop paying teachers, support staff, admin staff, IT suppliers, painters, builders, electricians, sports equipment suppliers, bus drivers, lawn mower suppliers, building supplies, garden shops, stationery suppliers, uniform suppliers, dental nurses blah blah, because, you know, they’re making a profit from our education system.

          Here’s a question for you. You find out that the teacher in front of your kid is hopeless, has been for years, and you can’t change classes. Let’s assume the state will pay, how much would you write a cheque for to have your kid with another teacher? Lets assume also that the other teacher gets paid $50k more (profit in your world) than the current one. Remember, the state is paying, so go as large as you like.

          Reply
          • Zedd

             /  4th May 2016

            @ice

            NO.. I’m saying I don’t agree with unrestrained ‘Private Education’ OR for that matter : Private Prisons.. whats next : Private Police & Courts ? 😦

            “… I’m on the pavement thinking about the Govt… BUT the pumps don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles…” 😀

            Reply
            • Iceberg

               /  4th May 2016

              “I’m saying I don’t agree with unrestrained ‘Private Education’

              Good for you. But who’s talking about that? This whole post is surely about people having a choice?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th May 2016

              We definitely should have private courts as I’ve been saying for years. The Department is one of the most useless in the bureaucracy – along with Corrections.

            • Zedd

               /  4th May 2016

              @ice…. sorry…. :/

    • Eliza M

       /  4th May 2016

      This one’s doing well too.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/75177381/Hekia-Parata-to-close-failing-Whangaruru-charter-school

      Siphoning 1.6 million of funding to buy a farm, the free market at work and doing what’s best for at-risk children.

      Reply
  6. duperez

     /  4th May 2016

    Anyone can apply to set up a charter school. For example a group of Dutch ex-pats could seek to establish one to ‘foster and protect their language and culture.’

    One of the charter schools has been set up like that but a different ethnicity – not to do with gathering failing kids but ‘capturing’ the kids as soon as they are of school age.

    The age of enlightenment is truly with us when some of the voices so anti taxpayer funding for separate paths for things Māori are so whole-heartedly behind the establishment of tax-payer funded private schools to preserve and develop those things.

    Reply
    • Good comment on the subject of “choice” duperez, thanks.

      Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  4th May 2016

      There’s a great reason not to have Charter Schools. Some folk might be “enlightened”

      Reply
      • @ Iceberg – I don’t think duperez is proferring a reason not to have Charter Schools at all. I’d call that a classic transumption [transfered assumption] on your part.

        So, what of “separate paths for things Maori”?

        Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  4th May 2016

          So what of them? Governments of red and blue have chosen to invest hundreds of millions into “separate paths”. Half the country vote for the current team making that investment.

          It’s a total red herring by duper.

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  4th May 2016

            Some think that charter schools are being established to cater for kids who have had problems in the ‘normal’ system. The ill-informed think that that noble intention was what it is all about. That is the red herring.

            The claim that it is an organisational and bureaucratic way of establishing state funded ‘special interest’ private schools is not a red herring. It’s reality.

            Reply
            • Iceberg

               /  5th May 2016

              Maybe. Let’s hope ir really is the “thin edge of the wedge” that you’re irrationally worried about.

              Because it’s not just the bottom that state schools are failing. Ask any middle class parent about how much anxiety they are harbouring about where their kid goes to school.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  4th May 2016

      Taxpayer funding is a third best option behind private funding and a straight voucher system but it is the only option where parents are taxed to pay for education, the kids targeted are low decile incomes and the unions have blocked vouchers.

      Reply

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