First charter school opened

February 1st, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The first of five controversial was opened today by Prime Minister John Key, in South Auckland.

South Auckland Middle School (SAMS) is co-educational, caters for years 7 – 10 and is particularly focused on Maori and Pacific students. It will begin its first term next week with a role of 110.

Called partnership schools by the government, the programme was part of a confidence and supply agreement with ACT, and offers an alternative education for parents looking for something different for their children, Key said. 

“I think this is important because it gives parents choice. It is just one small addition to the education system in New Zealand,” Key said.

Five new schools in some of the most deprived areas.

The new charter school in Manurewa features a four-hour academic morning, while the afternoon is devoted to sport, music and culture. 

It’s that flexibility which is important for charter schools.

“The strength in the system is that you are contracting for performance and if you don’t get that performance then you can cease to continue with the contract,” Key said.

More accountability than standard schools.

The school’s website is here.

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59 Responses to “First charter school opened”

  1. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    Can you really have Accountability with no transparency? Why are they not subject to the OIA?

    [DPF: Because they are publicly funded, not owned. But if you think any body that is substantially funded by the taxpayer should come under the OIA, I'd support you in that. There's a few hundred NGOs that I'd love to be able to OIA]

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  2. duggledog (1,498 comments) says:

    It’s taken far too long but if these schools can show marked improvements on the State system by October (hard ask) the Teacher unions will have some tough questions asked of them. Seeing as Education is the biggest $$ spend.

    Such as: ‘What have you guys been doing for all these years?”

    And it would be yet another reason to return National to power. Good luck to the Charter Schools, as has been said before, nobody will be forced at gunpoint to attend one.

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  3. radvad (744 comments) says:

    Far too little, far too late, but hey, it’s a start and 5 is better than none.

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  4. All_on_Red (1,557 comments) says:

    “There’s a few hundred NGOs that I’d love to be able to OIA]”
    I’m with you on that. I am sick of seeing my money given to these groups so they can use it to lobby for more money. They seem to be full of people who also use the funds to promote their own political beliefs.
    I hope the Taxpayers Union will continue to bring to the publics attention what seems to be in many cases a massive fucking scam.
    ( apologies for off topic)

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  5. Bill Courtney (161 comments) says:

    1. All 5 schools are struggling to meet their projected opening rolls. What of the various claims on this site that the schools would be massively oversubscribed and ballots would be necessary?

    2. Check out the blog item written by Tom Haig of PPTA and see how much more expensive these schools are going to be:
    http://ppta.org.nz/resources/ppta-blog/entry/exorbitant-charter-schools-funding-revealed

    3. Where is the Taxpayers’ Union and why is it not investigating this gross overspend, particularly when David Farrar and other charter school supporters kept saying that the costs would be the same as for state or state-integrated schools?

    4. The heavy emphasis on “Christian values” etc. at this school and some of the others means they are unlikely to enrol the kids that are part of the “real tail”. So, their performance is likely to appear satisfactory but this will mean nothing in the overall scheme of things.

    5. This is all about the ideology of the market model. Where is the Isaac Report??

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  6. Psycho Milt (2,405 comments) says:

    “The strength in the system is that you are contracting for performance and if you don’t get that performance then you can cease to continue with the contract,” Key said.

    Given that school “performance” is largely a reflection of the quality of its intake, that’s only a “strength” if you restrict the system to a few expensive Potemkin Villages to keep your more rabid supporters happy. It would be not so much a “strength” as an “appalling weakness” if were applied to the school system as a whole.

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  7. Anodos (116 comments) says:

    Based on all reports South Auckland Middle School is well ahead of its projected opening roll. The schools are funded massively below state school set up costs and then at a decile 3 level. The schools, by law, have a very open enrollment policy. $19 million over 4 years is a very minor part of the education spend. Mr Courtney, and others, have begun spinning the – “they will be successful because” line….moving from their previous defensive position of “there is no evidence….” My guess is the last thing Mr Courtney would do is actually see the schools or contact the people to find out what is really happening. Terrible thing for families to be able to choose schooling that they think will assist their child.

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  8. grumpyoldhori (2,416 comments) says:

    Jesus wept David I thought you would have least have the ability to understand.
    It does NOT MATTER WHAT TYPE OF SCHOOL these kids from low decile areas attend, if they go back to the same shitty home each night.
    And for fucks sake you true believers have got it in your head that these kids will change and their parents will help them with their homework in between swallows of Lion Red.
    You prats really believe that these schools will turn out kids with the same academic ability as what Auckland Grammar does.

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  9. Anodos (116 comments) says:

    Grumpyoldhori….If schools can change nothing – why spend any money on education in those areas at all then? Don’t have schooling for kids from unsupportive homes? Guess it will save money.

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  10. Psycho Milt (2,405 comments) says:

    Courtney, and others, have begun spinning the – “they will be successful because” line…

    Er, “begun?” The idea that this is a scam in which the charter schools get to be “successful” because of their pupil intake and the government gets to claim private schooling is “better” than public, has been one of the main criticisms leveled at the idea since the Nats got their sock puppet ACT to propose it in 2011. Here’s one from December 2011, only a few weeks after the election: http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/the-charter-school-scam/. There’s no “begun” here.

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  11. grumpyoldhori (2,416 comments) says:

    Anodos my argument is that charter schools will change nothing if the kids have a shitty home life, or do you expect parents with a forth form education to help them with their calculus homework ?

    Building more schools like this one would change things, and no I do not care if they are run by a private company.

    http://www.dilworth.school.nz/page.aspx?pid=291

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  12. backster (2,141 comments) says:

    If every pupil comes out of these schools able to read and write and understand arithmetic Iwould imagine that would be an improvement.

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  13. dime (9,805 comments) says:

    So 110 families were forced to move their kids from amazing state schools to this thing? That doesn’t sound right. You’d think the parents would have a choice…

    Unlike the teachers who post here, I hope this is a success. What kind of sociopath hopes a school will fail?

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  14. NK (1,220 comments) says:

    Unlike the teachers who post here, I hope this is a success. What kind of sociopath hopes a school will fail?

    NZ First, Labour, Mana and the Greens. Actually, to be fair, these parties will close these schools down regardless of performance because of their ideology that only the State can provide education.

    Just like only the State can provide food, water, cars, roads, phones, houses, clothes, hospitals, etc……

    Long live the State!!! Solidarity and Seig Hail!!

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  15. artemisia (235 comments) says:

    Bill Courtney (98 comments) says: February 1st, 2014 at 11:01 am
    1. All 5 schools are struggling to meet their projected opening rolls. What of the various claims on this site that the schools would be massively oversubscribed and ballots would be necessary? ….

    South Auckland Middle School has a projected roll of 90 – 120. Actual on opening day 110. I’m betting it will hit 120 pretty soon. So, not struggling then?

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  16. OneTrack (2,973 comments) says:

    grumpoldhori – “Anodos my argument is that charter schools will change nothing i”

    So, what’s your plan grumpy? Just keep doing what we have always done? Or throw more money at drop kick parents who don’t seem to care now, so why will more money help. Is there a magic level of public largesse that will suddenly click?

    “No need to go to school now son, as the government just gives us more money for nothing. If we get a bit light for our next holiday, we can give you another brother or sister. High five.”

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  17. OneTrack (2,973 comments) says:

    “So, not struggling then?”

    Those evil right -wingers, with their press gangs patrolling the streets at night and forcing innocent parents to send their children to these dens of inequity. Just hold on parents, Labour and the Green Party will save you. They have hard-left wing ideology on their side.

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  18. duggledog (1,498 comments) says:

    Grumpy you’re right about Dilworth. Saved many a young lad and there should be many more like it

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  19. Fentex (920 comments) says:
    “The strength in the system is that you are contracting for performance and if you don’t get that performance then you can cease to continue with the contract,” Key said.

    More accountability than standard schools.

    Is that true? Education ministers can dismiss school boards and take take control of non-performing schools. It seems as grave an opportunity for asserting accountability as cancelling a contract to me.

    The hoped for benefits of charter schools is in their permitted liberties to attempt new techniques, not how they’ll be treated if they fail.

    If they fail the question of accountability is a bit moot.

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  20. Rightandleft (662 comments) says:

    Of all the partnership schools being opened South Auckland Middle School certainly has the best chance of succeeding, but not necessarily for the right reasons. The most successful charters in the US are ones which have prior experience and have worked out how to run a school. SAMS is run by the people who already operate the successful Mt Hobson Middle School. I’ve visited that school and have no doubt they are sincere in their desire to improve student outcomes and they will help the lucky students who attend their school. But there are still problems.

    They have not been allowed to select only students being failed by the state system, because the human rights laws won’t allow them to discriminate that way. They advertised only in areas served by state schools with poor results but that doesn’t ensure the students they get are the ones most needing help. It is still very likely they will get students with the most motivated families who care enough about their educations to get them into the new school. Since we know the family makes the biggest difference to education outcomes that already predisposes them to outperform the local state schools.

    A second issue is that their route to success cannot be replicated on a large scale. They have smaller class sizes at least in part because their senior management also teach classes and because they don’t have to pay for the upkeep of large sport facilities and other infrastructure costs which state schools have. Also, because of their smaller size, they get higher per-pupil funding than any state schools. This is the reason the Ministry would not allow them to be set up as integrated or special character schools and why they close state schools whose roll falls too low. It is just too expensive to operate such small schools where an alternative exists.

    By far the highest costs are going to the two Maori language partnership schools. The average per-student funding for a state schools is $6,978/year. The funding for He Puna Marama School is $40,332/student in 2014 and Nga Parirau gets $21,247/student in 2014. Even the least expensive of the partnership schools, Rise Up, will get $9,688/student.

    We can’t possibly afford to establish many more of these schools at those prices. I should certainly hope they get better results with that much money. But the issues remain the same. They may not even be helping the most needy students and even if they do they help only a small minority of them using a system that cannot be replicated system-wide and thus only increase inequality.

    I think a much better solution is trying to improve the failing state schools. National’s executive and change principals idea is a far better way to do this. I’ve long said one of the biggest problems is the lack of collaboration and sharing of best practice between schools. This policy has a hope of breaking down those barriers. There are successful state schools in poor areas. Surely their principals and expert teachers can share what works for them with other local schools, improving all their results.

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  21. Viking2 (11,367 comments) says:

    What never gets said!

    Its the parents choice to send their kids to this school.
    If they don’t get the results they want then they are free to remove them.

    What is wrong with that?

    Anyone got a sound coherent logical argument against freedom of choice.

    Nah, thought not, so fuck off back to your communist shithole.

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  22. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    Bill Courtney – we all know what you are going to say, so why repeat it. Just make a comment with your name and we will all recall what you have said in the past. Saves everyone a lot of time

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  23. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    Anyone got a sound coherent logical argument against freedom of choice.

    Possibly because that supposed choice costs far far more than what we are already paying for? Why not fund state schools with that extra? Surprised you’re not OUTRAGED being a hard working tax payer and all.

    As per Bill Courtney and Rightandleft et al above. You should try re-reading them:

    http://ppta.org.nz/resources/ppta-blog/entry/exorbitant-charter-schools-funding-revealed

    Nah, thought not, so fuck off back to your communist shithole.

    Hurrah, thousands and thousands more tax payer dollars than we’ve ever spent before for more charter schools! Better raise taxes to pay for that!

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  24. Rightandleft (662 comments) says:

    Viking2,

    The problem is these are public funds being spent on these schools. I want my tax money spent on reforms that will actually help, which is why I support the newest National reforms but not partnership schools. These schools are getting a huge amount of money per student with no proof they are even helping the 1 in 7 or so failing in the state system. Then they aren’t under the OIA and so have less accountability for how they spend our tax dollars. And yes I think all bodies heavily funded by tax money should be subject to the OIA.

    I want my tax money spent on solutions that will help all students, not a lucky handful gifted triple the funding of the rest. I have no problem with parent choice.

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  25. Nostradamus (3,295 comments) says:

    Bill Courtney:

    This is all about the ideology of the market model

    That debating tactic works both ways: you’re all about the ideology of the existing state model.

    Here’s a question for you: if, having considered all relevant available information, I choose to send my child to a charter school, then what business is it of yours? What gives you the right to tell me what I can and can’t do?

    And, just to check if you maintain a consistent position, would you ban home schooling?

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  26. Bill Courtney (161 comments) says:

    Nostradamus, you miss the point. You only get the option of charter schools when OUR taxes are used to pay for them! And look how damn expensive they are going to be!

    Given how this was rammed through our “democratic” system, with over 2,000 submissions against the proposal and only 69 in favour, with no substantive case actually put forward (where is the ISAAC Report??), and no pre-election mandate, I think you’ve got a cheek.

    However, you have given me an idea. I was driving down the One Size Fits All Soviet-style central planning system Hutt motorway the other day and I thought how horrible this was! I like 4 lane roads and not 3 lane ones. So, I’m going to write to Steven Joyce and demand he build another motorway so that I can CHOOSE which one suits me. At taxpayer expense, of course. You’ll back me up, I’m sure, won’t you Nostradamus?

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  27. Zapper (1,015 comments) says:

    And Bill Courtney wins the award for the dumbest analogy ever seen on the internet.

    I wonder what that screaming pom I heard getting taken apart by Larry Williams in September has to say. Just kidding, I know that facts don’t stand in her way, much like Bill Courtney will be negative regardless of the result. Success is inevitable, so his position won’t change. If any student is remotely close to failing anything though, boy, we’ll hear from this communist then.

    That English chick that Williams took apart was brilliant. Larry quoted study after study, she said they were wrong before finally admitting she hadn’t read them.

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  28. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    Success is inevitable, so his position won’t change.

    Because they have more resources, yes.

    Ho hum. What a fantastic scientifc experiment – we pumped more money into education, we chose our students, and we got better results! F* me – I could write that hypothesis in my sleep.

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  29. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    And Bill Courtney wins the award for the dumbest analogy ever seen on the internet.

    I thought it was quite a good one. I mean Nostro seems quite in favour of giving these schools a lot more money, seeing as his kids are going to them, right? So he must be in favour of tax hikes, asset sales, and other cut backs in order to fund more of them – surely.

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  30. All_on_Red (1,557 comments) says:

    itstricky
    Actually itsimple, all the evidence is that cutting taxes actually leads to more tax revenue. So let’s cut taxes to pay for more charter schools.

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  31. Viking2 (11,367 comments) says:

    Rightandleft (545 comments) says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Viking2,

    The problem is these are public funds being spent on these schools. I want my tax money spent on reforms that will actually help, which is why I support the newest National reforms but not partnership schools. These schools are getting a huge amount of money per student with no proof they are even helping the 1 in 7 or so failing in the state system. Then they aren’t under the OIA and so have less accountability for how they spend our tax dollars. And yes I think all bodies heavily funded by tax money should be subject to the OIA.

    I want my tax money spent on solutions that will help all students, not a lucky handful gifted triple the funding of the rest. I have no problem with parent choice.
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    ===============================

    So, plenty of non state schools are publicly funded these days. in fact Wellington & Lower Hutt have had schools outside the state system since Adam wore underpants. Despite that they managed some degree of state funding and frankly I can see no reason why each child shouldn’t be allocated so much per year for the parents to spend at whatever school they choose. Why should parents who choose other than state schools not get the same funding allocated to their child??

    In case this is inspiring to you its been ACT policy for as long as ACT has been around.
    It seems that people like yourself are unable to trust others to do a good or better job than the state funded pariahs of the education unions.

    People like you want the state to rule your life. So fuck off to Cuba, if its just your nose and arse you want wiped join an old folks home as I’m sure they have someone qualified to do that for you.

    Gees people who give their brains and freedom to others are sad buggers.

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  32. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    Actually itsimple, all the evidence is that cutting taxes actually leads to more tax revenue

    Good stuff. This was about schools so save that for the Conservative Party pre-election bash, I’m sure you’ll have a good time talking politics.

    Incidentally, you should study that more before waffling it out. To think that human nature leads to -not- cheat the system just becuase the numbers are lower is, well, wrong. To believe that people will work extra hours (therefore making up the shortfall in the tax decrease) is also completely wrong.

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  33. Rightandleft (662 comments) says:

    Viking2,

    If you read my comments on other threads you would know I’m no lefty. My concern is not that the state run all schools, it is that my tax money not be wasted on pet projects that benefit only a handful of people. That’s a fiscally conservative position.

    Even if we go with your argument, that funding follow the child, that still makes the partnership schools a major problem as they give nearly 6 times the funding to children at one school than the average state school student gets. How is that a good use of tax money?

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  34. Anodos (116 comments) says:

    R&L – if you are genuinely concerned about your taxpayer money being wasted you would be asking for an inquiry into the schools that year after year receive in excess of $10 million and have more that 50% of their Year 11 students failing level one NCEA. These are the schools that then blame the child or their family background. If they cannot help then they should not be taking the money – and neither should the teachers.

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  35. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    Possibly because that supposed choice costs far far more than what we are already paying for? Why not fund state schools with that extra? Surprised you’re not OUTRAGED being a hard working tax payer and all.

    It won’t be more expensive. At least, no more expensive than equivalent-sized state schools. The cabinet paper explicitly talks about equivalence with state school funding.

    The PPTA item titled ‘Exorbitant charter schools funding revealed’ is comparing the average per-student amount, yet the cabinet paper it links to says (in item 36) “the development of resourcing formula for Partnership Schools based on equivalence with state schools highlighted the significant amount of base funding that small schools get that is not role-related.”

    Item 37 spells out the point explicitly: “the cost of small schools is much higher on a per student basis than larger schools.”

    The PPTA items mentions this crucial fact in passing but then ignores it and proceeds with its thoroughly misleading comparison using average state funding. It should be comparing the “much higher” costs of equivalent sized small state schools.

    Now, it may well be that moving to charter schools will be more expensive, but only if the average school size is smaller than now. But that strikes me as money well spent on good education. As item 10 says: “There are significant benefits from students from low socio-economic backgrounds gaining a level of education that will enable them to achieve economic and social well-being throughout their lives. We want five out of five learners to achieve educational success because of these benefits.”

    The real problem the PPTA has with charter schools is mentioned in cabinet recommendation number 4: “Partnership schools have greater flexibility than state schools. Partnership schools can: negotiate the number of registered teachers they employ; negotiate salary levels and employment conditions with employees…”

    The horror!

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  36. Nostradamus (3,295 comments) says:

    Bill Courtney:

    Nostradamus, you miss the point. You only get the option of charter schools when OUR taxes are used to pay for them! And look how damn expensive they are going to be!

    Good grief – I really would have thought that line of argument was beneath someone who claims to be an expert in this area. Just embarrassing.

    Wat Dabney has saved me time by correctly interpreting the Cabinet paper (and, in turn, by demonstrating how misleading your argument is). It’s about economic equivalence.

    Oh, and while I have your attention Bill, I suspect this was the other aspect of the Cabinet paper that attracted your attention:

    Increased opportunities to adopt successful and innovative practice from Partnership Schools for use in state schools. Sharing successful practices is one of lhe purposes of the Partnership Schools model. Some of the approaches or practices In Partnership Schools, if successful, could be adopted by state schools. Possible examples could be innovative ways to engage students in learning, a more outcomes-focused approach to school reporting, or the ways that the schools provide pastoral care for their students.

    Do you oppose a more “outcomes-focused approach to school reporting” in state schools? And do you have any response to my query regarding home schooling?

    And itstricky… hello! My child won’t be going to a charter school. Unlike you, apparently, I’m basing my argument on something other than self-interest (you can take that as an opportunity to confirm that you aren’t associated with the teacher unions).

    For what it’s worth, my five-year-old daughter attends a private school. Her reading level is advanced – to give you just one example – to the extent that she was able to read aloud (by herself and without assistance) most of the items on her uniform list when we bought her new uniform a couple of days ago. This is consistent with my personal belief that education, and a love of learning, starts in the home and at a young age. I won’t be sending her to a state school, given the uncertain educational outcomes, thank you.

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  37. Psycho Milt (2,405 comments) says:

    Actually itsimple, all the evidence is that cutting taxes actually leads to more tax revenue

    Seeing as you guys always go for a reductio ad absurdum whenever anyone mentions minimum wages… Awesome! These means if the government cuts tax rates to 0% it will bring in $Infinity in tax revenue!

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  38. Psycho Milt (2,405 comments) says:

    The real problem the PPTA has with charter schools is mentioned in cabinet recommendation number 4: “Partnership schools have greater flexibility than state schools. Partnership schools can: negotiate the number of registered teachers they employ; negotiate salary levels and employment conditions with employees…”

    That’s true, in the sense that it reveals the policy has more to do with efforts to break the teacher unions than it does with education. Of course the teacher unions don’t like the government pissing taxpayers’ money away trying to wreck teachers’ unions – I’m not that chuffed about it myself.

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  39. Zapper (1,015 comments) says:

    Wrecking teachers unions would be fantastic for education. Unless you’re in the union and rely on them for your salary. Which is the same as being a mindless moron. So I guess you’re in the PPTA Psycho

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  40. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    Quite right Psycho,

    Wat’s logic goes like this -: Charter schools aren’t actually more expensive because small schools in general are more expensive. Small schools are better (I am presuming due to better ratios between teacher and pupil, in this case) and therefore we should strive for that.

    Well I quite happen to agree, if everyone else agrees that we’ll all fork out extra for all the administration costs of all of these smaller schools.

    But… what I don’t get here is… why can’t that be done as is, where is, now? I mean Wat’s statements above don’t actually mention anywhere why the smaller charter school is better than the smaller state school. I’m sure he can elaborate for us how vastly different the cirriculum and the teachers are (they’re not “normal” teachers, you know) but I think it probably does just come down to the last paragraph that you’ve highlighted which you can summarise like this:

    We want to break the collective contracts.

    Good stuff John bouy, good stuff. Stick to planking next time and stop wasting our time and our money. (That could be Key or Banks, I hear they’re both plankers). If you want to kiss babies, perhaps put the kissing money to the structures that already exist rather than tip it into the pot of ideological tar slush.

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  41. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    Wrecking teachers unions would be fantastic for education.

    Free market rules! Sell kid’s grades for cash! Trade them in for annual leave! Wicked! I can’t wait!

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  42. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    Unless you’re in the union and rely on them for your salary.

    Incidentally – I think you may have completely and absolutely misunderstood what a union is. But keep mocking what you don’t understand, I’m sure you’ve got a really good, cheap, employment lawyer that stands up for your every right at very little cost. What’s that? You mean you *didn’t* read all the fine print in your contract? You don’t have a redundancy clause? You’re not getting anything extra for those Saturday 6am starts? Oh, shame… Disclaimer: I’m not in a union, I’m not a representative and I work as probably as far away from that as anyone could.

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  43. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Teaching begins at home

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  44. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,570 comments) says:

    Ah yes, all the usual doom and gloom merchants rehashing the same boring, tired arguments about these schools.
    Let them cry about taxes being “wasted”… they’re just upset the money isn’t being spent on hip hop tours and union slush funds.
    We had some incredible charter schools set up in London, parents of all walks of life lining up to get their kids into a school of their choice. No massive fees to restrict the poor and the types of teachers being recruited were bloody rockstars. Even have a charter Autism school opening up in a few months which is supported by the National Autism Society.

    ACT has always supported this rather left wing Swedish education policy since inception. NZ is just light years behind in their mentality yet again.

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  45. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,570 comments) says:

    @ it’s tricky… you have a rather weird idea about what unions do these days. No surprises… that’s why unions actively recruit those with little education. That’s why union membership will never be high like it was in the compulsory days!

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  46. Rightandleft (662 comments) says:

    Every member of the teacher’s union has at least a Bachelor’s degree and a year of post-grad study, and about 95% of all secondary teachers belong to the union, so it may be you who is confused, liberal minded kiwi.

    Anodos,

    There are regular inquiries into those failing schools by the ERO. Their results are reported to the public and their Board of Trustees are accountable to the community through elections held every three years. The way they spend those millions can be checked through an OIA request.

    I agree it is a problem that they are failing so many students but I think National’s new programme of installing change and executive principals from successful schools on a system-wide basis is a much, much better solution than parachuting out a small number of lucky students to small schools that give them special treatment while leaving the vast majority behind.

    People may then argue that the answer is simply to build more partnership schools, but that just isn’t the case. The cost of such schools is prohibitive. They cannot be replicated across the system at such a high price per student. A big part of the reason they cost so much is because they are so small, but that doesn’t change the fact that they cost too much to put more than a small percentage of our students in. Also, while I have confidence in SAMS to do well by its students I can’t say the same for all of the pilot schools. Some of them can’t even deliver the curriculum without help from the supposedly failing local state schools.

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  47. cha (3,933 comments) says:

    ACT has always supported this rather left wing Swedish education policy since inception

    Fuck yeah, their largest private school operator is going bust, questions being asked about school quality and some doubts about the privatization experiment let’s follow Sweden.
    /

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  48. cha (3,933 comments) says:

    edit: missed the window – some doubts about the privatization experiment

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  49. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    Wat’s statements above don’t actually mention anywhere why the smaller charter school is better than the smaller state school

    Not every charter school is going to be better than every state school, and some charter schools will fail and be forced to close. That’s a feature, not a bug.

    And state schools have not been abolished. It just gives a lucky few a choice.

    So where is the problem? Until now a private education has been restricted to a small, rich minority.

    (By the way, those posting laments for the unionised teachers should be utterly ashamed of themselves. The education system should exist only to serve the customers – the children and parents – not the suppliers.)

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  50. deadrightkev (415 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt

    I sometimes wonder if you are retarded.

    It is well accepted that too higher tax leads to an army of accountants for avoidance or evasion. If a rate is low and flat there is more money in the productive sector and the need for evasion is much reduced.

    Charter schools are just plain common sense and long overdue. If parents are able to choose where the kids go to school and those schools are contracted to deliver results for the kids/parents or go broke that seems to me a big step forward to a state school that doesn’t have to perform but still gets funding.

    The NZEI and PPTA simply want to retain power and they don’t give a shot about education or NZ progress.

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  51. All_on_Red (1,557 comments) says:

    “Psycho Milt I sometimes wonder if you are retarded.”

    I gave up wondering that years ago. His political bias ruins his ability to think objectively. If National said the sky was blue, he’d argue it was not.

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  52. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    Funny that as I too have worked with highly intelligent post grad qualified union members and so have direct relatives. And these unions are not any of the teacher’s ones. Esp. when you’re commenting from outside the country it sounds like a bit of cop out – you’ve been told something and just accepted it.

    WRT charter schools in London. It has been pointed out several times that our existing autonomous community run state schools are equivalent to “charter” schools overseas where state schools don’t have the same degree of existing freedom. I too have previously read the Swedish critisms and would have to agree.

    Please feel free to tell me what the differences between these types of schools **in NZ** are.

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  53. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    Wat I’ll reply to the rest when I have time but your statement about unions is straight rubbish. You are saying that teachers are not normal humans not normal workers and therefore are not entitled to representation. What a lot of cop. Newsflash, employment dusputes do happen in schools, you know.

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  54. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    You are saying that teachers are not normal humans not normal workers and therefore are not entitled to representation.

    Grow up.

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  55. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    Not every charter school is going to be better than every state school, and some charter schools will fail and be forced to close. That’s a feature, not a bug.

    And state schools have not been abolished. It just gives a lucky few a choice.

    So where is the problem?

    The problem is two sets of state funded schools. It is obvious that one set will have to close. That’s as obvious as putting two schools on two sets of land right next to each other and saying “here parents, here’s your choice”. Sooner or later, one of them will have to close.

    So why have two sets in the first place?

    The only rational answer is the difference between the two sets.

    And the only real difference between the two sets is that one set has teachers that are not unionised.

    c.f. the only real reason that charter schools exist is to bust collective contracts, and force schools into a free market ideology.

    Before you say “what’s wrong with that” – think to yourself – why do companies and markets exist? Just one solid reason – to make money. That is the only reason and their most defining feature. Ask yourself if that’s how you want children educated?

    Good on your last comment; you can clearly work through your thinking without getting all flustered.

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  56. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    My child won’t be going to a charter school. Unlike you, apparently, I’m basing my argument on something other than self-interest (you can take that as an opportunity to confirm that you aren’t associated with the teacher unions).

    Cool, your choice. You are free to make that choice and pay out of your own pocket for something different. No problems with that whatsoever. If you’ve made that choice and are happy with it, it makes it hard for me to believe that you’d have solid opinions on the current state system – you’ve already written it off without experiencing it. And I do have a problem with the Government enforcing and idealised and expensive experiment with the state schools that are provided for everyone.

    I have nothing to do with unions and I am not directly in the pay of any educational institutions.

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  57. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    It is well accepted that too higher tax leads to an army of accountants for avoidance or evasion. If a rate is low and flat there is more money in the productive sector and the need for evasion is much reduced.

    Nah – what do you think will happen? People will just suddenly start working extra hours because tax is low? People will stop cheating the system just because it’s lower? Really? You have a lot of faith.

    The NZEI and PPTA simply want to retain power and they don’t give a shot about education or NZ progress

    The Government, nay ACT, simply want to break collective contracts and they don’t give a shot about education or NZ progress.

    What makes your statement any more correct than mine? Because you -know- you’re right?

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  58. All_on_Red (1,557 comments) says:

    “give a shot about education or NZ progress.”

    Stop telling lies

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  59. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    And, god dawng it, if you ‘aven’t gone and proven my point…

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