A school that doesn’t accept failure

June 27th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Audrey Young reports:

Charlene Reid is what you might call a rockstar among teachers.

It’s not what she would call herself.

She is just getting on with it at what used to be an ordinary school in the Bronx district of New York where she is Head of School.

But she is being noticed for the results being achieved there.

It’s a charter school, privately run but publicly funded, and fees cannot be charged to the parents. …

In state-wide testing, it was ranked the highest K-8 charter school in New York state and fourth among all.

The other top five were schools for gifted and talented or specialty schools that can choose their students. At BCSE they don’t. Anyone from the local area gets precedence. If there are 60 applicants from the area, they get automatic entry; if there is more, there is a ballot. About 10 per cent of the students have special needs.

Isn’t that a stunning result. Up in the top five with schools restricted to gifted students, and they’re in the Bronx and have 10% special needs students.

Having high expectations, said Reid, was a big feature of her school’s success.

“Expectation, confidence and attitude that you can deliver. I don’t think any teacher goes into the classroom saying they want a kid to fail. I think what happens is that you don’t know how to get a child to learn, then it is very difficult to look at yourself and say ‘I’m the reason why’.

“What we’ve done here at BCSE is we have pointed the finger at ourselves and said if it is not working, it’s our fault. It’s nobody else’s fault. We took this job on. We are educators.

“We are going to figure it out. We are adults. There is no way you should blame a child who has only been on this Earth 60 months if they can’t read or they can’t write or that they’re poor or their parents were educated or they live in a particular environment.

This is what I find so appalling by the apologists for poor performance on the left. Their worldview is that poor achievement is all about the family’s income, and that you shouldn’t expect students from poor backgrounds to be able to achieve at the highest level. The bigotry of low expectations.

This principal shows what you can achieve when you don’t buy into that.

 

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66 Responses to “A school that doesn’t accept failure”

  1. Ryan Sproull (7,024 comments) says:

    This is what I find so appalling by the apologists for poor performance on the left. Their worldview is that poor achievement is all about the family’s income, and that you shouldn’t expect students from poor backgrounds to be able to achieve at the highest level. The bigotry of low expectations.

    DPF, do you believe that there is any statistical correlation between any of the following?

    Family income and student achievement.
    Education level of parents and student achievement.
    Living in a particular environment and student achievement.

    And if so, just how much of your “expecting students to achieve at the highest level” would it take for those correlations to disappear?

    How many people would need to expect students to achieve at the highest level at the same time?

    Would it be more effective if we held hands while we expected students to achieve at the highest level? Perhaps some crystals would focus the power?

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  2. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    Family does make a huge difference. Kids with parents who spend time educating them at home have a big advantage at school compared to kids whose parents don’t give a shit. There will naturally be a correlation with income because the same parents probably don’t give a shit at work either, or didn’t work hard when they were at school. But parents don’t actually need money to help a kid learn and dumping money on them will not change their behaviour.

    I would guess that the success of this school is not primarily their attitude. It is that they spend much more time than public schools actually working on reading, writing and maths. A low decile NZ school that spent the first four years doing nothing except the three R’s all day every day, would easily outperform even high decile state schools.

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  3. Ryan Sproull (7,024 comments) says:

    To be clear, my point is that I’ve never seen anyone on the left say that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are incapable of high achievement, but they do point out that there are correlations and trends, and there is a difference between believing a trend on a statistical scale highlights a problem and believing that an individual will achieve poorly because he or she is part of a population represented in that trend.

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  4. peterwn (3,139 comments) says:

    Such schools are a menace to the established order.
    Ex-ter-min-ate Ex-ter-min-ate Ex-ter-min-ate

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  5. deckboy (13 comments) says:

    “Their worldview is that poor achievement is all about the family’s income, and that you shouldn’t expect students from poor backgrounds to be able to achieve at the highest level. The bigotry of low expectations”

    Our PM is a great example of what can be achieved.

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  6. Lance (2,439 comments) says:

    @deckboy
    But he sold out, betrayed his class and made …. money… bastard.

    /sarcasm/

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  7. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    A correlation between family income and student achievement in no way implies that increasing the family income through benefits will increase student achievement. Parents need to spend time with their kids and use a public library, which costs nothing. The gap between my kids and their classmates was not achieved by spending money, in fact if I was unemployed I expect that gap would be quite a lot bigger because I would have more time available.

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  8. NK (1,060 comments) says:

    Ryan, I think by the very establishment of Charter Schools and their drive to permit children from lower socio-economic areas to attend them and to encourage achievement at things the children ordinarily wouldn’t achieve at, is by itself acknowledgement that the correlations and trends are probably true.

    I don’t think there is much doubt that the more secure, loving and prosperous your upbringing is, the more likely you will achieve academic excellence.

    The question out of all this is: Considering this is practically a given, why has NZ First, Labour and Greens unequivocally stated they will close all Charter Schools ?

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  9. Bill Courtney (139 comments) says:

    David Farrar is a political blogger who descends to the lowest depths possible whenever he writes about education. He usually creates a “strawman” and puts words into other people’s mouths, only to then attack them for something they have not said.

    This post is a classic. To attempt to argue that “the left” asserts that “you shouldn’t expect students from poor backgrounds to be able to achieve at the highest level. The bigotry of low expectations.” is about as low as it gets.

    To reiterate, for the record, here are the findings from the major OECD study of teaching in 2005:

    “The first and most solidly based finding is that the largest source of variation in student learning is attributable to differences in what students bring to school – their abilities and attitudes, and family and community background.”

    Which bit of this can’t you understand, Mr Farrar? Why does every major country in the world, based on its PISA results, show an unbroken link between socio-economic status and student achievement? WHY?? Because the out-of-school factors have a much greater influence than within schools factors.

    The Right hate to admit this. It’s much easier to blame teachers and schools than to acknowledge the reality of the world they have created.

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  10. trout (898 comments) says:

    A research study was undertaken in some South Auckland schools whereby teachers were surveyed as to their expectations of what particular kids were capable of. The kids were then independently tested. Without exception the kids were found to be more capable that the teachers gave them credit for. It was easy to conclude that if the teachers expectations are low then they just give up on the motivating the kids and take the easy route by doing the minimum required.

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  11. dime (9,355 comments) says:

    “To be clear, my point is that I’ve never seen anyone on the left say that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are incapable of high achievement, but they do point out that there are correlations and trends”

    but if you point out trends like – only maori kids have been beaten to death in the last 5 years youre a wacist

    money has nothing to do with how well a kid can do at primary school in this country.

    it comes down to loser parents who can barely look after themselves. the sort who are guaranteed to raise shitty human beings.

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  12. Ross12 (1,143 comments) says:

    Bill
    That’s right blame everyone else except the schools. Did you actually read the article ???

    Also if you read the comments some are saying exactly what your fancy report says — parent involvement is very important. No one would argue with that. But have you stopped to think what is happening with the kids going to the Charter Schools — their parents have been involved and are making a decision which they think is in the best interests of their kids.

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  13. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Courtney: You epitomise the leeching left apologists that hate seeing those of a right-wing persuasion outflanking them. The teaching profession per se, is preoccupied enforcing their unions’ doctrine and social engineering . . . do they not realise Clark and Simpson are now pushing agendas at the hapless UN and they have had their day!

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  14. mandk (815 comments) says:

    “Their worldview is that poor achievement is all about the family’s income, and that you shouldn’t expect students from poor backgrounds to be able to achieve at the highest level”

    Socialist would deny this, of course, but its true.

    Yet another example of why socialism is cruel towards the very people it purports to support.

    The poor and the disadvantaged are just vote fodder.

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  15. Greg Sands (10 comments) says:

    These recent blog posts are worth reading, with extracts from The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley:
    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2014/06/21/smartest-kids-in-the-world-american-schools/
    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2014/06/23/smartest-kids-in-the-world-poland/
    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2014/06/25/smartest-kids-in-the-world-finland/

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  16. dime (9,355 comments) says:

    “The Right hate to admit this. It’s much easier to blame teachers and schools than to acknowledge the reality of the world they have created.”

    since when did the “right” create the multigenerational shit bag welfare recipients?

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  17. Lance (2,439 comments) says:

    @Bill Courtney

    So is the lower socio-economic group there because of poor educational outcomes or because of poor educational outcomes they are in the lower socio-economic group?

    The difference is one involves personal responsibility, the other is it’s someone else’s fault.

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  18. OneTrack (2,563 comments) says:

    Ryan – “To be clear, my point is that I’ve never seen anyone on the left say that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are incapable of high achievement….”

    Bill Courtney@12:55 seems to have just said exactly that.

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  19. NK (1,060 comments) says:

    “The first and most solidly based finding is that the largest source of variation in student learning is attributable to differences in what students bring to school – their abilities and attitudes, and family and community background.”

    Which bit of this can’t you understand, Mr Farrar? Why does every major country in the world, based on its PISA results, show an unbroken link between socio-economic status and student achievement? WHY?? Because the out-of-school factors have a much greater influence than within schools factors.

    The Right hate to admit this. It’s much easier to blame teachers and schools than to acknowledge the reality of the world they have created.

    Bill, it is a stated fact that Charter Schools are there to produce excellence for the very children you just mention.

    So why does Labour, Greens and NZ First want to prevent this?

    And, are you still teaching?

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  20. Ryan Sproull (7,024 comments) says:

    Ryan, I think by the very establishment of Charter Schools and their drive to permit children from lower socio-economic areas to attend them and to encourage achievement at things the children ordinarily wouldn’t achieve at, is by itself acknowledgement that the correlations and trends are probably true.

    I don’t think there is much doubt that the more secure, loving and prosperous your upbringing is, the more likely you will achieve academic excellence.

    The question out of all this is: Considering this is practically a given, why has NZ First, Labour and Greens unequivocally stated they will close all Charter Schools ?

    Thanks for your response, NK. Yes, I agree that these are questions worth putting to those parties.

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  21. Bill Courtney (139 comments) says:

    One Track @ 1:12
    Your comment sums up my view perfectly: I have said nothing of the sort! You are putting those words into my mouth, which is exactly the point of my comment about the David Farrar approach.

    Let us be clear: the largest influences are those out-of-school and not those within schools. Teachers and schools try and lean back against the outside influences and some succeed to a greater or lesser extent than others. But the essence of this argument is summed up in an excellent quote from Professor David Berliner:

    “For reasons that are hard to fathom, too many people believe that in education the exceptions are the rule. Presidents and politicians of both parties are quick to point out the wonderful but occasional story of a child’s rise from poverty to success and riches. They also often proudly recite the heroic, remarkable, but occasional impact of a teacher or a school on a child. These stories of triumph by individuals who were born poor, or success by educators who changed the lives of their students are widely believed narratives about our land and people, celebrated in the press, on television and in the movies.

    But in fact, these are simply myths that help us feel good to be American. These stories of success reflect real events, and thus they are certainly worth studying and celebrating so we might learn more about how they occur (cf. Casanova, 2010). But the general case is that poor people stay poor and that teachers and schools serving impoverished youth do not often succeed in changing the life chances for their students.

    America’s dirty little secret is that a large majority of poor kids attending schools that serve the poor are not going to have successful lives. Reality is not nearly as comforting as myths. Reality does not make us feel good. But the facts are clear. Most children born into the lower social classes will not make it out of that class, even when exposed to heroic educators. A simple statistic illustrates this point: In an age where college degrees are important for determining success in life, only 9 percent of low income children will obtain those degrees (Bailey and Dynarski, 2011). And that discouraging figure is based on data from before the recent recession that has hurt family income and resulted in large increases in college tuition. Thus, the current rate of college completion by low-income students is now probably lower than suggested by these data. Powerful social forces exist to constrain the lives led by the poor, and our nation pays an enormous price for not trying harder to ameliorate these conditions.”

    Lots more at Diane Ravitch’s excellent blogsite:
    http://dianeravitch.net/2012/07/23/your-homework-berliner-on-education-and-inequality/

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  22. mister nui (960 comments) says:

    Jesus H Christ on a bicycle…. I knew lefties were thick, but Bill Courtney surely does take the cake.

    No one, including DPF, has said that socio-economic background isn’t a hindrance to students ability to achieve.

    By having high quality teachers and a school environment that has the pupils actively engaged, without fear of bullying, from either teachers or fellow students, then of course, the students willingness to learn and hence achieve is increased.

    Why do the union wallahs think that every teacher, no matter how useless, is protected species???

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  23. dime (9,355 comments) says:

    “Most children born into the lower social classes will not make it out of that class, even when exposed to heroic educators”

    funny how the bigger the govt gets, the harder economic mobility becomes.

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  24. gump (1,471 comments) says:

    I support charter schools, but I don’t believe that they’re a magic solution.

    The truth is that some charter schools perform very well and some perform badly. The differences in performance predominantly come down to leadership – which is the same problem faced by state schools.

    For an example of what happens when charter schools are badly managed, read this recent article:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11278582

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  25. mister nui (960 comments) says:

    You know Bill, Einstein once said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    We have inter-generational welfare dependency and hopelessness, which is affecting these students ability to learn. This has largely been created by the left and their “marvelous” welfare state, and then further perpetuated by lefty unionist scumbags, who are totally against trying a different approach to education. You have created a perpetual cycle in effect.

    We have to break this cycle and one way of doing that is by educating kids in a way that they’re engaged. I don’t really care what that looks like, but what I do care about is that those students are enjoying their education and taking that home to their families. A bottom-up approach could be just what’s needed here, because clearly, a top-down approach of engaging the parents has failed, since, like, forever.

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  26. mister nui (960 comments) says:

    Most children born into the lower social classes will not make it out of that class, even when exposed to heroic educators

    Can’t you see what is so very wrong with this statement Bill????

    You lot have given up before you’ve started.

    If someone who worked for me had this sort of approach to the hugely technically complex problems that we have to solve, they’d be on their bike.

    Do you ask yourself everyday, how can I become a better person today? Do you teach your family to rise above the bogans and scum and become better people everyday?

    Yes, it’s hard work to continually better yourself, and those that surround you, but the dividends are huge. Ultimately, isn’t that why we pay teachers?

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  27. Ross12 (1,143 comments) says:

    Greg @ 1.09om Thanks for the links. Really good reading and I’d recommend others have look.

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  28. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    No one, including DPF, has said that socio-economic background isn’t a hindrance to students ability to achieve.

    Really? I have said it twice already in this thread but it’s worth repeating a third time.

    Being poor does not cause underachievement at school. The correlation is due to both being independently caused by having parents who are basically useless human beings.

    But it’s easy to be both poor and illiterate and have high achieving kids simply by choosing not to be a crappy parent, as any number of Vietnamese and other refugees have demonstrated.

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  29. NK (1,060 comments) says:

    Yeah, and I’ve said it too Nigel.

    And this from a supposed champion educator is remarkable:

    Most children born into the lower social classes will not make it out of that class, even when exposed to heroic educators.

    Virtually the only way out is through education, and therefore a high-paying job. It’s statements like this that absolutely confirm to me I’m on the *right* side.

    Bill hasn’t answered my question about whether he is still teaching. I desperately need to know so I don’t send my daughter to his school.

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  30. mister nui (960 comments) says:

    Nigel, I think we agree. I certainly don’t say, or mean, that being poor is the cause of under-achievement. It most definitely can be a hindrance though, but as you quite rightly state, the correlation is that quite often, the family is poor through the parents own lack of ambition.

    Which is why I believe we need to instill the ambition in the kids at school, such that they take it home, rather than just throwing our arms in the air because the parents are useless.

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  31. CryHavoc (42 comments) says:

    Ross12 absolutely agree and thanks Greg, those links are very enlightening. He quotes from a book comparing Finnish schools to American ones, particularly in their attitudes to students from diverse backgrounds. This bit stood out for me:

    “When pressed, he [Finnish teacher] told me about one of his students in particular. She had six brothers and sisters; her father was a janitor and her mother took care of other people’s children. Money was very tight. But she was, he said, the top student in his class. Vuorinen was visibly uncomfortable labeling his students. “I don’t want to have too much empathy for them,” he explained, “because I have to teach. If I thought about all of this too much, I would give better marks to them for worse work. I’d think, ‘Oh, you poor kid. Oh, well, what can I do?’ That would make my job too easy.” He seemed acutely aware of the effect that expectations could have on his teaching. Empathy for kids’ home lives could strip the rigor from his classroom. “I want to think about them as all the same.””

    It’s just one example but it articulates well an issue I think we have here – we’re so worried about identifying difference that we forget to treat all students the same. You couple that with relatively soft standards (there’s another post about the Finnish matriculation exam which has a two-day exam just for Finnish) and it’s a recipe for entrenching poor achievement, I reckon.

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  32. Bob R (1,332 comments) says:

    ***Powerful social forces exist to constrain the lives led by the poor, and our nation pays an enormous price for not trying harder to ameliorate these conditions.”***

    Err, if you look at the conditions of jewish immigrants 100 years ago in the US, or Asian Americans at various stages, they have also experienced poverty. For some reason they tend to have high levels of educational attainment. I suspect the reasons relate to innate ability and motivation/culture. Just reading about John Key’s upbringing is an example.

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  33. Bill Courtney (139 comments) says:

    NK: Bill hasn’t answered my question about whether he is still teaching. I desperately need to know so I don’t send my daughter to his school.

    Sorry NK, not a teacher and never have been. Never worked in the public sector at all, either.

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  34. All_on_Red (1,332 comments) says:

    Bill Courtney
    “David Farrar is a political blogger who descends to the lowest depths possible whenever he writes about education. ”

    Oh what a hypocrite you are . You think it’s alright to put an article like this http://www.eduvac.co.nz/news/2014/06/05/parata-denies-hitting-staff-member in your magazine Edu Vac knowing full well that this unsubstantiated smear will come up on google searches of Parata’s name.
    How about it if we were to write articles about you headed up ” BILL COURTNEY DENIES BEATING HIS WIFE AND HAVING SEX WITH HIS DOG.”
    Let’s see how that one goes on google for you.

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  35. Bill Courtney (139 comments) says:

    All_on_Red: Oh what a hypocrite you are . You think it’s alright to put an article like this http://www.eduvac.co.nz/news/2014/06/05/parata-denies-hitting-staff-member in your magazine Edu Vac

    Sorry, not a teacher and have nothing to do with this publication, either!

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  36. All_on_Red (1,332 comments) says:

    Bullshit, you’ve written five opinions for them in the last 12 months and your organisation Qpec is linked to it.

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  37. NK (1,060 comments) says:

    Thanks Bill.

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  38. Odakyu-sen (439 comments) says:

    If you gave poor families more money, would they spend it in a way that raised their children’s scholastic performance?

    I am sure the family would think “I love this government because it is giving me more money,” but would this lead to better students?

    It’s all about attitude to receiving help. You can’t help people unless they want to be helped. And “help” does not equal “give them money” because no one ever says “no” to free money.

    (Sorry about the rant.)

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  39. mikenmild (10,600 comments) says:

    ‘Their worldview is that poor achievement is all about the family’s income, and that you shouldn’t expect students from poor backgrounds to be able to achieve at the highest level.’
    Classic straw man DPF.

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  40. dime (9,355 comments) says:

    Gee Bill, i see whale oil is a fan lol

    “And there’s the looney Bill Courtney, or “concerned parent” as NZEI always likes to describe him.”

    “Chairperson of Quality Public Educatin Coalition (QPEC), Bill Courtney”

    no wondr you show up whenever their is a charter school post

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  41. Bill Courtney (139 comments) says:

    dime: no wondr you show up whenever their is a charter school post”

    Yes, as I am a strong supporter of the need for a good quality public education system and that I also believe that the primary driver of the charter school movement in America NOW is the privatisation of public education.

    There have been numerous blogs and comments on charter schools over the past two years and I hold firmly to that view. Although the charter school idea started in the education sector, championed by people such as Albert Shanker, it has now been taken over by the “reformers” who believe in the market model. Unfortunately, that model does not provide better outcomes across the board.

    Within the charter school sector, there is a very wide range of performance and this is really the key finding of the CREDO Study. On average, they are so close to traditional public schools that differences are trivial (slightly ahead on Reading and slightly behind on Maths). But the variation is wide, so simply being a charter school will not guarantee success.

    BCSE may well be an outstanding charter school but you cannot prove the concept by anecdote. That was David Berliner’s point.

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  42. mikenmild (10,600 comments) says:

    dime won’t care about your high-falutin’, factual statements, Bill, so I wouldn’t waste my time.

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  43. Zapper (925 comments) says:

    In other words, regardless of any evidence I hold firm to my view which coincidentally benefits me.

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  44. Bill Courtney (139 comments) says:

    Zapper: In other words, regardless of any evidence I hold firm to my view which coincidentally benefits me.

    Wrong on both counts. How does my view benefit me?

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  45. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    “What we’ve done here at BCSE is we have pointed the finger at ourselves and said if it is not working, it’s our fault. It’s nobody else’s fault. We took this job on. We are educators.

    “We are going to figure it out. We are adults.

    wow, how enlightened is this.

    It is of course not new even in NZ.

    Many years ago when the govt. ran a program called Training Within Industry, TWI, (and only us old people will remember I’m sure), one the the mantra’s was simply” if the learner hasn’t learnt, then the teacher hasn’t taught”
    Still believe that.

    TWI was developed during the war to quickly upskill or train new people to the workplace. It was run under the auspices of the Labour Dept. and they ran train the trainer sessions and lots more. It’s simple and it worked.
    Still use it when training. Ingrained habit.

    Can;t see any reference on Google. Its back a few years before Google. Many who worked in Govt. organizations would have done these courses, perhaps even under another name. The Post Office used it all the time. Now don’t go on about the post office efficiency because that was a management issue not a training issue.

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  46. Bob (478 comments) says:

    Low family income is not the only reason children don’t perform. It is not just that parents don’t care. It is that parents are ignorant. They put toddlers in front of the television most of the day using it as a child minder. They don’t talk to them. They don’t read books to them. As they grow up they don’t tell them there are many good jobs they can strive for. They can’t teach and stimulate their kids. One teacher told me she could tell immediately which new 5 year olds had been stimulated at home and which hadn’t.

    In principle at least if charter schools can put more effort or more focus into educating children it should be a good thing.

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  47. mister nui (960 comments) says:

    Empathy for kids’ home lives could strip the rigor from his classroom. “I want to think about them as all the same”

    I have long felt this is the reason that makes Dilworth the success that it is.

    Unfortunately, that model does not provide better outcomes across the board

    Whilst your model, Bill, does provide the same outcomes across the board in lower socio-economic group schools – failure.

    It would seem to me, Bill, that you’re reasoning against charter schools is summed up in pretty much the same way any hard-lefty’s argument can be summed up – totally against the free market.

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  48. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Seems our age old problem of wrong people breeding for monetary recompense. Cut DPB to the bone, deduct school supplied meals from benefits (not the responsibility of taxpayers), rid unionists from classrooms and get real teachers, not lackeys of social engineering doctrine.

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  49. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    The crux of Courtneys objections are not about Charter Schools,what they can or cannot do, achievements or raising people to higher levels, its about his socialist mindset that we should all be equal and that people who are customers of the education system don’t need and shouldn’t have the right to make their own choices about their children’s education.

    Well Mr Courtney, just like you like to chose your make of car, type of deodorant, who you work for etc etc, many of us want to chose where we send our family for education and chose the sort of education we want.

    And why should we not?

    If the product you are selling (education) doesn’t fit the needs/wants of the customer you either force the now reluctant customer to use it or you allow the customer to chose. The customer should be allowed that choice. If they get it wrong then it is their responsibility. If you get it wrong then there are no consequences except for the person being forced into your brand of education.

    And that’s the problem
    Lack of choice leads to poor quality or varying Quailty.

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  50. dime (9,355 comments) says:

    “I also believe that the primary driver of the charter school movement in America NOW is the privatisation of public education.”

    you honestly think all NZ schools could end up private? Really? REALLLY??

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  51. dime (9,355 comments) says:

    “dime won’t care about your high-falutin’, factual statements, Bill, so I wouldn’t waste my time.”

    really milky? maybe you should get off here and go and make your 25 yr old, dyke, boss a coffee. then get back to serving the rest of us.

    maybe Dime should be like a milky type. never add anything to the mix. just question after question of pure nonsense.

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  52. doggone7 (673 comments) says:

    Is the bigotry by the apologists for poor performance on the left, the bigotry of low expectations, more or less than the bigotry of bloggers whose bigotry about teachers and schooling in New zealand means they will not recognise success if it rose up and bit them in the bum?

    “This principal shows what you can achieve when you don’t buy into that.” Maybe Audrey Young could get out to some NZ schools (take David Farrar with her) and stop acting and writing as if she has discovered something new and novel.

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  53. Gulag1917 (638 comments) says:

    The poor are stuck in a poverty trap with the present education system.

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  54. doggone7 (673 comments) says:

    igm:”…is preoccupied enforcing their unions’ doctrine and social engineering . . .”

    Is it social engineering when right wing bloggers trawl the news to discover, publish and highlight any skerrick which will damn something about NZ schools and teachers yet grab and feature anything positive which supports their current cause célèbre charter schools.

    Vanguard Military School puts out its term one internally assessed NCEA results which are depicted as a triumph for the school and charter schooling and used to rubbish the previous schooling of some of the kids. One of the five charter schools has notable problems which would have drawn wide exposure, scorn and condemnation had they been in a state school and those same bloggers ignore the situation. 30% of the roll leave and nothing is said.

    Does that get down to enforcing some doctrine? Or is it social engineering? Playing dumb and feeding the dumb public enough to keep them dumb? And since the “wrong people breeding” seems important to you, what is it about the breeding of some bloggers, (journalists so the claim goes), that they would treat us with such contempt?

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  55. Bill Courtney (139 comments) says:

    “Viking 2: Lack of choice leads to poor quality or varying Quality”

    Simple response here from Andreas Schleicher, the OECD PISA guru:

    “My organisation [the OECD] is very strong on choice, enabling citizens to make choices, and you would expect that systems with greater choice would come out better. But in fact you don’t see that correlation… Competition alone is not a predictor of better outcomes. The UK is a good example – it has a highly competitive school system but it is still only an average performer.

    Our data doesn’t show much of a performance difference between public and charter and private schools once you account for social background.”

    You see, viking2, the problem is that your ideology just doesn’t work in practice.

    In fact, one overseas commentator, Marc Tucker, actually sees NZ as an example where we tried the quasi-competitive model, called Tomorrow’s Schools, and cites it as an example of failure. Here are his words:

    “The country with the most aggressive school choice system in the world is probably New Zealand.” Source: Washington Post, 12 October 2012.

    “New Zealand has embraced choice as a value and has developed policies that provide widespread choice for parents and students among public schools. But there is no evidence that these choice and market mechanisms have improved student performance overall and the research that has been done appears to show that there was greater inequality in student performance after such systems were installed than there was before they were introduced. ” Source: Edweek blog: “Choice and Markets: Theory and Practice”, 28 September 2012.

    dime: you honestly think all NZ schools could end up private? Really? REALLLY??

    Check out the Recovery School District in New Orleans, which is about to become 100% charters. Unfortunately, there are 3 things you cannot now choose:
    1. You cannot choose your school
    2. You cannot choose to leave your school
    3. You cannot choose to send your child to a public school, if that had been your wish.

    According to the OneApp website, 75% of parents were “allocated” to “one of their top 3 choices” . This means at least 1 in 4 didn’t even get one of their top 3 “choices”! Parents in New Orleans are now waking up to what the charter school movement really stands for: privatisation. Let’s see what ACT has to say tomorrow.

    That’s all for tonight.

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  56. slijmbal (1,210 comments) says:

    There is a correlation between socio-economic position of families and the performance of children in schools. There is also a correlation between s**t parents and socio-economic position of families. There is a correlation between s**t parents and the performance of children in schools.

    Based on my personal experience the causative effect of poor parents is much greater than that of socio-economic position. I’ve burbled on this before but in my class out of Anfield, Liverpool with uniformly low income families there were a large number of overachievers based solely on the attitudes of parents and teachers combined eg. 5 out of 30 had a reading age of 15 at the age of 9 – the test only went up to reading age of 15 as they didn’t expect such results from a poor neighbourhood. This was not a school of choice it was a school of ‘choice’ teachers with ‘choice’ parents.

    Performance at school is as much attitudinal as anything.

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  57. mara (719 comments) says:

    A Charter School succeeding? YOU CAN’T SAY THAT!

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  58. kiwigunner (213 comments) says:

    http://saveourschoolsnz.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/deregulated-schools-warnings-from-abroad/

    So an example of a school doing well – here are a bunch of problems in Charter Schools.

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  59. Judith (7,458 comments) says:

    @ Bill Courtney (126 comments) says:
    June 27th, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Well said!
    Commonsense stopped prevailing some time ago in this election year.

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  60. kiwigunner (213 comments) says:

    And there are 36 teachers and 8 specialist teachers for 436 kids. Have classroom ratios like that (and access to specialists when required) in just about any school in New Zealand and you would have results through the roof. Good on them but this is about better resourcing mostly. Try getting a specialist teacher at all in high risk areas such as Northland or the East Coast let alone classes of 13 children. Indeed didn’t Hekia try hard to increase class sizes and hasn’t she reduced special education funding?

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  61. itstricky (1,529 comments) says:

    and that you shouldn’t expect students from poor backgrounds to be able to achieve at the highest level. The bigotry of low expectations

    Wow, that is almost as bad as saying, in reverse, “those rich wanker Tories don’t give a s* about poor people”. How untrue – both ” extreme sides” of the debate care about people’s achievement, they just think it happens, and is promoted, in different ways. Must be election time.

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  62. doggone7 (673 comments) says:

    Bill Courtney: “…The Right hate to admit this. It’s much easier to blame teachers and schools than to acknowledge the reality of the world they have created.”

    Have you thought about the paradox of those who would create a world which seeks to create winners and losers, which ruthlessly seeks to establish ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ and then lament the fact there are losers? One manifestation of that is cruelly shown in the Herald today. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11281451

    Epsom and Northland? How ironic the Member of Parliament for Epsom took his bags of sugar, coloured beads and muskets to Northland by way of two charter schools. And the self-aggrandisement and self-approbation probably still goes on. Not just in his home but in those of the others, the missionaries wallowing in their humanity, their magnanimity, in helping dem poor brown northern folk.

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  63. kiwigunner (213 comments) says:

    I wonder what makes folk here think that Kiwi Principals walk around with low expectations of the children they teach. Please let me know of all the Principals that you have met that have expressed the view that poor kids can’t learn and that clearly have low expectations of them.

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  64. polemic (360 comments) says:

    The trouble is these charter schools should be banned from going ahead. The state is always the best educator and the PPTA and NZEI know the best way to pay the teachers for the state – surely that provides the best outcomes for lower socio-economic children and families.

    I just don’t get what all the fuss is!!!

    That is why socialism is such a good model…

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  65. Disaster Area (29 comments) says:

    The problem is that you cannot take one school and use it as evidence that Charter Schools are a panacea. It would be just as easy to take a state school with superb results and use it as evidence that they aren’t necessary.

    It is possible to research what is happening overseas and find that several of the Academies in the UK have been judged to be needing improvements. It is equally possible to find those that are doing a superb job.

    I think it is disingenuous to argue that parental income does not play a part in a child’s education. On the crude measure of NCEA results, higher decile schools generally do better than lower decile schools.

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  66. Greg Sands (10 comments) says:

    One more link that contrasts American private and charter schools (for anyone still reading…)
    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2014/06/29/smartest-kids-in-the-world-american-private-school/

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