Yet another study on the effectiveness of charter schools

July 26th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Phys.org reports:

A first-ever report released July 22 by the University of Arkansas, which ties charter school funding to achievement, finds that public are more productive than traditional public schools in all 28 states included in analyses of cost-effectiveness and return on investment.

All 28 states!

The national report, titled “The Productivity of Public Charter Schools,” found that  deliver on average an additional 17 points in math and 16 points in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam taken by students for every $1,000 invested. These differences amount to charter schools being 40 percent more cost-effective in math and 41 percent more cost-effective in reading, compared to traditional .

So when unions (falsely) claim charter schools do better because they get extra funding, remember this study.

The cost-effectiveness analysis of the report found that charter schools in 13 states were found to be more cost-effective in reading because they had higher student achievement results despite receiving less funding than traditional public schools. Charter schools in 11 states were more cost-effective in math for the same reason. The remaining states produced equal or slightly lower achievement with significantly lower funding.

Better results off less funding. Do you get some idea of why the NZ unions are terrified by the trial of charter schools. Think if they produced the same results here!

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56 Responses to “Yet another study on the effectiveness of charter schools”

  1. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    Once again we see the danger of trying to draw comparisons between American public schools and ours. US public schools have to pay for very expensive health insurance for their unionised teachers and their families. They also have to cover significant pensions. Those are two major expenses many Non-union charter schools don’t have to cover. In NZ teachers healthcare and pension costs are paid for the same way as for everyone else, by the public health system and Kiwisaver, so there may not be the same savings to be had.

    In fact we know from Cabinet papers released under the OIA that as they prepared for the second wave of Partnership School applications there were concerns that the first 5 had been more expensive than anticipated and required extra funding in this year’s budget over what had been expected. Small schools are always more expensive than larger ones and since all the partnership schools proposed thus far have been designed for niche groups they have naturally been more expensive than state schools. This is the reason so many of the groups applying had been refused contracts to open special character schools under the state system, their small size makes them an inefficient use of taxpayer money.

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  2. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    The various teacher unions are primarily concerned with the various teachers unions. Anything that threatens the union is bad, no matter what the outcomes are for kids.

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  3. Bill Courtney (161 comments) says:

    The pathetic approach of David Farrar continues! Trawling through every right wing pro-charter body in a desperate search for anything positive about charter schools. When will this farce end?

    (If you’re wondering, the University of Arkansas is pro-charter and funded heavily by the Walton Family Foundation, the “charitable” body set up by union hating WalMart founder, Sam Walton)

    OK, here’s the antidote to the UARK report:
    http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/uark-study-shamelessly-knowingly-uses-bogus-measures-to-make-charter-productivity-claims/

    I love the ending of Bruce Baker’s analysis:
    “To say this new UARK charter productivity study is built on a foundation of sand would be offensive… to sand.

    And I like sand.”

    Priceless!

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

    Bill,

    (If you’re wondering, the University of Arkansas is pro-charter and funded heavily by the Walton Family Foundation, the “charitable” body set up by union hating WalMart founder, Sam Walton)

    Try and control your bitterness and rancour, mate.

    But thank you for the information about this wonderful charity (sorry, “charity”). It looks like a superb organisation. In particular, its efforts to promote high-quality education for poor children (often ethnic minorities) is wholly admirable. They’ve made a brief video:

    http://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/educationreform/our-approach-to-education-reform-video

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  5. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Schools exist for education, not for their own sake.

    So it’s education outcomes that are the ultimate measure.

    People are free to send their kids to private schools, apply for out of zone places, or move houses to get into zone – or even home-school. But not everyone can afford to access these options.

    The only reason you’d have charter schools is because you want the poor to have options that the rest of us have.

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  6. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @BC – “Trawling through every right wing pro-charter body in a desperate search for anything positive about charter schools.”

    “Right-wing pro-charter bodies”? I wonder if that includes “The Economist” and the UK Government –
    both included in these links –

    http://www.washington.edu/news/2011/06/29/high-performing-charter-schools-can-help-close-achievement-gap-report-finds/

    http://www.clarionledger.com/story/opinion/columnists/2014/04/16/charter-schools-transform-lives-research-shows/7805843/

    http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/academies/a00210582/annual-report-2010-11

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/26/new-orleans-charter-schools-model?newsfeed=true

    http://www.economist.com/node/21558255

    http://www.economist.com/node/21558265

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444358804578018410937727422.html

    http://www.nyccharterschools.org/content/nyc-charter-schools-show-math-and-english-gains-2011-12-tests

    http://www.kipp.org/results/independent-reports

    http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21596558-charter-schools-are-working-new-yorks-mayor-wants-stop-them-killing-golden

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  7. doggone7 (805 comments) says:

    Bill Courtney

    From the down votes it’s obvious you’ve struck a chord. And since everything in the good old US of A is great and we should copy it I’m waiting for the clamour on here for capital punishment like Texas to be introduced here and all the worthy treatises quoted.

    I wonder if you will “control your bitterness and rancour, mate” before or after David Farrar comes to grips with his highly emotional state… ( “NZ unions are terrified by the trial of charter schools.)

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  8. doggone7 (805 comments) says:

    Brian Smaller : “The various teacher unions are primarily concerned with the various teachers unions. …”

    “Strange friend,” I said, “here is no cause to mourn.” (With due respect to Wilfred Owen)

    The various teacher unions are primarily concerned with the various teachers unions. No surprise. This might be a surprise you though – the teachers are primarily concerned with the kids. Go visit your local schools and check that out.

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

    The teachers are primarily concerned with the kids. Go visit your local charter schools and check that out.

    And, being charter schools, the teachers are not using the children as hostages to keep their snouts in the trough and force an agenda on their pupils.

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  10. doggone7 (805 comments) says:

    wat dabney:

    Thank you. It’s sort of ironic that schools are supposed to be teaching kids to think and make rational arguments and yet the adults of the world are the ones making the irrational, over the top, prejudiced, silly comments about schooling as the 2:25 pm one on here.

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

    Good tactic, doggone.

    If you keep drawing attention away state-sector employees’ self-interested and self-serving monopoly perhaps no one will notice.

    Shh. Mum’s the word eh?

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  12. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    No. 107 on the the list remember DPF, after class sizes in terms of the Professor’s importance, which you’ve just spent the last two weeks saying are a waste of money. No. 107 on the list.

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  13. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    The only reason you’d have charter schools is because you want the poor to have options that the rest of us have.

    Or, to have state funded schools that commercial entities can get their hands on, without unionised teachers.

    Shh, Mum’s the word eh?

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  14. Bill Courtney (161 comments) says:

    @ thor42:

    You can’t be serious, surely?

    The Economist praises the “market model” in everything it writes about – this is its DNA, after all.
    The UK Government? Pushing praise for its own model of “education reform” at every opportunity?
    The Wall Street Journal? Owned by Rupert Murdoch, one of the driving forces behind the privatisation of education.
    And then a handful of articles from self serving bodies, including the op-ed from Erika Berry, who signs off as “executive director of the Mississippi Charter Schools Association.”

    WOW!!

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

    itstricky,

    Or, to have state funded schools that commercial entities can get their hands on, without unionised teachers.

    The mistake you make here is that, as with all competitive markets, profits will be competed away.

    To explain that more simply for you, it means that the benefits of paying market rates will accrue not to the providers but to the taxpayers, who are currently forced to pay above-market-rates to teachers because of the abusive monopoly they operate for precisely that reason.

    Also, of course, you are forgetting that many providers are non-profit institutions.

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

    Bill,

    The Economist praises the “market model” in everything it writes about – this is its DNA, after all.

    You’re not an Economist reader, clearly.

    It has literally been decades since it adhered to its roots, extolling the benefits to consumers of free markets. These days it largely offers an unremitting diet of big-government apologetics.

    As for the rest of your last post, it consists of you rejecting a whole bunch of people’s opinions simply on the grounds that, er, they disagree with you. Brilliant logic mate!

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  17. Disaster Area (41 comments) says:

    I was just wondering: is there any reason why teachers at a Charter School can’t join the Union? I had a quick look on the PPTA’s website and couldn’t see anything. I’m assuming that an employer cannot prohibit an employee from belonging to a union?

    Many of the Academies in the UK were created from existing schools and so the vast majority of their staff will be members of a Union.

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  18. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    Poor old Bill Courtney. Fighting his patch to the bitter end.

    Nothing to do with children suceeding. Nothing to do with better teachers rising above the union slime.

    Nothing to do with anything useful really! :)

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  19. cricko (330 comments) says:

    One day soon we will look back on these times and all will agree that the greatest problem to improving our
    education system was the teachers unions.

    Teachers unions to education will be viewed in the same light as boilermakers union unions to the
    BNZ building in Wellington.

    Has there ever been a leader of a teacher union that was respected by their peers as a good teacher ?

    Teachers who fail as effective, competent school teachers find a new career path forward as a union organiser.

    Good thing is that people are waking up and this will change.

    Charter school results may help educate parents in particular and us all in general in this regard.

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  20. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    Disaster Area,

    The PPTA does not allow partnership school teachers to join the union as they are employed in private schools. The Constitution rules 5 and 9 only allow members who are employed in state schools or integrated schools as defined under the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975. They could join the private schools teachers union the ISTA, or NZEI, which also accepts members from the private sector.

    Cricko,

    There is a huge difference between the teacher unions and other trade unions. They are also the professional associations for teaching with a constitutional commitment to improving student outcomes and teaching practice. So what exactly is your evidence that teachers who volunteer for unpaid union roles on top of their full-time teaching workload are failed teachers? Please enlighten us on which union Presidents or executive members you know to be awful teachers with no respect from their colleagues.

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  21. Anthony (796 comments) says:

    Bill should F off to North Korea where the state runs everything and see what a paradise it is!

    After all you can’t trust anyone but the state run anything. Hey Bill, do you also support Kiwi Power. Kiwi Mart, Kiwi Build and Kiwi Sure along with Kiwi Bank and Kiwi Rail?

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  22. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    “…..found that charter schools deliver on average an additional 17 points in math and 16 points in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam taken by students for every $1,000 invested….”

    As I said the other day………… schools can’t get 20-30% ofchildren to read, write, spell, and add sufficiantly in 6 or so years – while being funded about $8k a year to do so.

    That’s $50k!!! — twice the cost of some degrees — and to be delivered in twice the time!!!

    The unions and education dept are protecting some very dubious teachers and/or teaching practices.

    There is no excuse why over 95% of 16ylds can’t read, write and spell to a reasonable level when $50K has been spent on them. Anything less is a sign of corruption of some sort.

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  23. doggone7 (805 comments) says:

    cricko: “One day soon we will look back on these times and all will agree that the greatest problem to improving our
    education system was the teachers unions. Teachers unions to education will be viewed in the same light as boilermakers union unions to the BNZ building in Wellington.
    Has there ever been a leader of a teacher union that was respected by their peers as a good teacher ?
    Teachers who fail as effective, competent school teachers find a new career path forward as a union organiser.”

    Has anyone written a history of the teacher unions in NZ? Have those groups always been primarily regarded as “unions?’ Were there other functions they performed or existed for at other times? If so why they have changed to what they are today? Are the perceptions of the teacher unions commonly expressed (even on here today) based on deep knowledge of what they are how they are organised and how they operate practically in a day to day sense in schools and the way teachers approach their jobs?

    “Has there ever been a leader of a teacher union that was respected by their peers as a good teacher ?”
    Is there anyone on here who can name any or many leaders of a teacher union present and past? Is there anyone on here who can explain how the leaders of the primary teachers got to those positions through the years?

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  24. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    Harriet,

    Would you like to back up your stats with some actual evidence? Our literacy rate is 99% so I don’t know why you seem to think it is below 95%. If you’re talking about achieving NCEA Level 2 that’s a lot different from basic literacy. But pass rates for NCEA Level 2 have made massive improvements across all ethnic groups over the last decade. If you judge anything short of 100% attainment as failure then you will always be able to call the system a failure because there are children with intellectual disabilities and recent migrants and refugees with such limited English and previous education that they will not achieve Level 2 in high school.

    By the way, this Education Department you keep referring to has not existed since 1989. The Ministry of Education replaced it, and no longer exercises much control over schools, which are now self-governing and very diverse. The unions don’t protect incompetent teachers either. They provide members with representation to be sure their legal rights, the same rights all New Zealanders have, are protected. I have seen teachers in my school lose their jobs for incompetence. Can you cite any specific examples of times you have seen the unions protect an incompetent teacher? Any stats to back up your claim of corruption?

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  25. doggone7 (805 comments) says:

    Harriet: “There is no excuse why over 95% of 16ylds can’t read, write and spell to a reasonable level when $50K has been spent on them. Anything less is a sign of corruption of some sort.”

    I just checked to see if this was a quote from somewhere or something stated as an opinion, presumably based on what the writer thought was fact. I think it is the latter so will give an opinion on it.

    I presume that 100% of the 16 year olds at Epsom Girls Grammar and Auckland Grammar can read and write to a reasonable level. Necessarily that makes the percentages of other schools with 16 year olds not able to read and write to a reasonable level even higher than 95% to achieve your maths. Expecting that you accept that some other schools achieve highly there are many, many schools with16 year olds not able to read and write to a reasonable level.

    If there were medals for writing absolute nonsense this would win triple gold.

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  26. Anodos (116 comments) says:

    R&L – at least Harriet is trying to be original. Your first comment was a straight regurgitation from something you posted on Whaleoil a few days ago. The stats below are a part of the status quo the PPTA are prepared to accept and protect. They also may not intend to protect incompetent teachers but when the collective agreement means it takes at least two terms to send one down the road – the effect is clear.

    School (decile) NCEA Level 1 Failure Roll (% European) Taxpayer Funding
    Otahuhu College (1) 59.7% 1348 (2) $10m
    Southern Cross Campus (1) 39.6% 1558 (1) $12.2m
    Aorere College (2) 41.5% 1508 (3) $9.7m
    Papatoetoe High School (3) 48.6% 1648 (3) $11m
    Mangere College (1) 47.5% 796 (1) $6.6m
    Tangaroa College (1) 45.2% 942 (1) $7.3m
    One Tree Hill (3) 56% 905 (8) $5.8m
    Onehunga High School (4) 48.7% 1315 (22) $8.8m
    Tamaki College (1) 73.6% 585 (4) $5.3m
    James Cook High School (1) 52.8% 1410 (5) $10.4m
    Papakura High School 55.8% 874 (16) $6.7m
    Nationally 20% $94.2million

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  27. doggone7 (805 comments) says:

    Anodos

    One thing to bring a smile to the face is seeing stats of kids not achieving Level 1 NCEA when I see so many internet experts rubbishing NCEA telling us that no-one fails!

    How come all the useless, lazy, incompetent, ineffective teachers are at the schools you’ve listed? How come all the good ones are at Auckland Grammar, Kings College and Selwyn College?

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  28. Anodos (116 comments) says:

    Not sure how you take that implication. Even if this is largely attributable to background the point is that the schools are not breaking the cycle in current form and are money pits. Publicly funding schooling is meant to break cycles. Some things have to change – and maybe radically – for current cohorts.

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  29. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    Anodos,

    Opposing partnership schools is not protecting the system as it is. It is rejecting one suggested solution that is seen as unlikely to actually help. Just look at Chile, the country where 2/3 of students attend charter schools, there are no zones and a universal voucher programme operates and has been in place since 1982. There are no collective agreements and no tenure for teachers there. They rank near the bottom of the entire OECD for test scores and as have the most unequal results in the whole developed world. We already have a highly unequal system, and bringing in partnership schools is not the solution to that.

    The fact the PPTA is supporting the government’s IES initiative shows they are not just opposing anything National comes up with or rejecting any changes to the system at all. More collaboration and spreading best practise to those failing schools is the best way to being widespread improvements.

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  30. Anodos (116 comments) says:

    R&L – You reject comparisons between NZ and the USA and yet, on the basis of popping along and seeing a 1 hour lecture from a left wing Chilean professor – it is suddenly apt for you to compare NZ and Chile. Sometimes you are very, very funny.

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  31. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    I did a significant amount of research of the Chilean system before “popping along” to the lecture as you put it. I was there specifically to get an interview with the professor to add his views to an article I’m writing. I’ve based my views on my research and my discussions with Professor Trevino in the days since the lecture.

    I do not reject comparisons to the US, I say that it is incorrect to compare our public schools to theirs because they are very different. Chile is also not the same as NZ, though together they experienced some of the most comprehensive reforms of the 1980s. Chile is rather a picture of where the ACT Party seems to want to take us in the future, a zone-free system with universal vouchers and schools free to become Partnership Schools. In the years following the move to a voucher system in Chile the federal spending on education dropped and test scores initially plummeted then recovered to where they had been before. There were no system wide gains and inequality was significantly worsened. If you were at the lecture then you heard Prof. Trevino discuss the deep inequality in the Chilean system. Yet Act is selling their reforms as a solution for inequality to benefit the low decile areas.

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  32. Fentex (974 comments) says:

    So when unions (falsely) claim charter schools do better because they get extra funding, remember this study

    As soon as we’re sure it used sound methodology and isn’t biased by accident or purpose as DPF will demonstrate when he checks it’s methodology as he promised us he always does – so we can be assured studies aren’t propaganda supporting preconceptions or agendas.

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  33. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    The mistake you make here is that, as with all competitive markets, profits will be competed away.

    So you will argue that the unions have some sort of “secret monopoloy” and that they’re all in cahots and destorying the education sector. But you won’t argue that charter schools are *not* about breaking unions and making privatising/commercialising education.

    Interesting.

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  34. Disaster Area (41 comments) says:

    Just a couple of questions: several people on here have used phrases along the lines of smash the Union etc. can anyone tell me if it would be legal to ban membership of the Union in teaching?

    Why is ‘market forces’ the answer to education and not say law enforcement? After all, I’m not sure I’ve heard anyone argue that they should be able to set up an privately funded, profit making police or fire service because they don’t believe in the state monopoly.

    To the people who want to have ‘small government’ – how small should it be?

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

    So you will argue that the unions have some sort of “secret monopoloy”

    What’s secret about it?

    …and that they’re all in cahots and destorying the education sector.

    Nobody has ever said that. Please grow up.

    But you won’t argue that charter schools are *not* about breaking unions and making privatising/commercialising education.

    Charter schools are about providing choice for consumers and value for taxpayers. Part of that value comes from paying market rates for teachers as opposed to the monopoly-rents they currently extract.

    Why should ordinary workers be forced to pay above-market-rents for teachers? That’s the real question. Why should someone working long hours in a cheese factory for low wages be forced to pay more tax to special-interest groups who have organised themselves politically? Do you think ordinary workers don’t have enough demands for their hard-earned money already without being gouged to pay self-serving middle-class monopolies?

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  36. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    What’s secret about it?

    Quote from you, not me : “Shh, Mum’s the word, eh?”

    Nobody has ever said that. Please grow up.

    That’s what you’re implying

    Why should ordinary workers be forced to pay above-market-rents for teachers?

    So you’re actually suggesting Teachers should be paid less?

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

    So you’re actually suggesting Teachers should be paid less?

    I’m saying hard-working taxpayers – often paid less than teachers – should pay them the market rate and not a penny more. In other words, they should be paid for what they are worth rather than for how politically connected they are and for how effective they are at achieving monopoly pricing power.

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  38. Bogusnews (474 comments) says:

    rightandleft literacy rate of 99%? Rubbish. The reports that ive read show it as between 20 to 32% depending on the report. My kids have recently left a west auckland high school. When we were looking for a high school wemended up checking out bruce maclaren but turned it down because of the strong emphasis on remedial reading.

    The point being there is something fundamentally wrong with a system where high schools have to teach basic reading skills.

    I vividly remember a metro artical in the 90s which spoke of an intake of trainee lawyers where 90% had to be given remedial reading lessons. I havent checked for a few years but for a while remedial reading was considered part of the training to become a lawyer. This was largely due to the ridiculous “look and guess” reading system introduced into our schools in the early 80s.

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  39. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    I’m saying hard-working taxpayers – often paid less than teachers – should pay them the market rate and not a penny more. In other words, they should be paid for what they are worth rather than for how politically connected they are and for how effective they are at achieving monopoly pricing power.

    Which means, having previously asserted that teachers charge a monopoly, that you believe they are paid too much currently. Wow. First time I’ve ever heard that argument.

    I think your key statement is In other words, they (teachers) should be paid for what they are worth. Let’s examine that a little more.

    Just what are teachers worth? I mean they only train the little ones to make their way in life, don’t they? How about Simon Moutter? What’s he worth? I mean I’m sure you would agree that being the head of a big corporate, who’s only goal is to make profit for his shareholders is far more important than that of guiding life ones through life?

    Teachers are paid a pittance compared to their value to society. Give me a bat to take Simon Moutter’s, what shall we say, is it $5 mil this year? $6 mil? $7 mil or more? and cut him down to the average teacher wage. What shall we say? $40k, $50k? That’s still $4, 950, 000 to distribute amongst a whole pile of teachers.

    Planet wat seems like a cold, dreary, mean place full of people who aren’t focusing on the important things in life.

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  40. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    rightandleft literacy rate of 99%? Rubbish. The reports that ive read show it as between 20 to 32% depending on the report.

    Rightandleft is clearly in the business, so I’d side with him/her rather than your second hand reports. Not trying to be funny but if you’re going to go on about rubbish literacy rates you should get things like “I’ve”, “Auckland”, “Bruce McLaren”, “article”, and “haven’t” correct.

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

    Just what are teachers worth?

    The free market discovers exactly what they are worth.

    Your romanticising the issue with talk about “training the little ones to make their own way in life” doesn’t tell us anything except your particular prejudices.

    What about sewage workers? They are vital. Power generators, farmers, cleaners…

    The list is endless. And, by definition, they can’t all be paid above market rate. If someone is being paid above market rate it means it is coming out of the pocket of other workers.

    Why don’t you give a toss about all those other workers, often paid less than your middle-class teachers?

    Why should those that organise themselves into a special-interest groups and make political connections get to plunder all the others who just do an honest day’s work?

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  42. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    What about sewage workers? They are vital. Power generators, farmers, cleaners…

    What about Simon Moutter? That’s my example, which you’ve ignored. Just how important to society is he? This is a fairly important question that I need an answer to. Can you please reply on this?

    Why don’t you give a toss about all those other workers, often paid less than your middle-class teachers?

    I didn’t say I didn’t. Take Simon Moutter’s salary and give it to the cleaners, the sewage workers, the nurses, the doctors (yes, the doctors), whomever.

    Why should those that organise themselves into a special-interest groups and make political connections get to plunder all the others who just do an honest day’s work?

    Again, you continue with the meme that unions plunder the system but you aren’t prepared to conceed the opposite, that charter schools have come into being for the one reason of breaking unions. Go on, say it, you know you want to.

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  43. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    Bogusnews,

    The CIA World Factbook states that NZ has a literacy rate of 99%. The UN Human Development Report for 2013 also placed NZ in its highest possible category for literacy (97-100%). So would you mind citing the actual reports you have read that so dramatically contradict these widely accepted figures?

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  44. Disaster Area (41 comments) says:

    Wat I am confused as to your definition of market rate. A cleaner will receive what the market perceives to be the correct rate for their services. I recently had some electrical work done on my house – I paid the going rate to have it done by a professional. I would not expect to pay a cleaner the same amount as the skill set is different.

    I am a teacher in a subject that is historically short of specialist teachers because people qualified in my subject can generally earn more in industry. So, according to market forces, I should be able to negotiate a higher wage than a teacher in another subject.

    If you are saying that teachers are paid too much, then as the wage increases are negotiated by the PPTA I think you are admitting that the Union did a very good job for their members.

    My first job in NZ was at a private school and I took a pay cut when I moved back into the state system. When I went in to see the Boss to discuss leaving the school he immediately offered me more money to stay – market forces at work. If a charter school does not wish to pay as much as a state school then teachers as less likely to want to work there, so the schools are likely to pay their staff at comparable rates to the state sector.

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

    Disaster,

    I am confused as to your definition of market rate. A cleaner will receive what the market perceives to be the correct rate for their services. I recently had some electrical work done on my house – I paid the going rate to have it done by a professional. I would not expect to pay a cleaner the same amount as the skill set is different.

    Well, quite. The market rate for an electrician is obviously going to be higher than for a cleaner.

    I am a teacher in a subject that is historically short of specialist teachers because people qualified in my subject can generally earn more in industry. So, according to market forces, I should be able to negotiate a higher wage than a teacher in another subject.

    Exactly. The fact that this subject is ‘historically short of specialist teachers’ speaks volumes. It means wages haven’t been allowed to adjust upwards.

    If you are saying that teachers are paid too much, then as the wage increases are negotiated by the PPTA I think you are admitting that the Union did a very good job for their members.

    Again true. All unions seek to benefit their members at the expense of non-members. The particular problem here is that we are talking about a state monopoly. State-sector unions are nothing but a form of corruption and should be banned.

    If a charter school does not wish to pay as much as a state school then teachers as less likely to want to work there, so the schools are likely to pay their staff at comparable rates to the state sector.

    The better teachers might be paid even more. It could be the ranks of administrators who suffer the cuts. We don’t know.

    itstricky,

    What about Simon Moutter? That’s my example, which you’ve ignored. Just how important to society is he? This is a fairly important question that I need an answer to.

    Neither you nor I have any idea how important to society he is. What we do know is that we want a vibrant, competitive telecom sector, which will ensure the best services at the best prices for consumers.

    take Simon Moutter’s salary and give it to the cleaners, the sewage workers, the nurses, the doctors (yes, the doctors), whomever.

    The teachers’ union operates a coercive monopoly, yet it’s an employee of the cooperative, private sector against whom you propose violence. Moutter’s salary is none of your business provided it is earned in a competitive free market. Teachers’ salaries, by contrast, are the business of every taxpayer since they conspire to plunder us.

    Again, you continue with the meme that unions plunder the system but you aren’t prepared to conceed the opposite, that charter schools have come into being for the one reason of breaking unions. Go on, say it, you know you want to.

    Charter schools exist for the benefit of students and taxpayers. A shocking proposition I know.

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  46. Disaster Area (41 comments) says:

    Wat, I’m still not sure I get your point. Are you arguing that a privately employed individual such as Simon Moutter can get paid whatever they can get their companies to agree to, but because teachers are state employees, they shouldn’t get paid what their representatives have negotiated?

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  47. HB (321 comments) says:

    Why do people keep advocating for us to follow education systems/ideologies that are less successful than our own?

    Talk to anyone who has taught in an ‘academy’ school in the UK in recent years. They are just as bad as the ordinary state schools. Their stories are scary and hilarious. While some schools are rated as ‘outstanding’ and others as ‘not satisfactory’ teachers will tell you that there is no observable difference between them (they are all shit). Some are just better at the paperwork than others.

    Don’t go down the road they have. Lucan Battison (haircut kid) and the like is just the start.

    Friends who have been teaching in the UK recently say many schools there look like prisons, require security guards, and have no consequences for students, even after extreme violence. One friend told me she saw a student back in school the next day after violently attacking (punching etc) one of the teachers. Teachers are not even allowed to keep them in at lunchtime! Students have all rights, no responsibilities.

    Don’t follow the failures!

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  48. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    Neither you nor I have any idea how important to society he is.

    What a giant cop out, wat. What is it that Simon contributes to society? Let’s try some more mathematics. Let’s say an average teacher gets a wage of $50k and Simon’s wages/bonuses/whatevers total $5m. What is it that Simon provides to society, that is worth 100 teachers? You must have some idea of why he is worth that much, but teachers are only worth 1% of whatever it is?

    What we do know is that we want a vibrant, competitive telecom sector, which will ensure the best services at the best prices for consumers.

    I want vibrant, competitive kids, wat. Do I need to pay teachers $5mil each?

    The teachers’ union operates a coercive monopoly
    All unions seek to benefit their members at the expense of non-members.

    They don’t seek. They just have collective bargining power, which an individual does not. Pretty simple.

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

    tricky,

    Your complaints about Moutter are a feeble smokescreen.His case is completely irrelevant to the topic.

    [Unions] just have collective bargining power, which an individual does not. Pretty simple.

    Actually it’s not that simple at all, because beyond collective bargining power unionised workers become politically significant special-interest groups, able to acquire special protections and benefits at the expense of the rest of us.

    George Bush, for example, notoriously gave special protection to (organised) steel workers; protections which actually cost more jobs in the steel-using industries than existed in the entire steel-making sector.

    It is corruption pure and simple.

    And worst of all are the state-sector unions which control their own political party. When Labour is in power it is the unions “negotiating” with themselves about pay and conditions.

    Again, corruption pure and simple.

    And all at the expense of everyone else: the poor bloody workers that you don’t give a toss about because you’re too concerned with middle-class privilege.

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  50. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    Your complaints about Moutter are a feeble smokescreen.His case is completely irrelevant to the topic.

    Far from it; it has *everything* to do with the topic you’ve defined. Your complaints are a “feeble” excuse because you don’t want to answer the question. What is it, for society, that Moutter does, that warrants a $5mil salary (that’s 100x the average teacher)? Quickly now wat, quickly now. Snap snap. I need an answer tonight.

    I see you’ve also dodged Disaster Area’s question. You seem to be making a habit of it now, wat. Answer the questions and stay on topic.

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  51. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    Wat,

    You ignore that the teacher unions are not members of the Labour Party and do not donate any money to the Labour Party or any other political party for that matter. If they were the same entity then why was there 18 months of intense industrial action by PPTA against the Labour Government in 2001-02? That action only ended when an independent inquiry agreed with the union and forced the government to cave and increase salaries. Heck the largest pay increase teachers ever got was from a National government, back when Tallboys was the education minister.

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  52. doggone7 (805 comments) says:

    HB

    Shh! It’s not fair to introduce reality into discussions about schools which throw any doubt at all on charter schools being the great gift of the 21st century to NZ schools.

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  53. Disaster Area (41 comments) says:

    Personally I think that part of the problem is that the politicians introduce policy to get elected rather than on the basis of evidence. If we take Hattie’s list to be definitive, there should be no argument about Charter Schools as they are at 107 on the list. However, because numbers 1 to 106 aren’t as easy or appealing to the electorate, or don’t match the ideology of the party they get rejected. The same goes for reducing class size.

    To be clear: Labour’s plan of reducing class size will not make a difference unless they reduce the size by enough to allow teachers to change the way in which they work. National’s plan will also not work as all it seems to do is to create another layer of management consultants.
    Act’s policy of Charter Schools will only work if the schools are well run, well resourced and have high performing classroom teachers. If you are starting a school from scratch and can cherry pick the Principal and the staff you are two thirds of the way there. Combine that with parents who are motivated enough to try the experiment and you have parents invested in their child’s education and you are 4/5 of the way there. But this is the case with any school!

    I predict that the first few Charter Schools will succeed for this reason. However, over time, if more are created, the size of the programme will affect the quality of each school and we will end up no better off and it will have cost a lot of money. Unless there is a sudden rush of people to become teachers it will be the same staff in front of the classes as we have now, just in Charter Schools.

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  54. Disaster Area (41 comments) says:

    And another thought just occurred to me: if Charter Schools do gain traction here and a significant proportion of teachers work in them, I would think the PPTA would change their rules to allow those teaching in Charter Schools to join. Thus rendering the idea of Union free education moot.

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  55. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    Wat, Wat, wherefore art thou, Wat?

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  56. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    Wat Wat Wat. Your silence is a……errrr………..errrr………feeble smokescreen…

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