Another benefit of charter schools

August 6th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The University Herald reports:

Low-income minority adolescents enrolled in California’s high-performing public charter high schools are less likely to engage in risky health behaviors, according to a new study by the University of California – Los Angeles.

Researchers said that these adolescents also scored better on Math and English tests as compared to their peers from other schools.

Previous studies have highlighted the link between health and K-12 education. But, the new study is the first to examine the impact of quality education on high school students’ risky health behaviors.

“These students’ higher cognitive skills may lead them to better health literacy and decision-making. They may be exposed to less negative peer pressure, and the school environment may promote the resilience that steers them away from these risky behaviors,” Dr. Mitchell Wong, the study’s lead investigator and a professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research, said in a statement.

“In addition, in a better academic environment students spent more time studying, leaving them less time to engage in risky behaviors.”

For the study, researchers categorised “Risky behavior” as any use of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana within the past 30 days.

One can see that these are so evil that we can’t even afford to trial five of them in NZ. Labour has declared they must be wiped out if Labour win the election.

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25 Responses to “Another benefit of charter schools”

  1. Bill Courtney (161 comments) says:

    Two quick comments.
    First, note that the study talked about “high performing” charter schools. Any high performing school probably has an environment and culture that supports students and helps them – both academically and in terms of healthy behaviour. Note that this does NOT mean that all charter schools achieve this outcome.

    As the CREDO study found, charter school performance varies widely, so simply being a charter school does not guarantee success. They perform right across the spectrum and the worst are absolutely awful!

    Second, it’s clear how far behind the times this blogsite really is. Whale Oil covered this days ago!!

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  2. Anodos (116 comments) says:

    Seriously Bill. Who cares when it was covered. It is the validity of the improvements. The most recent Credo study shows massive general improvement in the Charter School model. Clearly the trajectory bothers you.

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  3. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    As usual, this article offers an object lesson in how social science research tends to be a tottering edifice of correlation=causation errors. Still, if we for argument’s sake accept the causation claimed, it certainly would lead us to believe that the USA would benefit from adopting a public education system more like New Zealand’s than the one it has now. Its relevance to this country is of course 0.

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  4. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    If you’re talking about charter schools then NZ did more than trial 5 of them, it transformed the entire public system to them in 1989. However if you’re talking about partnership-model charter schools I see nothing in this study which would indicate they are better than any other model of charter schooling, including the Tomorrow’s Schools model.

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  5. kiwigunner (230 comments) says:

    Meanwhile in the home of Charter Schools

    http://www.salon.com/2014/01/10/the_truth_about_charter_schools_padded_cells_corruption_lousy_instruction_and_worse_results/

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  6. kiwigunner (230 comments) says:

    And in Ohio the FBI are investigating now!

    http://www.toledoblade.com/Education/2014/07/19/FBI-state-investigate-charter-schools-owner.html

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  7. kiwigunner (230 comments) says:

    And here in NZ

    http://nzfirst.org.nz/news/close-whangaruru-charter-school-now

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  8. Anodos (116 comments) says:

    So – kiwigunner – you going to list all of the state school frauds in NZ recently and all of the teachers going through the courts and registration from those schools for a range of offences? The point is that there are many kids who are not making enough progress in NZ and up to $10m a year being spent on single institutions that fail over 50% of their students at Level 1 NCEA year in Year out.

    R&L glosses over that stuff by sticking with a line he should have quit on 3 years ago where he says NZ schools have a ‘charter’ therefore are charter schools. Once again proving that the basic approach of PPTA reps is to defend mediocrity – even when that means significant student failure and replication of negative cycles.

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  9. bc (1,367 comments) says:

    DPF searching through the internet looking for articles praising charter schools again. Wonder what happened when he saw all the articles showing the negative results of charters.
    Quick another google search, can’t mention those on kiwiblog!

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  10. bc (1,367 comments) says:

    Students in charter schools are getting funded by our taxes up to five times as much as state schools. Where’s the outrage from the taxpayers union about that?
    Imagine if all that money was put into educational initiatives that raise student achievement instead.

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  11. kiwigunner (230 comments) says:

    Anodos – no but every time KiwiBlog cherrypicks the positives I will be here to highlight the larger reality. There are very few occasions when Kiwiblog praises our schools and plenty when they highlight the negative. Just adding balance.

    I actually don’t mind the buggers who do bad things in our schools being highlighted – I hate this as much as anyone else but I can’t stand the constant and ill informed ideologically blinkered promotion of charter schools as if they are the answer to everything – as clearly they are not.

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  12. itstricky (1,851 comments) says:

    I can’t see how you can keep this charade up, DPF, after completely bagging the class size review and then finding charter schools were of less importance than that. I think you’re just trying to save face now and just trawling for stuff to post.

    No. 107, remember, No. 107.

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  13. Disaster Area (41 comments) says:

    So, a study shows that students who go to high performing schools make better choices in life. In other news, Pope confirmed to be catholic.

    The question that should be asked is not if the methods employed by a few schools in California are better than other schools in California, but whether a charter school would do better than state schools in New Zealand.

    Or, put another way, what did those schools in California do that could be replicated in NZ and would those changes improve things here?

    I’m not sure that in NZ we have the same social problems as the Latino population in the poorer parts of Los Angeles.

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  14. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    Anodos,

    As I’ve explained before there is no single definition of charter schooling, there are many models of it. I don’t say NZ has charter schools just because they have a “charter” but because they have local control, freedom to choose different assessment methods (IB, NCEA, Cambridge), freedom to be religious or single-sex, to use all different kinds of pedagogy varying from the Albany Senior open-plan style to chalk and talk strict discipline Auckland Grammar. They are very much not one-size-fits all and therefore it is ridiculous to compare them to American public schools which generally have much more centralised control, strictly defined curricula and assessment methods, very strict zoning that prevents any competition between them and no provision for religious or single-sex ed.

    You also know it is patently false to accuse PPTA of trying to stop any improvements in the current system when they are giving support to National’s IES plan which promises some major changes to our system to bring in more collaboration and hopefully allow successful schools to up-skill the failing ones you have noted before. Localised control has been helpful in some ways but damaging in others, as it has prevented such collaboration and teaching of best practice. This is a chance to change that.

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  15. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    DPF I think if our government provides the same quantum of funding per student to state schools it costs it for charter schools we might just see some improved performance from state schools.

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  16. Anodos (116 comments) says:

    A genuine piece of research on the NZ Charter Schools finding would find that they have cost a whole let less than state schools to set up (as in about 1/10) and have a per unit funding of a decile 3 school. The PPTA release of data on this conveniently left out those aspects – as well as leaving out details on centrally funded state school item (that Charter Schools do not get).

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  17. Disaster Area (41 comments) says:

    Anodos Can you cite a reference for that please?

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  18. doggone7 (808 comments) says:

    Anodos: ” …single institutions that fail over 50% of their students at Level 1 NCEA year in Year out.”

    Which institutions? Beside their success rate (or lack of) in achieving NCEA Level 1 what are the common characteristics of those schools?

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  19. Anodos (116 comments) says:

    DA – This is the Haig produced document. http://www.ppta.org.nz/resources/ppta-blog/exorbitant-charter-schools-funding-revealed Have a think about the set-up cost situation. There is very little government spending here for property – you can dig around for costs on individual schools but the government is currently spending $10-15 million on Murapara Area school refurbishment for a school of $263. The per student funding in the first years appears high as the school grow towards their full roles. It is lower for the two schools that are closer to full. That process is also typical for state schools. Many new state schools grow one level at a time (on top of a long lead in and massive property and infrastructure costs. As stated above – much centralised funding for state schools is missing from Haig’s analysis.

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  20. doggone7 (808 comments) says:

    Rightandleft: “You also know it is patently false to accuse PPTA of trying to stop any improvements in the current system when they are giving support to National’s IES plan which promises some major changes to our system to bring in more collaboration and hopefully allow successful schools to up-skill the failing ones you have noted before. Localised control has been helpful in some ways but damaging in others, as it has prevented such collaboration and teaching of best practice. This is a chance to change that.”

    Do you think it’s bizarre that a system that extols the virtue of competition between schools and sets schools the task of proving they’re superior to others, now sees value in the better ones helping the less successful? I buy in the best students with scholarships so the league tables look good with us on top, I buy the best rugby players with scholarships to confirm our superiority and kick sand in their faces, but now I want to help those others do better. Apparently it will be good for the whole community.

    No doubt the advisers to the very successful John Key will be down at Mana, the Conservatives and the Labour Party helping them. For the good of the whole community don’t you know.

    I can’t understand that those who strongly believe in one dog, the top dog, and being that dog, suddenly want this lovely world where teachers share ideas and help the opposition. When it comes to teaching, the anti-teacher brigade have weird notions about altruism and it’s place. A quality reviled, inconsequential and ignored is now to be significant and sought?

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  21. Bill Courtney (161 comments) says:

    Come on Anodos, the centrally funded component is tiny. They cashed it up @ only @$276 per student per annum. For Alwyn’s SA Middle School, for example, it is $6,210 per quarter, based on 90 students, or only 1.9% of his Operational Payment.

    Check out my note at:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1405/S00064/qpec-update-nzs-charter-schools-small-and-expensive.htm

    You can do better than this… can’t you?

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  22. Anodos (116 comments) says:

    For a start – as you note Mr Courtney:

    This table does not include capital property funding or the access that State schools would have had to Centrally Funded services, such as Resource Teachers.

    It is convenient to add that as an afterthought but it is a huge amount for state schools – e.g. a nice $50m dropped on one state school here – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11304507

    The Charter Schools – with one exception – are not buying any property out of the government funding. It would be enlighening if you did further research and factored on all of the state school property and infrastructure costs.

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  23. Bill Courtney (161 comments) says:

    http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/statistics/schooling/resourcing/per-student-funding

    Try this for starters.

    As I said, the Centrally Funded component is tiny, so I think that’s a red herring, to be honest. After all, how do you think they calculated the cashed up amount of $276?

    The direct funded property spend is around $574 per student, if you look at the last line of the spreadsheet and compare it to the much higher components, which are the Ops Grant and the Teacher Salaries.

    As for the capital development, I think we’ve disagreed on this before, from memory? As you say, only one of the charter school is buying property, but the quid pro quo, is that the Crown owns any asset that they develop. So on that score, we’ll probably have to agree to disagree.

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  24. Bill Courtney (161 comments) says:

    Just to clarify what I meant in that last post, in case it doesn’t read clearly.

    By “they” I meant state schools built and owned by the Crown. I did not mean to imply that “they” meant the charter schools. Sorry for the poor, late night writing!

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  25. Anodos (116 comments) says:

    That is okay Bill. You are well understood on this site.

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