THE QUALITIES OF GOOD SCHOOLS ARE NO SECRET.

14 Sep Featured Image -- 3450

Dianne - SaveOurSchoolsNZ:

“We know what they are. So do your children. So do your children’s teachers.

The highly touted Finns do as well, after all, they developed their high quality system in the early 1990s’ taking the best of what we introduced in the US in the 60’s and 70’s:

We know it takes a dedicated community, involved parents, and quality teaching staff and programs that foster student engagement and involvement in learning.

We all have had teachers who have changed our lives for the better; who have inspired, who have challenged, mentored and in some saved our lives.

Miss Stafford was my 2nd grade teacher in 1956-7. When she passed away in 2009, a third of my second-grade class was at her memorial service.

Little did we know as seven-year-olds entering her class in the Bronx, that we were to become the happy guinea pigs for a life dedicated to helping children with all kinds of ‘personalities,’ as we called it then.”

Originally posted on DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing:

shutterstock_33418711_copy_crop380w

We know what they are. So do your children. So do your children’s teachers.

The highly touted Finns do as well, after all, they developed their high quality system in the early 1990s’ taking the best of what we introduced in the US in the 60’s and 70’s:

We know it takes a dedicated community, involved parents, and quality teaching staff and programs that foster student engagement and involvement in learning.

We all have had teachers who have changed our lives for the better; who have inspired, who have challenged, mentored and in some saved our lives.

Miss Stafford was my 2nd grade teacher in 1956-7. When she passed away in 2009, a third of my second-grade class was at her memorial service.

Little did we know as seven-year-olds entering her class in the Bronx, that we were to become the happy guinea pigs for a life dedicated to…

View original 601 more words

Four NEW charter schools announced for NZ

11 Sep

charter schools this-does-not-add-upEducation Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015.

“These new schools will help raise educational achievement, in particular for those groups of students who have for a long time been under-served by the mainstream system,” Ms Parata says.

“We have a number of different types of schools operating in New Zealand, such as faith-based schools, single-sex schools, Māori medium kura and independent schools. Partnership Schools are another option, giving parents and students more freedom to choose the type of education that works for them.”

The four new Partnership Schools are:

Te Kura Māori o Waatea: sponsored by the Manukau Urban Māori Authority. The school will be a co-educational primary school (Year 1-8) in Mangere, South Auckland.

Pacific Advance Senior School: sponsored by The Pacific Peoples’ Advancement Trust. The school will be a co-educational senior secondary school (Year 11-13) in Otahuhu, South Auckland.

Middle School West Auckland: sponsored by the Villa Education Trust. The school will be a co-educational middle school (Year 7-10) in West Auckland.

Te Kāpehu Whetū (Teina): sponsored by He Puna Marama Charitable Trust. The school will be a co-educational primary school (Year 1-6) in Whangarei.

The Government will invest $15.5 million over four years to establish these four schools, which take the total number of Partnership Schools to nine, out of more than 2500 schools in New Zealand.

“There are 350 children enrolled in the first five Partnership Schools we have opened, with parents recognising the opportunity they represent,” Ms Parata says.

“Students I have talked to when I have visited these schools have told me they are enjoying their new school and the possibilities for their futures they now see. Teachers also tell me the students are doing much better than they have in their previous schools.”

An independent evaluation on how the Partnership Schools model is performing is currently being conducted by Martin Jenkins Ltd, with the first report due next year.

“Partnership Schools have contracts with the Crown to deliver a range of specified school-level targets aimed at raising student achievement.”

No further rounds are proposed while the evaluation is undertaken.
Notes to editor:

• The Ministry of Education will be releasing further information in the near future about the application and approval process and the decision making process.

• 19 applications were received by the Ministry for the second round of Partnership School funding. They were assessed by the Partnership Schools Authorisation Board and by the Ministry of Education.

• The Authorisation Board members are: Catherine Isaac – Chair, John Shewan – Deputy Chair, Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, John Morris, Dr Margaret Southwick, Terry Bates, Sir Toby Curtis and John Taylor

• Specific selection criteria included the strength of each applicant’s educational offering, and their ability to improve the education results for children the education system has not consistently served well.

• Partnership Schools are subject to ERO reviews like state schools, and are subject to contract monitoring by the Ministry. Public reporting is also required.

• They are required to negotiate if they wish to employ non-registered teachers, and for core curriculum subjects registered teachers must be employed. All employees are police vetted.

• They are held to account through a fixed-term contract to deliver specific school-level targets negotiated with the Crown.

• Partnership schools have more flexibility to make decisions about how they operate and use cashed-up funding so they can meet the needs of their students in different ways to the mainstream system.

• The first five Partnership Schools we have opened are (in Auckland) the Rise UP Academy, South Auckland Middle School, Vanguard Military School; and (in Whangarei) Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa and Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru.

• Villa Education Trust and He Puna Marama Charitable Trust are existing sponsors of Partnership Schools that were approved in the first application round (in 2013).

 

Source:  http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1409/S00173/four-new-partnership-schools-to-open.htm

Unanswered Questions about Charter Schools – QPEC

11 Sep

QPEC new logo Sept 2014

QPEC Chairperson, Bill Courtney, participated in two interviews broadcast on Radio New Zealand on Wednesday 10 September 2014 on the subject of the first five charter, or Partnership, schools.

QPEC is concerned by several comments made during these segments by both Minister of Education, Hekia Parata and Catherine Isaac, the Chairperson of the Partnership Schools / Kura Hourua Authorisation Board.

The following release sets out several of the issues that QPEC believes require clarification or rebuttal.

1.

Where is the Isaac Report? The arguments behind the establishment of NZ charter schools have always been weak and the original Working Group led by former ACT Party President, Catherine Isaac, never produced a written report. This is in contrast to former ACT MP John Banks’s claim in parliament that we could learn from the successes and failures of charter schools overseas. But with no written report from his former party president, we simply don’t know how the NZ model supposedly does this and how it should therefore be resourced, funded and evaluated.

a. “The Partnership Schools / Kura Hourua Working Group (formerly known as the New Zealand Model of Charter School Working Group) has not produced any document that sets out the evidential base behind charter schools.”

Ministry of Education letter dated 4 October 2012.

b. “The Working Group did not produce any reports, recommendations or advice to the aforementioned Ministers. However, their views were captured in four documents that were produced by the Ministry of Education:

i. Developing and Implementing a New Zealand Model of Charter School;

ii. Regulatory Impact Statement

iii. Authorising and Monitoring Report back

iv. Resourcing Partnership Schools

OIA Ministry of Education letter dated 8 August 2013.

 

2.

Why is there so little transparency around the charter school authorisation process and how the schools operate? There have been serious concerns from the outset about the deliberate moves to reduce transparency and remove the schools from the scope of normal public sector accountability.

a. “I do not accept the Ministry’s position that later disclosure of the [application] information at issue will satisfy the public interest. Disclosure after the Minister has taken decisions on the applications may serve the public interest in accountability, but it would not satisfy the public interest in the public being informed, and being able to participate in the debate, about the creation of partnership schools prior to those decisions being taken. The partnership schools policy involves substantial public funds and significant changes to the way in which publicly funded education provision is controlled, managed and delivered. I consider a more informed public discourse about the creation of such schools is in the public interest.”

Ombudsman Report, dated July 2013.

3.

Why does Hekia Parata state incorrectly that the funding figures per student are a “gross misuse” of the data? The Operational Funding calculations have not included the one-off Establishment Payments, as Hekia Parata states. In the story reported on Radio NZ on Tuesday 9 September, the Whangaruru funding was stated as “nearly $27,000 a pupil,” which is based on Operational Funding of $1,508,561 divided by 56 students, giving $26,939 per student. This excludes the Establishment Payment of $1,379,150.

4.

Why does Catherine Isaac, as the Chairperson of the Authorisation Board, not know what the charter school rolls are, if her group is also responsible for monitoring their progress? Why have the Minister and Catherine Isaac both made statements about the schools’ rolls that are simply not correct?

a. Isaac: Radio NZ 10 September: “It is simply not correct [that 3 out of the 5 schools have not reached their guaranteed minimum roll]. Many are at their maximum roll and have waiting lists.”

b. Parata: “All five are near or above enrolment.” Parliament, Questions for Oral Answer, no. 7, 11 February 2014

School “GuaranteedMinimum Roll” MaximumRoll Actual Roll@ 1 March Actual Roll@ 1 July
South Auckland Middle School 90 120 108 110
Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru 71 128 63 56
Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa 50 300 50 53
Rise Up Academy 50 100 42 46
Vanguard Military School 108 192 104 93
Total 369 840 367 358

5.

Although rolls may well fluctuate at any school during the course of the year, the fact remains that two of the schools have experienced falling rolls during the year.

6.

The absence of any substantive case for “What” and “Why” leads to another problem: How is the charter school initiative going to be evaluated? This point is vitally important if the public is to gain confidence that the initiative is to be objectively and independently evaluated, as the Cabinet Paper tabled by the Minister of Education, in October 2013, promises:

a. “The Cabinet paper “Developing and Implementing a New Zealand Model of Charter School” states:

“A strong evaluation programme will be put in place that thoroughly examines the impact and effectiveness of the first such schools. This will enable us to make informed decisions about whether or not to open further such schools in the future” [CAB Min (12) 26/6 refers.]”

b. The October 2013 cabinet paper was prepared after a briefing paper from the Ministry of Education, dated 6 September 2013, contained the following warning:

…risks in moving from what was described as a pilot to an on-going roll-out before evaluating the model. Committing to on-going annual rounds now will reduce the potential for evaluation of the early schools to be taken into account before a long term roll-out.”

7.

In many ways, the most important comments made during the day, were the disparaging comments made by the one person who is ultimately responsible for New Zealand’s public education system: the Hon Hekia Parata, Minister of Education:

“But what’s the alternative? To have these kids become another statistic in the justice system, or in the social welfare system”

8.

No, Hekia. The alternative is to stop talking in clichés and to start dealing head on with the real challenge of properly resourcing public schools. Let’s give all our children the greatest possible opportunity to succeed.

Issued by
Bill Courtney
Chairperson
Quality Public Education Coalition

Are ACT’s charter schools fiscally responsible? – PPTA

11 Sep

 

PPTA ACT cahrter schools flier 1

 

 

 

PPTA ACT charter schools flier 3

 

 

PPTA ACT charter schools flier 3

Blindly Defending Failed Charter Schools Experiment – NZ First Press Release

11 Sep

Tracey Martin NZ FirstNational’s charter schools are “crashing and burning” while the Education Minister Hekia Parata blindly defends this failed experiment in taxpayer funded privatisation of education, says New Zealand First.

“Northland school Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru was dysfunctional right from the start,” says Deputy Leader and Education Spokesperson Tracey Martin. “A governor has been brought in, the school has lost staff and the roll began falling from the minute it opened its doors seven months ago.

“This school was always going to be a challenge because it took on some of the most difficult students. But, with the Ministry of Education painting a picture of weak governance, staff resignations and poor planning, what chance do the students have to get a decent education?

“Most charter schools are failing to reach their required minimum roll and are receiving taxpayer top-ups. What’s more, the rolls at two schools are falling.

“Charter schools are proving costly to taxpayers. Their performance has to be questioned when the ministry refuses to release performance reports for them.

“How can the government go ahead with plans to approve the opening of even more charter schools next year, when just one school in Northland has cost $2.4 million so far.

“New Zealand First will end this ideological experiment that is charter schools and find more appropriate solutions for these children.”

Source: http://nzfirst.org.nz/news/blindly-defending-failed-charter-schools-experiment

 

Ouch! Radio NZ journalist gives Hekia a run for her money on charter schools

9 Sep

ouch baby very ouch Austin Powers

Hekia meets her match here when trying to give one her trademark circumlocutive speeches answers.

Of course, she still doesn’t give anything approaching a decent answer, but it’s refreshing to see a journalist working so very hard to get answers.

Kudos.

All we do know after the interview is that charter schools are another beneficiary of the National Party’s  policy of final, final, final, final, final, final, final chances….

Enjoy.

Listen Here

Addendum – I’ve discovered that the journalist is Mary Wilson.  All hail, Mary.

Charter Schools now even smaller and more expensive – QPEC

9 Sep

QPEC new logo Sept 2014

NZ’s charter school experiment is proving to be even more expensive than first thought, as two schools have experienced falling rolls since the start of the 2014 school year and three remain below what is termed their “Guaranteed Minimum Roll” for funding purposes.

As a result, the number of students enrolled has fallen to 358 across the 5 charter schools and the schools will now receive an average of $20,878 in funding this year.

Minister of Education, Hekia Parata, discussed the controversial initiative on TV’s Q&A programme last weekend, describing it as a “…niche sort of thing…”

But the argument that this is only a “niche” is in stark contrast with ACT Party policy.

The ACT Party wants to expand the charter school programme and ultimately convert all state schools into privately operated charter schools.

The arguments behind the establishment of NZ charter schools have always been weak and the Working Group led by former ACT Party President, Catherine Isaac, never produced a written report.

This is in contrast to former ACT MP John Banks’s claim in parliament that we could learn from the successes and failures of charter schools overseas. But with no written report from his former party president, we simply don’t know how the NZ model supposedly does this.

Two charter secondary schools, Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru and the Vanguard Military School, have seen their rolls fall by around 10% between March and July:

Whangaruru from 63 to 56 and Vanguard from 104 to 93.

Students may well have left the schools for justifiable reasons, such as joining the military, in the case of Vanguard, but the funding implications are clear.

Under the terms of the charter school contracts, each school is funded for the full year at a minimum level set in advance at the start of the year. Whangaruru is funded for 71 students and Vanguard is funded for 108 students. In addition, the primary school, Rise Up Academy, is funded at a level of 50 students but has only 46 students as at 1 July.

Based on the 1 July roll returns, Whangaruru will now receive $26,939 per student in 2014 and Vanguard will receive $22,837 per student (see table below):

QPEC charter release table 20140909

So across the 5 charter schools, total student enrolment has fallen to 358 and the average minimum operational funding cost per student for 2014 has increased to $20,878.

In practice, actual funding per student may be higher than these estimated figures, if the school roll has exceeded its “guaranteed minimum roll”, as the contract stipulates funding will be set at the greater of the two.

One further aspect that disturbs us, is that the Vanguard Military School is sponsored by a for-profit family owned company. Will the fixed revenue stream be spent on the remaining students or will it fall into the Income Statement of the Sponsor?

QPEC reiterates its call for a review of this controversial policy as it is clear that it is nothing more than a political stunt.

QPEC also wants to see a major review of school funding take place after the election. It is time to re-examine all aspects of school funding and to seek a more equitable basis for funding our most deserving students and the community schools that serve them.

We have an opportunity to help level the playing field for the most disadvantaged children.

Let’s give all our children the greatest possible opportunity to succeed.

PPTA revolt occurring, by Kelvin Smythe

9 Sep

Kelvin SmytheKelvin writes:

Just as primary had a teacher organisation that headed rogue but was pulled back, secondary has one too, the PPTA executive, but not yet reined in. However, great news – from information just to hand, the PPTA is about to be provided with the opportunity to head back to good sense. But it will require its various branches to act decisively, publicly, and soon – soon so that it becomes part of the election debate.

I am now in receipt of a terrific declaration from a PPTA branch, sent to all branches – directly opposed to the PPTA executive support for the IES.

The main points set out in the declaration are:

Preamble

We believe we are now in a position diametrically opposed to our sister union, NZEI, and such an opposition does nothing for the greater good of state education. We also believe that the IES proposals will not bring about the success envisaged. 

This branch believes that the real cause of disparity in educational achievement is to be found in the composition of school rolls and no effective collaboration among schools can occur until the inequity inherent in such compositions can be addressed.

[All hail, the writer of this – whose name I know – you will go down in the annals.]

1. Although PPTA assures us it sought an early collaborative approach with NZEI as the two main state unions involved in the discussions, we believe that our emphasis on policy has outweighed any real attention being given to NZEI’s legitimate concerns. 

2. PPTA should not have agreed to participate in confidential negotiations, thereby leaving its membership out in the cold.

3. This branch believes that if $359 million over four years can be found to improve educational success, then there are better ways of using the money than contained in these proposals.

4. This branch believes that the IES proposals will undermine the current working of schools by destabilising administration and teaching, through the removal of key people on an on-going basis.

5. This branch believes that the IES proposals will impact upon all current teacher workloads, not just those of the four categories of teachers envisaged under the scheme.

6. This branch recommends that PPTA should be looking at career pathways differently, to ensure the best teachers have the option of continuing to do what they do best, that is teach. Such scrutiny could involve: 

Higher teacher qualifications on entry; a more rigorous teacher selection process; the quality of training programmes; a basic career pay scale that runs for 20 years for a qualified teacher; a separate MU pay scale that offers real incentives and rewards for responsibility both in time and money for middle management.

7. This branch also recommends that PPTA look at assessing the current classroom teacher workload, reviewing NCEA; its initial objectives and form, its subsequent modifications, its impact on teacher and student workload and learning. We propose that we as a union support the position of less assessment in schools.    

So there you have it. As regular readers of this site will know, this declaration is utterly consistent with what  has been expressed in various postings. And they will be aware of the fierce but defensive arguments in response by members of the executive.

The PPTA signing of the IES has seriously harmed discussion of the education manifestos of the opposition parties (Labour, Greens, and NZ First) and what a tragedy – these manifestos in total being the best manifesto expressions, in my memory, of the needs of children and teachers – early childhood, primary, and secondary. If we go down the farcical and dangerous IES track, it will be a heart-rending loss for education.

Organisers of this declaration, get it out there – this could be huge.

END.

Kelvin’s original post, on Networkonnet, can be found here

Big worries with charter school experiment

9 Sep

danger turn backYet more concerns have come  to light regarding New Zealand’s charter school system.

One of the first five schools, that started up in February 2014, has had huge problems.  Te Kura Hourua ke Whangaruru, a bilingual secondary school for years 9-13, has a dropping school roll, up to a third of students absent on any one day, poor planning, serious internal issues, and fighting and drug problems with students.

A Ministry-appointed facilitator was appointed, working there almost daily for hours at a time, and he stepped back only “after a local Child, Youth and Family manager was seconded to the job of executive principal.” Source

Radio NZ’s Morning Report piece can be listened to here. (approx 5 minutes long)

So far, the school has cost up to 500% what it costs to fund a state school pupil.  Needless to say, principals and teachers at state schools are furious that they are struggling to get help for students equally needy, when money is being wasted on the charter school experiment.

There has been concern from many quarters regarding charter schools.  The Quality Public Education Coalition (QPEC) has questioned the “secretive, undemocratic, expensive and ideological experiment”, PPTA have said that charters are “based on an extremist ideology which has no basis in evidence”, NZEI have expressed amazement at the experiment, saying “it beggars belief that any government of any persuasion would want to undermine a quality public education system in this way”. Leading academics from both New Zealand and overseas have also spoken out against the charter school experiment.

This is not an experiment we can afford to continue.  Any school currently running that is found to be doing a good job should, as Labour, Greens, NZ First and Mana have suggested, be given the option to join the state system as appropriate.  Those failing should be closed down.

The focus MUST be on improving the lot of all students in need, on helping all schools get the best resources to help those students, on making sure the whole support system is bolstered and supported so that it can properly serve all schools and their students.

Any system that serves to support only some students whilst ignoring the majority, is a system New Zealand doesn’t need.

 

Sources and further reading:

Jamie Whyte discussed charter schools this morning in his leader’s interview on Radio NZ. It makes fascinating listening  (from 17 minutes on).

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/20148886/ministry-documents-reveal-problems-at-charter-school

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1409/S00050/charter-school-shambles-show-governments-failing-experiment.htm

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1409/S00129/charter-school-crisis-shows-time-to-axe-costly-experiment.htm

http://saveourschoolsnz.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/act-party-supports-big-spending-policy-price-no-object-says-qpec/

http://saveourschoolsnz.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/teachers-to-epsom-voters-dont-let-act-wreck-our-education-system/

http://saveourschoolsnz.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/charter-school-arrogance-versus-the-public-interest-qpec/

http://saveourschoolsnz.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/documents-reveal-governments-secretive-approach-to-charter-schools-nzei/

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/10458104/No-justification-for-wholesale-changes-to-education

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10876711

 

ACT Party supports big spending policy – price no object! says QPEC

8 Sep

QPEC new logo Sept 2014

The ACT party has foisted a secretive, undemocratic, expensive and ideological experiment on New Zealand taxpayers with its so-called Partnership Schools.

ACT, the party of so-called fiscal responsibility, is quite happy to squander more than seventeen million taxpayer dollars on five small schools.

QPEC is concerned the policy has set up the conditions for the same kind of scams, fraud, mismanagement and poor academic performance that is plaguing charter schools in the United States.

Now the Epsom candidate is crowing that the “children are thrilled” to be going to these five schools. QPEC would like to know how the ACT candidate knows this.

No information on these schools is available through the Official Information Act, because the National Government legislated that the schools could work in complete secrecy.

There is no National Standards data so no public record of how they are doing.

We do know that the schools are costing taxpayers more than double the price of a state school education, and that three of the five schools had enrolment numbers below the guaranteed minimum at 31 March.

Local communities concerned were never consulted on whether they even want a so-called partnership school, nor on whether it is needed, nor on how they are expected to continue to offer a quality public education when such a well-funded school is set up alongside them.

QPEC is concerned that the ACT Party, having set these schools up to avoid public disclosure, is now claiming that they are successful, when they cannot know that.  All we do know is that they are extremely expensive.

In the light of the Dirty Politics scandal, any political group that trumpets the success of a secretive, taxpayer funded scheme, needs to come under scrutiny.

Candidate David Seymour, who is likely to become an MP due to a deal between National and ACT, has been quite specific in supporting the South Auckland Middle School, a fundamentalist Christian partnership school.

We think it is highly inappropriate for David Seymour to be “going to Wellington”, as he said, to advocate for individual schools, or for a system that deliberately hides funding from taxpayers. Where is the openness and transparency that ACT used to support?

ENDS

Contact: Dr Liz Gordon 0274545008

 

Teachers to Epsom voters: Don’t let ACT wreck our education system

7 Sep

PPTA ACT Charter Schools Epsom

Epsom voters have an opportunity to protect the New Zealand education system this election.

PPTA is launching a campaign today to inform voters in the electorate about ACT’s disastrous charter school policy – with posters and leaflets being distributed (see attached sample).

“ACT’s education policies are based on an extremist ideology which has no basis in evidence,” PPTA President Angela Roberts says.

A single ACT MP brought in charter schools in 2011 and 2014 ACT Epsom electorate candidate David Seymour has boasted about his involvement in the policy and has committed to expanding it, she said.

“PPTA welcomes good education policy from whichever party advances it, but ACT’s policy is fundamentally broken.

“Its goals of expanding competition and market forces in education have been shown by international and local evidence to be worthless for raising the quality of the school system, and simply entrench social inequity,” Roberts said.

“Charter schools are an expensive and unnecessary experiment.  Even the National-led government’s other single electorate support partner, Peter Dunne, voted against them and has said that they are not required,” she said.

Seymour said charter school students would get “no more or less” funding than students at public schools, Roberts said.

This year, the 350 students at charter schools are costing the taxpayer over $7million to educate, not including the start-up grants given to the schools in 2013. This would have been $2.5 million if they had stayed at public schools.

Contact: PPTA president Angela Roberts: 021 806 337
Authorised by Kevin Bunker, PPTA, 60 Willis St, Wellington

Education Policies of Main New Zealand Political Parties

5 Sep

vote blackboard

Here are the links to all main parties’ education policies.

Please take time to read them carefully, and be sure you vote for a party that is dedicated to a quality system that supports your vision for the future of New Zealand education.

National: https://www.national.org.nz/policies/education

Labour: https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/default/files/issues/labours_education_policy.pdf

Greens: https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/education

NZFirst: http://nzfirst.org.nz/sites/nzfirst/files/manifesto_2014_final_version_3.pdf

Maori: http://maoriparty.org/policies/education/

Mana Movement: http://mana.net.nz/policy/policy-education/

ACT: http://www.act.org.nz/posts/act-education-policy

Internet Party:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11ZJ1BKSpZThGbxsrp8QKT1sOVOFom2CdntpQIHGKUnI/edit

Conservative: No policy on web site as at 5/9/14

 

The ministry of education and Whale Oil: an introduction

3 Sep

This is a must read:

“This posting is just a brief introduction to something that, for the fabric of our democracy and the successful functioning of our school system, needs to be out in the open. Only some things can be confirmed in this posting – the degree of collusion between the education ministry and Whale Oil has yet to be established and the level of insidiousness.”

Read the whole thing here: The ministry of education and Whale Oil: an introduction.

 

Feeding School Kids – Let’s play spot the difference

2 Sep

Children go hungry in all countries, in all walks of life, but some countries are better than others at accepting the responsibility for ensuring children are fed.

Let’s compare…

England

union jack plate“Education Minister David Laws told BBC News he expected some 15,200 primary schools – or 98% of the total – to be ready to provide the meals…

“Today our goal to offer every infant child a healthy, tasty school meal has become a reality, a move that will put money back in parents’ pockets while ensuring all children get the best possible start in life.”

“The government has provided £1bn to meet the costs of the meals over the next two years.

“In addition, it has made £150m available to improve kitchen and dining facilities, plus an extra £22.5m for small schools.

“Schools will have a legal duty to offer the meals, which are expected to save families £400 per year per child.”

Source

New Zealand

NZ flag food“Mana Party leader Hone Harawira’s member’s bill to provide free breakfasts to all low decile schools is due before Parliament in coming weeks but is unlikely to get majority support.” Source

I didn’t pass.  Just breakfast for low decile schools – not even all schools – just those at the sharp end – and it STILL didn’t pass.

So, charities are again filling the gaps:

  • “On Friday 5 September Campbell Live is bringing back its popular ‘Lunch Box’ day in support of the KidsCan Charitable Trust. A $3 donation can be made by texting LUNCH to 2448, with 100 per cent of proceeds going to the charity.” Source
  • “KickStart Breakfast – a national programme supplying Fonterra Anchor milk and Sanitarium Weetbix for breakfast. All schools across all deciles are eligible, including teen parent units and Alternative Education providers.” Source
  • “Fonterra Milk for Schools – a nationwide programme that supplies free milk to all primary schools (Years 1-6)” Source
  • “KidsCan – a national charity that supplies equipment and food for breakfast and lunch programmes, as well as supplying items to address other student needs, such as raincoats, shoes and head lice treatment.” Source

Rest of the world

brazil flag foodFinland and Sweden provide state-funded free school meals.

Other countries like the UK… provide state-funded free meals to eligible students, and some such as Brazil and Chile provide state-funded free meals to schools with high levels of deprivation.

Source

Aotearoa, let’s do this

Come on, New Zealand, it’s not too much to ask that kids are assured on one decent meal a day on school days so they can concentrate and learn.  It’s time to get this sorted out.  Let’s do this.

 

The Political Parties’ Education Policies – in their own words

2 Sep

Make a cuppa, grab a couple of bikkies, and take the time to watch this video before you choose where to put your vote on September 20th.

“The Wellington region of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA) invited the main political parties’ education spokespeople to deliver their views to a live audience.

Here is the video clip of the well attended event.”

 

 

Education matters.

.

Source: http://www.ppta.org.nz/issues/election2014/3099-education-debate-wellington-12aug2014

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