As ever, it’s been a busy week as in the wonderful world of education.
NZ Charter Schools featured heavily (and were most definitely charters and not partnership schools, which rather implies Hekia’s tanty last week had little impact.
It was announced that Catherine Isaac is as to be in charge of deciding who will be allowed to set up charter schools, which drew plenty of gasps and criticism as she had also been chair of the charter schools working group. Most of us weren’t surprised at all.
US Charter Schools were also in the news thanks to the latest CREDO report. My favourite part was where the Herald and others trumpeted that charters were doing better than public schools. What it actually said was that cahrter school students were about the same level in maths and on average eight days ahead in reading. Oh I did laugh. Eight. Days. So, about the same then.
“I don’t think eight days is a whole lot,” said CREDO research manager Devora Davis of the charter school students’ reading edge. “There’s a lot of variation across the states. It’s a national average.”
Twenty years down the line and the best that magical charter schools can manage is that they are achieving about the same as public schools. Hardly good value for money given the cost.
Too many teachers – Also in the news was the fact that there are too many teachers applying for too few jobs, with up to 100 applicants per job in some areas.
Are too many teachers being trained for the jobs available? It certainly seems that way. Maybe the powers that be are expecting a lot of resignations…
Also to consider is the impact of over-supply on teachers with more experience? And will many of the new graduates end up working abroad, or even leaving the profession before they begin? So much for the teacher shortage we were warned of not long ago…
Funding for special needs students is still a hot topic, particularly with parents of special needs children. The news that decile ten private schools were far more likely to apply for and receive funding to help special needs students take exams hit many a raw nerve.
No-one would wish to deny high decile students the help they need, but it does lead to questions about the system when so many lower decile school students that apply for help don’t get it and – equally disconcerting – a huge proportion of low decile schools don’t even apply for the help.
What else? National Standards, PaCT, Badass Teachers, and Christchurch schools have also loomed large this week, but I think that’s enough reading for anyone, so I shall leave it there.
Happy reading, happy thinking.