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NRT: Ticket clipping

Written By: - Date published: 4:53 pm, February 13th, 2014 - 29 comments
Categories: education, Hekia parata, national/act government, same old national, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn points out the pointlessness of NAct’s charter schools by the biggest example. They’re getting the public schools to do the work and clipping the ticket for profit.

National’s charter schools are predicated on the idea that the public education system is doing a bad job. They’re (over-)funded to do things differently. So its more than a little odd that He Puna Marama Trust’s charter school is simply getting local state schools to do all their teaching for them:

Chris Hipkins: Is she satisfied that the taxpayer is getting good value for money from the $1.8 million given to He Puna Marama Trust for its establishment costs, given that it has leased facilities at a cost of just $58,000 a year and is asking the existing State schools in the area to deliver teaching on its behalf?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Different choices are made between leasing, owning, and servicing over the life of a property. As I have said, these schools are contracted for the term of their contract to deliver educational outcomes. They are free to make those choices but they must deliver the educational outcomes expected of them.

And to add insult to injury: He Puna Marama is the most generously funded of all charrter schools, at $40,000 per pupil. By contrast, state schools are funded at less than a fifth of that rate. So they can sit there, contract out all the actual education to state providers at double the government rate, and still make $1 million for doing nothing.

This is ticket-clipping at its finest: promise something different, then provide the same service from the same institutions, just with a crony middleman inserted into the process to cream off profits. There’s no public benefit whatsoever from such “innovation”. Instead the benefit is all private – to the charter school operators. And it is simply corrupt.

29 comments on “NRT: Ticket clipping”

  1. red blooded 1

    This is absolutely appalling and should be headline news and the lead story on any public affairs show or discussion platform. Charter schools have always been a creepy concept – an attack on the state system and an extreme experiment that treats children as laboratory animals. There is already plenty of state money being siphoned off and spent on private schools and independent schools – to have it going around in a circle like this (and basically down the plug-hole) is a disgrace. What, pray tell is this organisation going to ADD to the education of the children it is funded to provide for? And where are the details that have convinced the minister that this is such an effective way of addressing their needs? It would have to be pretty damn impressive to justify such a huge outlay.

    If the state system is such a failure, how come these kids are still going to be taught within it? A ridiculous muddle.

  2. karol 2

    So how will contracting out the teaching work? Will students from the charter school be ferried down the road to take classes in another school? And how will the students in the state school react to the charter ones? I imagine some state school students won’t be so keen on what they might see as “privileged” students using their school.

  3. bad12 3

    On the surface the whole situation as out-lined in this Post would fit well into a Monty Python skit, However, Google ‘should’ be the friend of all and especially Chris Hipkins,

    ”A Company of the Te Puna Marama trust, the name comes from the Northland tribe’s A Company contribution to the second world war is a residential ‘live in’ program for young Maori men designed to enhance their leadership capabilities,

    These young men undergo a rigorous out of school time program while living at the Trust, attending their normal high schools and going home on weekends,

    http://www.2cu.co.nz/northland/listings/6199-he-puna-marama-trust

    i would suggest, without the trust having spoken that the rigorous program run by the Trust, operating since 1997, is now being fully funded from within the education vote and being a live in program this explains the $40,000 per student,

    The program is also bi-lingual which would suggest to me that Te Puna Marama is focused on Maori education both the Reo and the Tikanga while the State colleges attended by these kids focuses upon the Pakeha education…

    • RedBaronCV 3.1

      Sounds a bit like those camps that people go to in the middle east.

      • bad12 3.1.1

        That sounds a bit spurious don’t you think, the kids at Te Puna Marama attend State secondary schools does that fit in with your idea ‘of those camps people go to in the Middle East’,

        i will go out on a bit of a suppositional limb here having not talked directly with any of those attending or managing Te Puna Marama and assume that as this program has been running in some form since the late 90’s it was probably being funded from across a number of Government department budgets,

        Charter schools via a push from Hekia Parata has probably offered Te Puna Marama the opportunity to secure finding of an ongoing nature,(until a change of Government???),from just the one Government agency and anyone who has ever worked in a non-Government agency delivering social services in this country will know what a relief such direct funding from the one Government department, in this case education, actually is,

        In my view Te Puna Marama appears to be an attempt to create a large ‘peer group’ of young Northland Maori through a ‘whole of life’ ‘all of life’ program, not just a money grab for some form of non-unionized for profit schooling which should not be funded out of vote education,(which then embroils them in the politics of charter schools),instead Te Marama should be fully funded through Te Puni Kokiri and i hope that the incoming Labour/Green Government examines each of the set up charter schools to ascertain any social value being gained from them befor simply closing the lot,

        There is a constant squeal from the wing-nuts for Maori to ‘own’ and do something about Maori social problems and i would suggest that there is not a lot Maori on a tribl basis can do for those for who social problems are a deeply set way of life and the Te Puna Marama program looks from here to be exactly that, an attempt to instill in young tribal members the skills and mindset which in the future will see them not beset with those social problems,

        For Red Baron, ‘A’ Company of the Maori Battalion made up of Northland Maori fought with distinction and honour on behalf of this country during the second world war, i question exactly why they did considering what ‘this country’ had previously taken from them, but those were different times,

        It is in fact an honor for Te Puna Marama to be able to name its program after ‘A Company’ and your little slur given the facts is not only mindless but in my opinion condsidering what the aims of Te Puna Marama actually are, brainless…

        • marty mars 3.1.1.1

          Good digging bad

          I don’t know much about this trust either but I agree with what you are saying regarding motivations. I’m not a fan of military style schooling but I am of holistic schooling where more than the abc’s are taught and anything we can do to help these young Māori men has got to be good. Too many of them kill themselves or get lost and this country cannot afford that for many many reasons.

        • RedBaronCV 3.1.1.2

          Boot camps are a standard right wing approach to poor behaviour and like others I am not personally in favour of military style schooling. I’m even less impressed by the sort of blokey rallies that Destiny church and the promise keepers(? I think) that used to show on the news.
          Would have hated to think it was along these lines.
          However, I had no intention of causing offence – if it is scooping up people who would other wise be struggling and giving them a decent start. perhaps it’s a pity that they had to get the programme funded through charter schools.

    • karol 3.2

      Bad, your link doesn’t provide any relevant info.

      Maybe this.

      The aims of education and culture seem pretty good. However, I’m not keen on militaristic models for education.

      This from the PPTA.

      Assessments of the charter school submission as obtaned from OIAs:

      He Puna Marama Trust

      27% serious reservations
      27% minor reservations
      3% very good
      1% unacceptable

      “The business and operations plan were comparatively weak and did not demonstrate the capacity and capability of the sponsor, particularly around the understanding of staffing matters.”

      “Key policies such as Health and Safety, were not included…”

      I’m not sure why they need to be registered as a Charter School, and couldn’t continue with the earlier aim to send to particiapting young men to local state schools.

      • bad12 3.2.1

        Karol, my apologies, as usual my linking has let me down, but, if you need more info on what the He Marama Trust is doing/trying to do as i suggest above Google is your friend, and there are a number of links to be found by simply Googling He Marama trust,

        The PPTA is a highly vested interest in it’s denigration of He Marama and i will take little notice of their concerns seeing as it is essentially their members that watch 10-20% of students fail under the current and previous models of education,(a system i might add that is basically mono-cultural taking little account of students ability to learn and social background, this of course is solely based upon my own experience of education where like Justice, education has been subjected to much great change over the decades which at the coal face has resulted in little change),

        i think i have explained the reasons why i see He Marama Trust have allowed themselves to be pushed into Charter Schools, presumably with the offering of a large financial carrot by Hekia Parata, and the link below,(if it works),points out that He Marama has been reliant previously on diverse sources of funding to operate it’s program,

        http://www.asbcommunitytrust.org.nz/…/stage…/leadership-company

        Like you, but only up to a point, i also do not think much of ‘militaristic’ education, however, my view is slanted via having received a dose of this early in life via the Justice systems Detention Centers, a supposed 3 months ‘short sharp shock’ which certainly proved to be the case for the community on my release back into it,

        However, He Marama is a holistic view of education which includes a physical component, which if it is anything akin to my experience with the detention centers of the Justice ministry certainly ‘wakes one up’,

        The obvious difference is that these students are not simply given the run round for a number of months and then given 2 bucks and a bus ticket to act out their training upon an unsuspecting public, the holistic approach taken by He Marama in conjunction with the States educative approach would seem to ensure that the result is young Maori men able to act confidently within societies norms,

        Obviously i would prefer He Marama to have been fully funded from Te Puni Kokiri but totally understand why they have taken the money offered through charter schools as a pragmatic decision leaving the politics for others…

        • karol 3.2.1.1

          Thanks, bad.

          I did do some google searches, but didn’t find that much of use except the link to the trust itself.

          Your ASB link doesn’t work.

          I agree our current education system doesn’t work so well for Maori. However, my experience working with many at the coal face is that they would like to be able to provide a very good education for Maori. And I do think the PPTA is more for the good of all students than you give them credit for.

          As Basil Bernstein said once “education cannot compensate for society”.

          The education system could be improved by bringing the likes of the trust into the state system, rather than via a privatising measure – which suits NAct’s agenda.

          The sticking point though is that the trust will be sending students to local state schools, which would seem to be against what you are advocating for.

          • bad12 3.2.1.1.1

            Ummm, Karol, the students/cadets at He Marama are still receiving all or parts of their education at the colleges they now attend,and ‘seems’ is simply your interpretation of what i have actually said,

            Given that small fact i fail to see exactly what is ‘wrong’ with He Marama as far as it’s approach goes, they obviously see benefit in the State’s education and are simply providing a far more intensive education than that able to be supplied by the State,

            Other than ‘political attitude’ which has many simply decrying the likes of He Marama which i see as delivering the best of both worlds it would seem that as far as the education of these young Maori men goes they could not receive a more thorough secondary education,

            i am sure Karol that those managing He Marama, especially those tasked with raising the funds the Trust relies upon to deliver it’s programs would agree with you entirely about He Marama being brought into the States education system and have just achieved this by taking the Charter School funding,

            The politics of this of course are that Hekia Parata can now ‘use’ He Marama involvement in the Charter schools funding as political leverage,

            The State’s education system fails more than just Maori and the only reason for my focusing upon He Marama is that the Post does so, just as many Pakeha are failed by the states education system and even tho as you say teachers might try their hardest to educate the 10-20% who do fail ‘History’ says that their best efforts have failed not in the term of the present politicians in charge but in terms of 50, 60, or 100 years of the ‘education system’,

            i would happily see the State fully fund ‘alternative education’ in an attempt to lift the education outcomes of those who the present state curriculum fails, but, when have they???,

            An obvious point to be made when discussing ‘alternative education’ for all racial groupings is that teachers themselves are trained to deliver a curriculum which somewhat devalues any attempt at alternatives which require different modes of teaching, and, without any evidence to back up such a suggestion i would tend to agree with He Marama where a split model of education may be the most effective for many students…

            • karol 3.2.1.1.1.1

              bad, my criticism is not of He Marama or the work they are doing with young people. My concern is about the privatisation of education via charter schools.

              I do think the education system was moving forward, although too slowly, for all children prior to the next government. There are a lot of teachers working sincerely for better education for disadvantaged groups of children.

              I will continue to argue for a better state funded system (not a PPP one that is privatisation by stealth). I would like to see independed organisations like He Marama brought fully within the state system, and not as PPPs/charter schools.

              I think giving some independence to organizations working for disadvantaged sections of his community, fully within the state system may be the way to go. Recruiting more people from within such communities to take lead roles, etc.

              The charter schools ethos will ultimately be damaging for all groups.

              • Jenny Kirk

                Hi Karol and Bad 12 – I can throw a little light on the history of He Marama.

                I was a member of the ASB Community Trust when that Trust decided to fund five educational projects which it was hoped would make a difference to the educational achievements of Maori and Pacific Island children. Three of those projects were He Marama, Rise Up, and another one called C-Me (mentoring South Auckland students into jobs with firms like Pacific Steel etc). C-Me also applied for charter school funding, and missed out. The other two received it.

                The basis behind He Marama was that a certain number of Maori students (boys) would be chosen each year from throughout the north – they would attend secondary school in Whangarei, and they would board Monday thru to Friday with He Marama, going home in the weekends.

                While boarding with He Marama they would be supervised/mentored into doing their homework, doing active sports of their choice, learning how to cook healthy food, learning te reo, waiata, their cultural history, etc. And somewhere they fitted in other hobbies like music, etc. I have only been back to He Marama a few times in the early years – but from the comments the whanau made on those occasions about the progress the boys were making, it seems that this initiative was working well.

                The “military” Academy stuff IS a little off-putting for people who don’t know the history – but He Marama were given permission by the people connected to the 28th Maori Battalion to use that name, and to have parades along those military lines.
                As Bad 12 says – it was an honour for He Marama to get this approval – and one or two of the ageing survivors of the 28th Maori Battalion also attended the ceremonies in those early years.

                It was the hope of the ASB Community Trust trustees at the time of setting up this alternative educational initiative that the success being shown by these projects would be taken up by the Ministry of Education as examples of what other alternatives could do for Maori and Pacific Island students’ achievement .

                We also hoped the projects would be able to obtain funding from other sources to be able to continue operating. From memory, I think the ASB Community Trust intended to support the projects for five years – might have been less – in the hope the projects would become self-sustaining. This “self-sustaining” aspect does not appear to have happened – and no doubt the people managing these projects saw the National Govt’s Charter School concept as an opportunity to allow them to keep operating.

                I don’t think any of us trustees envisaged that the National Government would use them as prototypes for Charter Schools. Certainly, I personally am not in favour of Charter Schools and I perceive dangers in them to our state education system.

                And from what I have read in the media, the Charter School programme appears to be different from the original project set up by He Puna Marama.

                But the original intention with He Marama was to get those massive statistics which showed Maori boys in particular failing at school and ending up in prison in later life in very large numbers, turned around. Ditto with Rise Up, and the other projects.

                • bad12

                  Thanks Jenny Kirk, a good comment from someone who obviously knows a lot more about He Marama than i do,

                  A two pronged question Jenny, do you see He Marama having taken the poisoned chalice of Charter School funding being forced or voluntarily changing the current program, and, do you see such a ‘split model’ of intensive education such as the He Marama model being of any efficacy were the program to be used to attempt to alter the outcomes of the 10-20% of students adjudged to have failed in the States system…

                  • Jenny Kirk

                    I don’t know enough of the current details re He Marama , Bad 12, to answer your queries.

                    But what I did think at the time the ASBCT was setting up this project was that it would show the Ministry of Education that there are valid reasons for Maori boys failing so spectacularly at secondary school, and that the current state education system needed to change to meet their needs, and maybe this project could pave the way for some of those changes.

                    But some state schools in the same district are doing wonders with Maori kids – Tikipunga High – a low decile area, has been achieving really good results with its students – many of whom are from low income families. Their recent principal – just retired – introduced many new ways for getting the kids interested in studying, and achievement – and like I said before, personally, I’d rather the state education system incorporated more of those initiatives and were more flexible around how to get Maori and PI kids achieving, than going down the Charter School track.

              • bad12

                Karol, i have said it twice but will repeat,my view is that Te Puni Kokiri should be fully funding He Marama in it’s efforts full stop,

                As He Marama sends it’s students to State colleges then these students should be funded from vote education full stop,

                He Marama should be the subject of intense scrutiny to asesss what the difference in outcomes are for those who pass through He Marama and i would like to see such scrutiny continue to track these students so as to ascertain their ‘life outcomes’,

                For 80% of the student population their education is a success and the current State system is adequate for them, for the 10-20% who are failed by the education system some ‘other’ model might prove to be far more successful in conjunction with the State system,(other than the present which data indicates will leave those failed to the un-tender mercies of the Justice system),

                Obviously Carter Schools are an open invitation for the private sector to clip the ticket of vote education and such should rightly be resisted, however, there may be the odd piece of gold that emanates from within the Charter School stupidity and if He Marama turns out to be that piece of gold then it is obvious that for the 10-20% of failed State school students there should be far far more intensive schooling based upon the He Marama model…

  4. freedom 4

    “It is completely usual within the education sector for sharing and collaboration of resources. ”
    Hon Hekia Parata

    The minister is correct in that this structure has been in existence for many years, especially the sharing of technical and arts related facilities, resources and staff. I think back, so long ago now, Our high school regularly hosted pupils from other schools. Especially if the needs of a pupil exceeded the resources of their own school. For example, a school with a less developed Drama Department across the city would send some pupils, one of whom is now a celebrated director writer and producer. Without the access to our school’s Drama programme that particular career might never have begun.

    The sharing of resources between schools should never be casually criticised.
    Sharing is a good thing.
    The specifics of how those resources are shared though, that must be transparent.

    The striking difference between the community I refer to above and whatever it is the Minister is trying to evade defining, has to be the duration of the contracts and the terms therein. Ours was a semi-permanent arrangement across various programmes. The staff, the resources and the expense were public record. State schools are state schools, so the governance, expenses, staff and so on are [mostly] well managed and more importantly transparent. This is a problem for National.

    Not in any reference to the partnership schools involved in this sharing of resources, do I see a clear statement of the duration or the fixed terms of any contract.

    1.8 million establishment dollars, over five years? thirty years? Can they apply for more? For maintenance? New buildings? What, if any, are the fixed annual operational costs to be supplied by the government in years to come? Are these costs linked to inflation? If they change corporate structure do they repay the establishment money? Can they reapply for more with the same directors on new boards? Do they get renegotiated regularly.? How often? By whom? etc .?. etc .?.

    There is an excessive amount of information on partnership schools that is, quite simply, vague.
    Vague is not a concept I welcome if that concept is being relied on to be a foundation of a new education policy for our country. There have not been enough questions on partnership schools. Hipkins’s questions only scratch the surface!

  5. tc 5

    Love the way parrota simply doesnt even appear to feign concern and make a sham attempt to take some sort of action at this clear diversion of education funds into private pockets.

    More govt engineered corruption from shonkey and his wrecking crew.

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    Gone by lunchtime. No compensation for investors.

  7. KJT 7

    The “bright future” of New Zealand’s education.

    https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/education-hostage/17cceda6b3d44b20031f5583a3c40e5d0c630f30/

    “In this standoff, the hostages are public school children. They are being held captive not by a rag tag bunch of Somali buccaneers nor by Tea Party loons with that distinctly wild-eyed serial killer look in their eyes. No, a generation of youngsters is being held instead by pinstriped corporate executives, buttoned-down foundation officers and the local school board officials those aristocrats buy and sell.
    Reminiscent of Hans Gruber’s high-class crew, this smooth-talking team of bandits is armed with billions of dollars of “charitable” – and therefore tax-subsidized – cash from both brand-name corporate behemoths and individual plutocrats like Microsoft’s Bill Gates, insurance magnate Eli Broad, media titan Michael Bloomberg, Enron billionaire John Arnold and Wal-Mart’s Walton family. With school districts refusing to adequately fund their education systems, and with a tax code boosting the plutocrats’ anti-public-school activism, this rogues gallery is now calling the shots – and demanding ransom. If a community pays the ransom by letting these distant marauders do what they want to the local school, then the perpetrators won’t purposely harm any hostages, even though their policies may inadvertently maim a bunch. But if a community defies these moguls’ wishes, then open threats against the cute little hostages commence.
    The commercial application of this extortion scheme is straightforward. In shock-doctrine-like fashion, the corporate community that typically lobbies against higher taxes to fund schools makes a business opportunity out of schools’ subsequent budget crises”.

    At least we have the Teacher unions to oppose the process. Or we did until National bought some off recently, with their “bribes for Teachers that toe the line” policy.

  8. Philj 8

    Xox
    Yup, another swipe against the solidarity of the teachers union. Elite teacher pay offs, and Charter schools will test the union. The PPTA is the last strong union to be dealt to by a National Government. A brilliant tactic. How will the PPTA respond?

  9. Papa Tuanuku 9

    the left should start using language like charter schools taking money away from state schools

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      The Left should start using language like “when we defund/close/take over these private schools, no compensation will be paid. You can’t buy education policy from the National Party without losing your shirt.”

  10. The Real Matthew 10

    And to add insult to injury: He Puna Marama is the most generously funded of all charrter schools, at $40,000 per pupil. By contrast, state schools are funded at less than a fifth of that rate. So they can sit there, contract out all the actual education to state providers at double the government rate, and still make $1 million for doing nothing.

    Are you refuting the claim made on Kiwiblog that all schools, charter or state, are funded exactly the same amount? (providing the number of pupils are the same)

    If so can you provide the evidence to support this claim?

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