Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Schools: can we get a plan up in here?

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  • Ian Dalziel,

    Watch for National to get rid of the Decile Rating
    (yay)
    and introduce a "Docile Rating'!
    (oh...)

    Hekia Parata - putting the chic in apparatchik since 2008

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Green, in reply to Russell Brown,

    We met with the Ministry Tuesday and have forced a meeting tomorrow to advance the issue of the admin build. I sit on two local boards and the MoE has had their head in the sand for a while. It has taken the Point Chev issue to force a wider look. However I don't have much faith in the outcomes...

    Point Chevalier • Since Mar 2014 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Richard Green,

    Good on you for forcing the issue -- and getting it discussed in a wider Western Bays context. As I noted above, it sounds like Point Chev isn't the only part of the city where growth projections are an issue.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Does Parata have a "D'oh!"cile rating?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Louise Gardiner, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    That's not how decile funding works. A school decile is worked out on the basis of the mesh block data from census returns. It reflects the socio-economic status of the catchment area, not the actual school population. So if locals send their kids to a school away from where they live (say to a school with a higher decile), the decile of each school does not change.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    No sorry, I don't seem to have retained that, I blame the Saxby's Ginger, Lime and Lemon.

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce, in reply to Louise Gardiner,

    I don't think that's correct, it is based on the meshblocks of the children attending the school, that's why they are supplied with the addresses of the children attending as input to the calculation

    http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEducation/EducationPolicies/Schools/SchoolOperations/Resourcing/ResourcingHandbook/Chapter1/DecileRatings.aspx

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 501 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Louise Gardiner,

    Actually, Lucy, as per the Ministry information I posted, that is exactly how it works. Schools provide the addresses of their pupils, the meshblock data of those addresses is then used to calculate household incomes for the student body of that school. It's absolutely not related to the school's geographic location, except inasmuch as that somewhat defines where the school's pupils will be living.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Max Call,

    So the decile ratings for schools (10% per decile) is based on schools rather than student numbers. As in top 10% ranked schools (using their socio-economic criteria) are in decile 10.

    Kinda sorta nearly. It's based on the household socio-economic status of the school's pupils, not of the area in which the school is located. So a school in a neighbourhood that would be decile 5 which has a majority of pupils from households in decile 1 is going to be below decile 5; more likely around decile 2 or 3.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    To be ultra-pedantic, it's not based on the socio-economic status of the school's pupils. It's based on the socio-economic status of the school's pupils' meshblocks.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Nicholas Jones, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    While decile rating is linked to students, it isn't straightforward that students avoiding their local lower-decile school will cause the school they end up at to decline in decile.

    As noted by principals in the article, they will tend to be from higher income families within an area, and in many cases their household incomes etc will not be typical of others at the local low-decile school - so when they end up at a higher decile school further away their family backgrounds may not be as different as their peers who live closer by. And if they end up at a school of reasonable size then their impact might not be great enough to bring the decile down, it's unlikely they will be in the majority.

    Further complicating the picture is the fact it can be years and years between decile recalculations, and that they are worked out nationally.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • NBH, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    So a school in a neighbourhood that would be decile 5 which has a majority of pupils from households in decile 1 is going to be below decile 5; more likely around decile 2 or 3.

    Or conversely there's the Wellington College situation, where zones are gamed so that a Decile 10 school is located in/between 'Area Units' that you can think of as equivalent to Decile 5 and 2 (NZDEP 5 and 9 - and yeah, I know you shouldn't cross measures in this way, but it illustrates a point in this case).

    Wellington • Since Oct 2008 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Nicholas Jones,

    While decile rating is linked to students, it isn’t straightforward that students avoiding their local lower-decile school will cause the school they end up at to decline in decile.

    If they come from a meshblock (grouping of around 50 households) that has an higher aggregate socio-economic status than surrounding blocks, yes, that is correct. But that would be somewhat aberrant. At the meshblock level households will roughly conform to the block’s mean characteristics, by definition, though there is always the scope for extreme outliers in any given meshblock.
    So it actually is rather straightforward that students from a low-decile meshblock going to a higher-decile school will drag the decile of their destination school down. That’s how it works.

    As you say, though, the recalibrations can take exceptionally long periods of time between iterations, which is somewhat inexcusable given the significance of accurate decile rankings.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Nicholas Jones, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    I'd have to disagree that it's straightforward. Gentrification and pockets of higher income areas do exist within many lower decile schools' catchment areas (Wattle Downs near James Cook). And the students who go further afield are not likely to be in their new school's majority.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Beth Sullivan,

    Regards the Western Bay schools, the MOE has committed 10 million to upgrading Freemans Bay Primary, with the plan to replace all the single story buildings with two stories to cater for future growth.

    It is also worth noting that the schools closest to the CBD attract significant numbers of students from out of zone. Public transport means Auckland Girls draws students from across Auckland - I would see at least a dozen girls on my bus route travelling from Mt Wellington (we were in zone for Penrose High). CBD uworkers also take advantage of the local primaries.

    There is therefore the possibility of local growth being accomodated by enforcing zoning. This raises the question though of the future of specialist immersion units: Maori, Samoan and French at Richmond Rd; and Maori and Samoan at Newton. Newton in particular has had the goal of being the kura kaupapa for Ngati Whatua.

    Grey Lynn • Since Mar 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Beth Sullivan,

    School overcrowding has been an issue in the past - 'Urban Village' by Jenny Carlyon and Diana Morrow have descriptions of Richmond Rd school:

    'By 1914 the school consisted of several high roofed barn like rooms with platform galleries where the nearly 800 children could be packed .... to control the enormous classes discipline was rigorously autocratic. '

    'By 1960 there was 830 pupils crammed into the 2.25 acre site..... So much of the playground was taken up with prefabricated classes that children's games where curtailed to those not requiring too much moving about.'

    Neither solution seems ideal for the future though....

    Grey Lynn • Since Mar 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

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