Govt. Blocked Evaluation of the Adverse Consequences of My School

Confidential minutes of a meeting of the national education ministers council reveal that ministers knew there would be adverse consequences from My School, and asked for them to be identified. The decision was never implemented. It appears it was blocked by the Federal Education Minister and her department. Continue reading “Govt. Blocked Evaluation of the Adverse Consequences of My School”

More Evidence of the Failure of Choice and Competition to Improve Student Outcomes

The latest national reading test results for the United States show that school choice, competition and accountability measures have had little impact on student achievement. They have failed to increase average reading scores or reduce achievement gaps. Continue reading “More Evidence of the Failure of Choice and Competition to Improve Student Outcomes”

A Devastating Critique of Choice and Competition in Education by a Former Advocate: Part 1

Diane Ravitch has been one of the most influential voices in American education for the past 30 years. When such a person changes her views it is big news and it has been in the US for the past few weeks. A couple of headlines give the flavour:

Scholars School Reform U-Turn Shakes Up Debate New York Times, 2 March]
Ravitch Recants Long-Held Beliefs Education Week, 10 March]

Continue reading “A Devastating Critique of Choice and Competition in Education by a Former Advocate: Part 1”

A Devastating Critique of Choice and Competition in Education by a Former Advocate: Part 3

The final part of a review of Diane Ravitch’s new book: The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education. Continue reading “A Devastating Critique of Choice and Competition in Education by a Former Advocate: Part 3”

‘Like School’ Comparisons on My School are Flawed and Misleading

The My School website purports to enable comparisons of school results amongst socio-educationally similar schools – so-called ‘like schools’. However, these comparisons are unreliable because the measure of like schools is flawed and it fails to take account of many factors outside the control of schools which affect test results. It does not consistently compare like with like. Continue reading “‘Like School’ Comparisons on My School are Flawed and Misleading”

My School Comparisons are Biased in Favour of Private Schools

The ‘like school’ comparisons on the My School website purport to compare the test results of schools having similar socio-economic student populations. However, like is not consistently compared with like. My School’s measure of the socio-economic status (SES) of schools is systematically biased in a way that favours private schools in comparing their results with so-called ‘like’ government schools. Continue reading “My School Comparisons are Biased in Favour of Private Schools”

New York to Red Flag Teachers who Fail to Improve Test Results

The My School website ‘red flags’ schools with low test results. The next step may be ‘red flags’ for teachers who fail to improve class test results, following the introduction of a teacher rankings in New York City by Julia Gillard’s mentor, School’s Chancellor, Joel Klein. Continue reading “New York to Red Flag Teachers who Fail to Improve Test Results”

US School Cheating Scandal Sends Warning on My School

One of the largest school cheating scandals ever in the US is under investigation in the state of Georgia. Last week, the New York Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that one in five of Georgia’s public elementary and middle schools are under investigation for changing student answers on the tests. Continue reading “US School Cheating Scandal Sends Warning on My School”

My School Results Mark the Failure of the Stanhope Govt. on Education

The school results published on the My School website are highly misleading as a guide for parents on comparative school quality. Up to 90% of the difference in school test results is explained by differences in student background – socio-economic, gender, ethnicity, Indigenous and students with disabilities. The large part of the variation is explained by differences in the socio-economic composition of schools, even with the flawed measure used by My School.

Parents can also be misled in assuming that their child will be in a ‘better’ class in a high scoring school than in a lower scoring school. The variation in test scores is much greater within schools than between schools. This means that a school with higher scores than another will likely have classes that perform worse than the best classes in the lower achieving school.

Despite its many flaws, however, My School does reveal information about school systems which can be used to hold governments accountable for their education policies.

For the ACT, it marks the comprehensive failure of the education policies of the Stanhope Government. It demonstrates massive achievement gaps between students from rich and poor families that still exist after nearly a decade of the Stanhope Government.

Continue reading “My School Results Mark the Failure of the Stanhope Govt. on Education”

Gillard’s Case for Publishing School Results is Based on Faith Not Evidence

Julia Gillard claims that publishing school results on the My School website will create pressures for school improvement; better inform parent choice of school; identify best practice and where additional resources are needed.

None of these arguments withstands scrutiny. The Minister’s claims are faith-based rather than evidence-based. Continue reading “Gillard’s Case for Publishing School Results is Based on Faith Not Evidence”