My School: The Sum of All Fears

The imminent teacher boycott of national literacy and numeracy tests gives cause to assess how well the My School website informs comparisons of school quality. Apart from creating incentives to narrow school curriculum and manipulate school test results, a major flaw is that its so-called “like school” comparisons are systematically biased in favour of private schools. Continue reading “My School: The Sum of All Fears”

Why Testing Fails: How Numbers Deceive Us All

There is broad agreement, that improving education requires assessing student outcomes, and holding those responsible accountable for the results. But, the use of standardized tests, as a tool for assessment and accountability, has resulted in more disillusionment than improvement. The heavy emphasis on testing mandated by the No Child Left Behind Law, has not lead to the sought after gains in educational outcomes. Continue reading “Why Testing Fails: How Numbers Deceive Us All”

School Daze

The ‘like school’ comparisons on the My School website purport to compare the test results of schools with 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 favour of private schools when comparing their results with so-called ‘like’ government schools. Continue reading “School Daze”

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”

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”

‘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”

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”

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”

Uniquely Australian Mimicry

Tuesday February 2, 2010

Julia Gillard: The model that we have developed here is uniquely Australian. Yes, we’ve looked at the world experience but we haven’t mimicked any other model.

Just days after the launch of the My School website and the construction of league tables in various newspapers from the data on the website, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard issued a joint statement (January 31, 2010) outlining plans to expand the information it contains. Continue reading “Uniquely Australian Mimicry”