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”

Call for Inquiry into Bias Against Government Schools on My School

A study published today by Save Our Schools, a public education advocacy group, calls for a full independent public inquiry into ‘like school’ comparisons on the My School website.

SOS spokesman, Trevor Cobbold, said that the comparisons are biased against government schools and littered with flaws and omissions. Continue reading “Call for Inquiry into Bias Against Government Schools 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”

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”

House of Commons Report Damns League Tables and Warns on School Report Cards

The UK House of Commons Committee for Children, Schools and Families has made a devastating critique of the impact of league tables on education in England. In a recent report on school accountability the Committee says that school performance tables present a very narrow view of school performance and there are inherent methodological and statistical problems with the way they are constructed. Continue reading “House of Commons Report Damns League Tables and Warns on School Report Cards”

My School Comparisons Expose Hypocrisy of PM and Gillard

The Save Our Schools public education advocacy group today accused the Prime Minister and the Federal Education Minister of hypocrisy and duplicity about reporting school results.

SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said they have broken each of their three key promises about publishing school results. Continue reading “My School Comparisons Expose Hypocrisy of PM and Gillard”

Languages Learning Under Threat from League Tables

Language education in secondary schools continues to decline under the pressure of league tables according to new reports on language education just released in England and the United States. The studies add to the weight of evidence that league tables narrow the school curriculum and student learning. They suggest that the efforts to expand language learning in Australia are likely to be impeded by the imminent publication of school results. Continue reading “Languages Learning Under Threat from League Tables”