Should Primary/High School League Tables (Performance Info) Be Available To Public?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by King Mook Mook, Jan 19, 2010.

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Should School League Tables Be Published?

  1. Yes.

    9 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Yes, but only online and not in other publications (newspapers, magazines etc.)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. No.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. King Mook Mook macrumors 6502

    #1
    Currently in Australia there is great debate on whether school league tables should be available.

    What are school league tables you ask?

    The school league tables publish the NAPLAN (the standardised test all students in grades 3, 5, 7 and 9. However unlike the American system, these results have no influence on the child's grade and teachers are not able to access students' individual results. They are given to teachers as a report on the whole of the grade they teach to be able to see their performance in reading, writing, maths etc. and can then compare to the median results in Australia as see what areas they need to focus on) results of all schools around Australia. Then the parent (or other person) can look at any school's results and compare to other schools in the area or based on like socio-economic school, or on a number of other factors such as schools with like statistics and see more information about them. You can see the website with more information: http://www.myschool.edu.au/

    Why is there concern?

    Many teacher unions are angry about the fact that these 'tables' can be used to publicly name and shame schools with lower performance then others and if parents' see that there child (no matter how well he is performing) is at a 'worse' school and then try and move him to the 'best' school. So, making the information public would serve only to unfairly humiliate schools in poorer areas - which, say the critics, are disproportionately representative of poorly achieving schools. Enabling parents to "vote with their feet" would see gifted children shift to better performing schools, thereby entrenching the lower ranks of the schools they depart.

    However, the Government say that the publication of these results will allow parents to be more informed about the school their child is going to or is going to go to. They are also in favour of more 'transparency' in the school system. They say that with this information published poorer performing schools will be able to replicate what's going on at the higher performing schools and increase their results too, adding that it is not the Government's motive to name and shame schools.

    The unions rebut this saying that schools already have access to this information and that they know how well they are going in comparison to other schools and that publishing this information is unnecessary and foolish. They also say that this information is available to Government already and they can help schools that are having troubles, and there is no need for the limelight.

    Further reading:
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/the-tables-are-turned-20090710-dg2s.html
    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/contr...-league-tables-for-schools-20100115-mbq5.html

    So what do you think about league tables? Do you think they should be published online just not able to be put in newspapers and other print publications? Do you think they should be published at all?
    Discuss!

    King Mook Mook
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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  3. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

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    #3
    If the schools are funded by tax payers, then the parents have the right to know how there children's school is doing compared to others.
     
  4. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #4
    Make the school information public so the parent can see how the school stacks up against the nation. The parent should already know how their kid stacks up in the school as they should be involved and also be helping their kids with their homework when needed. The US education problem stems from both teacher unions and lazy parents, we can get rid of one of them fairly easy.
     
  5. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #5
    Definitely publish them. Parents should know how the school stands up to others.
     
  6. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #6
    I say publish them but they need to have adjustment factors put on them.

    The adjustment factors are ones that adjust the scores based on the sociel economic climite of the school itself. School that most students parents do not have a college education or are just from a poor level should have there scores adjusted up to account for the lack of education importants at home and on the flip side thoses that come from well wealthy families and college educated family school districts need to have the scores adjusted down.

    This gives a fairer representation of how good the school really is. If education is important at home of course the test scores are going to be a factor. The biggest deciding factor on that is look at the parents. Statics shows that kids of parents who have a college education are more likely to do better in school than those with out. Kids that come from richer families tend to do better in school than those who do not.

    Notice a pattern. It a gives a much better result on how the school is really doing.

    It is not fair to compare my hometown school to a city of Houston school. My school is going to score a hell of a lot higher than a city of Houston school. Biggest difference is the parents of most of students in my high school are are Doctor, lawyers, and Engineers. It makes a huge difference in how the school does by looking at the parents.
     
  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #7
    Its done in the UK. Its really more important how much a school can improve the children it is given then how well they can do on standardized tests but its really the only consistent measure we have.
     
  8. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #8
    I know for a fact that the reason my hometown school scores high is small class sizes and good teachers (added to the fact that everyone knows each other so there is an added accountability to the parents and the students). I come from a poor town with very few doctors, lawyers, or nurses and we consistently score high in the state (first this year).

    I don't think the scores should be adjusted for social economic climate, thats just lowering the bar for poor communities and its not something that is needed. The people employing them aren't going to take into account their social economic background when they can't perform their job, you are setting them up for failure.
     
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #9

    The guess what that shows your school is doing a hell of a lot better than normal.
    It just not fair to compare the huge schools to the small schools. It would be like a small school playing a huge school in football and expect to win.... Just not going to happen.
    In just those scores like that does a huge disservice to the teachers who might be really good but the climatic at home of the students is such that they do not do well. Not fair to penalize the teacher for the failure at home.

    If you want to judge the teacher you have to put in factors that remove the home variables the best you can.
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    UK
    #10
    Agreed, how much they've improved is really important.
     
  11. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #11
    They should but it does also cause other issues.
     
  12. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    IOWA
    #12
    The issue is fairly complex, but I think the values of accountability are where the argument should be started. Everything else is just details.

    Being held accountable in a normal free market society is one of the best motivators for excellence. Human beings need inspiration for focus and clarity. By being held accountable, teachers are inspired to work harder, accomplish more goals, etc. In the end, they will be more proud of their work, more eager to grow and improve, as the entire system benefits. Most of all, the children and society benefit from having motivated individuals in charge instead of individuals just looking to do enough to get by.

    Once you decide that teachers should be held accountable (my wife is a teacher and would greatly benefit from being 'held accountable', she is very good at what she does and is a true inspiration to her students... yet she gets compensated exactly the same as the worst teachers in the district) it only becomes a matter of HOW it should be done. Just because it is hard, just because it won't always be 100% fair, doesn't mean that it shouldn't be attempted. Life isn't fair... but striving only to maintain the lowest common denominator guarantees the lack of growth/improvement.
     
  13. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Colorado
    #13
    Agreed, they should be published.
     
  14. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #14
    Agreed.

    P.S. Every time I see your username I first think of 'fallopian tube.'
     
  15. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    Toronto, Ontario
    #15
    We need to develop an entirely new system then because the home variable is a large part of what makes US high school education so crappy, its provided for by the state completely and parents just don't give a damn for the most part. I imagine if those parents were shelling the money out of pocket like they do for college there would be a lot more interaction with the school and the student going on pertaining to learning.

    You don't need all new facilities to learn, our school always had outdated books, the teachers supplemented and actually created new lesson plans every year instead of doing what I have seen in other schools and just totally recycling the same material every year. I don't think I saw a new textbook until I got to college, mine were always worn out pieces of junk.

    The problem with the system is no one is held accountable, teachers can't be fired on a whim for poor performance. I should know best having been beat bloody in grade school by a teacher who still retains her job. Administrator salaries are out of line also especially in poorer districts.
     
  16. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #16
    Yes. An education used to be considered something you were "lucky" to get. Now it's a "right" paid for by rich people who live somewhere else completely. The end result is parents and students who don't care or VALUE the education they're being treated to. When you don't care, you don't try. Whey you don't try, you don't succeed... when all of the students don't succeed, the standards are lowered so that more of them do. The parents blame the teachers, the teachers blame the parents... No one is accountable, no one values the service... once again by placating the lowest common denominator, we all lose out.
     
  17. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #17
    Well being beat bloody now in any school is grounds for being fired. Now they would be put on paid leave and then investigation followed by being fired. typical government way of doing about anything. But every school district I have dealt with and know would of gotten that teacher fired with in a week or 2. The good ones would say your fired and eat the cost if they are sued.

    As for material each year for things like text book that comes down to cost. Schools can not afford to buy new books every year. Text books of any type are astronomically expensive and well out of line with inflation.

    Now good teacher do create new lesson plans every year or more so they modify the ones they used before to update them for any new information or teaching style. Recreating them from scratch every year is stupid. It modify and adapt a set of good working one.

    As for test scores I think they need a modifier to rank the schools based on the social economic climate of the district. This gives the teacher a much better rating score on how good they really are. In Texas they have change some of the way they compare schools. For example my hometown school is no longer compared with like inner city schools for rating because its scores would beat the crap out of them. Instead it has to compete with other schools with similar social economic climates. Inner City schools are compared with other inner city schools and so on. This gives the schools much more accurate ratings. They are compared to schools that have the same quality of students coming in.

    What is more impressive a school that takes crap students in and when the leave they are really good.
    Or a school that takes in Really good students and out puts great one.
    Which one deserves a higher rating. In my book it is the first one. They took crap and made them really good. It does not take much to move from really good to great.
     
  18. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #18
    I went to school knowing I was one disciplinary mark away from having my ass beat when I got home, maybe we need more of that. :p Being from a poor community I hardly think this is a poor vs. rich issue, you can dump as much money as you want into a system, if the parents don't care then the kids have no reason to succeed and your plan fails.
     
  19. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #19
    If we are talking about solely rating teachers this might be a good plan, but at the end of the day the kids still suck compared to people they are going to be competing with in the economy. Another words, the problem is still there. When the kid goes and takes the SAT/ACT they aren't going to be like "hey you were from this district so you get 4 extra points, welcome to college that you aren't qualified to be in!"

    At the end of the day there are still students who are going to be getting the shaft, and thats who I am worried about foremost.
     
  20. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #20
    To me when rating a school you are rating the Teacher not the students. Well since you rate the teacher based on how the students do there needs to be some adjustment factors on the students scores to rate the teachers.

    Now on SAT/ACT that is still on the student and those should not have any adjustments. But when rating a school/teacher the factors need to be there because the largest and most important variable on how a student does the schools and the teachers have no control over and that is the parents.
     
  21. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #21
    Publish them.

    And since you changed your username, I read it as Abbie Junk. :D
     
  22. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #22
    Good. Its important to keep thinking. The subject matter is almost unimportant. :D
     

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