Search This Blog

Monday, June 22, 2009

NSW acts on disclosure of school performance information

I'll leave it to the experts to make what they can of the NSW move ( presumably in line with what is happening in all states and territories) to legislate for the publication of information about school performance. Here is what Education Minister Verity Firth had to say in Parliament last week, making it sound like a big step forward, then claiming NSW has been publishing this sort of stuff for years; in any event amending legislation to permit disclosure of performance information to a national body and subsequent publication by others; and still retaining in the Freedom of Information Act for the time being, and in the proposed Government Information Act, an exemption to protect some information of this kind, and a provision that excludes information relating to relevant functions of the Department and the universities in processing this informtion from the legislation entirely.

On this last point, I raised the breadth of this exclusion, going far beyond the need to afford privacy to individuals, in my submission on the new bill, but vacate the space to James
King who set out a strong and detailed case for change. King didn't get anywhere but the Government response to submissions acknowledged the strength of his argument.

Anne Patty in the Sydney Morning Herald says the NSW bill will " lift (the) 10-year ban on the creation of school league tables" but whatever else you make of the Minister's statement she sure didn't say that. The Minister again:
"All State and Territory Ministers have endorsed the important principle that public reporting should not be by way of crude league tables. Instead, the national agreement replicates the best features of the system we have developed in New South Wales—individual reports for each school, with rich information, rather than a single numeral. The protocols agreed by MCEETYA Ministers on 12 June specifically state:Governments will not publish simplistic league tables or rankings, and will put in place strategies to manage the risk that third parties may seek to produce such tables or rankings."
    Maybe there is a distinction to be made between league tables and crude and simplistic league tables?

    No comments:

    Post a Comment