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Monday, September 28, 2009

Transparency and school performance

Associate Professor Tony Taylor of Monash University in Crikey today on why we need more accessible information about school performance, and three spot-on suggestions about what can be done to combat silly sensationalism from some champions of the right to know (you know who they are):
"First, the authorities must publish reports that give accessible, clear and authentic information that paints a fair, a detailed and a broad picture, and Barry McGaw, the federal curriculum head honcho, has promised this. It may take time, since it has taken Ofsted eighteen years to get to where they are today (with some major diversions along the way), so be patient. Second, all governments, federal and state/territory, must educate parents and teachers so that they will actively look for the more complex backgrounding and make informed judgements about education, instead of just relying on banner headlines and crude rankings. This approach, presumably, is on its way and may result in an increasingly knowledgeable public disposition about schools and schooling. We live in hope. Third, tabloid journalists must change their ways, look for a deeper meaning in life and disdain league tables. Don’t hold your breath."
Two out of three's not bad.

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