I hate league tables – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=1081398
Every year the media collect up the data published by the Ministry of education and from this produce a league table showing who is the best and who is the worst, in their humble opinion. Their analysis lacks depth and understanding, it often fails to account for the number of school doing alternative qualification systems like Cambridge and International Baccalaureate. Further, they take the results in isolation from the school, its environment and community.
Yes, I hate league tables. I question there worth, I question the outcomes and the motivation behind them.
But, there is a reality check here. LEAGUE TABLES ARE HERE TO STAY. While the Ministry makes available the data (I am a fan of access to data and transparency), parents search for the best educational outcome for their children and the media continues to look for easy stories, league tables are going to be our constant companions.
So, while I don’t like the concept, the prospect of having the ministry of education produce the tables is far more appealing than having the media do it. Particularly if they based the tables on a range of factors not just achievement in standards whether they are achievement standards or national.
I believe it is critical that parents have access to a range of data, and to have this supported by informed, accurate and unbias analysis and evaluation. Something that the media is sadly lacking in some cases.