Saturday, January 30, 2010

School Rankings

Not much shocks me about politics in Australia but really, I am so astonished that school rankings have been introduced by a Labor Government. This allows parents to compare one school to another and check on the numeric score each school receives. So, you have a choice between St Albans Primary and Melbourne Grammar's Grimwade House and you can compare the scores. Yeah, like anyone who lives in St Albans has that choice. In fact since when did you get a choice of which government school your children attend? You go to the nearest. If you want a different school, you move suburbs. Maybe that has changed.

Unlike private schools, state schools cannot pick and choose from the brightest or the wealthiest. You can take it from me that an area with the lowest income will have the worst school, or at least one ranked the lowest. I would guess half the teachers' work is remedial, social work and discipline. Hopefully there will be enough time left over to teach some sums and words.

Certainly in some circles the question of which school you went to is never far away. Should you have gone to the worst in the state perhaps it is best to invent a well thought out story.

You will have to be a smarter to outfox an employer, so when you go for that important job, have a very well prepared story. Never on any account admit that you went to the lowest ranking school in Australia.

Perhaps there is some really altruistic teachers out there who would choose to teach at the lowest ranking school but surely only with an assurance that it can be removed from the employment history.

This is a load of crap and that it comes from a left faction member, Julia Gillard, and from the Labor Party makes it so much worse.

Oh dear, as I write this, (not sure when I will publish it) Torchwood is on and they need to select 10% of children for sacrifice. How did they select the ten per cent? You guessed it. School League Tables.


  1. Interestingly the tables shown in yesterday's SMH reveal some very high performing public schools in NSW - including in supposedly struggling areas like Penrith and Gosford - whilst some of the big name private schools were lower ranked than I would have imagined.

  2. It is interesting. I finally had a look in the newspaper at the rankings and no surprises jumped out at me, except the schools I attended have closed.

  3. ooh that was a brilliant Torchwood season.

    Most schools I know are zoned, so unless people could afford to move house to a new zone, then they're stuck. When I worked at a school out in the 'burbs I used to see real estate advertisements selling the fact that they were in a certain schools zone. Hot property.

  4. It certainly got me in Fen. We are coming. We are coming.

    You are right about the zones. I have subsequently learnt that you can try for a different school and it subject to the discretion of the principle. May only apply to NSW though.

  5. I know a few friends who have used rellie's addresses elsewhere to get their kids into better schools out of zone.
    Just read online parents are desperately trying to quickly change their kids' schools while the Opposition twit blathered that it was dangerous to allow parents to move their children freely around schools.

  6. The parents would have a long time lie to live out Jayne. The whole thing is ridiculous.

  7. "May only apply to NSW though."

    That could be, Andrew. Just the other day a retired school teacher friend of mine told me how she got her son into a public school in another area because her inside knowledge enabled her to compose the persuasive arguments in her letter to the principal of the preferred school.

  8. yeah it does depend on the principal, it also depends how full the school is. The school I was at regularly had people applying and as far as I can remember none of them were accepted simply because we were already bursting at the seams.

  9. The Principal of a Broadmeadows Primary School which was given a bad wrap on that school website called the radio station and spoke about what was written. He said that the scores did not truly reflect what their school as was about. He said the teachers and parents work very hard and were dedicated to teach many new Australians, Non English speaking..and that they taught many refugees from Iraq and that by the end of the first year those students were able to converse in English and read basic words in books.
    My children's Primary school has much the same thing going on. Even today, so many new Non English speaking families have begun to attend. New uniforms, book boxes and blank looks on faces was they try to find the teachers who will help them integrate. I reckon we have more than 60 nationalities there now.
    I went to public Primary and Secondary Schools, and then onto Victoria University. I had great teachers through out the time I was at school. But, when I look at it, I know that it was my sheer determnation and my study habits that made me the good (pat my own back hehe) student became.
    So, I think that no matter where you go and no matter what you do it is certainly a key factor that if you are determined, no matter where you are schooled, you can succeed :)

  10. Yes Victor and Fen. I think many schools are close to capacity as it is, certainly the better ones.

    Interesting Cazzie. It illustrates my point well. Some of the motivation for students must come from the parents I think.

  11. When I moved here I started my daughter in Grade 4 at Newport primary until I found out the large number of second-language Arab kids in her Class slowed down the teaching. There was no trouble getting her into Williamstown North.

    Cassie couldn't be more right. It's determination. Parent-inspired, very often.