Happy Sunday, teachers!
This day of rest greets us with the most excellent news that Julia Gillard has answered the calls of parents around the nation to identify exactly which schools the poor, low-achieving and, most importantly, Indigenous students are attending, so that we can all avoid these cesspools of failure with confidence rush to enrol our children in these schools.
Gillard is spot on when she denies the information would be used to stigmatise schools. AS IF!
Even the President of the Australian Education Union Angelo Gavrielatos has argued that the use of NAPLAN data alone does not take into account the rich contribution that schools make to their students’ lives in ways that stretch beyond simple evaluations of literacy and numeracy.
Enter Gillard with the antidote to Gavrielatos’ gripes: publication of “richer” data, i.e. an index of disadvantage.
I mean, there are some really good reasons that parents would want to be able to easily check a one-stop website to see how disadvantaged their local school really is. For example, parents may want to:
- increase the chances of their kid getting the Dux award by choosing a school with a low year 12 retention rate
- make it easier for their kid to become popular by ensuring their backpack is the most expensive one in the playground
- bolster their kid’s chances of joining a hip Indig. rap group that rails against the ghetto and brings the family muchos street cred via phat beats.
Seriously folks. This is getting out of hand.
Gillard says that “We have never had a robust index that gives us the ability to look at the level of advantage and disadvantage across all schools.” So fine – make an index.
Heck, you might even be able to balance out some of the overfunding that is provided to elite private schools that way.
But don’t publish it Jules, for crying out loud! Stigmatising schools is ALL this information will be used for.