Our favourite pastime

Whos top and bottom of the class? Well the media revelled  (“todaythe door has opened to knowledge…”) in the Myschools website data this week- and so did everyone else. On the Train Thursday morning SMHs spread out and into the offices- even my barber wallowed in the rankings. With over 9million hits on the site in the first few days- it has become the latest preoccupation for our fascination with ‘league tables’ especially in relation to private V public schools.  My 15 year old could see that using the NAPLAN scores were not a good indication of school merit (esp when he claims few undertook them with any seriousness in Yr9) – but don’t let that stop some political point scoring and media positioning. The Daily Tele would have us believe parents are rushing to switch schools because of the data. The Australain media knows how to tap into our anxieties- and now amplify them by positioning the data in league tables with the obvious comparisons. Roger Pryor puts a historic pespective on the issue. The Children of the earth episode of Torchwood gives us the real clue to using the stats- to condemn the children at the schools with the lowest scores to the invading aliens. And perhaps Apples biggest mistake in launching the iPad (apart from the name) is not the fact it doesn’t have Flash/ USB/3G/apps lock/ etc- but  its inablity to have a direct subscription service to the My schools site- or better still the tabloids interpretation of it.


About thand

I'm a currently working at NSW Departrment of Education & Training, Connected Classrooms Program, Sydney.
This entry was posted in IPad, myschool, schooling and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Our favourite pastime

  1. Ian McKee says:

    So many strands …which one do I pick up on?

    Let me start on Myschool… As always we can draw whatever we want from the Myschool site as it is a snapshot presentation of various statistics. At least it has managed to get the drowsy masses to lift their head from the specials catalogue or the latest pirated dvd and actually look at some data in relation to “their school”. After all much of the data has already been sent to them as parents via the annual school report. Myschool simply aggregates this and presents it in a slightly different manner – ‘presentation is everything’.

    All in all it is a healthy sign that it has created a bit of debate and in time the site may well be improved by this feedback. The cynic in me however says that give it a couple of weeks and the bulk of the chattering classes will be looking somewhere else and will have only vague recall of the debate.

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