A schools database

John Hartevelt at Stuff reports:

The Government appears set on publishing primary school performance data, criticised by a teacher union as “junk information”.

Education Minister yesterday said she would consider setting up a website similar to the MySchool resource that operates in Australia.

The Australian example “deals with a number of the concerns that have been rumoured” about the risks of , Ms Parata said.

Comparisons between schools on MySchool were only between “statistically similar schools,” giving a fairer picture of performance.

“I think that parents vest a lot of trust in the principals and teachers of the education sector – and so they should – and that trust should be returned by letting parents know accurate information about what’s happening,” she said.

I think it is far better to have a database which allows parents to do “smart” comparisons, such as between schools with the same decile rankings, rather than just leave it to the media to compile their own tables.

The solution to bad data is good data – not banning the publication of data.

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