Should deciles go?

September 17th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Parents’ misuse of decile ratings has inflamed racial and social class stigma in schools, sparking a call for a major overhaul of the funding system, a new report claims.

The Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) paper, produced for the union’s annual conference next month, outlines several criticisms of the decile system.

It recommends a new model in which each school is funded based on an individual socio-economic profile, rather than a decile number.

That sounds well worth considering. You need a funding formula of some sort, but the deciles have become a simplistic proxy for quality – which they are not.

The different in funding by decile is huge:

The decile funding examples below are based on a secondary school with a roll of 1000.

Decile 1: $979,884.69

Decile 2: $699,354.69

Decile 3: $435,034.69

Decile 4: $266,984.69

Decile 8: $107,354.69

Decile 9: $85,324.69

Decile 10: $52,734.69–

But note that this is only around 13% of their operational funding. However it does mean that a decile 10 school need to fund-raise an additional $920,000 or $920 per pupil to get the same funding as a decile 1 school.

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Decile ratings on ERO reports

August 21st, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

John Hartevelt at Stuff reports:

The decile rating of schools has been scrapped from Education Review Office reports.

ERO chief review officer Dr Graham Stoop made the surprise announcement yesterday in an effort to “correct the stereotype that a school’s decile equals performance”.

I’ve got no problem with this. The decile rating is still public information for parents who want it – but it is not part of an ERO report as it is not a factor in school quality.

Teacher union the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) said clear information about the social and economic context of schools should be published in place of the decile ratings, which were “crude”.

It suggested including data on student transience, the number of children with special needs or English as a second language and the number of children attending breakfast clubs.

Excellent. As I often say the answer to bad data is good data. Don’t ban or suppress data, but focus on presenting the most meaningful data.

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