Focus on individual
EDUCATION Minister Julia Gillard's working party of ''educational experts'' to examine possible improvements to the My School website (''Union ban lifted on school tests'', The Age, 7/5) is a waste of time and money, for the solution is simple. While the My School website is a good idea in principle it unfairly discriminates by failing to provide information about the individual characteristics of the students sitting the test.
The ''individual needs'' concept is the selling point of the Victorian Department of Education's recent television advertising campaign. It asserts that government school teachers educate their students on a truly individual basis, enabling each child to reach their maximum potential.
If this is correct, then the answer to the problem is this: add one more column to the table on the My School website, including the percentage of students at each school who sat the test who have been diagnosed with any learning disorder, developmental disability, or severe emotional and/or behavioural disorder. Then we will get a true indication of which schools are effective in their approach to student learning.
Chh, because there aren't any other reasons why they might have done badly. And that's the ONLY reason why the MySchool website is a horrible horrible idea. :S