Friday, January 27, 2012

School League Tables?

Growing up in England I was an avid soccer fan and would check the league tables every Sunday after the Saturday soccer games to see where my team, Bristol City, stood in the league.They were usually in the Second Division, one of four divisions, at that time. I'm still a soccer fan and frequently watch Premier League games on the Fox soccer channel. I also still avidly check the League tables although they have changed somewhat since the latter part of the last century.

The football league tables, however, have now been joined  by the England school league tables. Remarkably, schools are ranked in tables according to the success of the students on a number of different criteria all of which seem to involve exam results of some sort. There are different tables for primary (elementary) schools and secondary (high) schools.  In the Primary League Tables, the equivalent of US elementary schools, success is measured by student performance in just two areas of the curriculum, Maths and English. This makes one wonder just what type of incentive there is for teachers to spend time teaching science, social studies, music and art. I'm sure these subjects are probably taught but since they play no part in the measurement of a school's success one must wonder about the enthusiasm with which resources and time are devoted to learning in these subjects.

In the US we have No Child Left behind and Race to the Top which, although suspect in their motives and application don't seem anywhere near quite as demeaning as reducing a child's  education to the instant self-gratification of seeing where one's school is in a league table. 

1 comment:

  1. Male primary teachers are desperately needed in primary schools. The job however, can be perceived as one not suitable for men. This perception is outdated and inaccurate and puts a lot of potentially great Male Primary Teachers off from joining the profession.