Education Queensland did what the other states have been doing for years yesterday by releasing a 'league table' of sorts, ranking secondary schools in Queensland according to the percentage of students who received an OP of 15 or better in their senior year. For the uninitiated, OPs are equivalent to TERs, ENTER etc scores in other states. An OP 1 is good, 25 is bad.
Most private schools and some of the top public schools in Queensland already give out this information in school newsletters and reports, presumably to give parents an objective idea of how the school is fairing academically, as well as trying to attract future enrollments.
Back in my days at Brisbane State High (ranked 50 – highest public school in Brisbane), the first newsletter of the year will always give a run-down of the school's senior academic performances from the previous year. It often included the destinations of students, listing the major universities and TAFEs around the region and the percentage of students who were offered a place there.
And it's not just the good schools that are doing it. Earlier this year, I remember seeing the big newsboard situated outside Centenary State High (ranked 189) saying – 'Congratulations seniors, three OP 1s!'
Which is why I got the shits when I read that principals and teachers tried to distance themselves from the report, claiming that the table is meaningless and parents should not pick a school for their children based on these results.
Shut the fuck up. It is OP scores which tertiary institutions look at when selecting students for enrolment, not bullshit like whether the school had a good rowing program. It seems to be more the case of shit schools not wanting people to know that they're shit rather than good schools not wanting to promote themselves.
While not perfect, OPs are the only objective indicator of academic performance across schools. Releasing this information provides a wealth of information for parents and educators to base their decisions on. More of the same, please.