Post 100: Data Privacy Day is January 28, 2010!

Typically. I saw this noted on Twitter the next day — but that’s what comes of being on the “correct” side of the International Date Line here in Australia. I rather enjoy the irony in the light of the ongoing subject here.

Actually this is a further post about My School. Jim Belshaw has been up early and beaten me to it with an excellent post on Media reactions to the My School web site.

I also did ask Mr R what he thought. Since he is an ex-blogger who now inhabits Facebook that’s where I had to go. The exchange went like this:

Neil James Whitfield Have you explored My School site yet? Just blogged on it. Where you are and where you were make for interesting comparison. What do you think of NAPLAN and all that?
Today at 7:09pm · Comment · Like · See Wall-to-Wall

Mr R It’s a curious thing. SHHS is not compared to other selective schools, but schools with similar student demographics. So we come out looking pretty good, as we should. I think the whole thing’s been beat up; I can’t accept that this is a big deal. The info was available already, albeit scattered. NAPLAN is an imperfect tool, but they all are. It sucks the fun out of English, though, I will say.
10 hours ago

Neil James Whitfield My thoughts pretty much. Did you look at The Gong Perf Arts HS? (Where in fact I was but then it was the SHHS of course. If you know what I mean.)
10 hours ago ·

The Sydney Morning Herald has published various ranked lists. The trouble with these, even granting what Jim Belshaw says about their uses, is that they can’t include the comparisons with statistically similar schools. Such rankings are a very rough guide to educational quality of achievement. The possibility of people reading far too much into such information and making choices based on that is unfortunately very strong, in my opinion, so whether the Herald has been as noble as it presents itself in publishing such somewhat bastardised versions of the NAPLAN lists really should be questioned.

I am grateful to Jim for drawing attention to Stubborn Mule, a blog I hadn’t noted before. I am now going to update my recent climate change post as a result.

  • Note: The Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony has posted a strong critique.

    “OK, now my heart is thoroughly broken and trampled on. I’ve become the voter who cannot love. The infamous My School database/website has been released today (and very buggy it is, too), and what do we see as the very first headline on the dead-tree Herald Sun? OUR SCHOOLS SHAME. The banner on the online version? HOW DID YOUR SCHOOL RATE? So predictable. Don’t ask me how the Boy’s school rates (The Girl has just left the public system with an excellent VCE score and as yet no crack habit – the Boy starts year 7 on Monday. Serial only children, I haz them.) The website hasn’t worked successfully for me yet. And yes, I am aware of most internet traditions and able to work most simple interfaces, so I don’t think it’s me.”

  • I have uploaded the Cobbold article BOTCIB refers to as her link did not deliver a readable copy for me.