Kick Up The Kaiser - P.S.

Having said unkind things about the government's school statistics website, I forgot to add one important caveat, from my point of view. From memory I wrote here before that it is possible the government is playing a clever, strategic long game with this website.

John Howard was determined to preferentially fund private schools, even those with already vast resources. But he couldn't just up and do that without looking elitist and losing votes. So he devised an objective-looking formula based on postcodes to assess the wealth of particular schools, a formula that (he knew) ended up saying the richest schools in the country somehow needed millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars (often because these are boarding schools where wealthy parents from remote parts of Australia send their children, and those remote areas are poor if you average across the whole postcode). So the government of the time could hide behind a 'formula' for channelling vast rivers of taxpayer gold into the richest schools in the country, and say it was none of their doing.

I wonder if the current government wants to do the same with the MySchools website. Use the statistics to show both that the supposed top-ranked schools don't actually improve the performance of their (highly selected) students much, and that they have vast resources which should be being used in disadvantaged schools.

We'll see.


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