‘Outrageous’: Furore as govt keeps ATAR school scores secret
Queensland parents are outraged after the State Government announced it would not release Year 12 ATAR results to the public, leaving them in the dark about how their school performed.
Until this year, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority's annual Year 12 Outcomes Report detailed how every school's senior students performed, including how many received top OP scores, Senior Certificates and VET qualifications.
On Monday, The Courier-Mail revealed the state was scrapping the annual report in conjunction with the transition to the new Queensland Certificate of Education that saw the OP system replaced with ATAR.
Hundreds of commenters expressed outrage at the decision, saying it was another example of Palaszczuk Government "secrecy" and that both students and parents have a right to know the results.
Here's what our readers had to say:
"Should we be surprised by this? Of course not! Standard modus operandi for this government. The reality is that they brought in ATAR to try to improve the results of student in the state education system. However, it had the opposite effect with results skewing even further towards the private school sector. The reality is that the state education system, despite its ever increasing funding, does not promote a performance culture within either of its teacher or student communities."
"Queenslander parents - we should be out the front of Parliament House protesting this! It's outrageous. We have a right to be able to see how our schools compare - and drive our kids down the road to the one that is actually doing it's job. Another big QLD education fail!! Look at NSW who show time and again that poor kids in NSW so MUCH BETTER than poor kids in Qld. Results must be transparent."
- Ted's wife
"Parents have a right to know a schools educational capacity benchmarked against other's. The only reason the ALP doesn't want this is because it will show there failing standards."
"Nothing like dumbing everything down to the lowest level. There will always be differences and by knowing what "like schools" are achieving it can even lead to improvements. But then maybe with slipping performance due to this hopeless Minister hiding behind what other states do (factually incorrect) she can obscure the truth. From a taxpayers perspective this is another poor decision."
"Disgraceful! Education is deeply important, this report is incredibly useful for parents, communities and school educators. QLD the laughing stock again. What are we trying to only raise dummies? Everyone gets a lollipop at the end of the year? Parents of kids with learning difficulties really rely on these reports. It's not just showing OP but helps with research on subjects and curve and ratios."
"It annoys me that covid can be used to excuse the ridiculously poor and rushed implementation strategies by QCAA and the government! And now they can also use the excuse that there is not enough data to also hide behind for poor the implementation of new QCE. It was COVID's fault... now it's the student's privacy at fault too."
"I taught in Victoria for 15 years, returning to Queensland - wind my watch back 20 years. Sad to say but Queensland education is a farce. The teaching practices are so old Noah would have removed his children.
No longer teaching. Queensland Education = Backwards."
"Students and parents have a right to know what those results are. These people are not illiterate and can judge for themselves on the value of the education system received. Don't hide the result, it if they are not satisfactory to all parties Tackle the faults to improve the overall system "
"Anyone in a school could tell you the results are not good. Students are pushed into easy subjects so that they all get a QCE and they boast how everyone gets one. The number of students studying Maths Methods (was maths B) has dropped from 17000 to 10000 according to the QTAC report on ATARs."
"Obviously a true indication of how Qld's Education System is performing if Labor have to stoop this low by not publishing this information."
"So many students didn't get usable ATAR results it's disturbing?! Many students need to do certificates then diplomas then be eligible for University?! Why? Because the primary schools are not funded to provide evidence based reading skills, high schools are expected to teach maths and reading, instead of learning content. Then jump a few years of learning to fit in with the latest political whim. All the while Teachers and Students are left behind??! Education Ministers should provide infrastructure, funding and push Universities to provide full tool boxes for student Teachers. Pay Teachers a professional wage and treat them as professionals. Students will become the priority focus again of the education system and Teachers will be respected for their knowledge and professionalism."
"Just another way for the state government to hide its educational failings and to keep its cosy relationship with the Teachers Union. Accountability to the people isn't a consideration."
"When are we going to get an open and accountable Government as Promised by ANNA!"
"In the 1950s, everyone's Senior results were published in the CM on Christmas Eve, for all the world to see. The candidates were listed in alphabetical order, and that was that!"
"Grace Grace said that the ATAR system would level the playing field between state and private schools. Did the data not reflect this?"
"What another State Secret? They're piling up. Requests for FOI is pretty much as waste of time and effort these days. The best words to describe this Government are arrogant and unaccountable."
"More to hide from this non-transparent and unaccountable government."
"Labor talk about openness and transparency, but virtually every action is about hiding things, mainly their incompetence from the people."
"No wonder education is going backwards"
"Great work Qld your vote is decimating accountability in this state and bowing to government authoritarianism."
"Hmmm, what was it they said about providing "transparency and accountability"? Slowly we slip further into the Labor world of darkness, secrecy, and nil accountability!!!"
- Concerned QLDer
"The situation has become so bad that the government can no longer publish the information for the people who pay taxes and charges to fund our schools."
- Peter from Brisbane
"Education standards are becoming that bad, that the Government needs to start hiding the results."
- Ray F
Read more comments here.
Originally published as 'Outrageous': Furore as govt keeps ATAR school scores secret