The My School website in Australia offers moderately nuanced comparisons between any school and sixty other socio-educationally similar schools. Detrimental effects on poor-performing schools are small because it is forbidden to use these comparisons to construct league tables. More generally, however, the website promotes practices of auditing employees. As such it undermines teachers’ sense of integrity and any sense that they are professionals who society respects enough to entrust with an important task. It is not surprising that very few teachers use it, and it would seem not many parents use it either. A left-of-centre government established the website despite opposition by the teacher unions but with the support of News Corporation. New Public Management and an accompanying great increase in auditing offer a deeper explanation for why the website was established. Public servants and political leaders of both the left and the right support the transparency about school performance so My School is likely to continue. An alliance between teacher unions, parents and community groups might see education policy switch tracks from the present market orientation to a welfare orientation.
Field of Research
160506 Education Policy
Socio Economic Objective
940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified