How to make schools compete

Abandon marks manipulation, publish school rankings based on board exam results
By Geeta Kingdon – The CBSE exam board declared on May 17 that it will grade all its (about 18,000) affiliated schools on the basis of quality, so as to help parents and students.

However, for the CBSE (or any board) to itself grade schools is a cumbersome and inefficient way of providing information. Other countries simply publish annual rankings of schools based on the actual board exam marks of students.

In the absence of such institutional information about student performance across schools, parents are left to judge the quality of schools on the basis of hearsay and schools’ visible physical facilities, which are inadequate and sometimes misleading indicators of school quality. Information with parents about the actual academic results of the different schools in their city/district introduces an element of competition between schools to attract parents, leading to greater effort by schools.

Unless it is public knowledge how every school is performing relative to its peers in the district, their managements have little incentive to improve teaching-learning standards. more>

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