When the Chair of the House of Commons Education Committee asked Michael Gove (Secretary of State of Education at the time) about comparative performance measurement between schools, this happened:
Chair: If “good” requires pupil performance to exceed the national average, and if all schools must be good, how is this mathematically possible?
Michael Gove: By getting better all the time.
(Full transcript here)
Now, sniggers to one side, there’s a few important points here. The first is that I don’t disagree with striving to get better all the time; neither do I think performance shouldn’t be measured. I also believe it can be useful to understand apparent differences in comparative peer performance.
So, what’s the problem?
Well, it’s the way it’s so often done – league tables.
Here’s an example using police forces, although you could replace them with schools, hospitals or other institutions, if you like.
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