Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Faking it

In the news today (although I'm sure I've heard of this before) is the revelation that a university has told its students to inflate their opinions of it in a survey so that it ends up higher in a league table:

University staff have been caught pressuring students to dishonestly answer an official funding council survey of student satisfaction.
Kingston University staff have been recorded instructing students to inflate their responses in the annual National Student Survey.
"If Kingston comes down the bottom, the bottom line is that nobody is going to want to employ you," staff warned.

I don't see how this is any different from every school going through an inspection, which bribes or threatens the pupils to behave well, smarten up, respond in lessons, etc. It goes on all the time. Just like the schools which force pupils to take vocational qualifications that are the equivalent to 4 GCSEs so that the school looks like it gets 100% of pupils attaining 5 GCSEs.

It just goes to show what nonsense league tables are. And yet I still look at them. Because with all the higgly-jiggly going on, you know that if a school looks average or worse, then surely it's got to be a really dire place with a management team that can't even fiddle figures to make their own school look better...

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