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School rankings in education transformation report a distraction - Wright

Linvern Wright, President of the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools and Valentine Bailey, Principal of Camperdown High
 
Linvern Wright, President of the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, says the inclusion of school rankings in the Education Transformation Commission's report is an unfortunate distraction.
 
The report by the Professor Orlando Patterson commission was released on Thursday.
 
But speaking on Radio Jamaica's Beyond the Headlines on Thursday evening, Mr. Wright said the ranking of schools diverts attention from the substantial issues pointed out in the report. 
 
"In a report that speaks to many great things in education that we really need to speak to, I think it is a distraction, and it is an unfortunate one," he asserted. 
 
Principal of Camperdown High, Valentine Bailey, who was also a guest on the programme, said while he does not support the ranking of schools, he understands how it can lead to schools improving their performance.
 
"It's one way for you to maybe see where you are compared to others in the same field, maybe organisations or so [on]. In this case it's education, so there is a place. It can lead to positive changes within our school. I mean, if you look and you see where you are 50 out of 50, it may spur the administration and everybody else to say, let us try and do something differently," he argued. 
 
In the ranking released by the commission, the top three traditional high schools are Glenmuir High, Wolmer's High School for Girls and St. Jago High.
 
The top three non-traditional high schools are Dinthill Technical, Denbigh High and Edwin Allen High.
 
In terms of the commission's recommendations, Mr. Bailey suggested that serious commitment is needed in relation to implementing changes to improve the overall performance of schools. 
 
"We have had so many reports and basically they say more or less the same thing....Yes, the report is out. What will the ministry do? It has to be a commitment, a serious commitment to getting some of these recommendations up and running. We have to make up our minds about education," said the principal.  
 


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