There had been a lot of controversy with the NSW Selective High Schools and with a large number of articles plus opinions attack its existence, also whether it serves the intended purpose.
The main point of the attack is that Selective High Schools students are mainly from the high social-economical background rather than serving the general population as intend.
First, the main criteria published in the Myschool website is called ICSEA which is called Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage, the main items in this index are parent’s education background and geographic location of the school. Whether the family is rich or poor has no direct bearing in this index. I have done a number of previous blog entries on this topic already, so I will not go into this in more detail.
Now, we got all these out of the way, you can view the articles on SMH which is called The Sydney suburbs sending the most students to selective schools.
NSW Department of Education’s own research that only 10 per cent of students in selective schools had parents who did not have post-school education.
There were also few students from the city’s richest suburbs such as Bellevue Hill, Double Bay or Milsons Point, suggesting families in those areas are still opting for private schools.
While selective schools have high rates of socio-educational advantage – which means students’ parents are educated, a key factor in schooling success – the figures show that does not necessarily equate to wealth.
Please note, what shown above is pretty much what anybody who had experience with selective high schools will tell you as well. This shows the students that study and apply themselves will get in rather than determine by how much money their parents have. We should be encouraging health and fair competitions, rather than create artificial access restriction that disadvantages one group or another.
For all the bad raps that standardized tests are getting these days, they are still the fairest and best way, for now, to provide opportunities to people that deserve them. That could be Selective High School tests and HSC or other similar tests.
We do not need to destroy what has up to now an avenue for children of middle-class parents to advance with their aspirations by crashing the existing selective high school systems. The reason why some parents are pushing their kids into selective high schools is that they themselves are a big beneficiary of education and understand what a good education can do for you.
As a society, we need to emphasise the benefit of education and continuingly promote it and never let up. Particularly with more automation entering Australia and the world, we will need more highly skilled people, a good and quality education is the only way to achieve that.