You Get What You Measure

Working in the education space, my interest is piqued by articles such as this one looking at how measures are used for the benefit of the education system, which in this case is to get the best students into the more demanding and higher quality university courses.  But the simple measure, the ENTER score in Victoria, is a blunt instrument.  The article makes the point that students from schools with lower average ENTER scores perform better at university than their counterparts from higher performing secondary schools. Other measures should be used to augment the ENTER score for universities including aptitude tests to determine capabilities, personal essays to demonstrate interest and ambition, and expanded special entry schemes.

Put simply, simple measures are not always effective.  There’s often underlying aspects that mask important variations in the data that need to be uncovered and incorporated to make concrete and longer lasting system improvements.

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