Ranking Schools Or Students?
Historically, in most nations, there were a handful of “prestigious schools” whose reputation inspired admiration, but few districts ranked schools in any manner. However, the past few decades have witnessed an explosion in ranking even in nations still engaged in developing modern school systems. The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) has cautioned the nation about trying to rank schools and warned that news stories about which school is better or worse may not be accurate. Paul Wassanga of the organization makes clear “KNEC is very concerned because the ranking is wrong and misleading the public. We note with concern that some schools are not even among the top ten have been placed under the ranking.”
However, the organization will be ranking outstanding students. Some critics are concerned that ranking students without a reference to schools creates loopholes in the purpose of ranking. The debate over ranking schools invariably encounters the dilemma of multiple variables at play in identifying a good or poor performing school. Kenya is in the process of creating a modern school system in a society which is both urban and rural. There is scant doubt rural areas encounter greater difficulty in securing outstanding teachers or have the resources available in urban areas.
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