City Observer Newsletter 22 February 2018 22, February 2018
There’s been a fair recent wrapping of popular press reporting of OP percentages lately, with newspapers making up ‘fake’ news stories about school rankings. But usually the reporting and the reporters’ understanding of the data is simplistic, flawed, possibly deliberately misleading, and inaccurate. That is, OP percentages that are currently being reported, are one of the major reasons Queensland is dropping the OP system and moving to the ‘national’ ATAR ranking scale with its associated procedures, for the 2020 Year 12 year. That is, OPs do not currently really represent real student academic performance ranking. The major flaw with popular reporting of OP percentages lies with the vast numbers of ‘Non-OP’, or ‘OP Ineligible’ students who are removed from schools’ final OP percentages. For example, across the state approximately 50% of students do not sit an OP course, so the OP percentages on average only refer to half the total numbers of students – if you remove the lowest performing half of students (‘OP Ineligible’), who broadly would be expected to be OP 16 to 25, the schools’ percentages from those OP students remaining then become twice as high or are doubled.
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