• May 8, 2015
  • 302

A ranking that discriminates Polish schools?

“If there are such huge discrepancies from year to year, then this means that a school doesn’t have a system” – commented on a new ranking of schools published in the magazine “Reitignai” Head of the John Paul II High School, Adam Błaszkiewicz.

This year’s ranking has encompassed not only kindergartens, but also preliminary schools, progymnasiums, and high schools. The highest among Polish schools, the same as it was the previous year, has ranked John Paul II High School in Vilnius. “In such rankings, a great deal depends on promotion” – explained Adam Błaszkiewicz, whose school ranked at 36th place (down by 6 places). He is seconded by Head of Władysław Syrokomla High School, Danuta Silienė. This year, “Syrokomlówka” has moved from 140th to 58th place. “Last year we had six students who  obtained 100%. There was a student who scored two 100% results – in math and in the Russian language” – said Head, explaining that good results from the state examination have a significant impact on the position in the ranking.

Huge discrepancies

In the Vilnius region, a high school in Pogiry has ranked third (up from 111th to 70th place), and J.I. Kraszewski High School in Vilnius right after it (up from 73th to 71th place).

“One should approach rankings cautiously. One should also find out what is taken into account, whether a ranking comprises all data. If there are huge discrepancies from year to year, this means that a school doesn’t have a system, and that it has simply happened this year. If discrepancies are minor, this means a school is stable” – commented Błaszkiewicz, assessing the ranking.

Schools that have not managed to reach above the 100th place are Szymon Konarski High School (down from 58th to 136th place). High School in Awiżenie, the Vilnius Region (up from 228th to 156th) and Adam Mickiewicz High School (down from 32th to 170th).

A discriminatory ranking

Head of Szymon Konarski High School, Teresa Michajłowicz, considers the ranking published in “Reitingai” discriminatory. “Every ranking has its own purposes. I think that such a ranking excludes children, as according to it, only talented children has the right to learn and receive education. It is a certain kind of discrimination” – says Michajłowicz.

According to the school’s policies, as its Head stresses, everyone has the right to learn and adds that in the previous rankings prepared by “Veidas”, the school ranked places between 30th and 40th.

Mickiewiczówka’s fall

The biggest fall in the ranking has been assumed by the Vilnius’ Adam Mickiewicz High School. Its Head, Czesław Dawidowicz is, similarly to the previous year, very skeptic about the assessment.

“This ranking, just as the one prepared by “Veidas”, is devoid of context, put together too swiftly(…). Of course, no one has ever created a universal ranking.  It gives a kind of general idea” – emphasizes Head Dawidowicz. As he claims, endowing rankings with significance is very dangerous. “No one has ever created a universal ranking, thus one should approach them very cautiously and just be able to read them” – he explains.

Improving a ranking

“It is a good thing that rankings exist. They make both citizens and schools think, but I would rather be careful with assessing. Ranking schools based on their students’ admission to universities for faculties that were chosen first is a misunderstanding” – says Dawidowicz, providing an example of students who were admitted for the faculty of geography at the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, where there is always a shortage of students.

Dawidowicz hopes that the ranking of Lithuanian schools will be developed, and then it will be more readable.

The ranking has also rated preliminary schools. A good assessment has been given to a kindergarten-school “Willa” (23-39 place) and to a preliminary school in Mościszki (32-35 place). Progymnasiums have also been rated, with John Paul II Progymnasium at 34th place.

The rating criteria were: the first faculty chosen by a high school graduate; the number of upcoming students at universities abroad; average results from state exams in: Lithuanian, English, IT, physics, chemistry, biology, geography; the number of high school graduates who have obtained 100 points for an exam; the number of high schools graduates who have obtained 100 points for two, three, four or five exams.

Translated by Bruno Janiszewski within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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