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My School, Education, and Cultures of Rating and Ranking


Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies Volume 34, Number 1, ISSN 1071-4413


The National Assessment Program--Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)--is conducted through standardized tests that are administered to all Australian students in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9. It was implemented in 2008 by the same Labor government that introduced My School ( Enjoying bipartisan political support and popular with the public (though less so with educators), My School crashed continually on its launch day. Against this backdrop of the site's newness and popularity, the authors seek to question the prevailing view that My School is a mirror held up to reality: a mirror that reflects school performance and allows for improvement of educational processes as a result. The authors argue that the site itself is legitimated through interrelated but extremely light-touch appeals to transparency, accountability, and quality of the kind that Gillard (2009) used in a speech to the Brookings Institution. In this article, the authors aim to raise critical questions about the appropriateness of My School and NAPLAN by arguing that they arise more from a framework of normalized neoliberal assumptions that model public goods on market transactions, than from any evidence that they actually provide mechanisms to foster better education. Then, they outline how standardized testing data and its presentation are related to a specific culture of reform before advancing to a discussion of some of the issues raised by the questionable proposition that My School accurately represents school performance and acts to enhance the public good. (Contains 1 figure.)


Redden, G. & Low, R. (2012). My School, Education, and Cultures of Rating and Ranking. Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, 34(1), 35-48. Retrieved October 1, 2023 from .

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