Malta Commissioner Backs Not Disclosing Test Scores

28 January 2016

Malta’s Information and Data Protection Commissioner has upheld a refusal by the education ministry to disclose data showing how the students of individual schools fare in their O-level exams, MaltaToday reports.

“Saviour Cachia claimed that the publication of such data risked stigmatizing low-performing schools, widening the education gap between public schools, and harming the business of independent schools,” according to MaltaToday, which made the request.

Education minister Evarist Bartolo had twice rejected the newspaper’s arguments were that withholding the data creates a barrier to free competition and impedes parents trying to make decision on where to send their children to school. The newspaper said publishing the data “would ultimately motivate low-performing schools to up their game.”

“Cachia insisted that his role is limited to promoting transparency and accountability in government, and not force private schools to publish their O-level results,” MaltaToday wrote. He said results concerning private schools could be obtained from the schools.

Disclosing results from state schools. Cachia said, would make it more difficult for low-performing schools to retain their best teachers.

Disclosing scores, he said, “… will increase social segregation and inequity in schooling, and all this would result in creating a negative stigma against schools which achieved lower results than other schools.”

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