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Why Schools Need an Ongoing Benchmarking Process

Schools are naturally interested in their students’ academic performance when compared with other schools in the same country. There are three good reasons to use school benchmarking tests.

  • Firstly, benchmarking enables teachers and their schools to monitor their students’ progress over a period of time.
  • Secondly, it helps students to assess their own abilities in different subject areas so they can make the right career choices.
  • Thirdly, benchmarking can determine whether a school’s performance is less than, the same as, or above the performance of schools elsewhere in the same country.
  • Finally, it helps school administrators decide whether their teachers are performing as expected.

Monitoring students’ progress

Teachers are eager to know how well their teaching style and lesson preparation affects their students’ outcomes. Benchmarking helps teachers discover what is most effective for the different age ranges and ability levels they are allocated to teach throughout a year.

The use of carefully designed standardized tests helps the benchmarking process as well as set certain long-term goals for students to keep them motivated. This allows the continual refinement and adaptation of teaching programs. School administrators can help to advise teachers if necessary.

Students get to know their strengths and weaknesses

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As students progress through school at some point they will be making career choices. Benchmarking helps students compare themselves with their peers in their school and throughout the country. They discover their strengths and weaknesses which helps them plan for the future.

Comparison with other schools

The role of benchmarking is to rank each school in a country from standardized test results. Most school administrators prefer their school to be high in the rankings as it gives the school a good name. If the school fails to perform as expected an assessment can be made and remedial action can be taken to improve student outcomes.

This could be allocating resources to weak areas, employing extra staff to lower class sizes, and offering additional after-school lessons to weaker students. If it wasn’t for benchmarking schools wouldn’t be getting the same feedback.

Benchmarking helps to assess teacher accountability

Generally, a teacher is on his or her own when teaching a class of students. Administrators rarely directly monitor a teacher’s performance in the classroom. The teacher prepares lessons, sets homework, sets and marks tests, and helps students to achieve in areas they find difficult.

Because benchmarking through standardized tests compares students’ achievement between classes of the same age both internally and nationally it helps school administrators decide whether a teacher is performing as expected. If there is evidence that student outcomes are not so good when being taught by a specific teacher the administrator can ask the teacher to account for his or her performance so improvements can be made.

Final Remarks

In the competitive world, we live in there is an ongoing demand for more transparency and accountability. Benchmarking for student success is a critical feature of sound educational policy. It enables all parties in an educational environment to adapt and improve educational outcomes for students so they have a better start in life. It both provides a school with a way of knowing how well it is performing so adjustments can be made if required.

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