Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Every School is a Good School

Every school is a good school in Singapore because none of our schools are failing schools. As in everything, they all can be better and that's what count.

I welcome the removal of school banding. Schools can and will still be informally banded, e.g., you can go to and the time tested word of mouth to find out about the good schools; good in the sense that these schools are likely to help your child to achieve a good L1R5 for JCs.

So what is the good of stopping school banding? The benefit is that school behave according to how they are measured. By scrapping the numerous awards, schools are now freer to exercise their judgement and initiative to do the best for their charges. Previously we were all serving KPIs. Nothing wrong with KPIs except that over time exceeding KPIs become the be all and end all of running schools. Managing a school this way is as egregious as kids studying to the test today. We end up self deceived thinking that we are far better than we truly are.

Min Heng is doing the the right thing to cease school banding. Until schools game or abuse the system, then it would be time to make major changes once more. We see this happening to subject syllabuses too especially for languages. They are rightly making it harder to game the tests. Parents would be unhappy but that is the right thing for our kids.

Update: Sep 13

Folks would still use t-scores cut off to select their secondary school. This is very public info. E.g, even at a tuition centre website (


  1. Another half measure or should I say "much ado about nothing". The school banding is actually useless and I am glad it is being taken away. However the parents will still band the school according the PSLE T score needed to enter the school. I hate to say this but it's the ranking based on T-score that automatically ranks the school, not the banding my dear people

  2. The reference site from ace tutors is outdated. It's for enrollment for 2012 and is using psle 2011 data.

    Interestingly, Ive found another tuition agency post about the top scorers for PSLE 2012 results in most of the primary schools. Guess...we cannot stop free press.

  3. T scores will always be needed. Else how do our students get allocated to the secondary schools. In fact, the T scores are provided by MOE to all PSLE students for them to choose their 6 preferred Secondary schools.