National tests, league tables widely favoured in Japan


Should educational ability league tables be published? graph of japanese statisticsI’m not really up on the issues myself regarding national testing, but I am against the whole culture of testing in Japan. I am all for publishing the results of regular examinations, but not tests for the sake of tests. However, I would appear to be very much in the minority according to the results of this survey into national educational level testing, conducted by goo Research in conjunction with the Mainichi Shimbun.


Between the 17th and 19th of October 2008 1,075 mmbers of the goo Research monitor group aged twenty or older completed a private online questionnaire. No further demographics information was provided.

I’m a bit confused in Q1 why there is an answer “both the school and local authority level”, as it is a trivial task to take the school results and sum them up by area. Also, Q1SQ1 and Q1SQ2 should really be multiple choice questions and there are no “don’t knows”, so I suspect there has been some post-processing of the results for presentation.

Research results

Q1: Do you think the results of educational ability tests should be published, at either the school level or the local authority level? (Sample size=1,075)

At both the school and local authority level (to SQ1)42%
At the local authority level (to SQ1)31%
At the school level (to SQ1)7%
Should not be published at all (to SQ2)21%

Q1SQ1: Why do you think the results of educational ability tests should be published? (Sample size=those in favour)

Will serve toward raising children’s academic level38%
Will serve towards raising teachers’ level32%
Will serve towards selection of schools for children16%
Will encourage competition between local authorities14%

Q1SQ2: Why do you think the results of educational ability tests should not be published? (Sample size=those against)

Possibility of increasing educational disparity between schools39%
Will escalate competition between local authorities33%
Possibility of discrimination against pupils with poor results24%
Worry that budgets for poorly-performing schools will be cut4%

Q2: Do you support the continuation of educational ability tests? (Sample size=1,075)

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