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A downside of setting student academic results targets in schools

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When I reflect on the positives of working in my current school and share my thoughts with colleagues from other schools, they are often amazed when I tell them that we do not set specific targets for student results.

Our school does not have a specific average score that it needs to achieve from IB Diploma students or other standardized tests for that matter. I know that many schools have such targets and I have often contemplated the impact of doing so.

Performance targets can give us something to aim for and a school’s reputation may grow from it being able to say that their students received this result and that result, which makes them better than other ‘like’ schools. There is, however, a significant downside to being a results driven school based on student academic success.

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