Speaking after the Cabinet Secretary appeared before Holyrood's Education Committee, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP said:
"School league tables will be a fact of education life by next year. The Education Secretary told the committee today that 2017/18 will see the publication of performance information on a school-by-school basis.
"I am not convinced that school league tables will make any difference to closing the attainment gap. They did not when a former Tory minister Michael Forsyth introduced such an approach. What is possibly different now?
"Teaching unions and local government are worried that the remorseless centralisation of education is now well underway. Under the Scottish Government’s plans schools will be directly accountable to the Edinburgh for their performance. They will be inevitably be judged on where they sit on a league table.
"But that crude measurement will take no account of the budget cuts that schools have faced, nor of the underlying factors that affect every aspect of a school child’s life. There is much to be discussed in the Scottish Government’s education delivery plan but school league tables are not the way forward.”