Marking State examinations

Posted in Teaching on January 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The recent reports concerning the methodology for grading Leaving Certificate examinations merit discussion (‘Leaving Cert marks are altered as part of “unwritten policy”, claim examiner’, News, January 17th). An inference may be drawn from these reports that it is unfair that some grades are changed to ensure consistent results …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 18 January]

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Are some students unfairly treated in State exams marking process?

Posted in Teaching on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Are some students unfairly losing out on marks in the State exams? It’s a question many students and parents will be asking in light of new disclosures about how Junior and Leaving Cert exams are marked. Earlier this week, The Irish Times reported details of an internal State Examinations Commission (SEC) research paper which concluded the marking process is rushed, unfair and risks compromising the accuracy of students’ grades …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 January]

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Leaving Cert marks are altered as part of ‘unwritten policy’, claim examiners

Posted in Teaching on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Examiners involved in marking Leaving Cert papers have claimed there is an unwritten policy to alter the marks of selected students’ scripts in order to ensure consistent grades each year. A number of well-placed sources say the practice involves targeting certain exam papers whose grades can be easily manipulated because they are close to ‘grade boundaries’ …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 January]

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State exam marking system

Posted in Teaching on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Michael O’Leary, writing on the need to make the State exam marking system more robust, identifies an important issue (Opinion & Analysis, January 16th). Two points he makes should be contested. He states that marking schemes may be altered by reducing the number of marks awarded to difficult questions. This is counter-intuitive …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 17 January]

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The Irish Times view on State exams marking: time for a fairer system

Posted in Teaching on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Every year the State Examinations Commission (SEC) undertakes a massive logistical challenge: organising exams for more than 100,000 students, marking countless scripts and issuing about a million grades. To its credit, it manages to organise this smoothly, efficiently and, usually, without major incident …” (more)

[Irish Times, 16 January]

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State exams body defends practice of issuing ‘estimated’ grades

Posted in Teaching on January 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has defended its practice of awarding hundreds of ‘estimated’ grades to students. Internal records show the SEC takes this approach when some or all of a student’s work in not available for marking due to ‘unique, unforeseen and exceptional’ circumstances …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 16 January]

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School principals’ group warns Leaving Cert ‘no longer fit for purpose’

Posted in Teaching on January 15th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“School principals have warned that the Leaving Certificate exam is ‘no longer fit for purpose’ in light of an unpublished report which raises concerns over the fairness of the marking process. The National Association of Principals and Deputy principals (NAPD) was responding to a report in The Irish Times which contained details of a highly critical report on the marking process produced by the State Examinations Commission …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 14 January]

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Why are so many Leaving Cert students being upgraded?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“My child eventually started college – three weeks late – after being upgraded in the Leaving Cert and securing his first-choice course. What’s wrong with the correction process that leads to children having to appeal to secure grades they are entitled to? …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 12 November]

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Examinations official criticises ‘relentless pursuit of CAO points’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The ‘relentless pursuit of CAO points’ is having an extreme influence on how students are engaging with teaching and learning, according to a senior State Examinations Commission official. Tim Desmond, head of examination and assessment, said moves by higher-education institutions to develop more specialised courses is intensifying the points race and inflating the public’s perception of certain courses …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 24 October]

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Almost 3,000 Leaving Cert results upgraded in record year

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Almost 3,000 Leaving Cert exam results have been upgraded after students successfully sought rechecks of their papers. The record number follows a surge in the number of rechecks this year, due mainly to reforms that have speeded up the appeals process and given students greater access to their exam papers online …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 September]

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Universities can’t guarantee a place this year if student upgraded on appeal

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Universities are not giving any blanket guarantee that students who appeal their exam grades and get a late CAO offer in September are assured a place this year. Colleges say that, depending on the course, they may not be able to accommodate the student in 2019/20 and will ask them to defer for a year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 16 August]

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Speeding up Leaving Cert corrections sparks concerns

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Speeding up the correcting process for this year’s Leaving Cert means it is unlikely that all quality assurance measures will be completed on time, according to internal State Examinations Commission (SEC) records. The results are being provided earlier than normal on foot of a High Court ruling last year which found that students should be able to take up a college place immediately if they successfully appeal their exam grades …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 5 August]

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State exams commission and Minister win limited appeal against Carter judgment

Posted in Legal issues on May 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The State Examinations Commission (SEC) and the Minister for Education and Skills have succeeded in their limited appeals against parts of a High Court decision allowing student Rebecca Carter to take up a place at veterinary medicine at UCD …” (more)

[Aodhan O’Faolain, Irish Times, 29 May]

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State Examinations Commission appeals for teachers to mark exams

Posted in Teaching on May 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Education authorities have launched an urgent appeal for teachers to mark the Leaving Cert and Junior Cert with just over a week to go before the start of the exams. The State Examinations Commission has asked principals to assist in hiring teachers – including retired teachers and newly qualified teachers – to mark exams which are due to get underway in under a fortnight …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 24 May]

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Examiner shortage poses ‘challenge’ to State exam standards

Posted in Teaching on May 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A shortage of teachers prepared to work as examiners is posing a ‘significant challenge’ to the maintenance of standards in correcting the State exams, according to internal records. The State Examinations Commission, which has responsibility for organising the Junior and Leaving Cert, has been struggling in recent years to recruit teachers to correct exam papers …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 May]

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State asks appeal court to dismiss ‘right to third level education’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on April 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Court of Appeal has reserved judgment on appeals by the State Examinations Commission and the Minister for Education and over parts of a High Court decision allowing student Rebecca Carter to take up a place at veterinary medicine at UCD …” (more)

[Aodhan O’Faolain, Irish Times, 12 April]

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Departmental Legal Costs – Leaving Cert recheck appeal

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 7th, 2019 by steve

IrelandMichael Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the amount spent to date by his Department and agencies under his remit appealing the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 5 March]

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Revised timeline for college offers still not approved by CAO

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 18th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Third-level colleges have not yet agreed a shortened timeline for offering places to Leaving Certificate students, seven weeks after it was hastily announced by two Government ministers. Education Minister Joe McHugh and Higher Education Minister of State Mary Mitchell O’Connor said on November 1 that the State Examinations Commission (SEC) would get exam results out a day earlier than usual next August …” (more)

[Niall Murray, BreakingNews.ie, 18 December]

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Leaving Cert results, CAO offers and appeal outcomes to be released earlier following UCD student’s landmark High Court case

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 1st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The release of Leaving Cert results, CAO offers and the outcomes of appeals are being brought forward next year. A major overhaul of the timetable comes in the wake of the recent High Court case …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 1 November]

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Ministers announce significant changes to process of Leaving Certificate examination appeals and entry to higher education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 1st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, and Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, have today (1st November 2018) announced significant changes to the Leaving Certificate examination appeals process from 2019. The changes will mean that, in future, students who appeal the results of the Leaving Certificate will be informed by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) of the outcome of their appeals much earlier than has previously been possible …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 1 November]

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