Rethinking the Leaving Certificate

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 15th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Prof Gerry McNamara makes a number of disparaging remarks about the Leaving Certificate (‘Covid-19 has opened way to finally fix Leaving Cert’, Opinion & Analysis, September 2020). He claims that, ‘The Leaving Certificate is the same as when I taught it 30 years ago’, and that it is ‘accused of being out of date, depending too much on rote learning’, and is an examination process that has been captured by the middle class …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 15 September]

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Calculated grades: Legal challenges over Leaving Cert results must clear a high bar

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on September 15th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Government’s decision to exclude from consideration how the past performance of a school should affect its students’ Leaving Certificate results is expected to be a target of legal challenge. There is a widespread view that an effect of this has been that students who attended schools, including grind schools, that have a track record of high achievement have had their results unfairly downgraded …” (more)

[Colm Keena, Irish Times, 15 September]

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Leaving Cert: Independent appeal available for students disappointed with grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert students disappointed with their calculated grades can access a final appeals process independent of the Department of Education, it has emerged. On Monday morning, students began checking an online portal detailing grades estimated by their schools, as distinct from final calculated grades …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Irish Times, 14 September]

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Lawyers expect flurry of legal actions from parents after release of teachers’ estimated grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on September 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Lawyers say the release of teachers’ estimated percentage marks for Leaving Cert students on Monday is likely to result in a flurry of legal actions from parents whose children ‘lost out’ under the calculated grades process …” (more)

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

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Leaving Certificate grades and fairness

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Norma Foley, the Minister for Education, has responded to criticism of this year’s Leaving Certificate results by saying that the estimated grades process used by her department was ‘blind’ to school type. I’m sure she realises that this is exactly the point of the criticism …” (more)

[Pat O’Brien, Irish Times, 14 September]

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Calculated grades process: Agent of warped bias or great leveller?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“After logging on to the Leaving Cert results website last week, Saoirse Corbett Fitzpatrick felt devastated. ‘My single focus for the last two years has been my Leaving Cert’, she says. ‘I was getting up at 6am, getting to school for between 7am and 7.30am, doing 70-hour weeks …'” (more)

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

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Appeal for Leaving Cert grades review

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 13th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Government is coming under increasing pressure to change the appeals process for Leaving Certificate grades as pupils and parents consider legal action after failing to secure enough points for preferred college choices. Schools have already written to the Department of Education this weekend expressing concern on behalf of students they feel were unfairly treated by the standardisation process when grades were being calculated …” (more)

[Wayne O’Connor, Independent, 13 September]

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Majority of private school students did not get their first choice of college course in today’s CAO offers and over half of students considering appeals – survey

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 12th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The majority of private school students did not get their first choice of college course in their CAO offers today, a new survey has found. A Studyclix.ie survey conducted between 2pm and 4pm which received 1,015 responses from sixth year students found that 69% of students in private schools did not get their first choice course …” (more)

[Gabija Gataveckaite, Independent, 11 September]

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CAO offers: ‘It was always going to be hard to find a solution to suit everyone’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 12th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“When Lorna Griffin received her text from the CAO at noon on Friday, it was not the news she had been hoping for. The 19-year-old from Kerry, who had taken a year out after her Leaving Cert to save for college, had not been offered pharmacy at University College Cork …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Irish Times, 12 September]

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Adjusted grades were an experiment that we dare not risk repeating

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 12th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“It was never going to please everyone. The political decision to abandon the Leaving Cert exam in favour of calculated grades left the Department of Education with an impossible task: to assign accurate grades to students who didn’t sit exams which never happened in courses they hadn’t completed …” (more)

[Jennifer O’Connell, Irish Times, 12 September]

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State Examinations – Home Schooling

Posted in Governance and administration on September 11th, 2020 by steve

IrelandJohn Lahart (Dublin South West, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the measures being taken and the arrangements put in place for the 900 students that have been schooled entirely at home by a parent for the leaving certificate programme but cannot have their parent award calculated grades on their behalf; and the alternative for such students …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 8 September]

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Spectacular leap in CAO as several courses now require minimum points of over 600

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“There were spectacular increases in CAO points today on the back of the highest Leaving Cert grades in history. The big leaps saw several courses requiring minimum points in excess of 600 this year, including four in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and two in University College Dublin (UCD) …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 11 September]

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Points rise in almost three-quarters of degree courses, CAO data shows

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The points have risen for almost three-quarters of degree or Level 8 courses, according to this year’s CAO data. This is a very significant increase and is likely to lead to disappointment among many applicants …” (more)

[Emma O Kelly, RTÉ News, 11 September]

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Time for Leaving Certificate reform

Posted in Teaching on September 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – While warmly congratulating the Leaving Certificate class of 2020 and wishing them every success in their future endeavours, I am concerned that, 50 years after I took this examination in June 1970, we are still using this very blunt assessment instrument …” (more)

[Martin Donnellan, Irish Times, 11 September]

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How much will CAO points increase? All bets off this year

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“As the release of the CAO offers draws near, students and parents are flooding The Irish Times live helpdesk (irishtimes.com/helpdesk) with inquiries relating to the expected points increase across courses. On Friday at 2pm when first-round offers are released, all will be revealed …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 10 September]

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No plan to recast Leaving Cert grades for schools who ‘lost out’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Government is not planning to recalculate grades for individual schools despite calls from some who insist they have ‘lost out’ under the process. A number of private and grind schools claim the proportion of high grades awarded to their students is significantly down compared to their previous track results …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien and Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 10 September]

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Grading the Leaving Certificate

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The term grade inflation is being bandied around a lot, apparently without regard for its potentially pejorative meaning. The term has little relevance in any discussion of this year’s Leaving Cert. Inflation may be said to occur when the same assessment instrument (for example a final exam) is marked more leniently from one year to the next in order to produce better results …” (more)

[Raymond Sheehan, Irish Times, 10 September]

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Leaving Cert results raise important gender bias issues

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Data gender has only been provided for three core subjects, leaving education experts blind as to the true picture, say Professors Pat O’Connor, Delma Byrne, and Selina McCoy. The Leaving Certificate was cancelled on May 8 to be replaced by the teachers’ subjective judgments on what percentage mark they thought each of their students might have received in the Leaving Certificate …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 8 September]

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Leaving Cert Results Were Record-Breaking – But This Will Benefit Few

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Like a check-up at the dentist or the unloading of a dishwasher, leaving certificate results day is a necessary evil in the lives of all Irish students who have managed to trudge their way through 14 years in the Irish academic system …” (more)

[Faye Curran, University Times, 8 September]

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Extra college places to help offset rise in points – Harris

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 8th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has said measures have been taken to provide additional college places, including 1,250 places in high demand courses, as course points are likely to rise this year …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 8 September]

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