Leaving Cert legal challenge: Using historical data would not have hit disadvantaged schools

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on December 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The standardisation process used to estimate Leaving Certificate grades would not have discriminated against students attending disadvantaged schools even if data about schools’ past performances in the exam had been included, the High Court has heard …” (more)

[Ann O’Loughlin, BreakingNews.ie, 10 December]

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Changes to Leaving Cert model disadvantaged good students at top schools, court told

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on December 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Changes made by the Minister for Education to the model used to assess calculated Leaving Certificate grades systematically disadvantaged good students attending high performing schools, the High Court has been told. Feichín McDonagh SC, for student Freddie Sherry, said expert evidence will show the Minister’s decision not to use historical data on school’s past performances in the Leaving Cert resulted in a disproportionate reduction in the grades his client had received from his teachers …” (more)

[Aodhan O’Faolain, Irish Times, 9 December]

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Education Minister failed to keep Leaving Cert ‘fair and accurate’, court hears

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on December 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education breached commitments to keep the 2020 Leaving Certificate fair and accurate and comparable to other years’ results by not including historical school data in the calculated grade process, the High Court has heard …” (more)

[Independent, 9 December]

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Minister breached commitments to keep Leaving Cert ‘fair and accurate’, court told

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on December 8th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education breached commitments to keep the 2020 Leaving Certificate fair and accurate, and comparable to other years results, in failing to include historical school data in the calculated grade process, the High Court has been told …” (more)

[Aodhan O’Faolain, Irish Times, 8 December]

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The Leaving and media hype

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 7th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir , – In Carl O’Brien’s article ‘Leaving Cert “too narrow and rigid”, OECD review finds’ (News, November 30th), he states, ‘The review also notes the points system generates high levels of stress and anxiety among senior cycle students and their families …'” (more)

[John Hurley, Irish Times, 7 December]

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Leaving Cert: Use of historical data would allow ‘good calculations’ of grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 3rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The use of data on schools’ past Leaving Cert performance would have allowed for ‘good calculations’ to be made for students’ calculated grades, according to internal briefing papers prepared for the Minister for Education. The documents were prepared last June for Norma Foley prior to the Government’s decision on September 1st to remove school-by-school historical records on Leaving Cert achievement in determining students’ calculated grades …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 3 November]

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The OECD and Irish education

Posted in Teaching on December 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The soon to be released OECD report on the Irish education system will, no doubt, reignite the debate around the Leaving Cert and whether it is fit for purpose in the 21st century (‘Leaving Cert “too narrow and rigid”, OECD review finds’, News, November 30th) …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 2 December]

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Senior Department of Education official to be cross-examined in case over grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The High Court has permitted a limited cross-examination of the assistant secretary of the Department of Education during the lead challenge over the Leaving Cert calculated grades process. That action, by Freddie Sherry, a Leaving Cert student at Dublin’s Belvedere College, is due to open next Tuesday with more than 30 other cases awaiting its outcome …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 1 December]

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OECD unclear how ‘rigid’ Leaving Cert prepares students for future

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 30th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Cert is ‘too narrow and rigid’ and its main focus seems to be acting as a filter for entry into higher education, according to a review by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The findings of the Paris-based organisation, which represents 36 wealthy nations worldwide, are due to be published later this week …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 30 November]

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Leaving Cert students ‘face burnout’ from constant testing in class

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 26th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Secondary students are feeling ‘unrelenting pressure’ as a result of constant testing from teachers who say the results may determine their Leaving Cert grades if exams are cancelled next year. The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union will tell the Oireachtas education committee on Thursday that many exam-year classes are sitting monthly or weekly exams …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 25 November]

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Calculated grades: Draft suggested ‘negative consequences’ of excluding historical data

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on November 25th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A draft document circulated by the director of the Leaving Cert calculated grades office referred to the ‘negative consequences’ of excluding historical school data from a calculated grades model as including ‘better performing disadvantaged schools also [being] thrown under the bus’, the High Court has heard …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 25 November]

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Leaving Cert calculated grades memo deemed confidential, High Court hears

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on November 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A memorandum considered by Cabinet before approving the exclusion of historical school data from the Leaving Cert calculated grades process cannot be disclosed on grounds of Cabinet confidentiality, the State has told the High Court …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 24 November]

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Draft standardisation model would see private school’s grades drop, court told

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on November 21st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A draft grade standardisation model showed a fee-paying Dublin school would see a substantial reduction in its traditionally high Leaving Cert grades, the High Court has been told. The model showed Mount Anville would see a reduction in some subjects by up to 70%, the court heard …” (more)

[Independent, 21 November]

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Leaving Cert 2020 finally starts today with 2,569 candidates

Posted in Teaching on November 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The most unusual Leaving Cert exams ever get under way today, with extra-special arrangements for any candidate who is a close contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case. Some 2,569 students from the Leaving Cert class of 2020 have entered to sit the postponed written papers, with the first exam, biology, at 5.30pm. The number of candidates is around 4% of those who planned to sit the exams in June …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 16 November]

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Grading the Leaving Certificate

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

Ireland“Sir, Pat O’Brien is correct (Letters, November 13th). The Leaving Cert exam has many faults but the calculated grades fiasco proves that anonymously marked exams are a must. However, the so-called ‘severe overestimating’ of grades that occurred this year might not all necessarily be the result of teacher generosity …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 14 November]

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Grading the Leaving Certificate

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

Ireland“Sir, – One hears regular criticism of the use of Leaving Certificate results as the gateway to third-level education. The current system encourages learning by rote, it does not assess all the skills which are important for future studies, and it makes no allowance for a student having an off-day or not being in a position to sit all or part of the examination …” (more)

[Pat O’Brien, Irish Times, 13 November]

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Students sit average two-three subjects in November Leaving Cert

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

Ireland“Students sitting the postponed Leaving Cert, starting next Monday, are doing an average of two to three subjects each. Some 2,800 of the Leaving Cert 2020 candidates will take a total of about 7,300 written papers, with Biology Higher Level the most popular subject …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 10 November]

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Next year’s Junior and Leaving Cert exams will take place ‘as normally as possible’

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

Ireland“Next year’s Junior and Leaving Cert exams will take place ‘as normally as possible’ in line with public health advice, according to the Department of Education. In a statement, a department spokesman said all necessary measures will be put in place to ensure compliance with public health guidance in place at the time …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 10 November]

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‘Severe overestimation’ of Leaving Cert calculated grades by some schools – official

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on November 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The calculated grades awarded to students by some schools and teachers in the Leaving Cert had been a ‘severe overestimation’, officials from the Department of Education told an Oireachtas committee …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 10 November]

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TUI says ‘traditional’ Junior and Leaving Cert exams must return next year

Posted in Teaching on November 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has said that if schools are being kept open as a priority, it will ‘not countenance or accept’ any attempt not to hold the written State exams next year …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 9 November]

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