Staggered starts, temperature checks, face masks: the Leaving Cert that never was

Posted in Teaching on May 14th, 2020 by steve

“A ‘military precision’ queuing system for Leaving Certificate candidates, a two-metre rule between students, and the staggering of papers between July 29th and September 5th were among the measures planned for the now abandoned State exams …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 13 May]

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TDs claim predictive grade Leaving Cert discriminates against working class students

Posted in Teaching on May 13th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Concerns have been raised over the Leaving Certificate predictive grade mechanism and how it will impact students. Last week the Government cancelled the Leaving Certificate exams which were due to begin on July 29. Instead, students will now be offered the option of accepting grades calculated by their teachers or sitting the Leaving Certificate at a later date when the pandemic eases …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 13 May]

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‘That is a disgrace’: Row erupts over claims ‘school profiling’ will discriminate against some students

Posted in Teaching on May 13th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A row erupted in the Dáil this afternoon over concerns raised about the Leaving Certificate predictive grade mechanism and how it will impact students. Last week the Government cancelled the Leaving Certificate exams which were due to begin on July 29 …” (more)

[, 13 May]

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Leaving Cert exams may have meant face masks and temperature checks

Posted in Teaching on May 11th, 2020 by steve

“Students might have been required to wear face masks and have daily temperature checks if the Leaving Certificate exams had gone ahead this summer. The State Examinations Commission revealed the plans in a briefing given to the Minister for Education as part of deliberations as to whether or not to proceed with the exams …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 11 May]

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Covid-19: Quarantined Leaving Cert students could sit exams in isolation

Posted in Teaching on April 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Education authorities are working on plans to allow Leaving Cert students who are ill or in quarantine to sit their exams in isolation from other students. The State Examinations Commission (SEC) is consulting with public health experts and school management bodies on safeguards aimed at minimising the risk of infection to candidates, superintendents and other school staff …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 28 April]

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Department of Education and Skills statement on stakeholder engagement in relation to the State Examinations

Posted in Teaching on April 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Education and Skills today (Friday 17 April 2020) met with a range of stakeholders as part of planning for the State Examinations in response to the Covid-19 public health measures. The meeting involved representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the State Examinations Commission, the National Educational Psychological Service and the Department …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 17 April]

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Leaving Cert: Cancelled elements may be flagged on students’ results

Posted in Teaching on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“Thousands of this year’s Leaving Cert students may have their results ‘flagged’ to show they did not complete the oral or practical parts of their exams. Under existing State Examinations Commission rules, students’ Leaving Certificates are annotated in cases where they are exempted from completing an exam component, typically on the grounds of a special need …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 April]

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TUI will work with State Examinations Commission to help vulnerable Leaving Cert students

Posted in Teaching on April 14th, 2020 by steve

“The Teachers’ Union of Ireland says it will be working with the State Examinations Commission to help vulnerable Leaving Cert students. It says those with underlying health issues and special education needs must not have their prospects further damaged by the coronavirus crisis …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 14 April]

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Students have been ignored in decision to press ahead with the Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on April 12th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Many adults can identify with their nightmarish memories of the Leaving Cert. as it was run under normal circumstances; can anyone imagine how stressful it is for tens of thousands of us who are set to be forced to sit exams under-prepared and under the current strenuous conditions? …” (more)

[Josh Tighe, Irish Times, 12 April]

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Students fear delay to Leaving Cert will cause stress and burnout

Posted in Teaching on April 11th, 2020 by steve

“Many secondary students have expressed concern that the Government’s decision to postpone the Leaving Cert until late summer will lead to burnout and mental health problems among exam candidates. Minister for Education Joe McHugh confirmed on Friday that the exams will be postponed until late July or early August in light of public health concerns …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 April]

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Department focused on State exams going ahead this summer

Posted in Teaching on March 22nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Education has said there is no intention at this moment to cancel or postpone either the Junior or Leaving Certificate this summer. Despite a report in a Sunday newspaper a statement from the Department of Education says it ‘remains completely focused on running both sets of state exams’ … (more)

[RTÉ News, 22 March]

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UL ‘likely’ to restrict campus numbers over coronavirus

Posted in Governance and administration on March 5th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick has advised staff that it is ‘likely’ the college will have to restrict numbers attending on campus ‘in the near future’ as a result of coronavirus. In a communication issued today UL Vice President, Professor Kerstin Mey, said that if the decision is taken, it will be in consultation with the relevant authorities …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 5 March]

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The Secret Teacher: ‘Our State exams are far too open to tweaking and manipulation’

Posted in Teaching on February 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Shane burst into class late and with no sign of an apology. He was too full of the joys of having passed his driving test. ‘Next stop, the Leaving Cert’, he declared, rubbing his hands together. I smiled inwardly at his naivety …” (more)

[Irish Times, 11 February]

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Study into impact of bonus for Irish on CAO points questions fairness

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

Ireland“An unpublished study on the impact of bonus points for students who answer the Leaving Cert through Irish has questioned the fairness of the measure. Under rules that date back to the mid-1920s, any student who answers a written exam in Irish may receive bonus marks of up to 10%, depending on the subject …” (more)

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

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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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