Grades and high-performing schools

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 26th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I refer to the article ‘Leaving Cert – removing school data risked penalising some students’ (News, February 22nd). In light of the contents of this article and having reviewed the arrangements for the upcoming Leaving Cert, I am extremely concerned about the fairness of the Leaving Cert accredited grade process for 2021 …” (more)

[Harry Deacon, Irish Times, 26 February]

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Leaving Cert mock exams not allowed for accredited grades process, schools told

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 24th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Schools will be told they cannot not use the results of mock exams as a basis for estimating marks for Leaving Cert students under the accredited grades process. The ‘mocks’ are a familiar part of the run-up to the June exams and most schools hold them, usually the January and February of sixth year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 24 February]

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Leaving Cert: Removing school data risked penalising some students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Government was warned some students risked being ‘thrown under the bus’ due to its decision to remove school performance data from the calculated grades system used in last year’s Leaving Certificate. The comment is contained in internal Department of Education records, seen by The Irish Times, which throw fresh light over a decision to omit ‘school profiling’ from the calculated grades process …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 February]

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Third Level Admissions

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 19th, 2021 by steve

IrelandRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of persons who accepted an offer of a place through the CAO in 2019 and 2020, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 17 February]

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Leaving Cert students to be offered calculated grades or exam

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 18th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert students are to be offered a choice between a modified version of calculated grades or written exams under plans signed off on today by the Government, the Minister for Education has confirmed. This follows two weeks of intense confidential talks between the Department of Education and the second-level teachers’ unions …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Aoife Moore and Caitlín Griffin, Irish Examiner, 17 February]

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Lobbying for Leaving Cert grades will break new law

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on February 18th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Anyone who tries to lobby a teacher in the hope of achieving favourable grades for a Leaving Cert student this year will be breaking the law. It is one of the measures to be included in legislation being introduced to support the twin-track approach to assessing 63,000 school-leavers in 2021. Lobbying by parents and students was actively discouraged last year and principals were advised to report any such incidents to the education authorities …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 18 February]

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The Role of the Leaving Certificate Examinations

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Certificate Exams have three main roles: sorting, incentivizing, and signalling. They serve to sort students into third-level courses where the students will perform well and contribute to the performance of their peers …” (more)

[Gregory Connor, The Irish Economy, 13 February]

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Fewer CAO places in medicine open to the class of 2021

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Fewer college places in medicine will be available to the CAO applicants of 2021 because of the late offers made to students who sat the Leaving Cert 2020 exams last November. This week, almost 600 students from the class of 2020 received an offer for an honours degree course, based on grades they achieved in the November sitting …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 13 February]

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Simon Harris optimistic half of students will receive their first-choice college placement

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Higher Education Minister Simon Harris has committed to maintaining previous college course ratios, whatever the outcome of the Leaving Cert discussions. The ASTI teaching union said it was withdrawing from discussions last night on the Leaving Cert 2021, pending a guarantee that talks will focus on planning for examinations, rather than calculated grades …” (more)

[Aoife Moore, Irish Examiner, 12 February]

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CAO points could climb if calculated grades model is used again

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Points for third-level courses may climb above last year’s record levels if a system similar to calculated grades for the Leaving Certificate is adopted, the chair of the Central Applications Offices (CAO) has warned. Prof Pól Ó Dochartaigh said a 9% increase in applications this year is likely to put upward pressure on CAO points with almost 80,000 applicants for the first time …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 February]

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Government, employers and the Leaving

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The latest Irish Times missive against the Leaving Cert continues the current trend of dismissing the State exam as not fit for purpose or no more than a college admissions exam (Jim Gleeson, ‘Leaving Cert grades have no meaning beyond CAO’, Education Opinion, February 9th). If the latter accusation is true, which it probably is, then we need to ask how we have found ourselves in this position …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 11 February]

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Cancel the Leaving Cert: Fight for a real alternative to the points system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“In 2020, as the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic raged, students campaigned using coordinated social media actions, petitions and huge online rallies, to cancel the Leaving Cert and won. Now in early 2021, student action has put the cancellation of the Leaving Cert on the agenda, pressured opposition parties to somewhat support students’ demands, and cornered the government into making a decision next week …” (more)

[Keishia Taylor, Shane Finnan and Conor Tormey, Socialist Party, 10 February]

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Leaving Cert grades have no meaning beyond CAO

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The debate over the best way to assess Leaving Cert students this year is in full flow. Should be it be calculated grades? A more traditional exam? A blend of both? The reality is that whatever option is chosen will simply be an emergency response in the face of the pandemic. Ironically, despite the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment’s (NCCA) ongoing review of senior cycle, Leaving Cert reform is far from people’s minds in the prevailing environment …” (more)

[Jim Gleeson, Irish Times, 9 February]

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Leaving Cert decision due next week

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A decision on the arrangements for this year’s State exams is expected to be made early next week by the Cabinet, amid growing calls to give students certainty about the exams. Discussions continued today between representatives of students, parents, teachers, and school management bodies, with officials from the State Examinations Commission (SEC) and the Department of Education …” (more)

[Jess Casey and Aoife Moore, Irish Examiner, 2 February]

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Half of students who sat postponed Leaving Cert get better results than their calculated grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“One in two students who sat the postponed Leaving Cert 2020 exams received results that are higher than their calculated grade in one or more subjects. Of the 2,202 students receiving results today, 1,136 have achieved a higher grade or grades. Overall four in 10 (39%) grades awarded in the written papers were higher, according to a breakdown of the results from the State Examinations Commission (SEC) …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 2 February]

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CAO applications hit record levels

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“When the standard deadline of February 1 passed, 79,303 applicants had registered, the highest ever at this time of the year. The number is likely to increase further as there is a late applications facility that opens between March and May …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 1 February]

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Leaving Certificate and the CAO

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – A very critical aspect missing from the discussion about whether the Leaving Cert should be held in its traditional format or not is what happens next? I fear the Government is unwilling to acknowledge the confluence of circumstances facing this year’s students …” (more)

[Paul McCarthy, Irish Times, 2 February]

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What ‘alternative options’ are under review for 2021 Leaving Cert?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 30th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“It is the question 60,000 students and their parents all want to know: what’s going to happen with the Leaving Cert? Until recently, Minister for Education Norma Foley said it was the Government’s ‘firm intention’ to press ahead with traditional exams. Now, however, the Department of Education is examining ‘possible alternative options’ …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 29 January]

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Third Level Admissions

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 29th, 2021 by steve

IrelandRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of applicants to the CAO that did not receive an offer in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 27 January]

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‘Not Fit for Purpose’ – Minister Harris on Current 3rd Level System

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on January 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Higher Education, Simon Harris has said that the current third-level system is ‘not fit for purpose’ in an interview with Pat Kenny on Newstalk. Speaking on Thursday morning, Harris outlined his new idea for an integrated application portal that would enable students to view all further study options available to them post-Leaving Certificate …” (more)

[Isobel Dunne, College Tribune, 23 January]

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