Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (479)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

479. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Education the number of leaving certificate students in 2020 that were downgraded one or more grades in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 subjects, respectively in tabular form. [26943/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The decision to adopt a model of Calculated Grades by my Department was a direct result of COVID-19, which prevented the state from running the conventional Leaving Certificate Examinations. The purpose of this process is to allow as many students as possible to progress to employment, further education and training, or higher education in a way that is fair and equitable to all Leaving Certificate students.

Schools provided an estimated percentage mark and a rank order (the student's place in the class group) for each student’s subjects. We know from research that teachers are very good at making judgements about their students in the local context of the school.

The process of national standardisation was applied to the school information in order to ensure comparability between the standards applied by individual schools and the national standard. It is important to note that, unlike in other jurisdictions, the starting point for the standardisation process was the estimated percentage marks provided by the school.

The adjustments that occurred through standardisation resulted in the school estimates staying the same or being revised upwards or downwards. While the estimated marks have been subject to a process of adjustment to ensure fairness and comparability across schools, the national standardisation process operated on the premise that the school estimates should only be adjusted through the standardisation process where there was credible statistical evidence to justify changing them.

Following the standardisation process, the estimated percentage mark was converted to a calculated mark and subsequently, a calculated grade which was provided to students on 7 September. It is only at this point that students were awarded a grade therefore, it is not accurate to state that student(s) were downgraded, or upgraded, through the standardisation process. Rather the grade that was awarded following the standardisation process is the grade for the 2020 Leaving Certificate Calculated Grades.

The degree to which mark changes occurred related to the degree of over or underestimation in the school estimates for each subject and each level. This means that some students experienced mark changes from the school estimates but no changes to the grades based on the school estimates; while others will have experienced changes to the marks leading to a change in the grade that would have been awarded based on the school estimates in one or more of their subjects.

In terms of the grades awarded, 83% (almost 340,000) of all Leaving Certificate subject grades are either the same or higher than the school estimates while 17% (under 70,000) grades are lower. More detailed statistics are available on mydepartment’s website at: https://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Press-Releases/2020-press-releases/PR20-09-07.html

Of the students due to take examinations in the Leaving Certificate (including the Leaving Certificate Vocational) programme, the data requested on the number of students whose grades were different to those that would have been awarded based on the school estimates are set out in the following tables. It should be noted that some students had grades which were higher than the school estimates in some subjects and lower in others.

Number of grades which were lower than the school estimates by student

No of grades

No of students

Percent

0

19,596

34.0

1

18,584

32.3

2

11,663

20.2

3

5,288

9.2

4

1,885

3.3

5

488

0.8

6

83

0.1

7+

11

0.0

Total

57598

100.0

Number of grades which were higher than the school estimates by student

No. of grades

No. of Students

Percent

0

44572

77.4

1

10842

18.8

2

1843

3.2

3

297

0.5

4

38

0.1

5

6

0.0

Total

57598

100.0