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An Enhanced Analysis of the 2014 CSEC English & Math Results

The 2014 CSEC test results for English and Mathematics reflect continuing improvement over last year.

As reported by the Ministry of Education, two out of every three students (66.4%) who took the English exam

receiving a passing mark, and more than half (55.5%) of those who took the Mathematics exam did so as well.

This indicates a process of recuperation, when we consider that back in 2012 only 52% of students

sitting for English exams passed, while less than two out of every five students sitting for Mathematics passed

that same year.

Indeed, while there are still vast disparities in the number and quality of passing scores afforded between

the various types of secondary school, this much is clear: passing CSEC scores seem to be on the rise. We can

see this irrespective of how it is measured.

The annually released Gleaner Quality Scores report is in constant development; Last year we

incorporated suggestions offered by Dr. Alfred Sangster. Those suggestions helped to historicize the reporting

of pass-rates across the different schools, which itself has been shown to be necessary given the

disproportionate access to material and capital resources between the upper echelons of “Traditional” secondary

schools on the one hand, and the girth of “Upgraded” secondary schools on the other. This year we have

implemented Growth Scores, which aim to celebrate the leaps and bounds achieved by certain schools.

The following results are determined using the Ministry of Education’s method of describing pass-rates

as a proportion of those students who sat for the exams, from 2011 to 2014:

English

2014

Pass Percentage (previous years)

Total Sat

Total Passed Pass %

2013

2012

2011

26,527

17,613

66.4

63.7

52.0

67.9

Mathematics

2014

Pass Percentage (previous years)

Total Sat

Total Passed Pass %

2013

2012

2011

23,351

12963

55.5

42.2

37.5

40.0

Notably, these figures don’t differentiate between the various kinds of secondary schools in Jamaica.

Education Activist Dr. Ralph Thompson suggested that by failing to disaggregate pass-data on the basis of the

type of secondary school, one engenders the possibility of mistaking the actual state of education in Jamaica.