Immaculate Conception, the Roman Catholic high school for girls, is Jamaica's top-performing secondary school, based on the performance of its students in last year's Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) secondary school exams, a new study, being released today, has shown.
Campion College, another Roman Catholic-founded school, more secular in orientation, ranked second while another Corporate Area (Greater Kingston) school, Wolmer's High School for Girls, was third among 148 schools surveyed by Dr Dennis Minott and Kiesha Martin of the A-QUEST education group.
These are followed by Bishop Gibson High, an Anglican-founded school in the parish of Manchester.
Although the top three and the fifth-ranked school, St Andrew High, are in the capital, six of the top 10 schools are outside the Kingston/St Andrew region.
For their study, Minott and Martin analysed the results of fifth form students at each school in 16 core subjects that Jamaican students write at CXC.
They provided a numeric mark to the school for each subject based on the percentage of students who wrote the exam, with the maximum mark being eight for a pass rate of between 96 per cent and 100 per cent. The lowest mark could be minus eight in cases where the pass rate was between zero per cent and 19 per cent.
From the total marks received by the school, Minott and Martin worked out an overall performance average, but deflated this by the amount of screening that school indulged in, by applying the geometric mean of the percentage of the eligible cohort taking English and Math, respectively.
This allowed them to average a yield score for each school and a corresponding letter grade, ranging from A-plus at the top to F8 at the bottom.
Of a maximum yield score of eight, Immaculate scored 7.60 or an A-plus, while Campion scored 7.42 or an A. Wolmer's Girls scored 6.53, also equivalent to A.
According to Minott, the analysis, which he expects to make an annual study, points to those schools with a good academic programme and strong and creative leadership aimed at producing the best results.
"Next year, we will expand the report of the study to include the names of the school chairman, the principal, the fifth form co-ordinator, the student government leader and the education officer with responsibility for the region in which the school is located," he said.