Educate Jamaica to stop ranking secondary schoolsMonday, December 28, 2020
KINGSTON, Jamaica— After stinging criticism from high schools that its ranking system is statistically flawed, Educate Jamaica, unable to take the heat, is leaving the proverbial kitchen.
In a news release yesterday, founder and chairman Ainsworth Darby said the organisation had made the decision to permanently end its ranking of secondary schools.
“In 2018 Educate Jamaica made a decision to end the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) ranking of secondary schools in Jamaica. Following the decision to end the ranking, we received many contacts from old boys, old girls, members of the public, principals and other educators asking us to restore the ranking. We honoured their request and brought it back,” Darby said.
He said in recent weeks the organisation has seen a number of articles with comments from old boys and a principal of a secondary school, “painting our ranking in a negative light”.
“After reading the articles, we have made the decision as an organisation to publicly announce the official and permanent end of our ranking of secondary schools. Some have suggested that ending the ranking will be seen as a defeat of our organisation; however, we have chosen to ignore such comments, and rather take the time to positively reflect on the period of the existence of the ranking,” he said.
“We want to thank the Jamaican parent community, the old boys and old girls, as well as members of the public who have supported our efforts over the years. We will continue the release of publications; however, they will no longer seek to rank schools.”
In November, four of Jamaica's traditional high school alumni associations took aim at the annual Educate Jamaica CSEC ranking of local high schools, labelling the independent assessment as flawed.
The St George's College, Jamaica College, Kingston College and Wolmer's Boys' School old boys asserted that the methodology employed by Educate Jamaica to rank the CSEC performance of high schools needed to be reassessed, as it only considered subjects students sit in grade 11, disregarding passes a child may have obtained in prior grades.
The schools charged that because of Educate Jamaica's methodology, some high schools were forcing students to redo subjects they'd passed before in order for their ranking to not be impacted.