Troubling disparities and unanswered questions still linger in relation to this year’s Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) results, even after the release of findings from an Independent Review Team.
In separate statements, student advocate Khaleel Kothdiwala and leader of the Group of Concerned Parents of Barbados Paula-Anne Moore expressed satisfaction with a measure of clarity provided in the report.
However, pertinent questions about CXC’s SBA moderation process and the use of teachers predicted grades when considering overall scores have not yet been answered.
The groups are also demanding further details regarding potentially damning allegations of misconduct including fraud leveled at teachers by the IRT.
In his assessment, Kothdiwala questioned the IRT’s evidence of a “weak” correlation between teacher predicted grades and students’ final grades in the past.
The disparity between the two was one of the areas of contention identified by parents, teachers, and students at the centre of this year’s debacle. As a result, Kothdiwala demanded to know why the IRT’s claims were not being backed up by statistics.
“Further clarity is needed therefore, on the extent of that historical ‘weak correlation’,” the Queen’s College student contended.
He also identified a troubling disparity between CXC’s claims regarding the moderation of this year’s SBA grades and the findings of the IRT.
While on one hand, CXC claims to have moderated all SBAs, the IRT report states that only 44 per cent of CSEC and 57 per cent of CAPE SBAs were moderated.
“The question is remarkably simple: were all School Based Assessments marked by moderators employed by CXC, after they were submitted by schools? If not, how many SBAs underwent that process?” asked Kothdiwala.
“The lack of a clear answer on that point is distressing,” he added.
Most troubling, the sixth form student added are allegations of teacher misconduct including the fraudulent marking of SBA scripts. Given the gravity of the charges, he demanded that CXC provide further details.
“…the ambiguity leaves fundamental questions about previous years, before this supposedly more robust moderation process came to be,” said Kothdiwala.
“As alluded to above, if only approximately half of all SBAs were moderated, what then is the basis for the belief that leniency or mark inflation is pervasive in teacher-corrected SBAs,” he added.
Moore meanwhile indicated that the group of concerned parents stressed that the group’s first priority was to ensure that a promised remarking of the scripts would be conducted within the promised one-week period.
The parent-advocate also noted concerns about the IRT’s assessment of teacher predicted grades, SBA moderation, and the allegations leveled at teachers in the report.
“I think overall, it seems quite frankly that CXC, in trying to protect its credibility as an examining body perhaps didn’t consider what the result would mean to its students who should be at the forefront of any concerns or objectives. Clearly there is a disconnect between CXC’s focus on credibility and what it did with the grading, and the output that has left thousands of students at a disadvantage,” she said.
“Once these students have been made whole… we will continue to maintain that CXC needs to be held accountable and there are some deficiencies within CXC that need to be addressed,” she added.
Moore added that a more comprehensive statement from the parent group would be released shortly.