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Government admits to wrong test results

The Government got its sums wrong when it provided figures on pupil test results in mathematics, science and English, an official has admitted.

The Department of Education confirmed that the national average Cambridge Checkpoint assessment results for middle school pupils for 2018-19 released by the Government last October were “incorrect”.

A spokeswoman for the department said: “They were calculated from a database from which some students were inadvertently excluded.

“We've revised our procedures accordingly.”

The spokeswoman released corrected countrywide average scores for the test sat by M3 pupils. The adjusted numbers were: English 2.5, maths 2.2, and science 3.1. The national average target is 3.0.

Bermuda's annual assessment was designed to rate P6 and M3 pupils on English, maths and science.

The Cambridge system uses scores from 0, ranked “very poor”, to 6, graded “excellent”.

Scores from 3 to 4 are classified as “good”. Scores of between 2 and 3 are rated “OK”.

Scores from 1 to 2 are rated as being “poor”.

The pupil averages for the 2019 and 2018 tests were released last October.

The education ministry said at the time that M3 pupils who wrote the test last year had “exceeded the targets” in the three core subject areas.

Numbers provided by the Government in October showed that the average M3 score in English last year was 3.5, up from 2.7 the previous year.

The Government said the average score in science was 4.1 in 2018-19, up from 2.9 the year before, and that the average pupil score in maths jumped to 3.1 from 2.1 over the same period.

But a school-by-school breakdown of assessment results for 2019 and 2018 given to The Royal Gazette by the education ministry in January contradicted the numbers from October.

The request to education officials asked for the average pupil score, by school, in the three subject categories.

The data showed that none of the island's five public middle schools had an average pupils score above 3.0 in English last year (2019).

The scores were: Clearwater, St George's (2.3), Dellwood, Pembroke (2.4), Sandys (2.9), TN Tatem, Warwick (2.4) and Whitney Institute, Smith's (2.7).

The data also showed that no school had an average pupil score above 4.0 in science or above 3.0 in maths last year (2019).

The science scores were: Clearwater (3.1), Dellwood (3.7), Sandys (3.0), TN Tatem (2.6) and Whitney Institute (3.3).

The average pupil scores in maths were: Clearwater (2.1), Dellwood (2.2), Sandys (2.7), TN Tatem (1.6) and Whitney Institute (2.4).

A Department of Education employee confirmed last month that the numbers contained in the school-by-school breakdown were correct and the ministry was asked to explain the apparent disparity.

To view the education ministry's Checkpoint results for 2018 and 2019, the Cambridge middle school results for 2018 and 2019, and the October press release, click on the PDF links under “Related Media”

Diallo Rabain, the education minister, has suffered a setback with incorrect published test results (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published March 23, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated March 23, 2020 at 9:14 am)

Government admits to wrong test results

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