Fundamental flaw in exams analysis

12th December 1997 at 00:00
We, as union representatives of the staff of St Ninian's High School, East Renfrewshire, would wish to correct some of the inaccuracies in your report (TESS, November 28) on examination results analysis within our school.

We are not in the third year of results analysis. Only one such analysis was carried out by teachers. This was in August of 1996. The general feeling among the members of our associations was that the methodology behind the analysis was fundamentally flawed. Disquiet was expressed when attempts were made to draw conclusions from variations in data which had been shown to be statistically insignificant.

Attempts by the local authority to draw conclusions about the performance of subject departments by using data whilst providing no proof of the statistical significance of the data are causing the staff to view the whole exercise as little more than a cynical attempt at teacher bashing.

This feeling can only be reinforced by the selective leaking of parts of what we, as a staff, had always regarded as confidential internal documents on the performance of the class of a particular member of staff. We regard this as a serious breach of good faith on the part of the management. No doubt many teachers will now begin to reconsider the wisdom of co-operating with results analysis andor appraisal.

B SHIELDS T McBREARTY on behalf of members of the Educational Institute of Scotland and the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association St Ninian's High Giffnock

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