Perhaps the Education Minister for Northern Ireland, Caitriona Ruane will have a meeting with Gavin Boyd of the ESA to discuss the failures of the CEM Incas assessment system that she assured had parents was quality assured. Mr Boyd build his publicly financed business on claims of quality assurance. Those assertions are now in tatters with parental confidence in CCEA-approved assessments destroyed. Mr Boyd would now benefit from a dose of his own advice given when the pseudo-science of the enriched curriculum was criticised… “Next time check the facts”
Following the unprecedented admissions of failure with Incas by the DENI, CCEA and the CEM at Durham University it may help parents to see how the false reassurances from the Project Management Board from CCEA were not matched by reality.
CCEA have had to issue yet another apology for failures in the University of Durham CEM Incas assessment system http://www.cemcentre.org/RenderPage.asp?LinkID=11321000 which they imposed on primary schools. This humiliating embarrassment is a legacy from the decisions of Gavin Boyd, the former CCEA chief executive, now ESA supremo.
Mr Boyd has left a legacy of failed projects behind him at CCEA and his infamous words in CCEA Press Release CR 15/06 about getting your facts right must be today firmly stuck in his throat.
The second admission of expensive failure on behalf of CCEA in less than a week states:
The Parental Alliance for Choice in Education warned last year about the dangers to parents and pupils from using Incas assessments but Mr Boyd’s organisation assured parents that they knew better. Now Mr Boyd and Mr Hanna must be charged with their abject and expensive failure to check their facts.
According to the DENI and CCEA parents of primary school pupils were assured on Incas assessments that;
These assessments provide parents and teachers with valuable information about a child’s progress in these important areas of the curriculum.
In an attempt to minimise the scale of the failure of Incas CCEA and the DENI have initiated a hastily organised cover-up of the expensive University of Durham’s CEM flop. Two press releases were issued by CCEA painting a picture of minor effect and maximum concern. Nothing could be further from the truth given that parents are expected to rely upon these assessment results as a main measure of attainment in primary school. The assessments are mandatory but the checks on the validity and reliability of the software aren’t. Note the language of the/ reassurance offered by the DENI and CCEA.
No commitment to parents and pupils. Is there a pattern here from Minister Ruane’s Department of Education and CCEA?
Source: CCEA letter to school principals.
In summary, CCEA buy Incas software for Pupil Profiling and Parent Reporting. Incas falls over because of inherent problems with the software. CCEA were unaware of the extent of the problem but ask the vendor of the flawed product to give them an excuse to sell to parents and schools. CCEA issue press releases seeking to reassure parents and principals and even write instruction letters for principals and teachers to placate parents. CCEA now claim to have initiated checks on Incas and seek to reassure that all is well.
Parents simply ask: How can they have any trust in information provided by schools on their children’s attainment in learning at primary schools?
The Belfast Newsletter published a story highlighting the creation of a Department of Education master database containing records of all school children.
Ms Ruane’s Department of Education has developed the multi-million pound eSchools Data project which is currently being phased in across the Province.
It allows each school to view details of their own pupils, parents and staff — but some officials at the Department of Education will be able to access information about any entry.
The DENI said in a statement:
“Access to the data warehouse and its reports is strictly controlled. Users are obliged to obey acceptable use policies and sign up to a statement of responsibility.”
PACE members wonder if this is the same level of responsibility exercised by the Education Minister applied to post-primary arrangements and the numeracy and literacy failures of the primary schools?
In a statement Mr Allister said:-
“ESA and the Department under Ruane will, at the touch of a button, have not just educational data on every child, but highly sensitive personal data, including the religion of every child, the home and work address of every child’s contact, normally their parents. To this I object. At this time of increased terrorist threat and given the history in Northern Ireland of republican terrorists targeting security personnel, it is madness to collate information of this sensitivity and make it available within a Department where it only takes one mole to feed the IRA with security-compromising information and we will have murder on our hands.”
The entire statement is available here. http://www.tuv.org.uk/press-releases/view/354/allister-objects-to-�big-brother�-data-collection-by-ruane�s-department
While not a word of concern has been raised by Northern Ireland MPs or MLAs on this subject teachers in Kent have expressed fury over a census which asked them about what car they drive. Source: Mail on Sunday. Glen Owen Political Corespondent.
Examples of the data collection tool
George Orwell couldn’t have anticipated this unintended consequence when he wrote 1984. It took a Northern Ireland Education Minister linked to the IRA’s Columbia Three to find a back door entry into intelligence gathering methods.
“Sadly, despite all the money that has been spent, standards are still woefully low in too many schools,”
Sir Terry Leahy Chief Executive of Tesco
The government paint a different picture:
“Standards have never been higher in our secondary schools. The vast majority of people working in education are on the front line, teaching in our schools,” a spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said.
“There are several non-departmental bodies, but it’s clearly right and proper that issues such as exam standards are regulated by an independent body.”
Who do you believe?
*An Obituary printed in the London Times*
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, , who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
– Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
– Why the early bird gets the worm;
– Life isn’t always fair;
– and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I’m A Victim
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing
PACE gave warning about the use of the CCEA Pupil Profile and Incas tests on December 18, 2008
It has proven to be one of the most read posts on the site and has recently undergone a renewed level of interest.
Those visitors to the NICurriculum site attempting to open links to documents cited are in for a major disappointment. They will be met with 404 page not found messages. This is CCEA’s answer to nosy parents.
On Friday 7th August 2009 Caitriona Ruane said:
“I am convinced that when educationalists are seen to be working within the Guidance and delivering a quality education for all children, there will be a realisation that the old system could not continue. At that time, we can return to the issue of legislation.”
This statement was part of a response to a question on cross party support on post-primary transfer arrangements.
Mr G Robinson asked the Minister of Education (AQW 8875/09) if, and when, she intends to bring forward plans for post primary transfer that will command cross party support.
Minister of Education: The arrangements for post-primary transfer described in the Department of Education’s published Transfer 2010 Guidance attracted supportive comments from 3,054 (95% of all) respondents to the two consultations which preceded its publication.
Of note there is no breakdown of responses contained in the consultation response document on the DENI website. It seems that the Minister can make up statistics ad lib to reply to MLAs. Check it out for yourself. http://www.deni.gov.uk/summary_report_of_transfer_2010_consultation_responses.pdf
It is now left to the Belfast Telegraph to sort the mess out. Good luck differentiating between fact and fiction.