Petrina Francis, Education Reporter
UNIVERSITY OF Technology (UTech) lecturer, Howard Campbell, insists that only 10 of the 148 schools that were ranked by Dr. Dennis Minott in his report on the performance of Jamaican high school students in the 2003 CXC examinations were placed correctly.
Mr. Campbell, chief executive officer of Nutcracker Books, said that he and his staff at Nutcracker analysed Dr. Minott's data and corrected the results. They found that only the schools in positions 1-8, 12 and 74 remained unchanged.
The schools that remain untouched by the corrections are Immaculate, Campion, Wolmer's Girls, Bishop Gibson, St. Andrew High, Hampton, Munro College, Mt. Alvernia, that were all in the top 10. Holy Childhood and Black River that were placed in positions 12 and 74 respectively, also were unaffected by the changes.
However, Westwood and Glenmuir that were both in the top 10, have been dislodged and replaced by Academy of Mercy (Alpha) and Ardenne in positions 9 and 10, respectively.
St. George's, which received a disgraceful 'F' rating from Dr. Minott has moved from their original position of 130 to a more remarkable 37th position.
Meanwhile, Trench Town is now comfortably in the top 100, at position 98, moving from 142.
Referring to his own report Mr. Campbell said, "Overall, the report paints a grimmer picture (than Dr. Minott's) as only 11 schools managed to get grades of C+ or better. Five schools managed to get D+, six Ds and seven Es. Still, 121 of the schools received failing grades.
According to the Campbell report, all 14 technical high schools are now in the top 100. The technical schools were among the top 20 big movers with six technical schools gaining strong footholds in the top 100.
Speaking with The Sunday Gleaner yesterday, Mr. Campbell said that Dr. Minott's report was corrected by including the items of the data that were left out. The ranking of the technical schools changed because in 23 instances, subjects that some schools do, were omitted.
Office Procedures was omitted from several technical schools. When it was included in the corrected report, this increased the ranking of the schools. He said that some of the data were input incorrectly in three cases.
The percentage of cohort sitting Mathematics at Mona High was changed from 643 per cent to 64 per cent. Kingston College and Jamaica College do not have Food and Nutrition as a part of their curriculum as was indicated by Dr. Minott's study and thus the scores were removed.
Dr. Minott in response to Mr. Campbell's comments said, "He's right with respect to three of the flaws, mainly the exclusion of Mathematics with St. Catherine High School and Physics at Immaculate. But Immaculate did well with Physics, they got 94 per cent, so they still finished with an A- grade."
On the performance of technical schools he said, "What they are saying (that his analysis of their performance is inaccurate), they don't have a foot to stand on. What they must understand is that they are high schools first. They may turn out good carpenters but they have an obligation to do well in other areas (non-technical) as well."
Mr. Campbell explained that most of the problems were caused by a scoring system that was started by a negative of eight in Dr. Minott's study.
The scores were reallocated based on the new scoring system in which the negatives were eliminated by starting the numeric code at zero, instead of negative eight. He said that eight points were then added to each score.
TOP 20 SECONDARY SCHOOLS CAMPBELL'S RANKING)
Campion College A
Wolmer's Girls A
Bishop Gibson B
St. Andrew High B
Hampton School C+
Munro College C+
Mt. Alvernia C+
Convent of Mercy 'Alpha' C
Kingston College C
Holy Childhood D
Wolmer's Boys D
Montego Bay High D+
DeCarteret College D+