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US company to design Leaving Cert accredited grades system

September 08, 2021

Original Article:

A US company has been awarded a contract to provide coding and psychometric expertise in the delivery of this year's accredited grades to Leaving Certificate students. 

According to the Department of Education the company - Educational Testing Services - is a world leading US-based non-profit organisation that specialises in educational measurement.

Last year, the department contracted ETS to undertake a review of coding for the 2020 Calculated Grades model. This followed the discovery of a number of errors in the original process. 

The Leaving Certificate examinations and accredited grades process will be conducted by the State Examinations Commission, and legislation is currently being developed to enable this. 

The latest contract with ETS comes as the result of a procurement process.

In a statement, a department spokesperson said the detailed design of the accredited grades model would be informed by expert advice, including external statistical, coding and psychometric expertise.

It said the procurement process had been carried out by the department to acquire necessary coding and psychometric expertise in order to ensure confidentiality, reliability and timely refinement of the standardisation model to be used.

The spokesperson said that due to the sensitivity and urgency of the process the tender documents were not being published.

He said ETS would work with the Department of Education and the State Examinations Commission to deliver the various elements of the standardisation model, and the implementation of the standardisation process.

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