***Editor’s note: This is the ninth and final instalment in a series of stories analysing the Education Data Report 2021.***
Over the past month, the Cayman Current has been exploring the Education Data Report 2021.
This post will act as a summary of our key observations gleaned from the series.
+ Year 11 exam scores regressed to the mean after a spike in 2020.
Cayman Islands ‘national expectations’ are that students achieve 5 or more Level 2 passes, including in English and Mathematics.
The pass rate at Layman Scott High School was 55%. At Clifton Hunter High School it was 49%. At John Gray High School it was 32%.
Data Report 2021: Year 11 exam scores regress to previous levels
+ Year 11 girls again outperformed boys in English and Maths, although the ‘gender gap’ narrowed.
79% of girls passed English and 45% passed Maths. By comparison, 55% of boys passed English and 42% passed Maths.
Overall, 43% of girls met the national expectation, compared to 38% of boys.
Data Report 2021: Gender gap narrows; Year 11 girls still outperform boys
+ Poor Maths scores keep students from attaining the national standard.
Relatively poor performance on Year 11 Maths exams is the primary reason why most Cayman public high school graduates fail to meet the ‘national expected standard’.
However, education officials point to better-than-expected Maths results among Year 6 students as a hopeful indicator for the future.
Data Report 2021: Poor Maths scores keep students from attaining ‘national standard’
+ Clifton Hunter significantly outperformed John Gray on Year 11 exams.
Following a period of 2 years where John Gray had nearly closed the gap in test scores, Clifton Hunter posted an overall pass rate that was 17 percentage points greater than John Gray, the largest margin since records became available in 2015.
Meanwhile, Layman Scott on Cayman Brac continues to have a higher Year 11 pass rate than either public secondary school on Grand Cayman.
Data Report 2021: Clifton Hunter significantly outperforms John Gray on Year 11 exams
+ Year 6 scores on ‘reasoning’ tests dropped following the Spring 2020 COVID-19 school closure.
In the Fall 2020 term following the closure of schools due to COVID, Year 6 public primary school students scored significantly worse on tests designed to measure their reasoning abilities than students had the year before the pandemic.
Data Report 2021: After COVID school closure, drop in Year 6 scores on ‘reasoning’ tests
+ Student performance varies widely at different public primary schools.
The largest groups of students to perform ‘below expectations’ in Maths were at Theoline L. McCoy Primary School (63%), in Reading at George Town Primary School (60%), and in Writing at East End Primary School (100%).
The smallest groups of students to perform ‘below expectations’ in Maths were at Creek and Spot Bay Primary School (0%), in Reading at West End Primary School (7%), and in Writing at West End (7%).
(Those 2 schools are located on Cayman Brac.)
Data Report 2021: Performance varies greatly among public primary schools
+ Students with diagnosed Special Education Needs (SEND) or being monitored for SEND performed worse than their peers on Year 11 external exams.
Government schools have 3 phases for SEND support. In Phase 1, students are monitored and receive support from their teacher. In Phase 2, students get more support, including from a school-based team outside their classroom. In Phase 3, students receive support from outside their school.
Students in Phase 3 performed better on Year 11 exams in English, Maths and Science than students in Phase 2.
Phase 1 students outperform Phase 3 students in English and Science, but had a slightly lower pass rate in Maths.
Overall, students with no SEND had significantly higher exam scores in all subjects than students with potential or verified education disabilities.
Data Report 2021: How students with education disabilities fared on Year 11 exams
+ On the 2021 CSEC exams, Cayman’s Year 11 students beat the Caribbean average in Maths but not in English.
Typically, CSEC scores are released in the fall after the spring exams are taken. However, 2021 scores were delayed due to COVID, so the Data Report provided the first opportunity to examine Cayman’s scores in the context of Caribbean peers and compare them to prior years.
For the 3rd time in 11 years, Cayman’s Year 11 students beat the regional average in Maths. For the 8th time in 11 years, they scored lower than the regional average in English.