Here is a memo prepared by Alessandra Furfaro, the Director of Pedagogical Services for the English Montreal School Board, concerning the recent Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports (MELS) June exams results.
This year, unlike past years, the marks on the June report cards for English Language Arts, French Second Language, Mathematics, Science and Technology as well as History are school marks only. All Secondary IV students wrote MELS uniform exams in these courses in June. The school mark and the exam mark are each worth 50% of the final mark appearing on the student’s Achievement Record.
For the reasons specified below, the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) may use two procedures called conversion and moderation, which can affect final examination results.
To ensure that the examinations are fair, the MELS endeavours to prepare examinations of comparable difficulty from one year to the next.
Despite the customary precautions taken during the development of the examinations, abnormally high failure rates may occur. In this case, the MELS may either take corrective measures--for example, by removing a poorly worded question--or it may convert the results. Conversion is a procedure that involves raising all the scores of an examination slightly, thereby lowering the failure rate. In this respect, the first paragraph of section 470 of the Education Act stipulates that, "The Minister may, to avoid penalizing students unduly, revise the results obtained by them in the examinations he imposes, to compensate for any error or ambiguity in the examinations brought to his attention after they are taken."
To ensure that all candidates are treated fairly, and in accordance with the Education Act, MELS strives to make marking as comparable and objective as possible. However, the marks given by different schools are not always comparable because evaluation policies vary widely from one school board to another, from school to school, and even from one teacher to another. In addition, the degree of difficulty of the various local examinations varies from one educational institution to another. It is within this context that MELS uses moderation. Moderation involves adjusting each student's school mark upward or downward, on the basis of a comparison between the average school mark of all the students in the same teacher-group and the average mark of the same group on the uniform examination. This moderated school mark is used to calculate the final mark.
It is important to note that moderation cannot result in the failure of any student who has obtained a pass mark both from the school and on the uniform examination.
For the uniform examinations, the final marks are made up of the students' moderated school marks and their results (converted or not) on the June uniform examinations.
Processing error in the left column of the achievement record
An error has occurred in the section Unités acquises à l’égard des conditions supplémentaires pour le diplôme d’études secondaires J5, found on the left hand side of the achievement record.
Even though students may have obtained a mark of 60% or higher, no credits have been associated with either of the following courses:
- 555-444 (Science and Technology)
- 557-444 (Applied Science and Technology)
This is in the process of being rectified and a new achievement record will be issued as soon as possible.
Should any further information and/or clarification be required, please contact us at Laurier Macdonald by phone at (514) 376-6000 or in person at 7355 Viau Street, St-Léonard until August 3rd after that date please contact your school. Be assured that all calls or messages left on answering machine will be dealt with promptly.
Thank you for your continued collaboration.
Director, Pedagogical Services