Over the past two decades, the Ministry of Education has started to make available annually, at the request of the media, data on the results of students in national exams and tests, as well as the internal grades given by schools to students and some contextual data.
One of the lists of schools released this week is based on the average grades in the national tests of their students and for the Minister of Education, Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, these tables “are reductive, unfair and do not reflect the quality of the work that is carried out by respective educational communities ”. In written statements to Lusa, the minister said that the students' ratings depend on several factors "that have no relation to the school's action".
In recent years, the Ministry of Education has also started to present some indicators for analysis, such as the direct success paths, which look for students who manage to finish a cycle without failing. For example, in the case of secondary education, students with direct successful paths are those who complete the three years (from the 10th to the 12th) without "failing". This year, the tutelage presented a new indicator - entitled equity - which focuses on the school trajectories of students in need (with Social School Support) and allows observing the schools that stand out for having more success cases among these students. These indicators take into account both the socio-economic context of students and schools, as well as the comprehensive assessment of learning, including that carried out in national exams and that carried out by teachers who work with students on a daily basis.
Despite considering these indicators “more sophisticated”, the minister defended that even so they should “always be read with prudence, focusing mainly on the evolution from year to year of the different communities and not so much on the comparison between schools”.
Regarding the results of the ‘rankings’, Tiago Brandão Rodrigues underlined the trend of positive evolution in the school success of students in recent years and the reduction in school dropout rates. “When analysing apprenticeships in secondary education, it is important not to forget the recent reduction in early school leaving, at a pace that is unmatched in the European context. In other words, many of the students who are in secondary school today would certainly have left if this analysis had been done a few years ago”, he underlined.