Fledgling Portmore-based high school, Cedar Grove Academy, which entered a six form cohort for the first time in the 2015 sitting of the national Caribbean Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) examinations has outperformed a number of local and national academic stalwarts to emerge as the top performing Portmore-based school based on data published by education think tank publisher, Educate Jamaica.
The publication, CAPE (Pre-University) Rankings 2016 was released by Educate Jamaica last week. This post is a disaggregation of the data by outandaboutportmore.
Placing 34th among 103 schools with a 54.1 percentage pass rate, the two-year-old institution and “new entrant”to the exams has outperformed and outranked prominent Portmore flag bearer, Bridgeport High plus numerous other prominent national and Corporate area Caribbean Secondary Education (C-SEC) and CAPE high-flyers.
A Quality Score of grades i-iii (1-3) in 2 or more CAPE subjects (units) was used as the benchmark to rate the schools, Educate Jamaica has explained to justify its ranking methodology.
Cedar Grove Academy was ranked just behind neighbouring Jonathan Grant High (another unexpected achievement) located 10 minutes away, in Spanish Town.
Traditional High Performers See Downward Slide
The school outperformed three other Portmore area schools, namely Bridgeport High which slipped two places down to rank 48 this year with a 34.9 % pass rate and Ascot High which saw marginal improvement over the previous year but still ranked 69. Ascot was assigned a 18.3 % pass rate. Cumberland High, also a first time CAPE entrant, received a 0% pass rate and placed second to last in the Educate Jamaica rankings.
Cedar Grove Academy also outperformed traditional C-SEC/academic ranking high-flyers such as Manchester High, Munro High, and York Castle High (new entrant) as well as a number of prominent Corporate area schools such as St George’s High, Calabar High and Jamaica College, all of which slipped noticeably in this year’s rankings, having failed to meet the quality of passes criteria designated by Educate Jamaica to make the cut for Top Performing Schools.
Top 10 Performing CAPE Schools
Only 10 percent of the island’s secondary schools made the top 10. Over 83 percent of the candidate cohort from these “top tier” schools met the Quality Score assigned by Educate Jamaica. New entrant Montego Bay High with a 100 percentage pass rate, unseated Campion High to claim the top spot in this year’s CAPE rankings.
A further disaggregation of the newest Educate Jamaica CAPE rankings places St Jago High, with 68.4 percentage pass in 18th place, as the top performing St Catherine school, followed by St Catherine High, which ranks at no. 30.
First batch, First time
According to this JIS report, the Cedar Grove Academy opened its doors in September 2013 to 86 Grade 7 students. The school also started with 35 sixth formers in two faculties, the Humanities and Sciences, with strong emphasis placed on a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum.
The current rankings would have been generated by the school’s first batch of six formers who sat the 2015 CAPE exams.
EDUCATE JAMAICA (educatejamaica.org) which describes itself as a social enterprise education entity, also publishes C-SEC and GSAT performance rankings for the island’s schools.