I see our esteemed Minister for Education (aka dumb-it-down, pile-em-in Quinn) has hailed our 'new' Project Maths a great success. Yeah, the 23 (24-1) Project schools have again received better marks than normal schools, but what else would you expect? This is one of Ruairí's pet projects and one he gets the main aim nothing else matters. And so this is his magic pill to reverse our rapidly decling standards in Maths, Engineering and Science, so is half implemented in mainstream schools (due to be completely rolled out by 2014).
He managed to get 22% (13,000) of LC students sit the exam this year; Bravo Ruairí...!
Main aim of Project Maths being to increase the numbers taking higher level maths. So he trims off a few of the more challenging (& useful if you're doing Eng, Science or IT) bits (linear algebra) first, then makes the other very useful bit (calculus) less in-depth or challenging too. Adds in a few snazzy bits of geometry (drawings, etc), and swaps the usual statistical and business bits for more obscure bits..... Oh, and adds in a bit of probability (this is Leaving Cert HL...) that most other countries do at primary level (great to know that tossing a coin and pulling a card from a deck are 'independent' of each other...). Not much use if you've to calculate the stresses in a engineering project or work out a 5 or 6 way multivariable function - i.e. real science issues that everyone has to study at 3rd level.
Oh, nearly forgot to mention that the marking process is now an iterative process; first run is going to be marked up when the 'results don't hit targets...'. i.e. like the creche sports day, everyone's a winner....!
But what use in the real world is little Joe or Josephine getting an A in virtually nothing (Higher level of course...).
Yep, we've trimmed it off, dumbed it down and now everyone will get 600 points (+ of course 25 extra for asking for the nicer coloured paper back in June.....).
Previous to this only about 15% of LC students would have studied Maths at a sufficiently high or detailed level to tackle Engineering, IT, Science (or Maths...). Now we will increase the number taking HL to 25%, but unfortunately we'll have nobody ready to tackle Engineering, IT, Science (or Maths...), Actuarial, Economic Modelling, etc, etc. The new curriculum is way off the standard needed going into 3rd level - that's just the reality. UL are planning extra Maths lectures and tutorials for 1st years to get round this major issue.
Now Ruairí has gone an buried the report on PM under the (hollow...) boast about how many have actually passed Higher Level Maths this year.
No good Ruairí having someone who can jog a 10k in an hour when we're looking for lads/lassies who can hit it in under half an hour (- that's Euro standards; 27 mins is World Standard....).
This is the damning report: http://media.tcm.ie/media/documents/...ulumReport.pdf
Pages 1 & 9 are particularly important/relevant if you're stuck for time.