The Ministry of Education “has a mouth but no ears,” the Taipei City Department of Education said yesterday, rejecting the ministry’s claims that the city government was reconsidering its plan for high-school admissions.
The department and the ministry have been deadlocked since the latter earlier this month rejected Taipei’s admissions plan.
Because students’ scores in a national admissions formula are easily tied, a series of tie-breaking measures were created, including three sets of rankings based on Comprehensive Assessment Program exam scores.
The ministry says that the department’s plan improperly moved up the third and most detailed set of rankings in the tie-break process.
The school district comprising Taipei, New Taipei City and Keelung is extremely competitive, with almost twice as many students as the next-largest school district, department commissioner Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said.
After the ministry rejected the district’s requests that the second set of rankings be refined to more precisely reflect students’ actual scores, the disputed third set of rankings were approved by the ministry for use exclusively within the district, Lin said.
She added that using the third set of rankings before the second set was fairer, because it would more closely reflect students’ actual scores.
Chen Da-kuei (陳大魁), director of the ministry’s Office for K-12 Education, said moving up the third set of rankings would show different results compared with last year’s system, creating confusion for students and parents.
The ministry rejected Taipei’s request to refine the second set of rankings, because such precision would not be needed in the long term, as student numbers would drop due to low birth rates, he said.
The Taipei education department also announced preliminary results of discussions last night by a civil committee responsible for drafting the district’s plan.
Controversy preceded the meeting when the ministry called in committee members for discussions, leading Taipei to accuse the ministry of meddling in its internal affairs.
The department said a plan was passed that makes substantial adjustments focused on reducing the harm inherent in the ministry’s 12-year education program, adding that details would be announced by Nov. 15 after the plan is passed by the education commissions of each of the district’s three cities.
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