Demre criticizes rankings of schools by the PAES: “Comparisons are misleading and inappropriate”

The body in charge of carrying out the Higher Education Access Test (PAES) questioned the fact that comparisons are made between establishments according to their dependency with the averages obtained by their students.

The Department of Educational Evaluation, Measurement and Registration (Demre) from the University of Chile, the body in charge of the evaluation system for access to higher education, questioned the publication of score rankings of the Higher Education Access Test (PAES) by school, with data that are used to compare establishments according to their dependency.

During this process, a list was published with the 100 schools for the best averages obtained by their students. The ranking was largely dominated by paid private schoolswith only three municipal high schools and a single subsidized private school.

Also highlighted was the loss suffered by the emblematic high schools, which are undergoing a crisis due to the serious acts of violence registered in recent years. These public schools were left out of the top 100, with pronounced decreases in the score of their students compared to the Transition Test (PDT) carried out last year.

The publication of the figures generated a series of reactions, both from authorities, academics and businessmenwho accused the Government and the municipalities of “taking the skids” away from public education.

Demre’s questioning of the rankings

In a statement, the Demre delivered his vision on the appearance of rankings and the subsequent analysis of the figures, which focus on the comparison between the private system with the municipal one.

The institution stated that “such comparisons are misleading and inappropriate. The objective of the PAES, and of its predecessors, is to select the applicants to the universities. These instruments are designed and built for this purpose, so their results are not used to measure the quality of education delivered by a certain establishment. The validity of a test is lost when it is used for purposes other than those for which it was designed.“.

In addition, the entity stated that “It is not appropriate to compare schools from different dependenciessince, as is known, this is closely linked to the socioeconomic level of the population served”.

“As background, we add that five years ago, a group of deputies denounced Demre before the Comptroller General of the Republic for refusing to publish rankings of schools. The Comptroller ruled in our favor, recognizing the validity of our arguments, similar to those we present today“, he detailed.

The organization reflected on the effects of the publication of the figures, noting that “we all know the gaps that exist in educational matters. Unfortunately, it is not possible for a test like this to eliminate them, although of course we seek to mitigate them and prevent them from spreading, as is actually the case, despite the context of education in a pandemic and its unequal consequences.“.

This type of comparison, which some media outlets and users of social networks insist on, stigmatizes and damages public education.. It must be a commitment of each and every Chilean, to strengthen it, and increase its coverage and quality, since it is the natural and essential place to build the social cohesion that Chile so badly needs”, he emphasized.

Demre criticizes rankings of schools by the PAES: “Comparisons are misleading and inappropriate”