This course there will be no recovery exams for Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) students. The Ministry of Education is forced to end the play-offs to comply with the ruling issued by the Council of State on this matter, according to sources from the department of Pilar Alegría this Friday. A day before, the advisory body had announced the change to the minister. Education ensures that there are no more significant modifications in the opinion on the royal decree of Evaluation, Promotion and Graduation.

The Government intended that this course would not have repetitions, but several communities – led by Galicia, whose counselor spoke on two occasions about the issue with the minister – demanded a moratorium to maintain them this academic year. The autonomous governments argued that the moratorium facilitated the organization of the centers, since the plans for the course were already underway. Alegría ―desiring to loosen relations with the regional governments of the PP after months of clashes with her predecessor, Isabel Celaá― found her postponement reasonable and made it known to the autonomies at the end of September.

However, the opinion of the Council of State, of obligatory compliance as it is of an “essential” nature, forces recoveries in ESO ―they remain in the Baccalaureate― to end throughout Spain. The organism considers that inequalities between the students of the different communities would be created if some are examined and others are not. The elimination of recoveries, which have been moving from September to June and July, is included in the royal decree that the Council of Ministers will approve next Tuesday.

The Valencian Community, Aragon and the Balearic Islands -both governed by the left- had already announced that there would be no recoveries, while other regions resisted canceling them, such as the Basque Country. This is the case of the Galician Government, which considered going to court against the change, arguing that, having already started the course, the decision would alter the planned school calendar. Castilla y León also threatened to appeal. Or Madrid, which had requested the moratorium and which this Friday has not spared the criticism from its adviser, Enrique Ossorio: “It is one more example of the chaotic and disorderly development that the Celaá law”.

The royal decree establishes that the teaching teams in a collegiate manner will decide the grade and whether the ESO student passes the course without taking a recovery exam for the subjects they have failed. The text also stipulates that the evaluation at this stage will be “continuous, formative and inclusive” and that reinforcing measures will be established when the student lags behind. The educational community agrees that the exams, with a few weeks of study margin, are of little use because adolescents fail again. That what has not been learned in nine months is not acquired in 15 days.

ESO students will pass the course when the teachers consider that the subjects they have not passed do not prevent them from successfully following the next year and it is estimated that they have favorable expectations of recovery. Thus, students who have acquired, in the opinion of the teachers, the established competencies and achieved the objectives of the stage, will obtain the ESO title.

The latest educational law (Lomloe) significantly modifies how evaluation, promotion and graduation are regulated and gives special relevance to the collegiate action of the teaching team, who is given ultimate responsibility for the decision to pass courses and get the degree. The Celaá law focuses on reinforcement mechanisms. For this reason, it provides that permanence in the same course must be something exceptional that can only be adopted once during primary school and twice at most during compulsory education. This is precisely one of the objectives of this new royal decree for the development of Lomloe: to avoid repeating courses, a matter in which Spain triples the rate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD): 28. 7% of 15-year-old Spaniards have repeated at least once.

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