The Leaving Cert is not fair. Why not just replace it with a lottery?

Unthinkable: We can no longer plead ignorance of the inner workings of our State exams

‘I think recognizing the wider role luck plays in society is very important,’ says TCD political scientist Peter Stone. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP Creative/Getty

‘I think recognizing the wider role luck plays in society is very important,’ says TCD political scientist Peter Stone. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP Creative/Getty

The Leaving Cert has had an untouchable status in Irish life. It may be a brutal memory test but it is our brutal memory test – a rite of passage nearly as old as the State itself.

In the past 12 months, however, the bonnet has been lifted on this national treasure and we can no longer plead ignorance of its inner workings. The attempt to manufacture a distribution of grades under pandemic conditions equivalent to those produced by the annual exams has spotlighted long-running questions of fairness.

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