VCAA Plays Dumb and Dumber

Late last year we posted on Madness in the 2017 VCE mathematics exams, on blatant errors above and beyond the exams’ predictably general clunkiness. For one (Northern Hemisphere) exam, the subsequent VCAA Report had already appeared; this Report was pretty useless in general, and specifically it was silent on the error and the surrounding mathematical crap. None of the other reports had yet appeared.

Now, finally, all the exam reports are out. God only knows why it took half a year, but at least they’re out. We have already posted on one particularly nasty piece of nitpicking nonsense, and now we can review the VCAA‘s own assessment of their five errors:


So, the VCAA responds to five blatant errors with five Trumpian silences. How should one describe such conduct? Unprofessional? Arrogant? Cowardly? VCAA-ish? All of the above?


3 Replies to “VCAA Plays Dumb and Dumber”

  1. Of course it is up to the individual to argue (please do!) which of these errors is the worst, but marking a multiple choice answer as “correct” when none of them are is beyond bad.

    Would it really be that hard to admit the error and either give all students the mark or remove the question from calculations?

    Both these options would be better than what actually happened!

  2. Thank you so much for exposing what is happening, I find a lot of mistakes in the course books my school gave me. It is so frustrating that you answer correctly and then the response of the teacher is incorrect. No matter what you do, you are wrong, VCAA and education in Australia is a joke, the only thing they teach is anger management and left wing propaganda.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Alex. I don’t for a minute think teachers are innocent in all this, but I would regard them more as fellow victims than villains. Teachers have close to zero power, and in general they’re not sure enough of their mathematical or professional footing to second guess the crap they get from VCAA and the textbooks and, often enough, their principals.

      I’m also not sure what you mean by the teaching of “left wing propaganda” and in particular if that somehow relates to the awfulness of Australian Maths education. Whether or not schools are *teaching* propaganda, they are undoubtedly *corrupted* by pedagogical propaganda, from both the “left” and the “right” (broadly construed).

      Both of these issues could be fleshed out much more, and I hope to write on them soon.

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