The Stability of Stupidity

We’ve been pondering VCAA’s weird defence of their 2022 exam questions, and we decided to investigate a little. We’ll write more on this soon, but for now just a quick post on something very unsurprising that we stumbled upon in the Year 12 Specialist texts. The following is an exercise that appears in both Jacaranda and Nelson (but not in Cambridge): Continue reading “The Stability of Stupidity”

VCAA’s Defence of the Indefensible 2022 Exam Questions

The most maddening aspect of VCAA is their steadfast refusal to admit error. Typically, VCAA simply will not engage and whatever nonsense they’ve written remains written. 2022 was different, however, in that Burkard and I badgered VCAA sufficiently for VCAA to decide to conduct an external review(s). As well, a mathematics teacher complained strongly enough and unwaveringly enough about the four bad Specialist Mathematics questions that a substantial response to his specific objections was required. Continue reading “VCAA’s Defence of the Indefensible 2022 Exam Questions”

Did VCAA Misgrade the 2022 Exams and, if so, Why?

This will be my last VCAA post for a while. I’m sick of it all. And, anyway, it’s now a matter of waiting to see what the Minister and the newly acting CEO of VCAA will do. I think both of them have demonstrated some genuine interest in repairing the mathematics exams, and I think both of them deserve an honest shot at it, without a nasty blogger sniping at them. But, there’s one last post I think must be written.

One of the lingering puzzles of VCAA’s Deloitte Debacle is why VCAA were so determined to game their mathematics exam reviews so much. VCAA were clearly determined beyond all plausibility to ensure that Deloitte examined nothing beyond trivialities, and it seems VCAA didn’t let a proper mathematician get within a country mile of the exam questions. But why? Sure, the 2022 exams were, as always, bad, with, as always, bad errors, and any halfway honest review would have been plenty embarrassing. But bureaucratic deceit can only hide so much, and not nearly as much as VCAA had to hide. So now, rather than simply looking like a gang of clowns, VCAA looks like a gang of deceitful clowns.  Continue reading “Did VCAA Misgrade the 2022 Exams and, if so, Why?”

Critique of the 2023 Victorian VCE Mathematics Exams

Sorry guys, it ain’t gonna happen. Burkard’s and my 2022 critique was time-consuming and exhausting and stressful. We’re not doing it again. Ever. So, for this year the Discussion posts (here, here, here, here, here, here and here), and the Errors post will have to do. Continue reading “Critique of the 2023 Victorian VCE Mathematics Exams”

A Student Petition on the VCE Exams

A group called High School Activate has launched a petition, to the VCAA and the Victorian Minister for Education, on the VCE errors business. I obviously agree with and support plenty (but not all) in the letter. But just to be clear, I have no idea who HSA are, and they definitely aren’t me or associated with me.

Presumably the intention is for the petition to be signed by current and finishing school students, but it’s up to you/HSA.

Continue reading “A Student Petition on the VCE Exams”

Open Letter to the Victorian Minister for Education

As I wrote about briefly, in December last year Burkard and I wrote a critique of the VCE mathematics exams, which was to form the basis of VCAA’s external review. As I’ve just written, here, dealing with VCAA was incredibly frustrating. More importantly, the overview VCAA released to us has entirely hidden the substance of the external review, and/but the review seems to be nothing more than distraction and whitewash. In particular, there still seems to be no clear appreciation within VCAA that mathematical truth is a thing, and that properly qualified mathematicians are by far the best judges of that thing.

Continue reading “Open Letter to the Victorian Minister for Education”

Witch 113: Smoothing Over the Cracks

This one is a combo WitCH. The main concern is a multiple choice question from last week’s Methods Exam 2. The question may not be an “error” in the newspaper sense, but it is bad. To appreciate some (but far from all) of its badness, however, we need to see VCAA’s solution. We won’t likely see that solution, however however, for months, if ever; transparency is not VCAA’s strong suit (Section 7).

To deal with this, we’ve teamed up last week’s MCQ with a similar MCQ from the 2021 Exam 2, together with VCAA’s solution to that earlier question from the exam report. Last week’s question appears first. Continue reading “Witch 113: Smoothing Over the Cracks”