A Quick Note on Marty and the Media

I’ve pondered doing this post a few times, at various stages, but it felt like it would be grandstanding and so I left off. I’ll do it now.

I started this blog in 2017, after Burkard and I had ended our various popularising activities, and after I’d had enough of the MAV (and vice versa). Things in Australian maths education were, and are, an unmitigated mess, and the MAV and everyone didn’t want to know about it. The blog was an easy way to state easy truths, which no one else had a mind to say. There was no intention other than to say what I thought, with no sense that it would do any good other than to make me feel a little better. A couple years ago, that began to change. Continue reading “A Quick Note on Marty and the Media”

Deloitte, Gniel and VCAA’s Falsehoods

The background to this post is here.

Although the Deloitte review of VCAA’s mathematics exams was a sham, designed to conclude nothing of substance, the final Deloitte report nonetheless contains some well-hidden but damning conclusions. Having finally been permitted to read the report, it now seems clear to me that VCAA repeatedly lied about these conclusions: to me and Burkard; to John Kermond; to at least two media outlets; and thus, by extension, to the general public. It also seems clear that the fundamental responsibility for what was, at the bare minimum, a shameful deception sits with Stephen Gniel, then CEO of VCAA and now CEO of ACARA. Continue reading “Deloitte, Gniel and VCAA’s Falsehoods”

Deloitte, QCAA and NESA

This is the first part of a double-post. It was initially one long(er) post, but it seemed preferable to split off the background, on aspects of the Deloitte review, into its own post, which is below. The substance proper is in the next post. I’ve also written on the Deloitte story here, but there are new details in the following.
Continue reading “Deloitte, QCAA and NESA”

Stephen Gniel Falls Upwards to ACARA

Yesterday, ACARA and the Federal Minister for Education announced that Stephen Gniel had been appointed to a three year term as CEO of ACARA. Gniel was selected by the ACARA Board following a “competitive selection process”, noting Gniel “brings to ACARA a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience in education …”. Neither media release addressed the follow-up question, of whether, with this “wealth” of knowledge and expertise and experience, Gniel had ever failed to screw anything up.

Continue reading “Stephen Gniel Falls Upwards to ACARA”

Tell VCAA What You Think. Now!

You have four days left to complete VCAA’s questionnaire on the loathsome mathematics Study Design. Do it. Consider completing this task the fee for all the jokes and the catharsis provided by this blog.

Of course you needn’t parrot the views of this blog. You needn’t note that the current loathsome Study Design is loathsome. There is no requirement to note that CAS poisons everything and that, other than Outer Mongolia or somewhere, there‚Äôs not another region in the World that imposes this technocrap in the manner of VCAA, and that there’s not an iota of evidence that this technocrap is of any proper purpose or benefit whatsoever. You may skip mentioning that pseudocode is pointless and that “algorithmic thinking”, if anything at all, is just a trashed version of mathematical reasoning. There is no obligation to highlight that hypothesis testing at the school level is pointless and unanchored garbage, loathed far and wide, including by professors of statistics. You can stay absolutely silent about the need for a senior mathematics curriculum to be based around properly deep and mutually reinforcing topics, and that this hasn’t been seen in Victoria since John Batman wandered up the Yarra. I will not be making any suggestions whatsoever of what you might say. It is totally up to you.

But do it. Please. Continue reading “Tell VCAA What You Think. Now!”

VCAA’s Welcome, Cowardly Redactions

It’s difficult get a handle on VCAA these days, which seems to be suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder. There are some indications of significant and positive change but there also signs of businessing as usual. To be clear, the MPD is a dramatic improvement over VCAA’s previous decades of unceasing sociopathy and narcissism. But it also makes it difficult to comment on VCAA doings right now, since the mixed messages mean that we don’t know which VCAA is in control. Such is the case with VCAA’s recent exam redactions. Continue reading “VCAA’s Welcome, Cowardly Redactions”

VCAA Wants to Know What You Think

That title may be a trifle strong. But at least VCAA is giving you the option of saying what you think.

VCAA has just launched a questionnaire on the mathematics Study Design, specifically on whether there is a need for review (hat tip, John.) The link is here, and the questionnaire can also be found down the stairs at the bottom of each subject webpage, in the fine print. Behind the door with the sign, “Beware of the leopard”. Continue reading “VCAA Wants to Know What You Think”