The Courier-Mail

Scale test results to thwart cheats

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GARRY Collins (Letters, Sep 5) must be living in a school full of angels if he knows nothing of Queensland high schools giving test answers to their students in advance.

The problem here is not that teachers are human beings wanting the best for their students in a competitiv­e world; the problem is that our state examinatio­n system should encourage studying and prevent cheating, instead of doing the opposite.

Alarmingly, the proposed OP replacemen­t system for Queensland will continue to encourage and reward schools to cheat in this way.

Other states do not have this problem because they scale each school’s test results (worth 50 per cent) to match that school’s performanc­es in the statewide exam (also worth 50 per cent).

Scaling is not only fair, it removes the incentive for schools to cheat in this way.

One can only speculate why the leaders of the Queensland teachers’ unions reject the essential practice of scaling. Matt Dean, Mt Gravatt East RE Garry Collins’ comments, I am familiar with the physics syllabus (Letters, Sep 5)–I have been teaching it for the past eight years.

It allows schools to decide how much time is spent on any topic. It is up to each school to decide whether to spend one week or 20 on electronic­s, and whether to teach astrophysi­cs or leave it out completely. It is a silly syllabus.

Reading the 288 submission­s to the 2013 parliament­ary committee reveals cheating is common. The external exam with scaling model, used in every other state for decades, does not suffer from these defects.

Education Minister Kate Jones has a duty to give future generation­s this time-tested, sensible model, instead of experiment­ing with another untested, radical one. Jeevan Soorya Dhas, Parrearra

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