School uniformity and failed exams
La Presse notes that summer day camps are pretty casual and the city doesn’t enforce any standards, this following from the near-drowning of a small boy on a day camp outing to Île Notre-Dame beach.
But then today there are stories about so many kids failing their provincial exams, which are definitely centrally controlled. Rigid, uniform organization doesn’t always work out so well in these matters either.
CBC radio had various students today saying they were stunned to find they had flunked exams on subjects in which they’d been doing well. Many kids are now having to do summer courses and retake their exams.
A change of curriculum is being blamed. But I challenge the government to show us the exam papers, both the French and the English ones, so we can compare them and see how accurately the English ones were translated from French.
Back when I did my provincial high school exams, there were several that were so poorly translated that all the results were “put on a bell curve” – bureaucratese for adjusting them upwards because parts of the exams were incomprehensible gibberish, and some multiple choice questions had no correct answer while others had more than one, and they didn’t want to admit it, but they knew it how bad it would look to flunk hundreds of kids the same year in the same subjects.
More than once since my high school years there has been news of provincial exams being bungled in this way. I wonder if these kids having to toil through their summer to retake exams have not been shafted because of linguistic blunders from the education ministry.
But now it’s easier to flunk a bunch of anglo students rather than admit your department can’t produce an exam paper that actually makes any sense. Show us the exam papers, Mme Courchesne.