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scantron sheet

so i was reading the other day that alberta education has decided to make math and science diploma exams entirely multiple choice.


there are so many things that annoy me about these decision that i’m going to boil them down to a few point-form general issues.

1. it’s deeply sexist. study after study has shown that females do worse on multiple choice exams putting them at a clear disadvantage by this new system. surely this is not the kind of decision that should be made without significant research into testing patterns? The education minister is careful to point out that students scored “much the same” but does not clarify if that is on average, which i assume it must be.

i question douchebag dave hancock’s finding that students score much the same on both portions of the test as a written portion provides the opportunity for part marks. i would wager that the written portion is more difficult but that the ability to provide part marks makes up for that, which leads me to my next point.

2. multiple choice exams are simply unable to properly test the intricacies and nuances of complex math and science problems that were being tested properly under the old system.

3. it puts the bottom line before anyone who will be directly affected by the decision. it’s a classic alberta government move to make a rash decision about the future of every child in the province without listening to the advice of various teacher and student groups who are opposed to this decision.

4. it only saves $1.7 million a year. lets be honest here, that’s a pittance. maybe instead the government should have thought through it’s royalty program better or actually planned for the growth in the economy that’s mismanagement has caused a sudden drop in the health of alberta as a whole.

this cut is only part of 80 million in cuts to be announced by the minister in what is sure to be a cold winter for alberta schools who were already hurting before these announcements. a cold winter, indeed.

i suppose the only possible upshot of this decision is that the hateful bigoted children “protected” from any contact with real world ideas using bill 44s will be unable to properly communicate any substantial ideas with the world in any avenue other than a multiple choice option.