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Author Topic: How would you change VCE?  (Read 1382 times)  Share 

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How would you change VCE?
« on: August 21, 2019, 12:50:58 pm »
+1
How would you change VCE??


Question from the HSC thread

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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2019, 01:37:09 pm »
0
No internal assessments. Two exams per year one at the end of first semester and one at the end of the second. Removes the often confusion aspect of scaling internal SACs. I believe this was the system a while back.
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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2019, 01:42:54 pm »
+7
1. I don't think it's fair that some students are limited by the school they go to. Everyone should have a level ground in the VCE. Schools ranked in the bottom half of the state usually will not have the same resources or ability to extend their students in the same way the schools in the top half can. The quality of education should be the same for everyone to give them a fair chance in succeeding in their own VCE journeys, rather than being penalised for going to a certain school. This doesn't mean that you can't achieve your goal ATAR if you go to a lower-ranked school, it's just that everyone realistically should be given the same quality of education.

2. It would be nice if subjects such as spesh and languages didn't scale as much as they do. I completely understand why they scale, and I'm not saying they shouldn't scale above 50, however, if you take someone doing 'easier' subjects then it's usually difficult for them to achieve as high of an ATAR. This also applies the other way around: people doing subjects just for the sake of scaling. I understand the scaling system is in place to ensure everyone has an almost equal chance through taking into consideration how hard it is rank up. But I wish there was an alternative to this that wouldn't be so hard on certain subjects (e.g. subjects that scale down by 7-10). I understand this is a contentious topic but it's just something I'd like to bring up that I think can be improved, although I'm not sure how.
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Lear

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How would you change VCE?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2019, 02:48:49 pm »
+1
1. I don't think it's fair that some students are limited by the school they go to. Everyone should have a level ground in the VCE. Schools ranked in the bottom half of the state usually will not have the same resources or ability to extend their students in the same way the schools in the top half can. The quality of education should be the same for everyone to give them a fair chance in succeeding in their own VCE journeys, rather than being penalised for going to a certain school. This doesn't mean that you can't achieve your goal ATAR if you go to a lower-ranked school, it's just that everyone realistically should be given the same quality of education.

1. How do you suggest this happens? Thereís quite a few variables such as whether itís a private school or not, the location of the school, the funding received by the school dependent on numbers, the funding that may be received by the school by parents, incoming money from fundraisers,  the use of that money by the school, the variability in general teacher competence. Also how do you measure if such a change has been successful?


I absolutely agree that there is a stupidly high advantage that people have going to selective schools or private schools or even public schools in high SES areas. However, itís an issue that is not unique to education and one with no Ďeasyí fix.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 02:50:23 pm by Lear »
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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2019, 02:51:14 pm »
+2
1. How do you suggest this happens? Thereís quite a few variables such as whether itís a private school or not, the location of the school, the funding received by the school dependent on numbers, the funding that may be received by the school by parents, incoming money from fundraisers,  the use of that money by the school, the variability in general teacher competence. Also how do you measure if such a change has been successful?


I absolutely agree that there is a stupidly high advantage that people have going to selective schools or private schools or even public schools in high SES areas. However, itís an issue that is not unique to education and one with no Ďeasyí fix.

i don't see anything wrong with students who got to a selective school. Like they've obviously worked hard to get to where they are and show that they are actually passionate about learning.
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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2019, 03:00:53 pm »
+5
I absolutely agree that there is a stupidly high advantage that people have going to selective schools or private schools or even public schools in high SES areas. However, itís an issue that is not unique to education and one with no Ďeasyí fix.

A common misconception imo. Students from these selective schools were perform just as well being placed in a lower rank school, if not almost as well. It's not the school which makes a student great, but rather the students which make the school great.

The only such place of advantage would be a private school where they have the money to be able to afford better teachers...
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 03:02:50 pm by DrDusk »
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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2019, 03:10:04 pm »
+3

A common misconception imo. Students from these selective schools were perform just as well being placed in a lower rank school, if not almost as well. It's not the school which makes a student great, but rather the students which make the school great.

Have a look at some of the most competitive courses for entry. I can only speak for Medicine personally but iím sure this is the case in other courses.

Very very few students are from your typical public school (I.e a lower ranked school) whereas, in my experience, almost 90% of the students in my course either went to a selective school or private school. Why is the case? Surely the overwhelming majority of people who have the capacity to be competitive enough to enter such courses didnít up being in a selective or private school? Why arenít we seeing more students from lower rank schools?
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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2019, 03:55:08 pm »
+2
1. I don't think it's fair that some students are limited by the school they go to. Everyone should have a level ground in the VCE. Schools ranked in the bottom half of the state usually will not have the same resources or ability to extend their students in the same way the schools in the top half can. The quality of education should be the same for everyone to give them a fair chance in succeeding in their own VCE journeys, rather than being penalised for going to a certain school. This doesn't mean that you can't achieve your goal ATAR if you go to a lower-ranked school, it's just that everyone realistically should be given the same quality of education.

This problem isn't unique to VCE, you'll find this all over the world. Additionally, it's not just the fact that "good schools produce good students", good students are also naturally drawn to good schools. A lot of the times, it's not that the quality of education makes schools like MHS, Macrob, Scotch, etc have higher-scoring students, it's that these high-achievers are naturally more drawn to these schools.

A common misconception imo. Students from these selective schools were perform just as well being placed in a lower rank school, if not almost as well. It's not the school which makes a student great, but rather the students which make the school great.

The only such place of advantage would be a private school where they have the money to be able to afford better teachers...

I completely agree. People way too often like to use 'I go to a bad school' as an excuse for not doing well without reflecting on themselves.

Very very few students are from your typical public school (I.e a lower ranked school) whereas, in my experience, almost 90% of the students in my course either went to a selective school or private school. Why is the case? Surely the overwhelming majority of people who have the capacity to be competitive enough to enter such courses didnít up being in a selective or private school? Why arenít we seeing more students from lower rank schools?

Speaking from someone who goes to a public school in regional VIC ranked in the bottom 30 schools in the state: it's not that people from 'lower ranked schools' can't do well due to the quality of education they receive. There are several reasons, from what I've seen people usually see no point in doing well.

The highest ATAR my school ever saw was a 91, the girl who got it received first-round offer to Commerce at Melbourne but she then swapped her preferences and ended up studying business at ACU. There are many, many other examples of people from my school, as well as surrounding schools, who get good results but end up going to less 'prestigious' universities or courses (or some who don't go to uni at all), because they simply don't want to.

-----

As someone who has been at one of these disadvantaged / underperforming / underrepresented public schools since year 7, I am so sick of people who treats students from schools like mine as poor victims of a heinously unequal education system. And the people at schools like mine who whine endlessly that they could "do so much better" if only they went to a better school needs to reflect on their own attitudes first.

-----

As for what I would change --- fuck subject grouping restrictions. ;D
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 04:11:41 pm by Remy33 »
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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2019, 04:22:58 pm »
+1
Have a look at some of the most competitive courses for entry. I can only speak for Medicine personally but iím sure this is the case in other courses.

Very very few students are from your typical public school (I.e a lower ranked school) whereas, in my experience, almost 90% of the students in my course either went to a selective school or private school. Why is the case? Surely the overwhelming majority of people who have the capacity to be competitive enough to enter such courses didnít up being in a selective or private school? Why arenít we seeing more students from lower rank schools?

Lower ranking schools have hardly any people who are serious about their study, and this is coming from NSW which tends to be more competitive than VIC. There are still a minority though who do really well even in 300+ ranked schools and this is because they work hard. Selective schools have their fair share of crap teachers, there's not too much of a difference in teacher quality between normal schools and selective schools(within reason). There is however when it comes to private schools..
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 04:24:45 pm by DrDusk »
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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2019, 05:06:50 pm »
+8
A common misconception imo. Students from these selective schools were perform just as well being placed in a lower rank school, if not almost as well. It's not the school which makes a student great, but rather the students which make the school great.

The only such place of advantage would be a private school where they have the money to be able to afford better teachers...
It's actually neither of these things. It's all about money. SES status has a massive influence on atar. Students from rich families are obviously more likely to go to private schools (and are also over represented in select entry schools). It's not necessarily that going to a private or select entry schools will mean you get a higher atar (although it makes it easier), it's that the people who go to those school tend to have a high SES status, and people will a high SES status, on average, get higher atars.

This is an old article but talks about it a bit. According to a quote in it (the link to the original source seems to be broken), high SES students were performing around the same level as low SES students in year nine but went on to get atars 10 points higher (on average).
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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2019, 05:28:58 pm »
0
It's actually neither of these things. It's all about money. SES status has a massive influence on atar. Students from rich families are obviously more likely to go to private schools (and are also over represented in select entry schools). It's not necessarily that going to a private or select entry schools will mean you get a higher atar (although it makes it easier), it's that the people who go to those school tend to have a high SES status, and people will a high SES status, on average, get higher atars.

This is an old article but talks about it a bit. According to a quote in it (the link to the original source seems to be broken), high SES students were performing around the same level as low SES students in year nine but went on to get atars 10 points higher (on average).

Yes definitely because usually the importance of study and doing well in high school is more emphasized in families of higher SES. However not everyone in selective schools is of high SES, a lot of them also tend to be from an average SES. However it does not disprove the point that I made and which you highlighted.
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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2019, 06:12:02 pm »
+6
Not everybody from a selective school comes from a wealthy background. However we can't deny that, at least in Victoria, the majority of them do. It'd be nice to bridge this gap.

Quote from: My School Fact Sheet ó Guide to understanding ICSEA Values
The Index of Community Socio-educational Advantage (ICSEA) is a scale of socio-educational advantage that is computed for each school [...] ICSEA values are calculated on a scale which has a median of 1000 and a standard deviation of 100. ICSEA values typically range from approximately 500 (representing extremely educationally disadvantaged backgrounds) to about 1300 (representing schools with students with very educationally advantaged backgrounds). ACARA calculates an ICSEA value for all schools for which sufficient aggregate-level data is available.
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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2019, 06:13:57 pm »
+4
Yes definitely because usually the importance of study and doing well in high school is more emphasized in families of higher SES. However not everyone in selective schools is of high SES, a lot of them also tend to be from an average SES. However it does not disprove the point that I made and which you highlighted.

It would not surprise me if the importance of education is emphasised more in higher SES families but I would suggest that that's unlikely to be the only or main factor advantaging high SES students. There certainly are impacts beyond just 'work ethic' for example, at my (disadvantaged) school, specialist maths and English Language were not offered as subjects. I wasn't allowed to study spec at all & had to study eng lang by distance ed where I received minimal feedback. You may not be aware of how vce scaling works, but specialist is the 'hard' maths and is one of the few subjects that can scale above 50. The only other subjects that can scale above 50 are languages and I had to discontinue the language I was studying due to a timetable clash with biology. Due to this, even if I had received perfect scores in all of my subjects, it's unlikely that I would have received a 99.95 ATAR.

As to what I'd change about VCE - I'd like there to be no subjects scaling above 50 and less emphasis on ranking.
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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2019, 06:17:11 pm »
+4
Focusing on just the idea of learning and exploration, rather than making VCE a high-stakes competition where scaling, ranks, scores are dominant in students' minds.

Scaling hinders student choice and ability to explore career paths - given during Year 12 we expect students to choose a post-school pathway (e.g. specific university course).

In general, I absolutely hate the VCE system overall. I completely understand that we need a way to rank all students in the state and scaling provides equity across all subjects albeit 'easy' and 'hard', but unfortunately this also has negative consequences.

I also feel that exams promote the idea of rote learning rather than authentic learning experiences. Remembering a definition for example - does this help students and their learning and why? What value does asking for the definition (on its own) with 1-2 marks attached, have? Exams to focus on the practical application of their subject discipline/area. What alternatives could there be in place of exams? Could students demonstrate an understanding of what they've learnt without having to go through a high-stakes one-time written exam where it determines quite a bit..?

You have to at least query what negative impacts the competitiveness and obsession with numbers, has... you don't have to look far to see the impact of the "numbers game". Just go have a look at the Victorian Technical Score Discussion board.
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Re: How would you change VCE?
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2019, 06:25:44 pm »
+3
It would not surprise me if the importance of education is emphasised more in higher SES families but I would suggest that that's unlikely to be the only or main factor advantaging high SES students. There certainly are impacts beyond just 'work ethic' for example, at my (disadvantaged) school, specialist maths and English Language were not offered as subjects. I wasn't allowed to study spec at all & had to study eng lang by distance ed where I received minimal feedback. You may not be aware of how vce scaling works, but specialist is the 'hard' maths and is one of the few subjects that can scale above 50. The only other subjects that can scale above 50 are languages and I had to discontinue the language I was studying due to a timetable clash with biology. Due to this, even if I had received perfect scores in all of my subjects, it's unlikely that I would have received a 99.95 ATAR.

As to what I'd change about VCE - I'd like there to be no subjects scaling above 50 and less emphasis on ranking.

Absolutely agree with this. Yes, some subjects are harder than others such as Specialist and Further, however, subjects should not scale past a 50. It's just unfair in the end, especially to other low scaling subjects. It's already hard enough to get a 50 in some subjects, but letting certain subjects scale above 50 just because of how challenging it really does show how unbalanced the VCE system really is. We are all just playing a game of "number cat and mouse" and really the ideas of ranking and scaling are consuming us all slowly were in the end, most will struggle to enjoy the experience of learning.
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