Education like limbo? Just keep on lowering that bar…

Ok, I had to do a quick post. There’s an article on the front cover of the Ottawa Citizen this morning, “Tolerating cheaters deserves “F” for flaky”. Oh god….is this what we’ve come to?

…a new Ottawa public school board document now circulating among schools directs teachers and principals to bend over backwards to avoid penalizing cheaters. It takes a similarly permissive approach to late assignments.

It’s all part of a provincially-driven plan to make sure that the maximum number of people graduate from high school, even if it means lowering the bar so far that cheaters and the habitually tardy can still stumble over it.

Seriously, I’ve harped on this before. I feel like they lowered the bar enough in University. Now, they’re giving the green light for plagiarism and late assignments? Seriously, what’s wrong with our society? In France my friend got a 0.5 out of 20. Their answer to her complaints? Well…at least it wasn’t negative marks! They also couldn’t believe that we here in Canada always received high grades and no one failed. What lessons are we trying to teach our youth? Don’t worry, you can always succeed no matter how hard you don’t try. Failure happens. Get over it. Let’s teach youth that lesson and maybe they won’t grow up to be babies.

These kids are going to have some serious problems when they enter the work world and we’ll have the new “modern education system” to blame.


4 thoughts on “Education like limbo? Just keep on lowering that bar…

  1. You’re so right, Jane!

    I WAS an occasional sessional prof at an Ottawa university (rhymes with “ton”). I once had a student who attended only one class and didn’t complete a single assignment. I failed her. Well – I tried. She appealed her mark. I was politely told by faculty that I had no choice but to give her a simple project assignment and she had to get a B. The unspoken implication was that I would be subjected to a whole pile of trouble if I didn’t comply… did I mention I WAS a sessional??

  2. janeporter says:

    Wow, rhymes with ‘ton’ eh? I think I know that one… (think I just spent 20k there…)

    I knew that it was hard to fail people, but I had no idea that the faculty went that out of their way to let students get away with fake successes.

    What’s Carleton’s measure of success then? Obviously not quality. Sad truth is that increased enrolment=money.

    I have to say that I loved going to Carleton and I learned a lot (life lessons mostly), but if they want to get rid of the facebook group “I went to Carleton where the K stands for kuality…” then they should rethink their stance on actual quality.

    Thanks for the comment Mitch.

  3. Jay Godse says:

    You get what you measure. So…if graduating percentages is what you are measuring in the school system, then just lower the bar on standards and ethics. Of course, the next government or two will have to deal with the effect of amoral and immoral students, and low education standards. That will then result in standardized testing and “character” education. These will improve the quality of graduates, but will lower graduation rates…and we’re back where we started.

    I know a fellow who runs a karate school where they have high standards of performance. They are measured by how many external tournament champs they produce. It is hard to advance belts after Purple. He mentiioned another school he knew of where they had slack standards. People advanced quite easily, and they had a great social atmosphere. They made tons of money. Lesson? The first club measured excellence and they got it. The second club measured money and got it at the price of excellence. (The second club prudently kept its students out of external tournaments).

    From what I have heard, at many Ontario universities, they measure headcount, and get funded accordingly. However, it costs much more to educate a 4th year than a first or second year student. The solution? Easy…let in anybody with a pulse to first year, pass them to second year no matter what. After that, let the achievers go on. The extra headcount dollars from the first & second year students is then used to fund the 3rd & 4th year students.

    In big corporations, an executive’s bonus is often tied to reducing full time headcount. So they fire people and then bring them back as contractors. Executive gets bonus, some fired folks become contractors. Looks good…the organization is now lean and mean. Then it comes time to do something new. Oops. There aren’t enough good people around who trust the executives with job security to try a new project. (Trying a new project is always risky because you lose your status as a domain expert in the old project, and domain experts are usually secure). All of a sudden, the lean & mean organization looks emaciated and irritable. Overall…bad for corporation. Good for executive. To solve problem, corporation sets up a R&D centre where your job is to work on new projects. New projects happen, followed by business success. Over time, new executives complain that R&D centre is out of touch with reality. They are folded back into the corporation. Looks good because people from R&D side still think they can take risks on new projects. Over time economic downturns whacks the risk takers…and we’re back to where we started.

    You get what you measure.

  4. […] economy” then why are we teaching to the lowest common denominator of intelligence? Why are they being so easy on us? Why aren’t we forced to do more math and science? As you can tell….I’m quite […]

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