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19
Dec 01
Wed

HSC

HSC UAI marks out. They’re still suppressing results after the Daily Telegraph/Mt Druitt fiasco in 97 (just in time for when I took my HSC in 98). That’s the strange thing about this country – sporting achievement is leagues above any other type of achievement. In this case, academic achievement is seemingly being played down. There’s something to be said when the government feels that Year 12 students that underperform in the HSC must be protected from “feeling too bad about themselves”. It may be that it is related to the tall poppy syndrome inherent in Aussie culture, where playing fields are leveled. Because the new merit lists don’t take into account relative subject difficulty, weaker students have greater opportunity to appear in the lists, whereas stronger students may miss out.

The result of this suppression of information about academic performance is that many top students miss out on any mention in these well-publicised merit lists. There are a great many students who achieve an excellent overall result – scoring a UAI of over 90 which puts them in the top 10 per cent of the state – but fail to be mentioned on a single merit list. To demonstrate this, the Herald asked eight of Sydney’s leading private schools – (public schools are not permitted to release UAI results) – to provide results gathered from last year’s HSC students, selecting out those students who achieved a UAI of 90 or more and seeing how many missed out on a merit listing.

The results were startling. In schools such as Sydney Grammar, SCECGS Redlands, SCEGGS Darlinghurst and The Scots College, almost half of these high achievers failed to gain a mention. At Sydney Grammar, for instance, 64 of the 130 students who got UAIs above 90 were not on the merit list. At Ascham, Newington, Ravenswood and Trinity more than a third with UAIs of over 90 missed the list. One state headmaster, who would not be named, said similar patterns existed for the higher performing public schools. Similar distortions occur in the publication of what the Board of Studies has called its “all-rounders list” – comprising students who appear on merit lists in at least 10 units.

Responses:

Can’t believe that UAi comes out day after. It’s BS. Can print every name in City-Surf, but can’t print 100 UAI.
– Kev (via SMS)