Failed testConfusion is growing over a question on the physics section of the 2007 state-run College Scholastic Ability Test. Against this backdrop, the controversy reflects deeper problems within the current education system. The government’s failed educational policies -- such as the irrational nine-grade system, no educational attention to students’ academic differences and the education authorities’ irresponsibility -- caused extensive damage to students.
What an abnormal situation that a student who got a correct answer on the physics question from a theoretical perspective by studying harder than others was thought to have given the wrong answer.
The question itself was wrong from the outset. It did not make it clear whether the molecule of an “ideal gas” is one atom or two. However, the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation made an excuse for its own mistake by saying, “The high school curriculum is mainly focused on the molecule consisting of one atom. Therefore, the question should be premised on the single atom.”
It responded with an irresponsible attitude even though a college hopeful who studied harder and has higher scholastic ability was disadvantaged.
The authorities will do nothing. Are they saying that intensive and in-depth education, as common in developed nations, is an evil from their perspective? The institute could not refute the argument raised by the Korean Physics Society against the question, but it chose to remain idle as if it was blissfully unaware of the problem.
More than 19,500 students sat for the Physics II examination. The Education Ministry and Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation maintain that if they allow multiple correct answers, it will lead to great confusion in the already-finished temporary university admission and the ongoing regular admission.
However, that sounds like a helpless excuse justified by the principle of convenience. If the authorities disclosed the original test scores or at least the standard scores as they did in the past, such mistakes could be corrected easily. However, such conduct is very hard to correct under the current grading system.
The damage of the failed grading system is arousing concern nationwide. In this regard, the first thing that the authorities should do is to recognize the multiple correct answers honestly without waiting for upcoming legal disputes. Then they should devise and implement comprehensive remedies as soon as possible in order to correct the damage done to innocent students.
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