Bell Curve - To remove or not to remove?

Unlike entry to Primary Schools, admission into Secondary Schools is based on meritocracy. PSLE results are used as key admission criteria. Discuss everything related to PSLE and selection of Secondary Schools here.

Bell Curve - To remove or not to remove?

Postby Will_lim » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:13 am

I've come across a great blog and want to share it here:

http://hedgehogcomms.blogspot.sg/2012/10/piecing-together-psle-puzzle.html

The article has really made me to ponder over my views about PSLE results. As they are calculated based on the bell curve or t-score (your relative score), I'm more convinced that this is a fairer type of assessment since it takes into account other variables (e.g. difficulty of the papers). But witnessing so many children nowadays have been stressed, pressured and even gone hysterical, I wonder if it can help to de-stress the kids if the bell curve system is removed.

The blogger has pointed out:

"Ranking fosters competition and discourages collaboration because it becomes a race where it's about outrunning your rivals rather than performing to the best of your ability. I'd rather score an A and have my schoolmates score Bs than score an A* along with everyone else."

I quite agree with him on this idea that this system is actually promoting an unhealthy competition.

For myself personally, I have been discouraged and depressed very much during my school years as despite how hard I kept trying, I seldom got the grades I wanted. I guess maybe a sense of achievement or a little of satisfaction could have made my school life better and more enjoyable!

Will_lim
YellowBelt
YellowBelt
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:50 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: Bell Curve - To remove or not to remove?

Postby PhoBIA » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:40 am

Why can't both the raw and t score be made known to the student?

PhoBIA
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:28 am
Total Likes: 0


Re: Bell Curve - To remove or not to remove?

Postby Nebbermind » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:37 am

Personally, the lesser made known, the better!! :wink:

Nebbermind
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 14656
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:40 am
Total Likes: 148


Re: Bell Curve - To remove or not to remove?

Postby BeContented » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:48 am

Nebbermind wrote:Personally, the lesser made known, the better!! :wink:


Agree to this.

BeContented
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 3670
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:25 am
Total Likes: 84


Re: Bell Curve - To remove or not to remove?

Postby janet88 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:04 am

BeContented wrote:
Nebbermind wrote:Personally, the lesser made known, the better!! :wink:


Agree to this.


I agree. Lesser to see, lesser to ponder.

janet88
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 33737
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:37 am
Total Likes: 111



Re: Bell Curve - To remove or not to remove?

Postby AWSP » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:08 am

The Bell Curve's evil is in the distortion in weighting. Mother Tongue becomes the heaviest weighted apparently because of the 'profile' of the cohort. A very apparent symptom from past years observation is that is that the top scorers have typically very strong command of second language. You do not see top scorers who demonstrate strong maths or science or english skills over the rest of the subjects. You may also try to guess the profile of last years top scorers which coincidentally has a "significant" number of Malay students. The distribution in Mother tongue is most logically not a bell curve but a hump shaped curve or a very left skewed distribution. A skewed distribution will create a lot of distortion. I think this part is totally unforeseen by the folks in MOE and they are not willing to admit the problem.
Based on immigration trend, I would place a bet that this years top 10 scorers will have a good representation by Tamil students. (Another skewing effect).
To the more statistically trained people, I am saying that 3rd moment effect is quite logically present given our children's profile in mother tongue. The disortionary effect is worse and more drastic than the 2nd moment effect(standard deviation).
The pressure in PSLE is not due to T-score but the competitive entry into the top IP school with limited placing. It doesnt matter which way you design your scoring as long as demand exceed supply by a huge mile.

AWSP
OrangeBelt
OrangeBelt
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:11 pm
Total Likes: 1


Re: Bell Curve - To remove or not to remove?

Postby SAHM_TAN » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:27 am

IP track is not for everyone.

Regardless of how the scores are generated, there are plenty of decent sec schools around, open eyes and will see that there are more than handful.

We seem to have come to a stage, at least it feels here, that in primary school scoring marks in the region of 70s-80s is a horrible grade.

SAHM_TAN
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 10963
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:47 am
Total Likes: 30


Re: Bell Curve - To remove or not to remove?

Postby AWSP » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:10 pm

Rhetoric has limited effect. Taking away the banding and telling people that every school has its merit is not going to work. In finance and economics lingo, the market is always efficient. The price of entry into a school aka "PSLE Tscore" will always reflect the demand. You cannot create enough market noise to convince someone with 260+ to forsake RI and go to "Adams Road School" and let someone with 220 try and get into RI in place.
Of course if desired, you can always "do central planning and allocation" ie hold a lottery for the placement of students into secondary schools. (if the assumption that all schools are equal holds). All pressure and stress will be gone then.

AWSP
OrangeBelt
OrangeBelt
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:11 pm
Total Likes: 1


Re: Bell Curve - To remove or not to remove?

Postby SAHM_TAN » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:17 pm

Will a student who score 220 be able to thrive in RI? Assuming that 220 is consistent with the child's academic performance in school.

SAHM_TAN
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 10963
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:47 am
Total Likes: 30


Re: Bell Curve - To remove or not to remove?

Postby kamom » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:25 pm

SAHM_TAN wrote:Will a student who score 220 be able to thrive in RI? Assuming that 220 is consistent with the child's academic performance in school.


It all depends what the school wants to do. If RI decides to focus on giving every child an opportunity to stidy in their school regardless, then why not?

What aboout feeder schools. The T-score for feeder schools is always lower for their own kind but higher for 'outsiders'. I always wonder if it is fair.

A child with a T-score of 200 can get into their feeder school.
A child wth a T-score of 220 can't get in cos' no "connection".

If a T-score of 220 cannot thrive in the school, how can a T-score of 200 survive???

kamom
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:21 pm
Total Likes: 0


Next

Return to Secondary Schools - Selection