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May 10, 2005

Relative values

Both Jacqueline Passey and Tyler Cowen comment on new “trauma bonuses” for students taking British high-school exams:

GCSE and A-level pupils in England are given 5% more if a parent dies close to exam day or 4% for a distant relative.
They get 2% more if a pet dies or 1% if they get a headache. Critics say the system panders to an “excuse for everything” attitude.

It’s the, uh, relative values that trouble me more. The death of a parent is worth only one percentage point more than the passing of great-aunt Miriam, who you haven’t seen for ten years? Only two percentage points more than “witnessing a distressing event”—a particularly harrowing episode of Buffy?—on the day of the exam? And is Fido’s demise really no more stressful than a bout of hay fever?

Hey, somebody has to ask the deep questions…

Posted by Stephen at 1:00 AM in Education | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

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I've been distracted from my midterms all week from other Whedon-induced trauma (saw the sneak preview of Serenity). Where's my bonus points??? :)

Posted by: Jacqueline at May 10, 2005 1:58 PM