October 3rd 2009

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Government push for sell-off of Telstra's infrastructure

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Union warning on China free trade agreement

EDITORIAL: Re-opening the case of the Balibo Five

WAR ON TERROR: The deadly peril still very much in our midst

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Misguided move for women in combat roles

ECONOMY: Development bank now urgently needed

TASMANIA: Can the Apple Isle become Australia's food bowl

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS: Policy-makers still refusing to face reality

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: Rudd Government ignores abortion link to maternal deaths

POPULATION: Solving the world food problem

The man who fed the developing world

OPINION: No apology after latest outburst from PM Rudd

Deplorable standards (letter)

Melting pot (letter)

Safer nuclear energy option (letter)

Obama changes tune on troops (letter)

CINEMA: Award-winning film about slain journalists - Balibo (rated M)

CINEMA: Deliver us from this left-liberal 'moralising' - The Soloist (rated M)

BOOK REVIEW: THE PLAN: Twelve Months to Renew Britain, by Douglas Carswell and Daniel Hannan

BOOK REVIEW: INSIDE THE STALIN ARCHIVES: Discovering the New Russia, by Jonathan Brent

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Deplorable standards (letter)

by Dr Frank Mobbs

News Weekly, October 3, 2009

Reid Buckley's report on the deplorable standards in some US universities (News Weekly, September 19, 2009), stimulated my memory.

In 1967, I was lecturing in a Canadian university. I graded the essay-style examination papers, awarding a Fail to "Dale", then submitted the results to the department board.

The head of department called a meeting of the board of five members. He drew attention to the Fail awarded "Dale". He asked me to reconsider the grading and award her a Pass. "On what grounds?" I asked. "She wants to be a teacher", he replied.

I told him it was my duty to prevent someone's becoming a teacher when she was so ignorant. "But her mother is member of our board of trustees," he said. "Reconsider."

I returned to my office and fished out the exam paper. On it I had written, "On no account allow this student to pass." I reported to the board that I could not change the grade. "Okay," said the head. "The registrar wants the results now. I'll phone him."

Three weeks later, on graduation day, "Dale" came up on stage a few metres in front of me and received her diploma and hood.

I resigned.

Dr Frank Mobbs,
Gosford, NSW

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