I recently learned something that greatly concerned me about high school education in Queensland. It seems teachers are not allowed to mark exams and assignments in the same manner we do at university. i.e. one gains or loses specific marks for specific actions such as getting the correct answer, including units in the calculation, stating what law or principle or equation one is using, drawing a relevant diagram. Instead, assessment is "criteria based". This means students get credit if teachers can tick off certain broadly based and pre-determined criteria, which seem to rarely get more specific than "using adequate quantitative reasoning". This significantly muddies the waters about right and wrong answers. Marking becomes a much more complicated exercise and more subjective.
I talked two physics and maths teacher about this and they agreed that it is ridiculous, but their hands are tied by the state government education bureaucracy.
I found learning this quite helpful because it may explain why increasingly I encounter students at university who cannot solve problems (especially in exam situations) in the manner I expect.
To me this underscores the value of the International Baccalaureate as an alternative. There are now high schools in Brisbane (both public and private) which offer this as an option. I like it because it is internationally bench-marked and not subject to local political fashions.