I'm a retired controls engineer (Mechanical).
I can look all over and that doesn't make the bike turn. That's simply not how a two wheeled vehicle is steered. I have a big disagreement with the MSF emphasis on this rather than a more detailed presentation on countersteer, and what these rolling boobytraps means to someone being crowded by say a guard rail.
Also, the MSF course I took never talked about starting on a hill with a heavy bike using all four appendages. The instructors said it was too complicated. My daughter dropped her Honda about 3 times on the first errand in a non flat area with stp signs. I could not introduce the concept of using the bike controls to hold things at a stop sign, rather than flat foot your feet on the ground - "but Dad, that not what they said to do!"
I gave up. The MSF course needs help.
No where in the MSF, BRC curriculum is it stated that turning your head and looking through curves is a substitute for counter-steering. Although there is not a single exercise where the stated learning objective is "turn your head and look through the corner" that deficiency among novice riders is more than likely corrected most often during all of the training. Where as a number of exercises are dedicated to having the students learn the importance of counter-sterring and understanding the feedback the motorcycle is providing when counter-steering. As an engineer I am sure you have a detailed understanding of gyroscopic precession, camber thrust, and the centrifugal forces at play when turning a two wheeled vehicle. On occasion a student will ask for and is given a more detailed explanation of counter-steering above the "Press right or left to go right or left." However I think you need to consider, this is the Basic Riders Course. For a novice rider the 5 hours in the classroom and 10 hours on the range is already akin to drinking from a fire hose. I consider it a success if my students, at the end of the class have good understanding and can demonstrate basic clutch and throttle control, have the ability to stop quickly and safely, exercise good low speed balance and negotiate curves using the Slow, Look, Press and Roll technique. Although successful completion of the BRC will get you an "M" endorsement, as stated by others, if you are a new rider all passing means is your qualified to ride a small motorcycle in an empty parking lot. The BRC does not and is/was never intended to produce street ready riders.
The techniques for moving from a stop on a hill is covered during the BRC. In fact two methods to accomplish that skill are demonstrated during one of the training videos. Granted a lot of time is not dedicated to it but again the purpose of the course is to give students the ability to practice on their own in a safe environment.
only one failed the riding test because she dropped the bike in the figure 8 portion. Actually, I thought she probably was more competent than others who passed. But IL required that she be failed for dropping the bike. Seems kind of silly to me.
The end of course riding evaluation is similar to the Alt-Most riding exam administered by most states DMV's About the only difference is the required satisfactory demonstration of the correct cornering technique as stated above. In no states that I am aware of are you permitted to drop your motorcycle when taking a riding test for a license to operate on the street. Seems kind of silly to me if you were.
I teach a lot of BRC's and have my own issues with parts of the curriculum, the only thing I ask, is if your going to criticize or critique the BRC then do it within the context of the intended purpose of the course. That being, providing new riders the BASIC skills of motorcycle operation.