Student taking a math test. (Pixabay photo)

education

BCTF, school boards giving mixed messaging on FSA testing

Parents received two letters about the annual assessment testing for students this week

Parents received conflicting information from teachers and school boards on upcoming assessment exams this week, as education groups debate the merit of provincially-mandated testing.

School boards across the province – including in Coquitlam – sent out letters this week to parents noting that teachers will be conducting Foundation Skills Assessment tests in October.

The tests, known as FSAs, test students’ knowledge on reading, writing and numeracy. the tests are given to Grade 4 and Grade 7 students.

Meanwhile, the B.C. Teachers’ Federation also sent a letter reminding parents that they can opt their child out of the testing in the event of a family emergency, lengthy illness or other extenuating circumstances.

“As we have for the past several years, teachers are asking you to request that your children be excused from these tests,” federation president Teri Mooring said in the letter. “We believe that parents who make an informed decision to ask that their children not write the tests should have their wishes respected.”

READ MORE: B.C. school trustees ask province not to release FSA results

The BCTF has denounced the annual assessment for years, claiming its an unreliable method of measuring a students progress.

“The FSA tests do not count toward your children’s marks and they do not help students learn or teachers teach,” Mooring said.

One of the biggest concerns with the tests are how the data from the tests are used. The BCTF argues that the right-leaning think tank Fraser Institute uses test results to “unfairly and inappropriately rank schools” each year, while also rarely resulting in more funding and resources to meet students’ needs.

ALSO READ: The debate over how to teach math in B.C.

In an emailed statement to Black Press Media, the ministry of education said it shared the concerns of parents, students and teachers about the use of test results by third-party groups, but argued the tests offer educators “with important early snapshots of student learning in the key areas of reading, writing and math in grades 4 and 7.”

“Assessments help to make better decisions for students – with daily planning, interventions, additional supports, and resource allocation,” the ministry said, adding that these tests are just one of many ways students are assessed as they advance through school.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Carihi Tyees win Island Championships

Senior girls volleyball team only lost two sets in the whole tournament

Campbell River RCMP look to identify four break-in suspects

Quinsam Communications had three separate break-ins Wednesday night, four suspects wanted

Stuck barge removed from Quadra, TSB on its way to investigate

‘Had it been loaded with railcars containing toxic chemicals … we may have had a serious issue’

Fish Are Food: A look at seafood sustainability

Conference at Maritime Heritage Centre to discuss food security from a marine perspective

Area director concerned about status of barge ahead of expected windy conditions

Uncertainty of Nana Provider’s hull condition adding to unease

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Most Read