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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Pilot project aims to boost entrepreneurial women in the Okanagan

W Venture, a collaborative project, is open for applications until the end of July

Cyclist struck by vehicle in West Kelowna

The cyclist was transported to hospital by ambulance

Police searching for missing Lake Country man

David Anthony Jenken, 65, was reported missing Friday and was last seen on June 28

‘Justice for Mona’ protests planned in Kelowna, Lower Mainland

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Shuswap resident spots waterspout near Salmon Arm

The rare weather event was spotted early in the morning on July 4.

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Seymour Arm landslide interrupts drinking water to 500 people

The July 3 slide damaged a water system and a logging road.

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read