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

Just Posted

Commercial plaza proposed for Rocky Creek and Ludlow intersection

Town Council directed the application proceed for further consideration

Symphony pop-up concerts coming to Saltair

Only 40 tickets available so get them soon if you’re interested

South Wellington Elementary demolition not taking place next school year

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public School trustees vote against razing south-end school in 2020/21

One piper piping during the pandemic

Tribute to health care workers reaches the 100th performance

Town of Ladysmith receives $3.3 million grant for Arts & Heritage Hub

The funds will go to creating artist studios around the Machine Shop and maintaining heritage assets

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Most Read