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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Council talks trash: New garbage bylaw in the works

Draft bylaw to be voted on at Monday, May 25 council meeting

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

Prospera Credit Union, Westminster Savings lay off over 100 staff following historic merge

2020 merger was largest credit-union merger in Canadian history

‘Service beyond the classroom’: Gerry Palmer wins UFV award

Palmer has been involved with UFV for more than 30 years, starting as an instructor

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

RCMP confirm man dead in Chilliwack shooting incident

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read