Vernon School District supports tests teachers call ‘socially damaging’

While teachers continue to protest what they believe is an unnecessary test, the Vernon School District believes there is some merit to the process.

Grade 4 and 7 students will soon be writing the annual Foundation Skills Assessments.

“They are based on B.C.  curriculum and reflect the province of B.C.,” said Bev Rundell, district superintendent.

“We have used the results around indicators for schools (with learning assistant students). How do we support students challenged in certain areas?”

But Rundell admits she has some concerns about  how one group uses the FSA results.

“I don’t agree with the Fraser Institute using it to rank schools. They are just one indicator of what goes on in schools,” she said.

The Vernon Teachers Association suggests the FSAs will direct learning towards preparation for annual tests that measure only a narrow range of abilities.

“The more importance we place on the FSA, the more time and resources we steal from real learning and the expense of the  testing leaves fewer financial resources for students in classrooms,” said Kevin Bader, VTA president.

“We do not object to testing and assessment. In fact, we assess the learning of our students in many ways each day, using a wide variety of measures, including tests.”

Like Rundell,  the VTA also opposes the Fraser Institute using the FSA results for ranking schools.

Parents are being urged by the union to withdraw their children from the FSAs.

“Teachers feel the tests are both educationally unsound and socially damaging,” said Bader.

However, Rundell says there are limited reasons for students to not write the FSAs and they involve medical emergencies.

“The School Act speaks of the duties of teachers, administrators and districts and we have to administer the FSAs,” she said.


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Emission limits set for B.C. LNG producers
Alberta artist to sing from the soul
Family of the corn
Latina loving life in Viper den
Date set for murder trial of Terrace girl in Kamloops
Old BC Hydro dams could be removed
Space beneath bear statue gets $40,000 upgrade
Jon Stewart, Obama, Elizabeth Warren sound off on American government shutdown
Relive the David Thompson brigade this weekend in Rossland

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.