Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)

B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February and March

The ongoing battle between B.C. teachers and the Ministry of Education over the administering of Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) tests to Grade 4 and 7 students has heightened in a school year made more challenging by COVID-19.

With teachers and districts working hard to create safe learning environments for students and staff the GVTA was disappointed to learn the province did not cancel FSAs for this school year, said Greater Victoria Teachers Association president Winona Waldron.

“In a regular year we oppose the FSAs, particularly how they’re used. But in this year with the amount of anxiety and stress that teachers and students are already facing, it seems ludicrous to put in a standardized test at a different time of year than normal,” Waldron said.

ALSO READ: BCTF blasts ‘one size fits all’ school COVID plan, calls for transparency from Henry, Dix

The tests are initially held in the fall, but were delayed until January as schools worked to create safe learning environments for students. Now they are scheduled to occur between Feb. 16 and March 12.

According to a statement from the ministry, districts have been given more time to administer the tests to allow greater flexibility. It added that “students have always had the option of writing the FSA remotely if an appropriate invigilator for the assessment is approved by the local school principal.”

The GVTA, along with the B.C. Teachers Federation, has renewed calls to end FSAs with Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside taking over from Rob Fleming after the fall 2020 election. The GVTA is also asking the Greater Victoria School District board of education to petition the minister to do so.

While teachers remain steadfast in their disapproval of the current model of FSA testing, Waldron said, “we’d be willing to see some sort of standardized testing in a regular year, where the results weren’t published and the results were tied to funding.”

She added the methodology used in the FSAs doesn’t fit with the new curriculum and often contains elements not being taught in local classrooms. “That skews results in favour of those who are better at using technology and better at taking tests.”

RELATED STORY: Fraser Institute delivers Greater Victoria elementary schools a mixed report card

Waldron said the GVTA plans begin its campaign soon to educate parents about the tests, options available for students and families, and how the information is used.

The ministry stated FSAs help ensure equity and quality education across the province.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
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

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
Harrison woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Some of the hundreds of pounds of trash removed by divers last month from Abbotsford’s Walmsley Lake.(Henry Wang photo)
VIDEO: Divers remove 462 pounds of trash from Abbotsford lake

Walmsley Lake dive uncovers several tires, hundreds of drink containers and a tent

Comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is scheduled to bring his Seriously? tour to Abbotsford Centre on Nov. 4 after it was cancelled twice in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Jeff Dunham’s ‘Seriously?’ tour rescheduled for Abbotsford Centre

Show set for Nov. 4 after twice being cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Once again Fraser East is among the health service delivery areas with the highest rate of COVID-19 transmission in the province. (Datawrapper)
Fraser East sees third highest rate of COVID-19 cases in B.C.

The region is seeing a sustained increase in new COVID-19 cases

Once a star player with the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team, Kayli Sartori is moving into a new role coaching the next generation of Cascades. (UFV photo)
Chilliwack’s Kayli Sartori goes from court to coach with UFV basketball Cascades

Sartori is taking a new path as part of the U-Sports female basketball apprentice coaching program

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
B.C. father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Surrey RCMP are investigating a “serious” collision near Cloverdale Saturday evening. (Curtis Kreklau photo)
Man dead after single vehicle collision in Surrey; speed possible factor

Police say vehicle collided with telephone pole at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Most Read