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

Overhead lights have been installed at the Oliver skatepark so kids can enjoy the park longer during winter hours. (Argon photo)
Community lights up Oliver skatepark, calling it a ‘game changer’ for youth

Both the dog park and Small Wheels Skatepark have lighting now

Pathways
LETTER: Pathways chair says ‘wet houses’ can be part of solution but only with proper supports

Sherry Ure says we need to all come together and help our neighbours

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Chelsea Ishizuka was borned and raised in Penticton but has now moved to Japan. When she found out there was a popular restaurant there named after Penticton, she had to go check it out. Here she is with the owner (right). (Facebook)
Popular restaurant in Japan named after city of Penticton

A Pentictonite now living in Tokyo discovered the eatery and the history behind its name

There is no true picture of how many youth in Penticton are experiencing housing instability or true homelessness. The Foundry and the city of Penticton are trying to find that out.
How many youth are experiencing homelessness in Penticton?

Foundry Penticton and the City have partnered on a youth survey open until March 13

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
One of two Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreaks declared over

One outbreak declared over after two deaths, seven cases; another outbreak remains ongoing in the hospital

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna care home after 12 cases noted

Two staff members and 10 residents at Cottonwoods Care Centre have tested positive for COVID-19

Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary has teamed up with Globox on a fundraising raffle for its graduating class of 2021. (Photo supplied)
Okanagan secondary school grads glowing over fundraiser

Kalamalka Secondary teams with company on fundraising raffle, replacing annual apple pie fundraiser

(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

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Most Read