Chilliwack teachers call LRB ruling unethical

Final grades for Chilliwack students in grades 10 and 11 will be issued, but many teachers say they won't be accurate.

Hundreds of members of the Chilliwack Teachers’ Association took part in a demonstration walk along Spadina Avenue following a study session at the Landing Sports Centre on Monday morning.

Final grades for students in grades 10 and 11 will be issued, but several Chilliwack teachers say they won’t be accurate.

Last Friday the Labour Relations Board ruled that marks for grades 10 and 11 courses would be determined based on the last report cards issued.

That means only the first half of the course will count.

According to the LRB ruling, school principals will determine final marks based on what’s been reported to the BCeSIS system, and teachers are to review those marks and make changes they deem necessary.

“Teachers know their students, they know the work students were doing up until strike action, so they have an opportunity to review and change the mark or confirm and keep it the same,” said Chilliwack school district superintendent Evelyn Novak.

Several Chilliwack teachers, however, are calling the ruling not only offensive, but unethical.

Most teachers don’t use BCeSIS other than to record marks for end of term and final report cards. Grade books are still in the schools, and the only way to access them is to cross picket lines.

“So unless I’ve memorized 120 term 4 marks, I have no way to know what to change their marks to,” said Sardis secondary school teacher Joe Massie.

“It’s a real ethical dilemma for us. Most of us are saying we’re not going to do it, we’re not going to say these marks are right or wrong.

“A report card is a legal document … it’s unethical to assign inaccurate grades.”

That means that a student who may have been failing in the first half, but worked hard to improve their grade to a passing level during the second half will fail, or a student who had a passing grade in the first half, but neglected to complete the work in the second half, will pass.

“Bottom line, students are being given marks that are not accurate in any way,” said Massie. “It makes the second half of the year a waste.

“Their marks are being based on 50 per cent of the whole course; that is not a reflection at all of their whole learning.

“And their report card, a legal document that shows their mark for the year, is going to be a lie.”

G.W. Graham middle-secondary school teacher Paula Aquino agrees.

“A mark generated based on the April report is only based on about half the [prescribed learning outcomes] for the course,” she said. “It negates two months of time and effort students have put into learning, as well as breaks a legal statute.”

Chilliwack secondary school teacher Steve Anderson is appalled.

“This idea of it all being boiled down to a formula set by group of people in offices in Victoria, or board offices locally, or even principals in offices in many schools is absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “That maybe works in a board office for manufacturing widgets, but these aren’t widgets.

“The disconnect is too complete.”

Still, the LRB ruling is an essential service designation; teachers are legally obligated to follow it.

Chilliwack Teachers’ Association president Clint Johnston said that while the union is working alongside the school district, they are not doing so willingly.

“To be forced, and let’s be clear, teachers are being forced by a legal order to participate in the creation of at best inaccurate at worst false grades is just repugnant to them,” said Johnston.

“It’s an incredible insult to the professionalism and ethics of teachers. I think teachers, I think parents and students should be outraged. I think people should be questioning our school board trustees and our district on what the positive purpose is of creating these grades. How will this help students, parents, and other interested parties assess the learning. What is the rationale for creating these grades, which clearly can’t reflect learning.”

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Just Posted

Two helicopters reportedly seized by RCMP near U.S. border south of Chilliwack

Federal Mounties mum on raid two weeks after dramatic raid reported by Columbia Valley residents

VIDEO: Cultivate Wellness Retreat in Chilliwack raises $15,000 for two women’s charities

Proceeds from the third annual event go to Wilma’s Transition House and B.C. Women’s Health Foundation

Chilliwack MLA moved to action by disturbing traffic video

Throness to lobby for safety measures for school kids after viewing Chilliwack mother’s video footage

Missing Chilliwack woman may have headed to Vancouver

Dawn Lorraine Smith, 33, last in contact with a family member on June 15

Banner year for Chilliwack’s Education Centre comes to a close

Graduating Class of 2019 celebrated as alternate ed school looks back on successes

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Plane veers off runway, into ditch at Langley Airport

Fire, ambulance, and police are on scene

Okanagan RCMP bike patrol rolls up on alleged stolen vehicle from Burnaby

The driver, a 30-year-old Kelowna man, has been held in custody and is facing possible charges of possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer

Most Read