Skill test stirs controversy

Chilliwack teachers fear the wrong message is getting out regarding the Foundation Skills Assessment test after the Minister of Education wrote an open letter to parents on her MLA website.

Chilliwack teachers fear the wrong message is getting out regarding the Foundation Skills Assessment test after the Minister of Education wrote an open letter to parents on her MLA website.

Last Friday, Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid posted the letter urging parents to ensure their child writes this year’s FSA.

The FSA is an annual province-wide assessment of students’ academic skills in reading comprehension, writing and numeracy in Grades 4 and 7.

In the letter, MacDiarmid said the purpose of the FSA is to provide parents and teachers with a snapshot of how students are performing across the province. She also noted a strong correlation between a child’s FSA scores and their future success in completing school.

“As a parent, you have the right to know how your child is performing and the FSA is an essential tool to help students achieve positive educational outcomes,” MacDiarmid wrote.

However, while Katharin Midzain, president of the Chilliwack Teachers’ Association, isn’t opposed to the FSA as a general assessment tool, she is opposed to the results being used in a “harmful” way.

FSA results are shared with the Fraser Institute, which publicly ranks B.C.’s private and public schools based on the results.

“You can’t use one test to rank a school,” Midzain said.

“The FSA doesn’t show the whole life of the school. It will not show you the amazing job Central elementary did with Hunger for Halloween last year or that Central was responsible for raising $30,000 for Haiti last year, but it will show you that Central has high-need students.”

In recent years, the BC Teachers’ Federation has led a campaign against the FSAs encouraging parents to withdraw their children from the test.

In Chilliwack, approximately 16 per cent of Grade 4 students and 25 per cent of Grade 7 students didn’t write the test last year.

“Our goal is to invalidate the Fraser Institute,” said Midzain.

Province-wide administration of the FSA tests started on Monday and will continue until Feb. 25.

kbartel@theprogress.com

Just Posted

B.C. reservists gather for military communications training in Chilliwack

Canadian Army’s communication skills are used in battle as well as domestic emergencies

VIDEO: ‘Heroes’ rescue teenager trapped in vehicle in water-filled ditch in Chilliwack

Two men sprang into action, holding 17-year-old’s head out of water as they pried open door

Sarah Wark rallies to beat Prince Edward Island at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Wark wasn’t at the top of her game, but her team did enough to improve to 6-3 overall.

GW Graham junior boys play underdog role at basketball provincials

One of two at-large seeds in the 32 team field, the Grizzlies face a tough opponent out of the gate.

Unfinished business for GW Graham basketball Grizzlies at AA provincials

GWG’s senior girls squad advanced to the final before losing in 2018 and look to win it all in 2019.

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Two boys saved after falling through ice in Coquitlam

RCMP say a Good Samaritan pulled the kids to safety

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read