The Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) – tests of reading, writing and math delivered province-wide every year in Grades 4 and 7 – are coming up. Schools are expected to administer the tests between Jan. 17 and Feb. 25 this year.
The B.C. Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) has developed an FSA information kit for parents. Find it here.
The B.C. Education Ministry has prepared a brochure advising parents why it thinks the tests are important. In summary, it says the tests help determine whether students are learning vital skills and improving over time, if there are any significant trends in schools, districts or across the province and how certain groups of students (such as aboriginals) are doing. Find the brochure here.
The BCTF plans to distribute its own brochures in opposition to the tests, saying they are expensive, contribute nothing to learning, detract from more meaningful activities and lead to school rankings by the Fraser Institute. Find the BCTF brochures here. Our BCTF rep at the DPAC meeting has also referred to the Centre of Policy Alternatives report on the FSA: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/commentary/fraser-institute-ranking-fails-measure-school-quality