[Alberta] Premier Alison Redford has dropped her promise to eliminate standardized testing in Alberta elementary schools.
Her education minister, Jeff Johnson, says the tests will continue, although they might be changed. “I think those have been really valuable,” he’s quoted as saying in the Edmonton Journal. “If you talk to a lot of administrators, a lot of folks at the school board level and a lot of parents, there’s value in the standardized test at a few places along the year to set those benchmarks and to help assess the system too.”
The Alberta tests, called Provincial Achievement Tests (PAT) and delivered in Grades 3 and 6, are similar to B.C.’s Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) in Grades 4 and 7. While running for leadership of her party, Redford had promised to ditch the tests and replace them with another type of assessment that can’t be used by the Fraser Institute to rank schools. That brought cheers from B.C. teachers who also want changes to prevent the Fraser Institute from publishing its annual report card on elementary schools.