BCTF hoping for 'responsible use' of FSA data

By Greg Fry
October 12, 2017 - 11:25am

KAMLOOPS — The president of the BC Teachers Federation is hoping the new NDP government will take steps to help protect the information of students in this province when it comes to Foundation Skills Assessment tests.

The annual tests are written by students province-wide in grades four and seven and attempt to gauge how students are doing in the foundational skills of reading, writing, and numeracy. The BCTF doesn't believe the tests "help students learn or help teachers teach."

"B.C. is a bit of a wild west, not just on campaign financing — and we're glad that's being cleaned up — but also on the collection of information on children and youth without clear guidelines around who has access to that information, how long it's retained and for what purpose," BCTF President Glen Hansman told CFJC Today. 

He says the information subjects schools to the "ridiculous shaming and blaming perpetrated by the Fraser Institute" rankings each year.

"They are not a valid test," adds Amanda Jensen, president of the Kamloops Thompson Teachers Association. "They don't evaluate what it is they say they evaluate. And certainly they've been used over the last few years to base a decision on what schools are 'good' and what schools are 'bad.' We are definitely opposed. We're happy to hear John Horgan is taking that position as well."

Hansman says he's hopeful that the tone of the discussion has changed now that there's an NDP government. He says discussions on protecting the information of children and youth started back in 2013 under the previous Liberal government but didn't lead to "common ground" on the issue.

 

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