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BC teachers won’t teach to the test

The BC Teachers’ Federation plans to boycott a province-wide test next February.

The Foundation Skills Assessment test (FSA) is given to all students in grade 4 and 7 every February.

Teachers dislike the FSA because, they say, it takes up too much class time in preparation, it stresses the kids, and the Fraser Institute uses the results to create a bogus hierarchy of “good” and “bad” schools.

In a news release, the BCTF announced that 85% of its members, province-wide, had voted to have nothing to do with the FSA. They won’t prep their students, give the test, or grade the results. BCTF president Irene Lanzinger said:

“With this vote, teachers across the province spoke very clearly. The FSAs drain much-needed time and resources away from teaching and learning. This particular standardized test is unfair, does not help students learn, and is not an accurate measure of student progress.

“If BC government really wants to improve student achievement, the first thing they should do is keep their promise to reduce class sizes and improve support for children with special needs.”

Since the test is scheduled for just three months before the provincial election, the BCTF boycott will be an early skirmish in the campaign.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor to The Tyee and a longtime education writer.

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