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Teachers, education minister reach no agreement on test

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation and Education Minister Shirley Bond met last week to talk about the Foundation Skills Assessment, but agreed to disagree.

According to a “School Staff Alert,” published Tuesday, BCTF table officers met with Bond last Friday. “While the meeting did not resolve the issues, a frank exchange of views on the FSA took place and it was clear the minister did not want the situation to escalate.” More from the alert:

BCTF President Irene Lanzinger gave an overview of the concerns teachers have with the FSA and their growing frustration with the reluctance of government to acknowledge and discuss these problems.

In turn, the minister reiterated that it was expected that teachers would administer the FSA and that it is part of a teacher’s job.

Both parties agreed that ranking schools is undesirable but at this point the minister has taken no steps to bring an end to the practice.

However, Lanzinger emphasized that there were many other significant problems with the test that could also be addressed by moving to a random sample and made it clear that in itself was a compromise since teachers see little value in the test.

The minister did not seem intent on pursuing a confrontation over the issue and expressed a desire for the dialogue between government and the BCTF to continue.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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