Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)

B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February and March

The ongoing battle between B.C. teachers and the Ministry of Education over the administering of Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) tests to Grade 4 and 7 students has heightened in a school year made more challenging by COVID-19.

With teachers and districts working hard to create safe learning environments for students and staff the GVTA was disappointed to learn the province did not cancel FSAs for this school year, said Greater Victoria Teachers Association president Winona Waldron.

“In a regular year we oppose the FSAs, particularly how they’re used. But in this year with the amount of anxiety and stress that teachers and students are already facing, it seems ludicrous to put in a standardized test at a different time of year than normal,” Waldron said.

ALSO READ: BCTF blasts ‘one size fits all’ school COVID plan, calls for transparency from Henry, Dix

The tests are initially held in the fall, but were delayed until January as schools worked to create safe learning environments for students. Now they are scheduled to occur between Feb. 16 and March 12.

According to a statement from the ministry, districts have been given more time to administer the tests to allow greater flexibility. It added that “students have always had the option of writing the FSA remotely if an appropriate invigilator for the assessment is approved by the local school principal.”

The GVTA, along with the B.C. Teachers Federation, has renewed calls to end FSAs with Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside taking over from Rob Fleming after the fall 2020 election. The GVTA is also asking the Greater Victoria School District board of education to petition the minister to do so.

While teachers remain steadfast in their disapproval of the current model of FSA testing, Waldron said, “we’d be willing to see some sort of standardized testing in a regular year, where the results weren’t published and the results were tied to funding.”

She added the methodology used in the FSAs doesn’t fit with the new curriculum and often contains elements not being taught in local classrooms. “That skews results in favour of those who are better at using technology and better at taking tests.”

RELATED STORY: Fraser Institute delivers Greater Victoria elementary schools a mixed report card

Waldron said the GVTA plans begin its campaign soon to educate parents about the tests, options available for students and families, and how the information is used.

The ministry stated FSAs help ensure equity and quality education across the province.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley-raised Shay Sandiford has earned a spot on the Canada skateboard team. Facebook
Courtenay skateboarder selected to first-ever national team

A young man from Courtenay is among 12 athletes who have been… Continue reading

A WestJet flight on the runway leaving Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Aviation company seeks contracted employees to fill former WestJet roles at YQQ

Menzies Aviation from Edinburgh Park, Scotland, operates in 34 countries across the world

A cougar was spotted Monday near Queneesh Elementary. (WildSafe BC photo)
Cougar sighted Monday near Courtenay school

Conservation officers are warning the public to avoid the wooded areas around… Continue reading

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
SD71 to address COVID-19 exposures with virtual town hall

The meeting is set for Thursday, March 4

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Most Read