It's the time of year to debate Foundation Skills Assessment exams for Grade 4 and 7 students which have so raised the ire of teachers, parents, trustees and politicians because they were used to rate schools.
Those ratings could have been ignored; instead the validity of FSA tests is in question. The issue is now so politicized FSAs are no longer seen as a viable learning assessment tool. Students aren't ignorant, they're not going to do their best if they think adults believe the tests are a waste of time.
FSAs might have been valuable because they showed gender differences in learning, and improvements or problems over time, and they also showed what needed work, such as problem-solving in math, and they helped school districts set priorities for aboriginal students and those with behaviour challenges.
Scrapping the test for another might seem like a good idea. However, it could take a few years before they start providing any useful data.
this week's question:
Do you think Foundation Skills Assessment tests should be replaced? Vote in our online poll.