Parents Support FSA TestingDecember 12, 2008
Parents Support FSA Testing
BURNABY, Dec.12: At BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) annual general meetings (dating back to 2001) parents have expressed a strong desire, not only for Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) tests to continue, but also to individually receive test results for their own children in a timely fashion. (See attached backgrounder).
“Yesterday members of the BCTF, who chose to participate in a union sponsored referendum, voted 85% to, ‘not prepare for, administer, or mark the provincial FSAs’. While this result does not come as a surprise, since the BCTF’s vocal objection to FSA is well documented, it is very disappointing and concerning to parents,” said Ron Broda, President of BCCPAC.
“Parents are hopeful that common sense will prevail. We are hopeful that teachers will carefully consider their position of influence as role models to our children and perform all of the required steps in successfully facilitating the education of our children. This includes administering the FSA tests.
“There is an appropriate venue to express concerns about current policy and seek positive progressive change to policy. That venue is called the Learning Round Table. Parents are anxious for that venue to live up to its potential to improve an already highly effective public education system.”
The FSA is an annual province-wide mandatory assessment written by students in grades four and seven. Its purpose is to provide a snapshot of how well BC students are learning foundation skills in the areas of reading comprehension, writing and numeracy.
The FSA is designed, developed and marked by BC classroom teachers, based on BC learning outcomes (BC curriculum and performance standards). It helps answer important questions including:
- Are BC students learning the vital skills they will need later in their schooling?
- What are the areas of strength and areas needing improvement?
- Are there any trends in student performance at the school, district and provincial levels?
The main purpose of the assessment is to help the province, school districts, schools and school planning councils evaluate how well students are achieving basic skills, and make plans to improve student achievement. The secondary purpose of the FSA is to provide teachers, students and parents with individual and external information about student performance in relation to provincial standards.
“Individual student reports support student learning thorough parent-teacher dialogue; therefore, it is important that parents receive their child’s FSA results,” said Broda. “Parents wonder what all the fuss is about.”
Teachers are highly respected professionals who are entrusted with successfully guiding our children on their 13 year journey through our public education system. The amount of time required to write the FSA in all three academic areas is approximately five hours. The testing is carried out over the course of two weeks, a very small portion of the time students and teachers spend together during their joint quest for successful graduation, said Broda.
The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) is a charitable, non-profit organization that advocates for the best possible public education for all children in BC through the active involvement of parents. Its membership includes parent advisory councils and district parent advisory councils across BC.
For more information please contact
BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils
Tel. 604-687-4433 Fax 604-687-4488