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Standardized testing of B.C. students is 'hurtful': president of B.C. teachers' union

Vancouver -

The president of the B.C.Teachers’ Federation is speaking out about the upcoming round of standardized tests in schools and is encouraging parents to withdraw their children from the exams.

Every year the Foundation Skills Assessment tests Grade 4 and 7 students province-wide on reading, writing and numeracy.

But BCTF president Teri Mooring says teachers are against the tests because they’re hurtful and take away from important classroom time.

“It’s not helpful to students, teachers, or families, and it’s making existing inequities worse,” she wrote in an open letter to parents.

Mooring said the tests also create anxiety for many students and “preparation and administration takes away from valuable classroom teaching and learning time.”

But according to the ministry, the test results provide valuable information.

“Results are provided to you, your child, teachers, and the Ministry to ensure B.C. is providing high quality education to all of its students,” reads a brochure about the Foundation Skills Assessment for parents.

“Results ensure that no students are left behind in B.C., regardless of their background,” it continues.

Still, Mooring disagrees. In her letter she writes that the test results do not lead to increased support for students or additional resources for schools based on need.

Instead, she said, a right-wing think tank misuses results to “inappropriately rank B.C. schools.” This, she said, contributes to entrenching both real and perceived inequities.

“(The results) disproportionately affect students in low-income and racialized communities, often resulting in a diminished sense of pride and community for students and families,” she said.

The tests are not mandatory, and Mooring is reminding parents their kids aren’t obligated to sit them.

“Many parents over the last several years have decided to withdraw their children from the FSA, and you can too,” she wrote.

“Please know you have the support of teachers from across the province.” Top Stories

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