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OP/ED: Teachers' Union urges parents not to let kids take FSAs

This week, teachers of Grade 4 and 7 students in School District #20 will be sending letters home with students asking parents to withdraw their children from writing the FSAs (Foundation Skill Assessment) exams.
 
Why?

The FSAs do not count toward student’s marks nor do the results actively support learning.

They are expensive to develop and administer and take valuable time away from richer and more meaningful learning.

The FSAs take valuable resources away from the classroom and the results are misused to rank schools and promote privatization.

It is interesting to note, that at one site in our district, teachers have been given the option of cleaning out the Equipment Room while administrators take their classes to the computer lab to "practice" the FSA. How can our Board justify this egregious loss of valuable instructional time?

The new, "conservative" Premier of Alberta threw out FSA testing in her province as one of her first acts, for all the above reasons, and is working with teachers to build a trust relationship when it comes to assessment of students.

West Kootenay teacher locals will be running the following radio ad over the next few weeks in support of our anti-FSA campaign:

"Dear Premier Clark,

My mom told me that kids in Alberta don’t have to write FSAs anymore.

Their Premier stopped some Fraser guy from making fun of schools there.

Why are BC kids like me still writing FSAs?

This Fraser guy really made fun of my school.

I like my school!

A message from West Kootenay Teachers"

   
It is time for us to stop the Fraser Institute from ridiculing our schools by way of capricious and arbitrary rankings!

Remember that Bountiful was one of the top-ranked schools in the province right up there with the number one ranked private schools. Maybe we should bus all of our students there!

Teachers are not practising the FSAs with students, not administering or supervising the FSAs, and not marking the FSAs.
 
The LRB-approved Phase 1 job action, excludes teachers from participating in the administration or supervision of FSAs. Administrators will be making all arrangements to conduct and supervise the FSAs without the assistance of teachers.
 
The BC Principals’ and Vice-Principal’s Association has asked the government to cancel this year’s FSA testing so how important can they be?
 
All parents should withdraw their children from writing the FSAs and should email Premier Clark ( premier@gov.bc.ca ) and ask her why she is still inflicting these meaningless tests on BC kids when the Premier of Alberta has just scrapped them! 

Thank you for your anticipated support!

Andrew Davidoff
President, Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union