The Superintendent noted that in a statement of January 18, 2010 the District said all parent requests for a student not to write an FSA would be honoured.
The Deputy Superintendent presented PowerPoint information slides (Comparing FSA Data – Education Policy February 3 2014 ) on changed calculations of Foundation Skills Assessments results since changes to the protocol and changes to the timing of the tests were made by Ministry of Education in 2008. This was a followup to Nohr’s email to SD61 parents and the resulting Victoria Parent Advisory Council Executive’s letter to the Board dated January 20, 2014.
- Nohr: [Handed out Ministry document used for basis of email to parents] Higher and higher numbers of students are not writing. They’re not getting the support they need. Reduction in services means the number of students not writing, such as the 26% in writing, are probably dealing with less support than they did before. Students are not feeling that their needs are being met.
Caveat: Interpret the “facts” on these Ministry Newsroom Factsheets with a critical eye: verbal and graphic statements are along the lines of “highest funding ever; what’s the problem” information. Proceed with caution.
The Ministry’s own fine – very tiny – print under the FSA disaster scenario graph:
- FSA performance results from 2008 cannot be compared to results from previous years.
- 2008 marks a change in when and how the FSA is administered.
- The 2008 results are more representative of the overall student population in each district.
- The many changes to FSA in 2008 mean that there is now a new benchmark against which results from future years will be measured.
- McEvoy: The teachers’ union position on FSAs is sending kids to private schools. People look at these graphs presented by the Ministry and think things are not going well.
- Principals and Vice Principals representative: We call parents of students with learning disabilities and ask them if they want their child to write. We put the true achievement levels on the school website.
[Orcherton left the room after the vote on the motion and did not return – implications for quorum soon.]