Education Policy February 3/14: The Record Off The Record: Rugby, Ministry Data, Abandon That Appeal

C. Foundation Skills Assessments

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.

LT SD61 re Information to PACs 20Jan14 1LT SD61 re Information to PACs 20Jan14 2

  • 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:

  1. FSA performance results from 2008 cannot be compared to results from previous years.
  2. 2008 marks a change in when and how the FSA is administered.
  3. The 2008 results are more representative of the overall student population in each district.
  4. 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.]

About Diane McNally