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Teachers at their Annual General Meeting this weekend overwhelming supported a statement of principle on the impact of Foundation Skills Assessment on Aboriginal students.

Brought to the meeting by Aboriginal teachers, the recommendation states that: “As Aboriginal teachers, we believe that the misuse and overuse of standardized testing further discriminates against Aboriginal children and reinforces negative stereotypes.”

“Despite the mistaken belief to the contrary, no additional resources flow to students who do poorly on the Foundation Skills Assessment,” says Irene Lanzinger, president of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. “Standardized tests take valuable time away from teaching and learning and do nothing to address the real needs of our Aboriginal students.”

The recommendation also states that standardized tests “perpetuates negative feelings and undermines our children’s ability to learn.”

The teachers who brought the motion, wrote: “it has become essential for the Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee to issue a professional statement that takes a stand on the supposedly benign assessment of children’s skills and capabilities through testing.”

The BCTF Annual General Meeting being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, in downtown Vancouver, runs through Tuesday, February 18.

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For more information, contact Kathleen MacKinnon, BCTF media relations officer, at 604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959 (cell).

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