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BCTF School Staff Alert


November 8, 2007

Don't volunteer to mark FSAs


The BCTF is advising teachers not to volunteer to mark FSA tests or to take the training to mark them.

For a number of years now, the BCTF has advised members not to participate in the writing of test items, field testing, or marking of the FSA. The recent BCTF Representative Assembly updated and reiterated this advice in light of the new ministry requirement that the open-ended portions of FSA tests be marked locally starting this spring.

The ministry is offering regional training sessions for markers. Teachers may be approached to attend one of these sessions, or approached later to mark the FSA tests that will be administered in early February.

Teachers are opposed to the FSA, and the attendant proliferation of school-wide and district-wide testing that are part of the government’s accountability scheme. Standardized tests are being overused, and misused by groups like Fraser Institute for school rankings—causing unnecessary anxiety for both teachers and parents. The BCTF and its locals are continuing to campaign for the elimination of FSA or significant changes to the program.

Having teachers mark FSA tests lends the tests and their results undeserved credibility. The ministry is helping school districts find teachers to mark FSAs by sending them lists of teachers who have marked FSAs provincially previously and who have indicated that they are willing to mark locally.

Please do not volunteer to mark FSA tests. If you are pressured to volunteer, or have already attended a training session, or have already volunteered to mark in spring, please contact your local president for advice.