As Aboriginal teachers:
• We believe the misuse and overuse of standardized testing further discriminates against Aboriginal children and reinforces negative stereotypes.
• We believe paper and pen testing does not acknowledge the gifts of our children.
• We believe this is a colonial tool that perpetuates negative feelings and undermines our children’s ability to learn.
• We believe there is a problem and more testing will not address our children’s needs.
• We believe our children are entitled to equal access to and appropriate support for their successful high school completion.
• We believe we need to focus on strategies and solutions to help Aboriginal children.
(08 AGM, p.9)
It has become increasingly essential for the Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee to issue a statement that takes a stand on the supposedly benign assessment of children’s skills and capabilities through testing. This recommendation is an attempt to identify and address the need for quality education for Aboriginal children in BC.
The mythology of testing is that tests are at the root of, and also reinforce, the unequal status of Aboriginal people and their children. The form of testing used on all children, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, identifies the lower class or underprivileged. These tests were developed by men who were dedicated to proving the presumed inferiority of Aboriginal peoples, amongst others.