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BCTF School Staff Alert


January 20, 2009

Meeting with the minister


The BCTF table officers met last Friday with the minister of education to discuss teacher concerns with the FSA. While the meeting did not resolve the issues, a frank exchange of views on the FSA took place and it was clear that the minister did not want the situation to escalate.

BCTF President Irene Lanzinger gave an overview of the concerns teachers have with the FSA and their growing frustration with the reluctance of government to acknowledge and discuss these problems. In turn, the minister reiterated that it was expected that teachers would administer the FSA and that it is part of a teacher’s job.

Both parties agreed that ranking schools is undesirable but at this point the minister has taken no steps to bring an end to the practice. However, Lanzinger emphasized that there were many other significant problems with the test that could also be addressed by moving to a random sample and made it clear that in itself was a compromise since teachers see little value in the test.

The minister did not seem intent on pursuing a confrontation over the issue and expressed a desire for the dialogue between government and the BCTF to continue. When asked if she had a proposal to offer, she stated a willingness to continue discussions through the deputy minister.

Reports on further meetings with the ministry will be sent to members as they happen.

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