Assessments shouldn’t lead to ‘ranking’ list

Foundation Skills Assessment is not what you think.

And so here we are. My son is “required” to take the Foundation Skills Assessment, as he is in Grade 4 (grades 4 and 7 are tested). Not a big deal right? Well it is if your child is in a public school and you VALUE that school, which we all know is heavily underfunded.

Teachers are worked to their breaking points with much larger class sizes, many more special needs children in each class and with little to no teaching assistance – compared to private schools.

Am I worried about my son’s results? No. Why? Because I am confident that my son has been taught well, and is bright enough to do very well on this assessment. For me, that’s not the point.

So what is my issue you ask? My issue is that the results of this assessment are posted by the Fraser Institute in order to “rank” our schools. Ever taken a look at the Fraser Institute’s “report cards”? Before you do, I ask that you just take a wild guess as to which schools are ranked the highest – private or public schools? How many “special needs” children do you think make it into private schools? How many economically “average/below average” families do you know who can afford private schools? Many people wouldn’t even stop to ask themselves these questions, and how the answers correlate to the discrepancies in how well our children “appear” to fare on these assessments. They would look at the ranking system and believe (falsely) that our public schools are somehow inferior, which is EXACTLY what the Fraser Institute wants you to believe.

This “ranking” system is misleading and frankly, ridiculous. The assessments start in just over a week. I have some decisions to make.

Jen Rattray

Shawnigan Lake