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Do We Need the FSA?

Do We Need the FSA?
by

Sean Hayes

on 7 March 2013

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Transcript of Do We Need the FSA?

Do We Need the FSA? Argument 1: the FSA is needed to monitor the system so we know where to direct resources This should then result in progressive funding increases to schools in need. This has not happened. "...tests by themselves do not improve learning any more than a thermometer reduces fever" (Jay P. Heubert) Argument 2: The government needs the FSA to make sure we are getting good bang for our tax buck Argument 3: parents need the FSA to see how their child is doing Classroom assessment is more authentic than large-scale testing, and can actually help teachers teach and student learn Snap shot assessment, even if properly standardized, may not be reliable or valid (kids can have bad days) Should parents be waiting 5 years of formal schooling to ask these questions? Is a paper and pencil test good enough? Teacher assess students every day, and report the results to parents multiple times throughout the year Argument 4: the Fraser Institute uses these data to provide a valuable resource (school rankings) The Fraser Institute is a right-wing think tank which promotes privatization through "choice and markets"... private schools always appear at the top of the school rankings most partner groups have come out against ranking schools in this way what does this type of school ranking really tell you? Argument 5: the FSA certainly can't hurt school rankngs can be very hurtful to schools and communities large scale testing has been shown to narrow instruction (teachers teach to the test) large scale testing has been shown to increase student anxiety and decrease student motivation less successful students are most negatively impacted by results (which cannot be contextualized). Many schools are now excluding these students. students, parents and others inappropriately generalize results to overall "value" or "intellegence" What is the BCTF Doing? Continue to ask partner groups to speak out against school rankings and census administration Continue to ask government to switch to a random sample format Questions? random sampling (like the PISA) would accomplish this goal
high stakes testing of this type can lead to questionable practices (teach to the test... exempt certain students... flat out cheat).
does a test in grade 7 really tell you much about the grade 7 teacher?
system accountablilty vs. individual accountability... what is the goal? Instructing teachers to not practice, prepare or mark FSA tests the FSA is expensive (time and money)
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