Vancouver’s
Board of Education is calling on BC Minister of Education Shirley Bond
and the President of the BC Teachers’ Federation Irene Lantzinger to
take urgent action in finding a mutually agreeable solution to the
outstanding issues related to the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA).

COPE and Vision Trustees voted unanimously on December 15 to write Bond
and Lantzinger, urging them to resolve issues surrounding the
annually-administered assessments.

The BCTF has several concerns about the standardized tests known as the
Foundation Skills Assessment that will be used in all schools early
next year. Teachers voted last week in favour of a union plan to
boycott the FSA unless Bond agrees to test only a random sample of
students. They decided that they will not prepare for, administer or
mark the tests as now prescribed.

Teachers say FSA tests are used by the Fraser Institute to rank
schools, a statement with significant support from trustees,
superintendents and principals.

Vancouver trustees also approved a motion to convene a special public
meeting of board standing committees I and III on January 7, starting
at 5:30 p.m. The FSA will be the only agenda item for the combined
meeting of the board’s Management and Coordinating, and Educational and
Student Services committees.

Trustees plan to invite various stakeholder groups to attend and create
a forum for an exchange of perspectives concerning the FSA. A special
board meeting may be called immediately after the combined committee
meeting if trustees believe further action is needed on their part.

Vancouver Board calls for resolution to FSA issues

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