There may be some value in the changes taking place in Surrey schools, but the provincial changes to assessment and testing don’t bode well.
Instead of acknowledging where kids are, new provincial tests will seemingly hide how students are doing.
The new scale for the provincial Foundation Skill Assessment (FSA) tests says students are either “emerging,” “on track,” or “extending.” Why the elusive, vague words?
Before the revamp, FSAs reported that students were either “meeting expectations,” “not meeting,” or “exceeding” expectations.
At least with that, parents and students knew what the results meant – and if the province decides not to provide the actual test scores, that will make things even worse.
The problem is not with testing. Testing is valuable to help students acknowledge where they are and where they need to go.
The problem comes when a child starts believing that their identity is based on their achievement. A student’s value isn’t based on whether they are labelled an “A student” or “C student.”
The best thing a school or teacher can do is help kids understand that failure does not define them. Students should be taught to see failure as not a be-all-end-all result, but as an opportunity to grow and learn.
The reality is that the world is a harsh place – things don’t always go your way. If students can learn at a young age how to face that reality, it could make a world of difference for them later in life.