School boards, school councils, superintendents launch public discussion about testing
November 15, 2012
School boards, school councils, superintendents launch public discussion about testing.
Moving past no-zeros debate to discuss student assessment
Albertans are being asked about testing and marks in schools by the associations representing Alberta's school boards, school councils and school superintendents. The Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA), the Alberta School Councils' Association (ASCA) and the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) will release the Measuring up: Student Assessment in Alberta discussion paper at the ASBA's Fall Conference on November 19 in Edmonton.
See http://www.albertaschoolcouncils.ca at 3 p.m., November 19 for a copy of the report and http://www.asba.ab.ca/ to watch a webcast of Alberta's 62 school boards discussing the report.
The associations' goal: to get Albertans talking about what appropriate assessment tools are and who should apply them, said ASBA President Jacquie Hansen. "Frankly, we are capitalizing on the interest generated by the no-zeros debate to ask Albertans bigger questions about how we assess student learning in schools,” said Hansen. "Among other things we want to know: What do people need/want to know about children's learning? How often do they want reports about what children are learning? And given that teachers may not apply the same standards when judging student work, who should be responsible for addressing this issue?”
"Parents should be part of the dialogue on how their children's learning is assessed,” said Brad Vonkeman, President of ASCA. "This discussion paper is a way to get all participants involved in an important conversation about the future of student assessment.”
"The assessment of student learning is far more sophisticated and intentional than simplistic grade scores,” said CASS President Craig Foley. "The purpose must be to impact positively on student learning. It is exciting that we are beginning to dialogue with all stakeholders in education about how assessment can contribute to the success of Alberta students. The "what and how” of education is changing rapidly and our assessment practices must keep pace.”
John Rymer wrote the Measuring Up: Student Assessment in Alberta discussion paper. An ASBA consultant, Rymer recently retired as Executive Director for Learner Assessment for Alberta Education. He is also Program Coordinator for the University of Calgary's M.Ed Specialist program in Assessment.