Stop playing politics over FSA results

Editor:

Now more than ever, the Delta School Board should stop playing politics and stick to its mandate - first-class education for children in Delta schools. (“Delta school board wants FSA tests scrapped” - Optimist, 8th. October).

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“The FSA is an annual Province-wide assessment of all B.C. students’ academic skills in grades 4 and 7.”(Optimist Oct. 8th.). Reading, writing and mathematics comprise what is a relatively straightforward test of standard academic curriculum work covered.

School results of the FSA tests, Grade 12 examinations and school rankings are freely available to anybody in the province. They have been available for 25 years and this is what really irks the school board. Yet 25 years of school boards have done nothing to stop complaining about this situation with any alternative that is comprehensive and informative for students and parents.

The FSA and Grade 12 results, with the subsequent rankings, are not flattering to Delta schools. In 2019 not one Delta elementary school ranked in the top 200 schools in B.C. The results were the same in previous years.

Of 252 public and private secondary schools in B.C. (all with common academic requirements) Delta’s seven secondary schools ranked as follows in 2019 - 82, 98, 107, 107, 122, 181 and 191. One school that ranked 107 in 2019 ranked 47 in 2018 and had an average placing of 48 in the previous five years. Very commendable. The other six schools had previous five-year average rankings of 95, 95, 120, 127, 144 and 144.

Trustee Kanakos (graduation) and Trustee Reid (socio-ecenomic table) are clutching at straws. The Delta graduation rate is 97.7. The provincial average is 97.1 - hardly a mitigating margin. The reality is that universal secondary school graduation is virtually a given nowadays and does not hold anything like the prestige that it did only 10 years ago. Delta must surely be placed favourably on the socio-economic table.
Employers and universities have embraced and reacted to the developing changes in progressive education. The Sauder School of Business at UBC now looks only at transcripts that have a 90 per cent-plus average. (Macleans’ Canadian Universities, 2019).

The School Of Nursing at the University of Calgary asks for a 97 per cent transcript average. (Rejected applicant with 94 per cent average 2019.) Many universities are now looking to cut out Liberal Arts degrees. (BBC 2020).

In 2018 the 10 largest companies in America made more money than they had ever made before — with five million fewer workers (PBS News 2019).

The Delta School Board should not waste time concerning itself with petty, outdated, ideological issues that they keep throwing at the FSA and school rankings. They need to be helping Delta students to get on the fast train, preparing them for a very rapidly- changing world. For current students it will be a future very different from what we have known and it will arrive very quickly.

Alan Roberts

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