Are there no standards for comparison?

Editor:

There is really just one reason for the ongoing controversy over the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA). It is that the teachers’ union is opposed to the use–by any organization or individual–of any school-level student assessment results to publicly rate schools. My reading of the 13-year history of the FSA and the public statements and actions of union officials during this period supports this suggestion.

Why does the union object to this use of student assessment results? It does so because such ratings enable anyone to compare schools on a student performance measure that might be construed to reflect on the effectiveness of its union members.

There is, therefore, one critical question that should be asked and debated before any action is taken regarding the FSA: As a society, do we believe that the public should be able to compare schools that are funded in whole or in part by taxpayers on the basis of student performance data of any kind?

I believe the teachers’ union would answer in the negative. But if, the union were to surprise me and respond in the positive, then we need a thorough public discussion of this question.

Peter Cowley, Director of School Performance Studies, The Fraser Institute

Just Posted

Langley church prepares massive meal

A local chef and parishioners are taking charge in the kitchen for St. Joseph’s 25th annual dinner.

Giants ‘stuff’ Cougars

Vancouver blanks Cougars on Teddy Bear Toss night at Langley Events Centre

Star Wars auction in Langley draws ‘crazy’ response

Seller said to be “very happy” with results

Police sketch shows suspect in assault of 23-year-old woman

Incident took place Nov. 14 on Maclure Road in Abbotsford

An unpleasant surprise online for Langley anti-hate campaigner

Text from newspaper article about his efforts was used to link to suspect websites

VIDEO: Langley Christmas Bureau braces for busy toy distribution days

Volunteers spent the weekend sorting gifts donated for kids from Langley’s underprivileged families.

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Update: RCMP arrest domestic assault suspect west of Kamloops.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team made the arrest at around 4:30 p.m.

Most Read