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Parents across BC should ignore the Fraser Institute’s latest attempt to rank BC’s elementary schools and mislead British Columbians, said BC Teachers’ Federation President Irene Lanzinger.

“The Fraser Institute rankings are unfair, damaging, and inappropriate,” said Lanzinger. “The rankings are based on an incredibly narrow set of data that ignores important academic areas like science and social studies. Also, the rankings say nothing about all of the other programs, supports, and services our schools provide.

“Parents should ignore the rankings and talk to real educators, not an extreme pro-privatization special interest group like the Fraser Institute, to find out how their child’s school is doing. British Columbians need to understand the Fraser Institute’s agenda is to promote more private schools at the expense of public education.”

Teachers have been opposed to the rankings since they were first produced by the Fraser Institute. Since then, many partner groups, including school trustees, parent advisory councils, principals, and superintendents, have spoken out against these damaging rankings because of the impact they have on schools and communities. The rankings ignore the needs of students in the classroom and the people that work hard every day to give students an excellent education.

“The rankings are based on the narrow results of the Foundation Skills Assessment which teachers believe is not an accurate reflection of student or school performance,” said Lanzinger. “They ignore such important areas as citizenship, creativity, critical thinking, the arts, and sport. A school and the work educators do there is so much more than one test could ever measure.”
Lanzinger also challenged the validity of the data because participation rates for the FSA hit an all-time low last year. In some districts, the withdrawal rate was as high as 30% or 40%. In many schools across the province, only a handful of children actually wrote the test, because their parents withdrew them.

“BC teachers believe it is time to put an end to the rankings,” said Lanzinger. “British Columbia needs to move beyond the Fraser Institute and its misguided agenda. That’s one of the many reasons why BC teachers have asked the provincial government to establish a task force on assessment. It’s time for all of the education partners to come together and develop alternatives that work for our students.”

Go to www.YouTube.com/BCTFvids to learn more.

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For more information, contact Rich Overgaard, BCTF media relations officer, at 604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959 (cell).

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