This is what FSA results looked like previously, but the language is being changed with the new curriculum so it will not measure students based on expectations, but report their results on a new proficiency scale.

School provincial tests now explained with broad new descriptions

Students are no longer measured by whether or not they meet expectations for their grade level

How schools report to parents on student learning is changing with the new curriculum as the Ministry of Education rolls out a new descriptive scale to explain provincial test scores.

Students in Grade 4 and Grade 7 take standard Foundation Skill Assessment (FSA) tests to help educators understand how the students are doing in comparison to their peers in other areas of the province.

Schools get the raw test scores in November, followed by a summery report in February with the province-wide comparisons. That summery report is being revamped to be more strength-based, using broad descriptive terms to explain student performance.

In the past, the results from FSAs in Grade 4 and Grade 7 have been reported based on expectations of what students at that level should know. An FSA report might say a student was “not yet meeting expectations,” or was “meeting expectations” or “exceeding expectations” in the different components of reading, writing or numeracy. Click here to see an example of a chart summarizing B.C. FSA results in 2015-2016.

But under the new curriculum, those words have changed.

The FSA summery report will now list students as either “emerging,” “on track,” or “extending” in their understanding of reading, writing, and math.

“Emerging” describes the students who are struggling on the bottom-end of the scale. The definition says that “the student demonstrates an early understanding of the concepts and competencies relevant to the expected learning.”

Students who are “on track” have a “partial to complete understanding” of what is expected, and “extending” means that a student shows “a sophisticated understanding.”

“They are very broad, descriptive categories and they are being used to describe what a score actually means,” explained Janet Meyer, director of instruction at the Coast Mountains School District.

Meyer said more detail is provided through larger explanations of the scale, which describe where a student is at, using a strength-based focus, emphasizing what students can understand, rather than what is lacking.

A similar type of scale is expected for the new high school numeracy and literacy tests, still being finalized.

The Ministry of Education has yet to release the a draft numeracy test or a draft summery report for the elementary FSAs.

Because of that, Meyer admitted that schools don’t know exactly what the final reports will look like.

“We are very much in a wait and see scenario,” said Meyer about the new FSA and numeracy assessments. “There are many unanswered questions.”

Students will be taking the tests soon, between Oct. 2 and Nov. 10, a shift from previously when tests were taken at the end of the school year.

Meyer said the intent is for teachers to be able to use the results to guide their teaching, yet the Coast Mountains School District doesn’t know what information they will get from the FSAs.

They are asking the province for a detailed, question-by-question breakdown, so that teachers will know which questions and concepts their students struggled with.

“We don’t know yet if that will be available,” Meyer said.

(Note: This story has been altered from the print version, which incorrectly states parents won’t have access to test scores. That has been corrected here in light of further information.)


Just Posted

TDCSS to end on-campus daycare service

NWCC committed to finding licenced provider to fill space

Terrace teen honoured at Commonwealth writing competition

Ariadna Sullivan among 12,000 entrants vying for top awards

VIDEO: Researchers rely on drones to survey aftermath of B.C. wildfires

UBC researchers are using aerial drones to study the historic 2017 wildfires in the province

Rent continues to rise in Prince Rupert, drops in Terrace

A report from Canadian Mortage and Housing Corporation shows the average rent has risen by $132

Cops targeting risky behaviour, auto crime

Holiday campagaigns aim to keep roads safe, valuables protected

Pool upgrade on budget, slightly behind

Completion is set for March 30, and opening will likely be late-April, early-May

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Moose calves rescued in northern B.C. are ‘golden nuggets:’ researcher

Calves discovered near Prince George in late May. Mother had been killed by a car

Most Read