Thursday, April 19, 2012

Alberta's test score & drop out contradiction

As far as standardized test scores go, Alberta ranks at the top among Canadian Provinces.

But before we get too excited, keep in mind that Alberta has the lowest high school graduation rate in Canada.

I wonder what would happen to Alberta's test scores if more children stayed in school and graduated?

See the problem?

Because increasing graduation rates would likely lower Alberta's test scores, we need to seriously question the authenticity of an accountability system that would signal to the public that things were getting worse even though more children were graduating. This is precisely why the best educators know that standardized test scores conceal far more than they reveal.

This is why the Alberta Party's Education policy is so impressive. One of their four priorities includes rethinking assessment & accountability which includes:

-develop a variety of assessments that are used not to rank and sort schools but to help identify which areas need support so that learning can be optimized.

-Replace Provincial Achievement Tests with sample testing.

-Reduce the weighting of diploma exams from 50% to 30%.

The Alberta Party's call for an end to Alberta's over reliance on standardized test scores is the kind of courageous leadership and change we need if we are to provide the schools our children deserve.

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