Letters: Report card ruling ‘a travesty’

I laughed when I saw the LRB ruling about Grade 10 and 11 marks last Friday, because I thought it would be a logistical nightmare that couldn’t happen.  Imagine my incredulity today when I find out it is happening.  Parents and everyone concerned with education today should be informed about the process that has been put in place.

Currently marks are being generated for all Gr. 10 and 11 students by district administration. Teachers have been advised that the mark generated will be based on the last report mark in the BCESIS marking system.  Teachers will then have 48 hours to visit the local Teacher’s Association office to review and modify these marks.

Keeping in mind that this mark will be on Gr. 10 and 11 students’ high school transcripts, there are a number of issues with this process:

• Many teachers do not use BCESIS for generating marks, but only to record final term and report card marks.  Therefore, for many students their final mark will be the mark they received on the April report card.  This may mean some students fail or have lower marks, even if they have since completed work to bring their mark up.

• When teachers review these marks, they must do so without records that are in the schools.  Somehow teachers are supposed to remember how well up to 120 students did in their courses over the last semester.  A fabricated mark like this has no evidence behind it – it goes against every principle of quality student assessment.

• The School Act sets out the requirements for teachers related to curriculum and grading.  We are required to teach and assess all the prescribed learning outcomes (PLOs) for our courses.  A mark generated based on the April report is only based on about half the PLOs for a course – it negates two months of time and effort students have put into learning, as well as breaks a legal statute.

When parents receive report cards for these students, they will need to scrutinize them carefully, as the marks were not likely generated by their child’s teachers.  I would urge parents and others to contact their school trustees and school district administration about the travesty this process makes of student evaluation.  Contact the Ministry of Education and your MLA as well, asking why there has been so little consideration for the integrity of student evaluation in this LRB ruling and in which it is being carried out.

Paula Aquino

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