Government of Sask. eliminates plan for standardized testing

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the first province-wide education plan Friday. File / Global News

REGINA – The Government of Saskatchewan announced the first province-wide education plan Friday.

Twenty-eight school boards put their heads together to come up with The “Education Sector Strategic Plan”. The boards are working together to provide short- and long-term education goals, some aimed as far ahead as 2020.

One of those goals is to find a new way of measuring student success. It won’t be happening through province-wide standardized testing though, at least in its current form.

Saskatchewan Education Minister Don Morgan says those controversial plans have been shelved.

“We think there needs to be a method of evaluating the success of students, and how you would reallocate resources to them,” he said.

“We think that’s something that needs to be developed in conjunction with teachers and those who are on the front lines.”

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NDP Education Critic Trent Wotherspoon says this government has flip flopped on their position of standardized tests.

“The government’s been all over the map on this one,” said Wotherspoon.

“There has been some concern by many that as it relates to outdated standardized testing and the agenda of government that there’s possibly more of a re-branding exercise going on, and less so a sincere reconsideration.”

While the group works on that long-term goal, this year, the priorities are reading, and First Nations and Metis learning outcomes.

“By having our energies and our resources focused, I think it’s a good thing for everybody,” said Janet Foord, the Saskatchewan School Boards Association president.

“Now we can measure the outcomes, and if we’re doing something wrong or we need to shift direction we’re able to do that more quickly.”

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