No-zero issue sparks larger discussion about student assessment in Alberta

EDMONTON – Watch live as the Alberta School Boards Association, along with other education groups and officials, hold a public discussion about student testing in the province Monday.

Albertans are being asked about testing and marks in schools by the associations that represent the province’s school boards, school councils and superintendents.

The Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA), the Alberta School Councils’ Association and the College of Alberta School Superintendents has released a report called “Measuring up: Student Assessment in Alberta” at the ASBA’s fall conference Monday afternoon in Edmonton. You can read the below at the bottom of this story. The report’s author is Dr. John Rymer. He is an ASBA consultant and recently retired Executive Director for Learner Assessment for Alberta Education.

The ASBA is also offering a webcast of Alberta’s 62 school boards discussing the report.

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You can watch the webcast here:

Streaming Live by Ustream
The ASBA says its goal is to get Albertans talking about what the appropriate assessment tools for students are and who should apply them.

The issue of student assessment made headlines when Edmonton physics teacher Lynden Dorval was fired after handing out zeros to students for assignments that weren’t handed in. The longtime Ross Sheppard teacher took part in a hearing with principal Ron Bradley and Edmonton Public Schools superintendent Edgar Schmidt before he was told he would no longer have his teaching position.

“We are capitalizing on the interest generated by the no-zeros debate to ask Albertans bigger questions about how we assess student learning in schools,” says ASBA President Jacquie Hansen.
“Among other things we want to know: What do people need/want to know about children’s learning? How often do they want reports about what children are learning? And given that teachers may not apply the same standards when judging student work, who should be responsible for addressing this issue?”

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The fall conference runs November 18-20.

Student Assessment Report

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