Monday, April 12, 2010

Alberta axes written portion of PATs

The province of Alberta announced that they are cutting the written portions for the upcoming Grades 6 and 9 Social Studies and Grades 3, 6 and 9 Mathematics provincial achievement tests.

Alberta Learning provided two reasons for their removal:

1. During the Inspiring Education: A Dialogue with Albertans, the government was quite explicitly told by the people of Alberta to seriously rethink the province's current testing culture

2. Economic recession has demanded the province save money where they can.

Pedagogically, they removed the wrong exam - the multiple choice exams are wholly and entirely inferior measurements of learning - however, if an economic recession is what precipitates Alberta Learning's 'high-stakes standardized testing house of cards' to fall, then so be it.

The outright removal of the grade 3, 6 and 9 provincial achievement tests would continue to save money while, more importantly, aligning itself with the kind of better learning that Albertans are demanding.

Minister of Education Dave Hancock has openly said that this will be the final year for the grade 3 provincial achievement tests.

Teachers, students and parents will need to continue their push for progressive educational change in Alberta to ensure that all grade 3, 6 and 9 provincial achievement tests are rightfully removed.

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