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B.C. Revises Skills Exams, Delays New Curriculum Roll Out For Senior Grades

The Canadian Press, 24 Nov, 2016
    VICTORIA — The Education Ministry is delaying the full implementation of British Columbia's new curriculum for public school students in Grades 10 to 12.
     
    Education Minister Mike Bernier says a one year extension is being permitted, following requests from teachers, principals and trustees.
     
    He says many teachers began using the draft curriculum for the senior grades this past fall, and have offered feedback about the program.
     
    Redesigned lesson plans were due to begin next fall but have now been held up until the 2018-19 school year.
     
    The new curriculum now in use for students in Kindergarten to Grade 9 stresses reading, writing and arithmetic while expanding skills linked to collaboration, critical thinking and communication.
     
     
    Bernier also announced revisions for Foundation Skills Assessment tests, saying the reading, writing and numeracy exams given to all students in Grades 4 and 7 will be administered in the first term, rather than after the winter break.
     
    "This will really give us an earlier snapshot of how students are progressing, where their levels are and to ensure if they are not at the level entering into Grade 4 or 7 that this will give teachers or parents lots of time to look at levels to support those students," he says.
     
    A committee examining the assessment exams has also called for better reporting of the results, rather than simply releasing raw test data.
     
    "That doesn't give an accurate reflection of the complexities of the educational system within a school district or around the province," says Bernier.
     
    Exam results will now be included in a broader report that could include details about a school district's unique geographical challenges, its numbers of special needs or First Nations students, graduation rates and other details.
     
     
    Offering a more complete description about each school district will let teachers and parents make better decisions for students, the minister says.

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