Letters to the Editor (August 14, 2012)
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I have read and re-read the article "Explaining Authentic Assessment of Camrose and area Schools" in a local paper. I really don't understand why this process for assessment is being introduced in our schools. I have requested from the Battle River School Division office copies of studies and research that have convinced our school board and administrators to abandon traditional methods of assessment and embark on authentic assessment. I have not seen report cards from local schools but I have seen report cards of grandchildren who completed Junior High in a school from another jurisdiction in Alberta. It was absolutely impossible to determine how these students were progressing. There were no marks or grades – just a bunch of platitude comments. Students were given no homework nor out of school assignments throughout the school year. There were no final exams! How does that prepare a student for post secondary education. I'm sure they are going to require grades for entrance into these institutions or to apply for scholarships.
I would encourage parents to ask why this method of assessment is being used as well as explaining the whole process. Talk to the principals, school board members and superintendents. Do not ask questions of the teachers because if they give honest answers their jobs may be in jeopardy. It may be time to contact the Department of Education to determine if this is a provincial initiative.
The students of Battle River School Division do not need to be guinea pigs in this whole process.