The Lycée Times Newsfeed

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Parents call for boycott of tests

Dear Readers,

The largest parents’ federation is calling for a boycott on tests to be held in the last year of primary school (CM2) next week.

A teacher writing on a blackboard.The FCPE says the start-of-year tests for the CM2 classes, launched three years ago, are a “profound mistake”. A spokesman said: “It is not acceptable for children to be evaluated on things they have not been taught yet.” They are asking their members to write to schools saying they refuse to have their children’s results passed to the government.
The tests are to evaluate children’s level in French grammar, spelling and basic maths such as decimals or mental arithmetic. However FCPE believes it is inappropriate for the children to be tested at this early date before they have properly understood the new topics they have started this school year.

The leader of teachers’ union SE-Unsa, Christian Chevalier, said that the government held a consultation on the issue several months ago, but had not taken the union’s views into account. He said: “There should either be a test in September to work out where the gaps are in the children’s knowledge, or one in June, which would be a real evaluation of what they have learnt.”

BESANCON, FRANCE - DECEMBER 13:  Luc Chatel, E...Education Minister Luc Chatel said there was no question of not holding the tests. “Our system needs evaluations so as to allow each teacher to check on the progress made and pick up on weaknesses of certain children. It is also a performance indicator for our educational system, and over the long term shows us how things are evolving, so we can make adjustments.” He insisted the January date is suitable because it allows teachers to see how things are progressing, while leaving enough time to arrange extra support for children who need a boost before they move on to secondary school. He had listened to the teachers’ views, he said, and, for example, had made changes to the grading of the tests. “They are a more subtle tool now,” he said.

Article from The Connexion

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