Assessment is what goes on in the classroom

12th June 2009 at 01:00
Delegates voted to oppose any form of compulsory national testing "by all appropriate means" in a debate on the assessment methods for A Curriculum for Excellence

Larry Flanagan, the union's education convener, warned that if there was one single issue on which ACfE would founder, it was assessment. The guidance document, Building the Curriculum 3, contained a clear statement that assessment should be based on a teacher's professional judgment. "It is important in CfE that the basic principle of assessment is about what goes on in the classroom, not what goes on in directorate offices to create league tables," he said.

Despite clear direction from the Education Secretary and the previous Scottish Executive that Scotland should move away from the collection of 5-14 data, benchmarking and tests, this was still happening, he claimed.

Edinburgh delegate, Kenn Bryce-Stafford, disagreed, arguing that the only way to find out who could and could not read, write and count was to use national standardised testing of literacy and numeracy.

The starting date for the new S4 qualifications, already put back by a year to 2014, should be further delayed, agreed delegates.

In the current climate of austerity, one concession the Government could give teachers was time, said Bill Ramsay, an SNP delegate from South Lanarkshire.

Andrew Fullwood, from South Lanarkshire, suggested that "if we ask the Government for a further extension for implementation, we have a better chance of getting it right."

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