Redford deserves high marks for direction on PATs
May 29, 2012 06:00 am
To the Editor:
Really? Eliminating PATs would damage education, states a May 15 editorial in the St. Paul Journal. That’s a pretty strong statement. I have been a teacher for 30 years and have administered PATs to Grade 3 students for a majority of those years. I have yet to be convinced that an eight-year-old child’s results determine whether we have a quality education or not. I am convinced that a child has been ‘prepped’ to wade through the ‘tricky’ questions and hopefully will succeed through a stressful situation. Have you wiped the tears of an eight-year-old who has not finished the test in the allocated time? Remember, Grade 3 students in the classroom are at various stages (be it academically or maturity). They come from all types of home settings – extremes being little parental support or high expectation to ‘be the best’. The teacher ‘in the trenches’ knows how far this child has progressed – not a standardized test that does not know the student.
I do agree that Alberta has a great education system. It is something to appreciate and continue. I believe focusing on class size, support for our special needs children and teamwork with parents makes a great education even better. Perhaps the money spent developing, marking, and analyzing results would be much better spent in the classroom, which directly benefits students.
You state that competition is good for the child. Overall, I agree. However, comparing standardized tests to climbing trees and zip-lining does not, in my opinion, reach the potential/expectation of a good editorial. Premier Redford’s promise of supporting education and reviewing PATs at the elementary level is sound and should get an A+.
Marilyne Kissel, B.Ed.