Provincial exams eliminated as part of new BC school curriculum

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Provincial exams have been scrapped as part of changes to B.C.’s school curriculum.

The five core exams will be replaced with assessments of math and literacy skills. Graduating students will still be required to write math and literacy provincial exams and will also be assessed in subjects like science, socials studies, and language arts in their classrooms.

In addition to the exam changes, a consultation process for parents will take place from late June to October on what they want to know about their child’s progress and their preferred method of obtaining that information.

A new course will also be introduced starting in the 2017 to 2018 school year called Career Education that’s meant to link what students learn in the classroom to opportunities in life.

The new curriculum will be implemented for kindergarten to grade nine classes this fall, and will be available in draft for teachers to use for grades 10 to 12.

Jim Iker with the BC Teachers Federation says they’re “generally supportive” of the decision.

“For some time now, the BCTF has recommended the elimination of provincial exams, so this is a welcome move by government. For many students, provincial exams created significant barriers and took time away from actual learning. Over the years, provincial exams have tended to narrow the curriculum, force teachers to focus on content instead of skills and processes, and had a negative impact on students’ motivation,” he said in a release.

He adds that while they support the elimination of provinicial exams, funding for the changes is insufficient and the timelines are too short.

“If BC wants to fully realize this revised curriculum, our students need smaller classes, more support for children with special needs, and more time with specialist teachers,” says Iker.

More information on the curriculum changes can be found here.

Image: BC Government

Image: BC Government

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