Scottish school tests plan ‘causing angst’ amongst teachers, MSPs told

The BBC is reporting that Scottish MSPs have been told concerns about how data gathered from new tests in schools will be used is “causing angst” in the teaching profession.

The Scottish government plans to introduce standardised assessments across Scotland…

Pupils across Scotland would be tested in P1, P4 and P7, and again in S3 – the tests would replace various assessments used by different schools and local authorities…

Susan Quinn, of the EIS, told Holyrood’s education committee: “We are not against the use of standardised assessments or tests in terms of supporting young people’s development.

“What we would like to see with the National Improvement Framework is a consideration of how you can gather the information from teachers’ professional judgements to inform the national position, and to then consider whether or not there is a need for a national test within that.

“We would argue there is evidence within the system just now that local authorities are gathering evidence.

“Some make use of standardised tests, equally some of them don’t in order to do so.”

She added: “We are clear that there are major issues around putting a test in place that will be for every single child.

“There are clear educational arguments as to why it isn’t going to be helpful to the young people.

“There are clearly going to be young people who will be disadvantaged by a test of this nature and we would argue that it is counter-intuitive to teacher professional judgement to say you have to use a particular assessment tool to back up your assessment judgement.

“We would argue it is for local authorities to decide what their assessment policy is.”

Craig Munro, of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, said the organisation was “very supportive of NIF” but added it was “how you use information to drive improvement” that was “causing the angst, not the testing so much”.

Mr Munro said: “There are various options about how we can do that without creating the league tables and the negative stereotypes…”

More at: School tests plan ‘causing angst’, MSPs told


Isn’t the counter-argument that, without national testing results, Scotland lacks the necessary data to enable it to assess school improvement activity?

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