FSA data now useless

It is likely that our campaign has once again rendered FSA data useless at the provincial, district, and school levels. Last year’s provincial non-participation rate of over 16% seriously compromised provincial results. The type of scientifically constructed random sample we advocate could achieve reliable and valid data with small numbers of students writing, but the parents who pulled their children out of the tests are not randomly distributed across geographical areas, socio-economic status, etc. That lack of randomness completely defeats the reliability and validity of FSA data. Similarly, the vast majority of districts, some of which have non-participation rates as high as 30 or 40%, and schools, some of which had non-participation rates as high as 98%, cannot use FSA results with any kind of confidence for school and district plans. Although the ministry is well-aware of this, there has been no public acknowledgement of the problem. Another year of worthless data will keep up the political pressure on government.

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