Priorities

  • To be a visible national voice for teachers
  • To act as a strong advocate for public education
  • To bring public attention to the need for all members of school communities to work, learn and live in a safe and healthy environment
  • To focus public and professional attention on necessary conditions for teaching and learning
  • To advocate for social justice issues

ASSESSMENT

CTF believes that the purpose of student assessment is to support student learning.

Classroom teachers have the primary responsibility for assessing and evaluating student achievement and thus the teacher’s assessment must be recognized as the most important source of information about student learning. Effective student assessments include teacher observation, samples of student work, essays, lab experiments, public presentations, and individual and group projects. These performance-based assessments provide better information about what students know and are able to do. Teachers believe tests should be used to make important decisions about individual students. The most important reason to test children is to give teachers, students and parents information they need to plan for further learning.

Teachers’ organizations, as the professional voice of teachers, must be directly involved in all policy decisions about assessment and evaluation at provincial / territorial, national and international levels.

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation opposes the use and misuse of externally mandated provincial / territorial / national and international standardized tests.

ACCOUNTABILITY

CTF believes that educational accountability is the responsibility for student learning shared by all those involved in public education. Accountability in education has been a CTF priority for several years. Recently the issue has gained prominence as a result of school rankings featured by the press and the initiation of provincial and territorial governments to increase the amount and intensity of standardized tests.

CTF believes that what public education needs to be held accountable for is dependent on educational purposes, and that educational purposes in turn must be informed by a strong vision of the public good. An accountability system must be responsive to the complex goals and purposes of public education, and grounded in a vision that public schools work towards a common good that embraces democratic principles and social justice.

Teachers are concerned about bureaucratic accountability schemes that take valuable time and resources away from learning.

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