NDP's Adrian Dix claims hockey-pool guidebooks are more rigorous than Fraser Institute

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      B.C. NDP leadership candidate Adrian Dix has thrown more red meat to the party's base.

      Last week, he talked about reversing corporate tax cuts since 2008.

      Today (February 7), he took a shot at the Fraser Institute, which produces school rankings that infuriate B.C. educators and teachers' unions.

      "Fantasy hockey pool guidebooks use more rigorous assessment and criteria than the Fraser Institute," Dix declared in a statement.

      He claimed that the Foundation Skills Assessment tests, which are the basis for the rankings, have not driven improvements to the public-school system.

      Therefore, he added, they need to be "replaced". The FSA tests are administered each year to students in grades 4 and 7 in both public and private schools to evaluate reading comprehension, writing, and numeracy.

      "And the likes of the Fraser Institute have capitalized on the B.C. Liberal government’s failure to properly apply the assessment tests," Dix said in his statement. "To draw headlines that will boost its fundraising efforts, this right wing group twists the FSA results to produce a questionable list ranking schools across the province. Bountiful elementary school sharing the top spot in this year’s report—a finding that is at odds with information that has recently been provided in the provincial courts—illustrates the problems with methodology the Institute uses, and with the overall report."

      Educators have always been a key component of the NDP's support base. By promising to get rid of the FSA tests, Dix has likely picked up a few more votes in his party's leadership contest.

      Related story: Fraser Institute reacts to criticism from NDP leadership candidate Adrian Dix




      Feb 7, 2011 at 3:30pm

      NDP politician sends out press release! Charlie Smith chuckles quietly, writes Straight article about it!


      Feb 7, 2011 at 3:45pm

      It would help more if the NDP candidate used the new technologies and applications available to distribute said notice - via website, facebook, twitter. Can't find the damn thing anywhere.


      Feb 7, 2011 at 4:16pm

      Kudos to Dix for makinf this statement and slap on the face to Fraser Institiue and the BC Liberals.

      Mr Telus

      Feb 7, 2011 at 4:22pm

      Go Adrian!!!

      calling it like it is!

      Charlie Smith

      Feb 7, 2011 at 4:23pm

      I sent a note to Peter Cowley at the Fraser Institute asking for a response.I waited a while before posting this to give Peter a chance to respond. He didn't call. Perhaps he will, in which case I'll add his response.

      Charlie Smith


      Feb 7, 2011 at 5:38pm

      Good for him...
      I like Red Meat...it's better than the usual Soylent Green served up by these creatures.

      glen p robbins

      Feb 7, 2011 at 6:14pm

      If we agree that the Fraser Institute is not reasonable and doesn't properly account for class sizes and inherent with class size, the lack of specialized teachers and subsequent strain on these classes - skewing the report outcomes - how then do we keep an eye on the Teacher's performance?

      These are our children - and frankly my own experience, and I suspect from many parents -- would never-ever permit me to just let the Teachers have absolute control.

      Would Adrian be willing to trade off the tests with no Teachers Fed on the College Board?


      Feb 7, 2011 at 10:02pm

      The conservative right (BC Liberals & Fed. Conservatives) throughout North America are pushing for the privatization of everything, including schools and it takes time to achieve this. So the Fraser institute has implemented their own (disproven) scoring system for our schools. To quote a renowned cognitive scientist and linguist who has deconstructed their attempts to destroy our adequate school system.

      "Once the testing frame applies not just to students but also to schools, then schools can, metaphorically, fail—and be punished for failing by having their allowance cut. Less funding in turn makes it harder for the schools to improve, which leads to a cycle of failure and ultimately elimination for many public schools. What replaces the public school system is a voucher system to support private schools. The wealthy would have good schools—paid for in part by what used to be tax payments for public schools. The poor would not have the money for good schools. We would wind up with a two-tier school system, a good one for the “deserving rich” and a bad one for the “undeserving poor.”</blockquote>

      Whether it be schools, taxes (HST), health care, privatization of public organizations, or just good old truth telling transparency, the BC Liberals have three more years to complete the implementation of their well documented right wing agenda. Make no mistake about it, they intend to convert this province into their own fiefdom and they are well on their way.

      The above quote is from George Lakoff's "Don't Think of an Elephant" which explains how the conservative right frames issues and how Progressives must stand up to these bullies and call it like it is. Because even <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRYrx1AGzZw&feature=player_embedded">bullies like the BC Liberals</a> don't like being shamed.

      G.Lakoff has published dozens of books, is on YouTube & Huff. Post.

      Jessica Van der Veen

      Feb 7, 2011 at 10:41pm

      Actually, all we have to do is get the Ministry to stop releasing the raw data and release their own analysis controlled for socio-economics and other variables. They would be better to follow cohorts over time charting improvements or the reverse. This way we will really know where the kids improve, where the good schools are and what programs are having an effect. Longitudinal studies show us so much more than one-time snapshots.

      Right now the Fraser Institute rankings tell us where the wealthy kids for whom English is a first language are -- and that's about it. They also tell us that the Fraser Institute is an embarrassment to honest researchers.


      Feb 7, 2011 at 11:15pm

      If you want to find out how your child is doing in school, read his or her report card from the teacher. It is much more comprehensive than the FSA scores can ever hope to be. If you want to find out what should be taught to your children, ask the teacher or check the Ministry of Education website here


      It is the principals' responsibility to assess and report on teachers. That is not the purpose of these tests. Some years some classes will do very well and other classes will do less well. It depends on the student. These tests are not designed to test the teachers and they should not be used as such.