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Teachers’ Union to Protest Student Assessment Test

Posted October. 15, 2009 22:47,   


The National Teachers and Educational Workers Union and several parents’ groups yesterday said they will boycott the national student assessment test, calling them a “simultaneous national test.”

The liberal union held what it called a “rally against the simultaneous national test” in central Seoul, urging the withdrawal of the test.

The test will be given to sixth, ninth and 10th graders at public schools today and tomorrow to assess the academic performance of elementary, middle and high school students nationwide.

The test had been conducted among sample groups of three to five percent previously, but became mandatory for all students from last year. The subjects of Korean, English and math will be conducted today, and social studies and science tests will be offered tomorrow.

The duration for the test for sixth graders will decrease from 60 minutes last year to 40 minutes this year, while vocational school students will not take social studies and science on the test.

To prevent fabrication of test scores that resulted in last year’s first round of testing, scoring by schools will be shunned and educational offices will form scoring teams instead. The basic academic assessment test, which will be conducted for third graders every October, will be merged with the academic subject assessment test conducted every March, and will be no longer conducted independently from this year.

Test scores will not be scored by points or rankings but will be scored in four levels -- excellent, fair, basic and below basic. The Education, Science and Technology Ministry will publicize the test results in three phases for elementary and middle schools by the local educational office and “excellent” and “fair” for high schools by the provincial and metropolitan educational office in December

The union said in a news release under the name of a “national coalition of civic groups against the simultaneous national test,” “We urge the government to withdraw the simultaneous national test and reconsider from scratch the release of test scores by the school,” adding, “We urge the return of fired teachers.”

The ministry, however, reconfirmed its decision to penalize schools and teachers who boycott the test and induce students to perform outdoor activities instead of taking the test.