• I was saddened to read of the continuing opposition by Irish teachers to some form of continuous assessment. It is particularly depressing to realise that this opposition is based on a profound ignorance of what a continuous-assessment system actually is.
The argument is made that such a system would expose teachers to pressure from parents to improve student marks. This fear suggests a worrying lack of professional self-confidence.
In my nearly 30 years of teaching in Ontario, I have never had a parent question my evaluation of their child's achievement. Continuous assessment allows me to provide numerous opportunities for students to demonstrate achievement, growth and progress.
In my senior world history class, students conduct debates, write research papers, do presentations and engage in student-led discussion seminars in addition to regular tests and a final examination set and marked by me.
These activities and others give me a very good picture of the students' abilities and I am happy to discuss progress with parents at any time.
Before ASTI so categorically rejects calls for reform, it should at least understand what continuous assessment looks like.
Visiting Ontario -- where students not only do well in international standardised testing, but whose universities are among the best in the world and where student assessment is exclusively classroom-teacher based -- would, I suggest, be a good place to start.