TORONTO, June 13, 2012 /CNW/ - The results of this year's Ontario
Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), which is administered every
year to students in Grade 10 by the Education Quality and
Accountability Office (EQAO), show that the vast majority have
developed the literacy skills required to participate effectively and
productively in life. Of the Grade 10 students who wrote the test, 82%
were successful this year. Over the past five years, the provincial
success rate has remained relatively stable, ranging between 82% and
A closer look at the results points to a notable 70/30 split in student
achievement. The large majority of Ontario's Grade 10 students who
wrote the test (71%, or 103 941) were enrolled in the academic English
course in 2012, and more than nine out of 10 of those who wrote the
test (93%, 95 250) were successful.
The results are different for the remaining 30%—some 43 000 students.
For example, although 22% (33 142) of all Grade 10 students who wrote
the test are enrolled in the applied English course, students from this
course represent more than half (58%) of all those who were
unsuccessful on the OSSLT this year. Since this pattern has been
observed for a number of years, the findings suggest the effectiveness
of the applied English course should be reviewed.
Analyzing the results further still, EQAO examined this year's Grade 10
students' results on the reading and writing components of the
provincial assessments they wrote four years ago when in Grade 6. This
analysis revealed that of the Grade 10 students who were not successful
on the OSSLT this year, 78% had also not met the provincial reading
standard in 2008. There continues to be a significant group of students
progressing through the grades without receiving the literacy support
they need to be successful.
"The publicly funded school system is doing a good job developing the
literacy skills of the vast majority of its students—a fact that is
consistently proven in provincial, national and international
assessments," said Dr. Brian Desbiens, Chair of EQAO's Board of Directors. "However, the courses and supports
designed specifically for students who need different kinds of
programming to develop their literacy skills are not producing the
outcomes EQAO's board of directors would expect to see."
"The evidence is clear that the earlier we identify and support students
in need, the better chance we have at altering their path to help them
find success," added Marguerite Jackson, EQAO's Chief Executive Officer. "Ontario's Grade 3 and Grade 6
students just finished writing the provincial tests last week, and we
encourage their parents and guardians to pay close attention to the
results they'll receive in September and work in partnership with
teachers to support their child's learning."
OSSLT results by school and school board are available at www.eqao.com.
Aussi disponible en français
1. Highlights of the Results of the 2011-2012 OSSLT
a) First-Time Eligible Students
This year, of the 147 306 students who were eligible to take the test
for the first time,
137 002 (93%) wrote the test
7338 (5%) had their participation deferred to a later administration
2966 (2%) were absent
Of the 137 002 first-time eligible students who wrote the test,
82% were successful
18% were unsuccessful
b) Previously Eligible Students
This year, of the 58 662 students who had previously been eligible to
take the test,
29 776 (51%) wrote the test
16 438 (28%) fulfilled the literacy credit by participating in the
Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course
6886 (12%) had their participation deferred to a later administration
5562 (9%) were absent
Of the 29 776 previously eligible students who wrote the test, 48% were
successful and 52% were unsuccessful.
2. Tracking Progress in Literacy from Grade 6 to Grade 10
The reading results for the 123 246 students in the cohort are as
66% (80 787) met the provincial standard in Grade 6 and were successful
on the OSSLT
17% (21 561) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 but were successful on
4% (4622) met the standard in Grade 6 but were not successful on the
13% (16 276) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 and were not
successful on the OSSLT
Of the 37 837 students who wrote the OSSLT and who had not met the
standard in reading in Grade 6,
57% (21 561) were successful.
Of the 20 898 students who were unsuccessful on the 2012 OSSLT and who
had written the junior-division assessment in 2008,
78% (16 276) had not met the provincial standard in reading (Level 3)
when they were in Grade 6.
3. About the OSSLT
The OSSLT measures whether students are meeting the minimum standard for
literacy across all subjects up to the end of Grade 9, according to the
expectations defined in The Ontario Curriculum. To meet the standard, students must be able to read and understand
ideas and information in a variety of written texts most of the time
and communicate ideas and information in writing clearly and without
distracting errors in punctuation, spelling, grammar or organization
most of the time.
Successful completion of the OSSLT is one of the 32 requirements for an
Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Students who are unsuccessful on the
test in Grade 10 can take it again the next school year or fulfill the
diploma requirement by successfully completing the Ontario Secondary
School Literacy Course.
4. About EQAO
EQAO was established in 1996, based on a recommendation from Ontario's
Royal Commission on Learning. The all-party commission consulted
extensively with teachers, parents, students and taxpayers. It
concluded that province-wide assessments would contribute to greater
quality and accountability in the publicly funded school system.
EQAO plays an important role in Ontario's school system by conducting
province-wide tests at key points in every student's primary, junior
and secondary education and by reporting the results. The tests measure
student performance in reading, writing and mathematics based on the
expectations set out in The Ontario Curriculum.
Results from EQAO testing are an important indicator of student learning
and measure achievement in relation to a common provincial standard.
The objective and reliable information gained through these assessments
adds to the current knowledge about how Ontario students are doing and
has become an important tool for improvement planning at the student,
school, school board and provincial levels.
SOURCE Education Quality and Accountability Office
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