EQAO Recognizes Secondary Schools That Help Grade 9 Students Improve in Applied Math

TORONTO, April 10, 2017 /CNW/ -

NEWS

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) is celebrating six secondary schools in Ontario that have effectively used EQAO data to institute programs and strategies that help Grade 9 students in applied math improve their performance.

The educators in these schools have used a wide range of evidence—EQAO test results, as well as classroom and school-board data—to identify areas requiring attention and support. This combined data analysis helped them develop action plans based on their school's unique circumstances.

The main criteria for schools to be considered for this recognition is that they had to have results showing that a continuously increasing percentage of students have reached the provincial standard in applied mathematics for the past five years. To confirm that math programs were benefitting all students, schools also had to have results in academic mathematics that were near or above the provincial average, and that improved or that were relatively stable over the same five-year period.

Each year, EQAO recognizes schools across the province for their ability to use EQAO data to enhance and support the progress of their students. This informed use of data also helps school staff monitor improvement and guide progress.

The schools profiled by EQAO this year are as follows:

  • Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School (Leamington)
    School board: Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
    Key strategy:
    Each year, staff at Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School looks at class profiles alongside EQAO primary- and junior-assessment results and cohort data trends, including attitudinal and behavioural data, to understand students' needs. At the beginning of the school year, staff members also meet with other math departments in the board to analyze the data and determine areas requiring attention.
    Results: The percentage of students in applied mathematics meeting the provincial standard has steadily increased from 21% in 2011–2012 to 66% in 2015–2016. Over the past five years, the percentage of students in academic mathematics reaching the standard has increased from 68% to 93%, which is well above the provincial average.

  • Earl Haig Secondary School (Toronto)
    School board: Toronto District School Board
    Key strategy:
    EQAO data are important among the information used by staff at Earl Haig Secondary School. Teachers and administrators examine all facets of the EQAO data to get a better understanding of the students in every class. Data are used not only to improve Grade 9 results, but to inform practices for Grade 10 teachers and beyond. 
    Results: The percentage of students in applied mathematics meeting the provincial standard has steadily increased from 45% in 2011–2012 to 75% in 2015–2016. Over the past five years, the percentage of students in academic mathematics meeting the standard has remained consistently high, between 93% and 96%.

  • Essex District High School (Essex)
    School board: Greater Essex County District School Board
    Key strategy:
    Teachers at Essex District High School use the EQAO online reporting application to access information that helps identify trends over time in areas of concern and strength with their students. In particular, they examine Grades 3 and 6 test results to facilitate the early identification of students who may require different degrees of intervention to move up to the achievement standard in applied mathematics in Grade 9.
    Results: The percentage of students in applied mathematics meeting the provincial standard has steadily increased from 39% in 2011–2012 to 62% in 2015–2016. Over the past five years, the percentage of students in academic mathematics reaching the standard has steadily increased from 70% to 91%, which is well above the provincial average.

  • Governor Simcoe Secondary School (St. Catharines)
    School board: District School Board of Niagara
    Key strategy:
    Staff at Governor Simcoe Secondary School uses EQAO data in combination with other types of data to understand students' needs. Teachers analyze the results that Grade 9 students obtained on the Grades 3 and 6 EQAO assessments, as well as their achievement on a board-designed test administered to feeder schools in Grade 8. Teachers also study EQAO results to determine the needs of students entering Grade 10.
    Results: The percentage of students in applied mathematics achieving the provincial standard has steadily increased from 40% in 2011–2012 to 71% in 2015–2016. Over the past five years, the percentage of students in academic mathematics meeting the standard has remained consistently close to the provincial average, between 72% and 80%. 

               
  • Maple High School (Maple)
    School board: York Region District School Board
    Key strategy:
    Staff at Maple High School uses the EQAO online reporting application to track cohort data from Grade 6 EQAO results. With support from the department head, teachers looked at the areas of need and adjusted the focus of studies each year accordingly.
    Results: The percentage of students in applied mathematics meeting the provincial standard has steadily increased from 32% in 2011–2012 to 57% in 2015–2016. Over the past five years, the percentage of students in academic mathematics reaching the standard has remained consistently high, between 84% and 88%.

  • Mississauga Secondary School (Mississauga)
    School board: Peel District School Board
    Key strategy:
    Over several years, the Mississauga Secondary School team worked with partner schools to analyze EQAO data from Grades 6 and 9. In particular, they looked for similarities and differences in results, and highlighted math strands requiring focus. Together, Mississauga Secondary School and its feeder schools developed lessons and strategies for working with students, and monitored outcomes from Grades 6 to 10. EQAO results helped determine the numeracy goals of the school success plan.
    Results: The percentage of students in applied mathematics meeting the provincial standard has steadily increased from 56% in 2011–2012 to 67% in 2015–2016. Over the past five years, the percentage of students in academic mathematics reaching the standard has remained consistently high, between 86% and 92%, which is well above the provincial average.

QUICK FACTS

  • In Ontario, there were approximately 97 000 Grade 9 students enrolled in the academic course and 36 000 in the applied course at the time of the 2015–2016 assessment.
    • Of Grade 9 students enrolled in the academic math course in 2015–2016, 83% met the provincial math standard, compared to the 84% who did on the 2011–2012 assessment.
    • Of Grade 9 students enrolled in the applied math course in 2015–2016, 45% met the standard, compared to the 44% who did on the 2011–2012 assessment.

  • EQAO test results have proven to be a catalyst for the betterment of the education system. Education-system leaders use EQAO test results alongside school- or board-level data to support continuous improvement.

  • The types of EQAO data that schools can use for school improvement planning and improved student learning include EQAO test results as well as EQAO's contextual, attitudinal and behavioural data. Schools can also use other sources of data such as classroom assessment results and other school- or board-level information to paint a full picture of trends and circumstances at a school.

  • EQAO results provide evidence about student achievement that can contribute to system-wide actions, such as the Ministry of Education's math strategy, targeted funding for teacher training, reviews of math pedagogy and curriculum, as well as a renewed focus on the math qualifications of new teacher candidates. Schools also use EQAO data to review resource allocations and programming requirements.

QUOTE

"EQAO is recognizing schools that have helped students in math at a time when there continue to be questions regarding student achievement in this area. The schools being recognized today have demonstrated significant progress in helping their students in applied mathematics improve their performance. Through the effective use of a wide range of evidence—EQAO test results, and classroom and board data—these schools have managed to tailor teaching strategies in accordance with the needs of their students. This is exactly the type of change that EQAO can help foster, and I think that these are examples that can help other schools in Ontario."

Dr. Richard Jones, Interim Chief Executive Officer, EQAO

SOURCE Education Quality and Accountability Office

For further information: Media contact: Mark Ruban, Manager, Communications and Public Affairs (Acting), 416-559-5487, mark.ruban@eqao.com

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