EQAO results show gains in student achievement this year; tracking students from grade 3 to 6 and grade 6 to 9 provides valuable insights into areas of success and concern



    TORONTO, Aug. 26 /CNW/ - Today the Education Quality and Accountability
Office (EQAO) released provincial-level highlights of student achievement on
the 2009 Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, Primary Division
(Grades 1-3) and Junior Division (Grades 4-6), and the Grade 9 Assessment of
Mathematics. The results show steady improvement in most grades and subjects
over the past five years and a few notable year-to-year gains in Grade 6
reading and Grade 9 applied mathematics. Since last year, the percentage of
students meeting or exceeding the provincial standard in Grade 6 reading has
increased by three percentage points to 69%; for Grade 9 applied mathematics,
the percentage meeting or exceeding the standard has increased by four points
to 38%.
    EQAO has also tracked the progress of the cohort of students who wrote
the primary-division assessment in 2006, when they were in Grade 3, and
compared their results to those they attained on the junior-division
assessment in Grade 6 this year. The agency also looked at students'
performance on the mathematics component of the Grade 6 assessment in 2006 and
compared it to the same students' achievement on the Grade 9 Assessment of
Mathematics in 2009.
    "By testing all students in the publicly funded system in Ontario, EQAO
is able to follow their achievement as they progress through their schooling,
and this provides valuable insights to the education community, parents and
the public," said Dr. Brian Desbiens, Chair of the EQAO Board of Directors.
"This kind of evidence of student progress can help inform discussions about
whole-school approaches to curriculum delivery and instructional programs and
curriculum expectations during the transitions from the primary to the junior
to the intermediate division."
    EQAO's cohort tracking shows positive results for the majority of
students, who either maintained their achievement of the provincial standard
or improved to meet it from one assessment to the next. However, there remain
a large number of students who did not meet the standard in the earlier grades
and did not catch up three years later. Once again this year, notable for
further attention are the results for students in the Grade 9 applied
mathematics course. Although this population made gains over last year, the
cohort tracking shows that almost half (48%) of these students did not meet
the standard in either Grade 6 or Grade 9.
    "These results are a flag to parents and educators. They show that many
students who did not meet the provincial standard in the earlier grades had
difficulty catching up as they progressed through their schooling," said
Marguerite Jackson, EQAO's Chief Executive Officer. "However, we know that
early identification, focused attention and support from the school and
parents alike are critical elements for helping students master the skills
they need to succeed. The number of students in each area who rose to the
standard from one assessment to next reflects this. "
    On September 17, EQAO will release student achievement results for each
school and school board in Ontario. Schools and boards will have their results
under embargo until this date and will be able to speak about their results
beginning on September 17. On the same day, EQAO will release a comprehensive
provincial report titled Ontario Student Achievement: EQAO's Provincial Report
on the Results of the 2008-2009 Assessments of Reading, Writing and
Mathematics, Primary Division (Grades 1-3) and Junior Division (Grades 4-6),
and the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics. The Provincial Report will provide
contextual data, summaries of findings, strategies for success and profiles of
successful schools. All information will be posted on EQAO's Web site,
www.eqao.com, as it is released to the public.
    Currently available on EQAO's Web site are the primary-division,
junior-division and Grade 9 assessments that students wrote in 2009, along
with the answer keys and sample written student responses at each performance
level.

    Achievement data by grade and subject are detailed in the backgrounder
below.

    
    Aussi disponible en français

    BACKGROUNDER

    Ontario Student Achievement Over Time

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EQAO
     Assessment                          Percentage at Levels 3 and 4
     Component                    -------------------------------------------
                                                                    Gain over
                                  2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   5 years
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grade 3 Reading                59%    62%    62%    61%    61%      +2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grade 6 Reading                63%    64%    64%    66%    69%      +6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grade 3 Writing                61%    64%    64%    66%    68%      +7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grade 6 Writing                59%    61%    61%    67%    67%      +8
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grade 3 Math                   66%    68%    69%    68%    70%      +4
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grade 6 Math                   60%    61%    59%    61%    63%      +3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grade 9 Applied Math           27%    35%    35%    34%    38%     +11
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grade 9 Academic Math          68%    71%    71%    75%    77%      +9
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Cohort Tracking Results from 2006 to 2009
    

    EQAO's analysis of trends over time provides valuable insights into the
progress of student cohorts from one assessment to the next.
    Since EQAO assessments test all students in the publicly funded system in
Ontario and since each student in the province has a unique Ontario Education
Number (OEN), EQAO is able to follow the performance of students as they
progress through their schooling.
    For this particular analysis, EQAO tracked the progress of students who
wrote the primary-division (Grades 1-3) assessment in 2006, when they were in
Grade 3, and the junior-division (Grades 4-6) assessment in 2009, when they
were in Grade 6. EQAO also looked at the results of students on the
mathematics component of the junior-division assessment in 2006 and compared
them to the results of the same students on the Grade 9 Assessment of
Mathematics in 2009.
    The results below show how students performed on the 2009 assessments
compared to their assessment results in 2006. The percentages are based on all
students in the cohort, including those who were exempted and those who
provided no work to be scored.

    
    From Grade 3 Reading in 2006 to Grade 6 Reading in 2009

    The reading results for the 121 623 students in the cohort are as follows:

    -   56% (67 738) met the provincial standard in Grade 3 and Grade 6;
    -   14% (17 622) did not meet the standard in Grade 3 but met it in Grade
        6;
    -   7% (8896) met the standard in Grade 3 but did not meet it in Grade 6
        and
    -   23% (27 367) did not meet the standard in Grade 3 or Grade 6.

    From Grade 3 Writing in 2006 to Grade 6 Writing in 2009

    The writing results for the 121 629 students in the cohort are as follows:

    -   54% (65 829) met the provincial standard in Grade 3 and Grade 6;
    -   14% (16 883) did not meet the standard in Grade 3 but met it in Grade
        6;
    -   10% (12 590) met the standard in Grade 3 but did not meet it in Grade
        6 and
    -   22% (26 327) did not meet the standard in Grade 3 or Grade 6.

    From Grade 3 Math in 2006 to Grade 6 Math in 2009

    The mathematics results for the 124 597 students in the cohort are as
follows:

    -   55% (68 387) met the provincial standard in Grade 3 and Grade 6;
    -   9% (10 658) did not meet the standard in Grade 3 but met it in Grade
        6;
    -   14% (17 829) met the standard in Grade 3 but did not meet it in Grade
        6 and
    -   22% (27 723) did not meet the standard in Grade 3 or Grade 6.

    From Grade 6 Math in 2006 to Grade 9 Applied Math in 2009

    The mathematics results for the 36 529 students in the cohort are as
follows:

    -   20% (7326) met the provincial standard in Grade 6 and Grade 9;
    -   21% (7809) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 but met it in Grade
        9;
    -   10% (3829) met the standard in Grade 6 but did not meet it in Grade 9
        and
    -   48% (17 565) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 or Grade 9.

    From Grade 6 Math in 2006 to Grade 9 Academic Math in 2009

    The mathematics results for the 88 583 students in the cohort are as
follows:

    -   69% (61 116) met the provincial standard in Grade 6 and Grade 9;
    -   9% (8219) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 but met it in Grade 9;
    -   12% (10 388) met the standard in Grade 6 but did not meet it in Grade
        9 and
    -   10% (8860) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 or Grade 9.

    About EQAO
    

    The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) was established in
1996 based on a recommendation of Ontario's Royal Commission on Learning. The
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
was created as an independent agency to conduct the assessments and gather
objective information from our schools.
    EQAO plays an important role in Ontario education 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.
    In the 2008-2009 school year, the English-language assessments were
written by

    
    -   120 405 Grade 3 students in 3399 schools;
    -   131 296 Grade 6 students in 3216 schools;
    -   100 060 Grade 9 students in academic mathematics in 684 schools and
    -   45 616 Grade 9 students in applied mathematics in 715 schools.

    The Provincial Standard
    

    EQAO's assessments are designed, administered and scored in partnership
with Ontario's educators to directly measure the expectations set out in The
Ontario Curriculum. These assessments provide a uniform, non-biased evaluation
of student learning in Ontario's publicly funded education system. The
provincial standard for achievement represents mastery of the knowledge and
skills students are expected to demonstrate. That standard is rigorously
maintained from year to year and the assessments are developed and scored in a
way that ensures the results can be compared appropriately from one year to
the next.
    The four levels of achievement that EQAO uses to report student results
are aligned with the four levels of achievement used by the Ministry of
Education. The Ministry of Education has established Level 3 as the provincial
standard. The following are brief descriptions of the levels:

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Achievement Level                           Definition
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Level 4                      Achievement exceeds the provincial standard
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Level 3                        Achievement meets the provincial standard
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Level 2                   Achievement approaches the provincial standard
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Level 1             Achievement falls much below the provincial standard
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Individual Student Results
    

    Students who participated in the assessments last spring will receive an
Individual Student Report (ISR) that shows the students' achievement in
relation to the provincial standard. The ISR for students who wrote the
junior-division assessment will also show their results on the
primary-division assessment if they wrote it in 2006.
    All ISRs provide parents with a summary of school, board and provincial
results.
    ISRs will be in schools the week of September 21 in order to be sent home
with students.

    Testing the Curriculum

    The provincial tests given at the end of the primary division (Grade 3)
and the junior division (Grade 6) are based on the expectations in The Ontario
Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Language (revised 2006) and The Ontario Curriculum,
Grades 1-8: Mathematics (revised 2005) outlining the knowledge and skills
students should have acquired by the corresponding stages of their schooling.
    EQAO assessments measure how well students have met the provincial
expectations. For example, Grade 3 and Grade 6 students are assessed in

    
    -   reading-using a variety of reading strategies and conventions,
        understanding concepts, making inferences and connecting ideas;
    -   writing-using writing strategies and language conventions,
        understanding assigned tasks, organizing ideas and communicating with
        the reader, and
    -   mathematics-demonstrating knowledge and skills in the five strands of
        mathematics: number sense and numeration; geometry and spatial sense;
        measurement; patterning and algebra; and data management and
        probability.
    

    The Grade 9 mathematics test is based on the expectations for student
knowledge and performance by the end of Grade 9 in The Ontario Curriculum,
Grades 9 and 10: Mathematics (revised 2005). The purpose of the Grade 9
Assessment of Mathematics is to assess the level at which students in the
applied and academic mathematics courses are meeting Grade 9 curriculum
expectations. Grade 9 academic and applied students must demonstrate knowledge
and skills in the same three areas-number sense and algebra; linear relations;
measurement and geometry-and academic students must also do so in analytic
geometry.





For further information:

For further information: and to arrange interviews, please contact Katia
Collette, Communications Officer, (416) 212-7047, katia.collette@eqao.com

Organization Profile

Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890