Fraser Report Card Not a Friend of Student Learning

TORONTO, March 1 /CNW/ - Student learning, a complex mix of student knowledge, critical thinking ability, and many of the skills and knowledge outlined in the provincial curriculum, is reduced to a single test score within the Fraser Institute's 'Report Card on Ontario's Elementary Schools 2010'.

"The Report Card is a blunt and damaging instrument. It compares schools based on EQAO standardized test results, which encourages school ranking. This is a misuse of testing data that leads to certain schools, along with their students and teachers, being stigmatized because of their test results," said Sam Hammond, President, Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario.

"EQAO test scores are a very narrow indicator that in no way confirms the effectiveness of our schools or gives parents a true picture of their children's progress. The test scores do little to provide real help to students, parents, or schools. They provide only one assessment, while teachers know that good program decisions require many assessments," Hammond said.

Hammond notes that EQAO test scores are taking on a life of their own. They are used by outside organizations like the Fraser Institute to rank schools and by the Ministry of Education in its School Information Finder to compare schools.

According to Hammond, the overwhelming majority of teachers are raising concerns that the Ministry of Education's focus on increasing test scores is making it difficult for them to provide a balanced program for their elementary students.

"We believe that the Ontario government should phase out EQAO's provincial assessments and replace them with resources to support classroom assessment where teachers provide ongoing feedback on student progress," said Hammond. "Other jurisdictions with a history of large-scale assessments, both in Canada and internationally, are reducing or cancelling their tests. It is time for Ontario to review its student assessment regime."

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000 elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

SOURCE Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information: For further information: Sam Hammond, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836 (Office); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416) 962-3836 (Office), (416) 948-0195 (Cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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