School results from Ontario literacy test available: Local student achievement information is key for accountability and improvement planning



    TORONTO, June 10 /CNW/ - Today the Education Quality and Accountability
Office (EQAO) released school- and board-level results from the 2008-2009
Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) and also published a
comprehensive report entitled Ontario Student Achievement: EQAO's Provincial
Report on the Results of the 2008-2009 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.
    On June 3, EQAO announced that, this year, 85% of first-time eligible
students across the province met the literacy standard for reading and
writing, which is based on the expectations in The Ontario Curriculum. With
reports for all schools and boards now available on EQAO's Web site, school
communities across the province can access their local results and view the
outcome of their collective efforts to improve student literacy skills.
    "EQAO's school and school board reports promote strong accountability by
giving parents and the public independent and reliable information on student
achievement in their local schools," said Brian L. Desbiens, the Chair of
EQAO's Board of Directors. "But the true value of this testing goes well
beyond gathering results for reporting. The value lies in gaining critical
information on where students are having difficulty so that appropriate
improvement strategies can be put in place to support them."
    In the Provincial Report, six Ontario schools are profiled for their
success in improving student literacy, as demonstrated by their OSSLT results
over the years. The school teams relate what EQAO and other data have taught
them about their students and the innovative approaches they're using to
address areas needing improvement.
    "Ontario educators are now committed to using data to improve student
learning, and they're extremely sophisticated at it," said Marguerite Jackson,
EQAO's Chief Executive Officer. "EQAO continues to work closely with educators
across the province to expand the use of assessment data to help each student
reach his or her highest potential."
    All information released today is available on EQAO's Web site,
www.eqao.com.

    
    The six schools profiled in EQAO's Provincial Report are identified in
EQAO's regional news releases:

    -   Assumption College School (Brantford), Brant Haldimand Norfolk
        Catholic District School Board
    -   Lake Superior High School (Terrace Bay), Superior-Greenstone District
        School Board
    -   Quinte Secondary School (Belleville), Hastings and Prince Edward
        District School Board
    -   St. James Catholic High School (Guelph), Wellington Catholic District
        School Board
    -   St. Peter's Secondary School (Barrie), Simcoe Muskoka Catholic
        District School Board
    -   Timmins High and Vocational School (Timmins), District School Board
        Ontario North East

    NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS:

    EQAO also posted to its Web site the test booklets from the 2009 OSSLT, as
well as 10 of the test's multiple-choice questions and their answers,
presented in a fun and engaging format.

    EQAO is providing the media with
    -   camera-ready artwork with three questions from the test for print or
        Web publishing (http://www.eqao.com/pdf_e/09/Cad_tyls_Xe_0609.pdf);
    -   a Web button (gif)
        (http://www.eqao.com/images/buttons/Homepage/TestYourLiteracy_e.gif)
        and
    -   a link (for the Web button) to the 10 multiple-choice questions for
        online publishing
        (http://www.eqao.com/pdf_e/09/Cfly_tyls2pg_Xe_0609_web.pdf).

    By trying some of these questions themselves, parents, guardians and the
public at large will get a better sense of the literacy expectations outlined
in The Ontario Curriculum.

    Aussi disponible en français.


    Backgrounder
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    About EQAO

    The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) came into being in
1996 as an independent arm's-length agency of the Ontario government after the
Royal Commission on Learning recommended the establishment of province-wide
testing to evaluate and report on the quality of education in Ontario schools.
For more than a decade, EQAO's assessment practices and processes have placed
the organization at the forefront of large-scale assessment programs
worldwide. EQAO administers several province-wide tests each year. Results
from these assessments yield individual, school, school board and provincial
data on student achievement.

    Assessments in Context

    The quality of schools should not be judged according to EQAO data alone.
EQAO results provide a "snapshot" of how students are achieving at one point
in time and do not fully represent the richness and depth of multi-faceted
schools and their students. Every school's staff has access to many sources of
data in addition to EQAO reports. School staff and parents need to take into
account the complexities of their school by examining their EQAO results along
with all of the other information they have about student achievement, such as
that found in or through report cards, classroom assessments and board
assessments.

    School and Board Information

    EQAO provides reports to help school staff use local data and share it
with their communities. These reports, available on EQAO's Web site, include

    
    -   ready-to-use summaries of results;
    -   easy-to-read graphs;
    -   information about the local context and
    -   trends over time.
    

    In addition to the latest results of EQAO testing, the Ontario Student
Achievement: EQAO's Provincial Report on the Results of the 2008-2009 Ontario
Secondary School Literacy Test includes practical strategies for instruction
that classroom teachers can use. Each school or board also receives reports
about its students' answers to each question on the test. These resources will
assist in identifying key areas for improvement.





For further information:

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

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Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)

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