81% of Ontario's Grade 10 students succeed on provincial literacy test

EQAO recommends review of initiatives supporting students enrolled in applied
courses

TORONTO, Aug. 23, 2017 /CNW/ - The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) has published provincial-level results for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), written by Grade 10 students during the 2016–2017 school year.

For the second year in a row, 81% of first-time eligible Grade 10 students who wrote the OSSLT were successful. Over the past five years, the overall success rate on the OSSLT has remained high and relatively unchanged, ranging between 81% and 83%.

Forty-four percent of participating first-time eligible students enrolled in the applied course were successful on the test, marking a seven-percentage-point decrease over a five-year period. Meanwhile, 92% of first-time eligible students enrolled in the academic course were successful.

In October 2016, the online trial of the OSSLT was disrupted by a cyberattack. While some students were able to complete the test online, most took the assessment again during the regularly scheduled OSSLT administration in March 2017, using pencil and paper. EQAO implemented a number of quality-assurance measures to ensure that the cyberattack did not affect its ability to provide reliable data or the integrity of this year's OSSLT results. 

Quick Facts

  • Of the 127 142 students who wrote the OSSLT for the first time during the 2016–2017 school year,
    • 81% were successful (102 530) and
    • 19% were unsuccessful (24 612).
  • The overall success rate on the OSSLT has remained high and relatively unchanged over the last five years:
    • 2017—81%
    • 2016—81%
    • 2015—82%
    • 2014—83%
    • 2013—82%
  • Of the 24 233 first-time eligible students enrolled in the applied course who wrote the OSSLT, 10 633 (44%) were successful and 13 600 (56%) were unsuccessful. Comparatively, of the 99 051 first-time eligible students enrolled in the academic course who wrote the OSSLT, 90 710 (92%) were successful and 8341 (8%) were unsuccessful.
  • The success rate on the OSSLT among students enrolled in the applied course, 48% of whom are students with special education needs, has declined over the last five years:
    • 2017—44%
    • 2016—47%
    • 2015—50%
    • 2014—50%
    • 2013—51%
  • Comparatively, the success rate on the OSSLT among students enrolled in the academic course has remained very high over the last five years:
    • 2017—92%
    • 2016—92%
    • 2015—93%
    • 2014—94%
    • 2013—94%
  • Students who do not meet the provincial reading or writing standard in the early grades are at a greater risk of not having the literacy skills they will need in secondary school and beyond. Of the 22 498 students who wrote the OSSLT and who had not met the reading standard in Grade 6, 9645 (43%) were successful on the OSSLT. Of the 22 943 students who wrote the OSSLT and who had not met the writing standard in Grade 6, 11 208 (49%) were successful on the OSSLT.

Quotes

"The numbers are here and they reflect a relative consistency in the large percentage of students meeting the provincial literacy standard in Grade 10. This is good news overall for Ontario's publicly funded education system, but we must keep looking for ways to support students who are not yet meeting curriculum standards."   
Dave Cooke, Chair, EQAO

"The results of this year's OSSLT are positive overall, and they speak to the high level of teaching and learning occurring in Ontario's classrooms. The continued decline in achievement among students in the applied course shows the need for further reflection and action."
Norah Marsh, Chief Executive Officer, EQAO

Links

On September 20, school and board reports for the OSSLT will be released. A full report of provincial results will also be released on this date.

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SOURCE Education Quality and Accountability Office

For further information: Rachel Pinnington, Senior Communications Officer, 416 314-4327, rachel.pinnington@eqao.com

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