EQAO releases school and board achievement results and profiles 15 schools

TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - Today the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released the 2011 school- and board-level results from its primary- and junior-division Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, written in Grades 3 and 6, and its Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics. EQAO also published two comprehensive provincial reports of this year's results: an elementary school report for the primary- and junior-division assessments and a secondary school report for the Grade 9 mathematics assessment and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.

Today's reports profile 15 schools—nine elementary and six secondary—from across the province that are using provincial assessment results to support their improvement planning. The profiled schools are at various stages of their journey of learning. They are representative of the dedicated school communities that can be found right across Ontario. The schools are notable for their leadership, data-driven strategies and whole-school approaches to helping every child succeed. Each of these schools has adopted an action plan, tailored to its unique circumstances, to work toward improved student outcomes.

The testing results at the provincial level, released on August 29, indicated that Grades 3 and 6 students have made notable gains over the past five years in both reading and writing. Achievement in mathematics on the two elementary tests has remained stable over this period. Also at the provincial level, Grade 9 math students in both the academic and applied courses continued to make consistent and significant gains, although the majority of students in the applied course are still not meeting the provincial standard.

Today's release of school- and board-level results allows school communities across the province to take stock of their own journey toward helping all students master the fundamental reading, writing and mathematics skills defined by The Ontario Curriculum.

"To be successful, all organizations need reliable, objective performance data. Students, parents, educators, policy makers and the public benefit from data that can be used to make reasonable judgments about how well schools are performing and to determine what changes need to be made to make schools better for all students," said Marguerite Jackson, EQAO's Chief Executive Officer. "The data being provided today allow parents, schools and school boards to celebrate their success in helping students master the foundational skills of literacy and numeracy, and, where necessary, to pinpoint areas for improvement."

By providing detailed information on student achievement in schools and boards, EQAO results not only help create strong, local accountability for student achievement, but also encourage dialogue between teachers and parents. To facilitate this dialogue, EQAO has developed six questions (available in 20 languages) to help parents interpret their child's school report. These questions are currently available on EQAO's Web site at www.eqao.com.

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Ontario Student Achievement Over Time

EQAO Assessment
Component or Version
Percentage Meeting or Exceeding the Provincial Standard
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Change
Grade 3 Reading 62% 61% 61% 62% 65% +3%
Grade 6 Reading 64% 66% 69% 72% 74% +10%
Grade 3 Writing 64% 66% 68% 70% 73% +9%
Grade 6 Writing 61% 67% 67% 70% 73% +12%
Grade 3 Mathematics 69% 68% 70% 71% 69% 0
Grade 6 Mathematics 59% 61% 63% 61% 58% -1%
Grade 9 Academic Mathematics 71% 75% 77% 82% 83% +12%
Grade 9 Applied Mathematics 35% 34% 38% 40% 42% +7%

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 are designed, administered and scored in partnership with Ontario's educators, and they 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 2010-2011 school year, there were

  • 124 117 Grade 3 students in 3363 schools;
  • 132 308 Grade 6 students in 3189 schools;
  • 99 278 Grade 9 students in academic mathematics in 684 schools and
  • 44 095 Grade 9 students in applied mathematics in 704 schools.

The Provincial Standard

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. Level 3 represents the range from B- to B+ for students in elementary school and the range from 70% to 79% for students in secondary school.

Meeting the standard means a student has a solid grasp of the required knowledge and skills, which is a good indication that he or she will be ready for work in the next grade. The standard is rigorously maintained from year to year, and EQAO assessments are developed and scored in a way that ensures the results can be compared appropriately from one year to the next.

Individual Student Results

Students who participated in the assessments last spring will receive an Individual Student Report (ISR) that shows the student's 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 2008. In addition, it will provide parents with a summary of school, board and provincial results.

ISRs will be in schools the week of September 19 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) assess students relative to the expectations in The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Language (revised 2006) and The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Mathematics (revised 2005), which outline 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 curriculum 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 for 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. Students enrolled in Grade 9 academic and applied mathematics must demonstrate knowledge and skills in the same three areas—number sense and algebra, linear relations, measurement and geometry—and for the academic course they must also do so in analytic geometry.

Samples of all EQAO assessments can be found at www.eqao.com.



SOURCE Education Quality and Accountability Office

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