Ontario Schools and Boards Reap the Rewards of Sustained Efforts in Literacy

    TORONTO, June 11 /CNW/ - Today, the Education Quality and Accountability
Office (EQAO) released school- and board-level results from the 2007-2008
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 2007-2008 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.
    The school- and board-level OSSLT results demonstrate how persistent
efforts to strengthen students' literacy skills across Ontario's publicly
funded school system continue to pay off. On May 28, EQAO announced that, this
year, 84% of first-time eligible students successfully met the literacy
standard for reading and writing, which is based on the expectations in The
Ontario Curriculum. This success rate maintains the record level achieved in
2006 and 2007.
    With reports for all Ontario schools and boards now available on EQAO's
Web site, school communities from across the province can access their local
results and view the outcome of their collective efforts to improve students'
literacy skills. These reports include important contextual information, which
allows for the proper interpretation of the results in light of the
circumstances of each school community.
    "The publication of student results at the local level is one of the
important measures that ensure the accountability of the publicly funded
education system," said Brian L. Desbiens, the Chair of EQAO's Board of
Directors. "It gives parents, students and the public an objective indicator
of how well students in their local schools and boards are acquiring the
necessary literacy skills. The results are published each year and are a
source of valuable information for improvement planning across the system."
    In addition to school- and board-level results, EQAO has published
Ontario Student Achievement: EQAO's Provincial Report on the Results of the
2007-2008 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, which includes detailed
achievement results by subgroup (e.g., by gender, and special needs and
English language learner status), contextual data, a summary of findings,
strategies for success and profiles of successful schools.
    "This year's OSSLT results will once again help educators gauge the
effectiveness of their educational strategies," 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 as a tool to help
each student reach his or her highest potential."
    Every year, EQAO visits a number of secondary schools to observe their
successful data-driven strategies in action. This year, EQAO has selected
three schools to be profiled in its provincial report. These schools have been
selected for their success at consistently improving their students' literacy
skills, as demonstrated by improved OSSLT scores over the years. Each school
discusses how it has used EQAO and other data to support its students and the
successful approaches staff are using to improve student achievement. These
schools represent just a few of the many remarkable and inspiring stories
across Ontario's publicly funded school system.
    All information released today is available on EQAO's Web site,

    Aussi disponible en français.


    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
    In addition, contextual factors - such as attendance patterns, absentee
rates, mobility rates and special program needs of students - can influence
student-achievement levels in any school. This is why it is meaningless and
misleading to rank schools according to EQAO data. Trends in each school are
key, not comparisons among schools.

    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.

    Based on the newest results of EQAO testing, the Ontario Student
Achievement: EQAO's Provincial Report on the Results of the 2007-2008 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,

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Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)

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