Ontario Students Continue To Show Improvement

    McGuinty Government Supporting Increased Elementary Student Achievement

    TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/ -


    Ontario's elementary students continue to improve their reading, writing
and math skills, according to provincial test scores released today.
    In 2002-03, 54 per cent of students were achieving at or above the
provincial standard. Today's results show that 65 per cent of Grade 3 and
Grade 6 students are achieving at or above that standard. This represents an
11 percentage point increase since 2003, when the McGuinty government came to
    The goal is to have 75 per cent of students achieving at or above the
provincial standard. To reach this goal, the government will continue to
invest in the education system and will target resources at priority groups
and high-impact strategies that are proven to get results.
    Since 2003, the government has provided increased resources, including
funding for an additional 7,730 elementary teachers to reduce class sizes and
improve student achievement.


    "It's great to see Ontario students continuing to improve in the
essential skills of reading, writing and math. They are critical for success
in the classroom, in life and to the future of our province," said Education
Minister Kathleen Wynne.
    "This year's results are good, but I know we can do better. I look
forward to seeing even greater improvement next year as we continue working
toward our goal," Wynne said.


    -   The provincial standard on the EQAO tests is equivalent to
        70 per cent (a "B") or higher.

    -   Grade 6 French-language students are already exceeding the provincial
        goal in all assessment areas.

    -   65 per cent of Grade 6 students scored at or above the provincial
        standard in 2007-08, a gain of 3 percentage points from 2006-07.

    -   English-language students with special needs have improved in all
        subjects by between five and 23 percentage points since 2002-03.

    -   French-language students with special needs have improved in all
        subjects by between 13 and 28 percentage points since 2002-03.

    -   Students whose first language is not English have improved in all
        subjects by between 16 and 29 percentage points since 2002-03.


    To get more detailed results, visit the Education Quality and
Accountability Office (EQAO) (http://www.eqao.com/), the arm's-length agency
of the provincial government that administers the annual tests.

    Find out about the government's
(http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/moreinfo.html) efforts to
improve student achievement.

                                                      Disponible en français


                     HIGHLIGHTS OF 2007-08 EQAO RESULTS

    Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) provincial test scores
from the 2007-08 school year show that overall, 65 per cent of Ontario Grade 3
and 6 students are meeting or exceeding the provincial standard in reading,
writing and math. This is an 11 percentage point increase from 54 per cent in

                     Improvement from 2002-03 to 2007-08
                            GRADE 3                       GRADE 6
                    English-        French-       English-        French-
                    language       language       language       language
    Reading       50%-61% (+11)  47%-60% (+13)  56%-66% (+10)  58%-75% (+17)
    Writing       55%-66% (+11)  58%-74% (+16)  54%-67% (+13)  63%-80% (+17)
    Mathematics   57%-68% (+11)  47%-62% (+15)  53%-61%  (+8)  66%-78% (+12)
    Numbers in parentheses indicate the percentage point increase from
    2002-03 to 2007-08.

    Helping schools improve achievement

    The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat was created in 2004 to help
schools, boards and teachers increase students' reading, writing and math
skills. Since then, the government has provided approximately $200 million in
funding to support programs to improve student achievement and reach the goal
of 75 per cent of Grade 6 Ontario students achieving the provincial standard.

    -   Since 2006, the government has invested $25 million annually in the
        Ontario Focused Intervention Partnership (OFIP), which provides
        general support to all school boards plus targeted assistance to
        almost 1,100 low-performing schools.

    -   Through OFIP, the government has also invested an additional
        $8 million each year for before- and after-school tutoring
        initiatives to help those students who need it most.

    -   Currently in its third year, the Schools on the Move initiative
        highlights over 100 schools that have significantly improved reading,
        writing and math scores. The initiative creates a network for those
        schools to share their effective teaching practices and classroom
        experiences with other schools and boards.

    -   Since 2004, approximately 5,000 elementary teachers each summer have
        participated in training to learn about effective strategies to
        improve students' reading, writing and math skills.

    In addition, the government has introduced initiatives to improve student
achievement overall.

    -   Thousands of new teachers were hired to create smaller classes in
        primary grades. Last year, 99.7 per cent of primary classes had 23 or
        fewer students.

    -   Parenting and Family Literacy Centres facilitate early learning,
        giving children a strong start when they enter school. This year, the
        government is investing $8 million to support 123 centres in schools
        across the province, including 34 new centres.

    As a result of these initiatives, Ontario elementary students-including
those with special education needs and those whose first language is not
English-have shown significant improvement over time.

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public
Inquiries, (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514; TTY 1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Education

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