Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

October 19, 2005 13:36 ET

Classroom teachers are the best judge of student performance

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario says provincial tests waste precious resources Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Education Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2005) - The best assessment of student learning comes from classroom teachers, not scores on provincial tests, the president of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) said today.

"The resources spent on province-wide testing could be better used to provide instructional support and learning resources for students," said ETFO President Emily Noble.

Noble was commenting on the report of the provincial Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), which today released the results of province-wide testing of students in grades 3, 6 and 9.

"There is a concern that the motivation for standardized testing is more political than educational," Noble said.

She added that ETFO remains strongly opposed to school ranking based on the data released today. "Inappropriate ranking of schools invariably occurs with standardized test scores, released publicly in this way," Noble said.

"The best way for parents to find out how their child is doing is to go in and have a conversation with the teacher. And the best way to determine how to make our schools better is to look at a variety of feedback on student performance."

Noble pointed out that almost all of the schools cited in the provincial report considered report card marks and data from classroom assessment, as well as EQAO results when planning for school improvement. The resources spent on province-wide testing could be used to help teachers and schools make positive changes in schools.

Noble said she was pleased that for the first time EQAO is clearly stressing that province-wide test results are only one part of the feedback on student learning that teachers, parents, and schools need to ensure effective schools. "This is a welcome shift in emphasis."

She added: "It is important always to look for effective and innovative ways of improving school and student performance, but the focus has to be on improving the full range of children's knowledge and skills - on the whole child - not just their scores on a specific, one-time test of reading writing and math."

"Finally, it is important to recognize the hard work of our members in enhancing literacy and numeracy of students," Noble said. "If students are improving, it is thanks to the efforts classroom teachers are making."

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 70,000 public elementary teachers and education workers across Ontario and is the largest teacher federation in Canada outside Quebec.

Contact Information

  • Johanna Brand
    Primary Phone: 416-962-3836 ext. 2339
    Secondary Phone: 416-948-2554
    Toll-Free: 888-838-3836
    E-mail: jbrand@etfo.org