OSSTF/FEESO - Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation

OSSTF/FEESO - Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation

September 21, 2009 10:34 ET

OSSTF/FEESO: EQAO Grade 9 Assessment of Math Test Results Show Worrisome Achievement Gaps

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 21, 2009) - The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released the full report on its assessments for each school and school board across the province in the publication titled Ontario Student Achievement: EQAO's Provincial Report on the 2008-2009 Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, Primary Division (Grades 1-3) and Junior Division (Grades 4-6) Assessments, and the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics. A total of 145 676 Grade 9 Math students in publicly funded Ontario schools in the English language of instruction (100 060 in the Academic program and 45 616 in the Applied program) wrote the EQAO Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics tests in January and June 2009. The tests were marked in July 2009, the overall provincial results were released in late August 2009, and the individual school and board results were finally released on September 17, 2009. A gap of 3 to 8 months exists for feedback to students from the beginning of the process when the students write the EQAO test in January or June and when parents and students receive the EQAO Individual Student Reports in September. For most students, they will be in a different class, with a different curriculum, and with a different teacher when they receive their reports.

"The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) is concerned that the feedback provided to students by EQAO is certainly not timely, on-going, or descriptive and it would be very difficult to say that the EQAO helps improve individual student learning or achievement," stated Ken Coran, President of OSSTF/FEESO. "Parents should regularly communicate with the educational team at their child's school to see how their child is really doing and not base their assessment of schools or their child's achievement level solely on EQAO data."

The overall results indicate that 77 % of students in the Grade 9 Academic math program and 38 % of students in the Grade 9 Applied math program were at or above the provincial standard (Levels 3 and 4). The weighted average for all Grade 9 Math students in the Academic and Applied programs indicates that only 65 % met or exceeded the provincial standard. The 35 % of students who did not achieve the provincial standard is equal to 51 302 students which is greater than the population of Welland which had a population of 50 331 according to the last census. In both the Applied and Academic Grade 9 Math programs male students achieved better results than female students on the EQAO tests. The achievement gap between male and female students in the Applied program is 7 % and there is a difference of 5 % in the Academic program.

"OSSTF/FEESO believes that the learning time and money spent on testing every student should be reinvested in the publicly funded education system to try and reduce the achievement gaps between male and female students and between students in the Academic and Applied programs," stated Ken Coran, President of OSSTF/FEESO. "All students, in all parts of the province, need smaller classes and more support from adults in the school to be successful not only on the Grade 9 Math test but later in life," emphasized Coran.

"OSSTF/FEESO believes that all students deserve the opportunity to succeed and now the EQAO Grade 9 Math test results clearly show some students may require more help and intervention to reduce the achievement gap. In order for students to continue to improve and reach the government's goal of 75 % of students achieving at or above the provincial standard in math, the Liberal government needs to provide adequate funding so boards can provide the services to students who need them most. Student success in school and then life is about support and action now," concluded Coran.

OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, attendance counsellors, and many others in education and universities.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
    Ken Coran
    (416) 751-8300 or 1-800-267-7867
    Cell: 416-427-0589