The public school board for Brampton and Mississauga is asking Ontario’s education ministry to temporarily stop administering standardized testing while the program goes under review.
Janet McDougald, chair of the Peel District School Board (PDSB), said math results in the annual Education Quality and Accountability Office tests continue to be “disappointing” and “worrying” despite significant efforts to improve achievement levels.
“There’s either a problem with the curriculum as it relates to the test or there’s a problem with the tests themselves,” she said on the Kelly Cutrara Show on AM640 Thursday.
“In other words, that the students aren’t achieving because the test isn’t capturing what they’re learning.”
A motion asking the ministry to suspend the EQAO tests — which cover math, reading and writing — for the 2017-2018 academic year was passed by the PDSB on Tuesday. The trustees also asked other Ontario boards to support the move.
LISTEN: Janet McDougald, chair of the Peel District School Board, joins Kelly Cutrara on AM640
The Peel District School Board’s most recent EQAO results are in line with how students performed across the province.
However, for the last two years, only half of Grade 6 students in Ontario met the provincial standard in math, while 62 per cent of Grade 3 students met the standard.
Among the Grade 9 students, 83 per cent of those taking academic math met the standard, while that figure was 44 per cent for those in the applied math stream.
Those results follow last year’s introduction of a three-year, $60-million provincial strategy that mandates an average of 60 minutes of math be taught each day for students in Grades 1 through 8.
WATCH: Ontario students’ math scores not adding up
In September, the province promised it would be “modernizing” reports cards, revising the curriculum and reviewing how students are assessed, including through the EQAO tests.
Education Minister Mitzie Hunter has told several media outlets she will not suspend the EQAO tests in the meantime, saying “it’s important that parents are still receiving information about how their child is doing at school” as the province completes the review.
LISTEN: Sam Hammond, ETFO president, joins Tasha Kheiriddin on AM640
Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, said the union’s long-standing position is that standardized testing provides a limited assessment and should be eliminated altogether.
With a file from the Canadian Press