Standards to be met
With only half of Grade 6 students meeting the provincial standards in last year’s EQAO (Education Quality and Accountability Office) testing, we should be asking ourselves “where is the curriculum failing?” not “where are the students failing?”
This abysmal testing score brings up the question of whether or not we should have standardized academic testing.
A quick look at Finland will show standardized tests are not needed to succeed. But there are many ways Finland is succeeding in education that we are not in a place to replicate.
If we were to do away with standardized tests now, we would fail to see how children are reacting to new curriculums.
EQAO testing is being used as a political tool to compare schools rather than for what it was intended to do.
It will be a good idea to take a hard look at the curriculum and how kids are failing to meet standards and to look at those tests to see how they measure standards.
The tests are a good way to see how children are faring in academic skills. The tests also help improve non-academic skills such as listening and oral skills, time management and confidence.
I remember EQAO testing and the stress that can come with it. But that doesn’t go away when you get older.
It comes again in university and work, so the sooner you learn to manage that pressure, the better.
The province has seen yet another fall in EQAO scores from the previous school year.
While somewhat alarming at first, a closer look may garner a different perspective.
I was one of the first classes to go through EQAO testing in Grade 6 in Ontario and I can vividly remember my teachers reiterating time and time again that the test had no impact whatsoever on my actual grade or my progression from Grade 6 to 7.
If the test literally means nothing for the student’s overall academic success, why would they exert the same effort as they would for a test that counts towards their overall grade?
While it makes sense that every Ontario student should be able to complete benchmarks in math and literacy, it also makes sense that the Ontario curriculum should have that assessment covered.
If we need a standardized test to say students are learning what they need to learn and teachers are teaching what they need to teach, we have a bigger problem.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to take the money from EQAO testing and instead improve assessment methods for actual report cards?
Every student who gets a ‘B’ should be able to complete the same tasks no matter what school they go to.
The same should be true for any grade.
We shouldn’t waste money on an assessment that the curriculum should be taking care of anyway.