The latest EQAO assessments show most local students are keeping pace with or exceeding the reading, writing and mathematics skills of their peers within the school board and across the province.
Every year the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) assesses the reading, writing and math test results for students in grades 3 and 6, and also the math results for grade 9 students.
There is always debate as to how much weight parents, teachers and education officials should place on the scores, though some agree the results are a helpful way of gauging the success of students and of comparing the progress of different schools.
“To be successful, all organizations need reliable, objective performance data,” said Marguerite Jackson, EQAO’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Students, parents, educators, policy makers and the public benefit from data that can be used to make reasonable judgments about how well schools are performing and to determine what changes need to be made to make schools better for all students.”
Jackson added the data, “allow parents, schools and school boards to celebrate their success in helping students master the foundational skills of literacy and numeracy and, where necessary, to pinpoint areas for improvement.”
Recently the 2010-11 assessments were released for every school in Ontario.
Grade 3 results
About 64% of students across the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) were at level three and four reading, while the Wellington Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) result was 63%. The provincial average was 65%.
In writing, the results were 73% for the UGDSB, 71% for the Catholic board and 73% for the province.
While in mathematics the public board result was 67%, the Catholic board was 75% and the provincial average was 69%.
Grade 6 results
In general, 73% of UGDSB students were at or above the provincial standard for reading, and 75% of WCDSB students were at the same level. The provincial average was 74%.
In writing, the results were: 68% for the public board, 77% for the Catholic board and 73% for the province.
And in mathematics, the results were 53% (UGDSB), 64% (WCDSB) and 58% (province).
Grade 9 math results
For students in the applied program, the 2010-11 results were 52% for the public board, 50% for the Catholic board and 42% province-wide.
For students in the academic program, the results were 83% for the UGDSB, 87% for the WCDSB and 85% for the province.
Results for each high school in the county were:
– Centre Wellington, 37% in the applied program and 83% in the academic program;
– Erin District High School, 40% and 78% respectively;
– Norwell District Secondary School, 40% and 81%; and
– Wellington Heights Secondary School in Mount Forest, 48% and 76%.
For the Catholic board, the biggest single-year improvement was in Grade 9 academic math, where the number of students at or above the provincial standard rose 7% to 87%.
For the UGDSB the strongest improvement was in Grade 3 writing, where the number of students passing the test jumped 7% to 73%.
On the other end of the spectrum, the WCDSB result for grade 3 reading fell 6% to 63%. And the UGDSB result for Grade 6 math fell 6% to 53%.
“Since 2009 the provincial results for Grade 6 Math have been in decline, and we’ve been in step with that trend,” UGDSB chairman Bob Borden said in a press release.
“So, yes, we’re a little disappointed, but we appreciate the value in the EQAO evaluations.” He noted steps to improve scores in Grade 6 math are already underway.
Officials with both school boards did not return calls from the Advertiser.
In the UGDSB and WCDSB combined, 2,690 grade 3 students, 2,966 grade 6 students and over 1,400 grade 9 students wrote the tests last school year.
For more information, including the complete results and historical records for every school in and around Wellington County, visit the EQAO website at eqao.com.