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General Questions

What is EQAO?

EQAO is an independent agency of the Ontario government. EQAO provides accurate, objective and clear information about student achievement and the quality of publicly funded education in Ontario. In addition, EQAO works to ensure that this information is used to bring about improvement for individual students and for the education system as a whole.

Who is the contact person at EQAO?

People who have questions, concerns or suggestions are encouraged to contact EQAO by phone at 1-888-327-7377 or by e-mail.

What testing does EQAO do?

EQAO develops and implements provincial assessment programs for primary, junior and secondary school students in Ontario.

EQAO assesses all students in Grade 3 and Grade 6 in reading, writing and mathematics. EQAO also administers two secondary school assessments. The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is administered in March each year. The Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics is administered in January to students enrolled in first-semester mathematics courses and in May/June to students enrolled in second-semester and full-year courses.

EQAO also coordinates Ontario’s participation in several national and international assessments. The Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) is conducted by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada and evaluates 13-year-olds’ skills in reading, mathematics and science. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is sponsored by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and involves random samples of 15-year-olds in similar subjects. The Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) assesses student learning worldwide in Grades 4 and 8. The Second International Technology in Education Studies (SITES) focuses on computer use in primary and junior schools. Both TIMSS and SITES are programs of the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).

Why is EQAO testing Ontario students?

EQAO was established based on a recommendation of the Ontario Royal Commission on Learning in 1995. The Commission consulted extensively with educators, parents, students and taxpayers and concluded that province-wide assessments would help to respond to public demands for greater quality and accountability in the publicly funded school system.

EQAO’s assessments provide accurate, objective and clear information about student achievement that teachers and parents can use to improve learning for all students. EQAO publishes school and school board reports that parents, educators, policy-makers and members of the public can use to monitor the effectiveness of the education system over time.

What are the key benefits of EQAO’s work?

Students know more about how well they are doing in reading, writing and/or mathematics and what they need to do in order to improve.

Teachers and principals have more feedback on how well students are meeting the expectations in the provincial curriculum and how effectively teaching strategies and school programs are meeting students’ needs.

Parents are more familiar with the expectations in the provincial curriculum and better informed about their children’s achievement and progress.

Ontarians have accurate and objective information about student achievement and education quality in the publicly funded education system.

How Do I find Individual Student results?

All students who participated in EQAO’s tests receive an Individual Student Report (ISR). This report contains personal information that is protected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

EQAO sends ISRs to schools for distribution to students who wrote the Grades 3, 6 and 9 assessments and the OSSLT. For further information, please contact your school’s principal.

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Education Quality and Accountability Office, Suite 1200, 2 Carlton Street, Toronto ON  M5B 2M9  
Telephone: 1-888-327-7377   •   Fax: 416-325-0831
www.eqao.com
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