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Education Quality Indicators Framework

Completing the picture: The Education Quality Indicators Framework

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Considering student achievement data in context

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) reports on student learning through large-scale assessments at the international, national and provincial levels.

Through its Education Quality Indicators Framework, EQAO also regularly reports on a range of environmental factors at the school, board and provincial levels which may have an impact on student achievement.

Student achievement results have always been considered key indicators of educational quality, and student scores on large-scale assessments are the subject of public interest. However, test scores can be interpreted meaningfully only in the context of the system that produced them. Understanding and evaluating the quality of education requires not just numerical values or quantitative result measures such as achievement, but a more comprehensive picture of the unique and complex characters of schools, boards and the province.

Accordingly, EQAO has enhanced its reporting of achievement results by including demographic and environmental information that can be used to understand student achievement in context, and to help determine appropriate improvement strategies to assist students in achieving Ontario Curriculum expectations.

This document provides an overview of educational factors informing and affecting achievement that EQAO gathers and includes in its regular reporting.

How this information is used

EQAO reports on Education Quality Indicators Framework data annually, as part of the school, board and provincial results. This information is intended to:

  • provide demographic and other education-related environmental information that will help teachers, administrators and the public interpret student achievement scores in the context of the school, board and province, and to
  • provide information that can be used by decision-makers at the provincial, board and school levels for improvement planning as they create the best possible learning environment for students.

The Education Quality Indicators Framework data are derived annually from student, teacher and principal questionnaires, assessments and school board student information systems.

Understanding the Framework data

The Education Quality Indicators Framework examines a range of factors organized into four categories:

Contextual factors: describe the economic and social forces that have an effect on the education system, but are beyond the direct control of the system. These include enrolment, socio-economic status, country of birth and language background, categories of special needs, and student mobility.

Input factors: describe the resources that go into the system. They include student attendance, support personnel, teachers’ qualifications and experience, accessibility and use of instructional materials, and use of computers in selected subjects.

Process factors: describe the activities resulting from the use and management of the input indicators within the school. Among these process factors are teachers’ professional development, planning, and collaboration.

Output factors: describe students’ development while they are still in school, and include students’ attitudes and achievement results.

The factors: a closer look

The following tables present a detailed listing of the factors or indicators EQAO will gather and regularly report, the sources from which the data are derived and the level (elementary or secondary) at which they are reported. EQAO will now gather as much of this information as possible by electronic upload from the school board student information systems. Full implementation of reporting the following factors or indicators will begin in September, 2005.

EElementary PQ EQAO Principal Questionnaire
ELDEnglish Literacy Development S Secondary
ESLEnglish as a Second Language SIS Student Information System
IEPIndividual Education Plan SQ EQAO Student Questionnaire
IPRCIdentification, Placement and Review Committee TQ EQAO Teacher Questionnaire
OSSLTOntario Secondary School Literacy Test
Indicator Source Level
1. Enrolment
  • Enrolment (Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10)
  • Number of schools with Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10 students
  • Elementary school organization (schools with Grades 3 and 6)
2. Socio-economic statusBeing developed in collaboration with the Ministry of EducationYesYes
3. Country of birth and language background
  • Birth country (Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10)
  • Length of time in Canada (Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10)
  • ESL/ELD learners (Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10)
  • Language spoken at home (Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10)
  • First language (Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10)
4. Categories of special needs
  • Students identified by an IPRC as having special needs (Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10)
  • Students with an IEP only (special needs not identified by an IPRC) (Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10)
5. Student mobility
  • Student Enrolment –Transfers, Retirements, and Admissions (Date of entry to school)
Indicator Source Level
6. Student attendance
  • Percentage of elementary students absent on an average day
  • Percentage of Grade 9 and 10 students absent in the past month; percentage late for class
7. Support personnel
  • Teaching: school level
8.Teacher qualifications and experience
  • Number of years’ teaching experience (Grades 3, 6 and 9)
  • Additional qualifications in reading, writing and/or mathematics (Grades 3, 6 and 9)
  • Teacher background: major and minor degrees of study (Grade 9)
TQ Yes
9. Accessibility and use of instructional materials
  • Accessibility of instructional materials (Grades 3, 6 and 9)
  • Usefulness of instructional materials (Grades 3 and 6)
  • How often instructional materials are used (Grades 3, 6 and 9)
10. Accessibility and use of assessment materials
  • Accessibility of selected assessment materials (Grades 3 and 6)
  • Usefulness of assessment resources (Grades 3 and 6)
  • How often assessment resources are used (Grades 3, 6 and 9)
11. Use of computers in selected subjects
  • Availability at home for school work (Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10)
  • Computer accessibility at school (Grades 3, 6 and 9)
Indicator Source Level
12. Teacher professional development, planning and collaboration
  • Frequency with which teachers meet to plan or discuss curriculum and/or assessment (Grades 3, 6 and 9)
  • Professional development (Grades 3, 6 and 9)
Indicator Source Level
13. Student attitudes (Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10)SQYesYes
14. Student achievement resultsEQAO Grades 3 and 6 assessmentsYes 
Grade 9 assessment and the OSSLT Yes
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The reporting process

All of the Education Quality Indicators Framework measures are updated annually. EQAO summarizes these data, and includes them with achievement data for use by schools and boards (at the school, board and provincial levels) to assist in the interpretation of achievement results.

Learning more about the Framework

The EQAO Guide to School and Board Improvement Planning (PDF 474K) provides a more in-depth explanation of how to use achievement data and school demographic results effectively.

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