August 29, 2018
The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) has published provincial-level results from its assessments administered in 2017—2018.
Large-scale provincial assessments at key stages of a student’s education measure math and literacy achievement in relation to expectations outlined in The Ontario Curriculum. EQAO data can be used alongside information from schools and boards to analyze trends in Ontario students’ learning and to explore what actions can be taken to support improvements in student achievement.
In elementary schools, the percentage of Grade 3 and Grade 6 students meeting the provincial math standard has decreased over the last five years.
In secondary schools, the percentage of Grade 9 students enrolled in the academic course who met the provincial standard in math has remained high, while fewer than half of the students enrolled in the applied course met the provincial standard.
Achievement in reading among elementary-school students has improved over the past five years. Of the 125 213 enrolled Grade 3 students in 2018, 75% met the provincial reading standard (an increase from 70% in 2014), and of the 132 766 enrolled Grade 6 students in 2018, 82% met the provincial reading standard (an increase from 79% in 2014).
Reading achievement is also stronger among students with special education needs. Of the 23 296 students with special education needs enrolled in Grade 3 in 2018, 46% met the provincial reading standard (an increase from 40% in 2014). And of the 28 757 students with special education needs enrolled in Grade 6 in 2018, 54% met the provincial reading standard (an increase from 47% in 2014).
Over time, EQAO data have shown that writing achievement in Grade 3 is lower than in Grade 6. The relative consistency in this pattern may suggest that the junior grades are particularly important to the refinement and maturation of writing skills. This year, 72% of Grade 3 students met the provincial writing standard (a decrease from 78% in 2014), while 80% of Grade 6 students met the provincial writing standard (an increase from 78% in 2014).
In secondary schools, the percentage of first-time eligible Grade 10 students successfully completing the OSSLT has decreased since 2014. While this decrease has been less pronounced for students enrolled in the academic English course than for students enrolled in the applied course, the overall decline in literacy achievement is of concern.
"Math and literacy are the foundation for the knowledge and skills that students will use in their careers and in society and EQAO’s assessments in these areas helped to identify several trends. In particular, the continued decline in elementary-level math scores suggests that Ontario’s Renewed Math Strategy is not having the intended impact. Parents, educators and policy-makers across Ontario will be looking at EQAO data, alongside other information, to understand what changes need to be made to support our students and foster accountability in our publicly funded education system."
—Dave Cooke, Chair, EQAO
"This year’s results reflect positive trends in elementary reading and in secondary academic courses. There’s also some encouraging news with respect to achievement in reading among elementary students with special education needs. Even so, we need to question how to strengthen math achievement in Grade 6, as it continues to be a challenge. Furthermore, EQAO has been highlighting the decline in OSSLT achievement and the broadening gap between secondary-level students in the applied and academic courses for several years. This trend is cause for concern and should be further examined."
—Norah Marsh, Chief Executive Officer, EQAO
This announcement pertains only to highlights of EQAO’s assessment results at the provincial level. School- and board-level results are not available at this time; these will be released on September 19, 2018.
EQAO highlights five-year analyses to show student achievement trends over time.
Students are deemed to be successful on an EQAO assessment, and to meet the provincial standard, if they achieve Level 3 (i.e., the equivalent of 70%) or above. Students at Levels 1 or 2 demonstrate some understanding of the curriculum expectations, but they do not meet the provincial standard.