September 6, 2017
Following today’s announcement from the Ministry of Education about the review of the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) assessment program, the agency looks forward to hearing more details about the parameters of the consultation process.
The proposed consultation can strengthen our education system’s ability to ensure equitable outcomes for all students, regardless of background or circumstance. This dialogue could lead to adjustments in assessment practices that will allow us to better support students’ achievement and future success in society and the workplace. Once the curriculum is updated, changes can help ensure that our large-scale assessments measure a wider range of learning, better reflect student equity and continue to remain culturally relevant.
EQAO is currently undergoing a modernization process to better align its assessment program with current pedagogy. It is important to offer students the most authentic opportunities in which to demonstrate their learning in line with their classroom experiences. As part of its modernization effort, EQAO has invited members of the education community to provide feedback on any aspect of its move toward online assessments. In doing so, EQAO had identified the need for further consultation with parents, students, teachers and educational leaders before moving forward with modernization, and EQAO is working closely with the Ministry of Education on its modernization initiative.
EQAO’s assessment program has undergone reviews in previous years. In 2004, the agency completed the Ensuring Quality Assessments Review and, in 2009, the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario also undertook a review of EQAO.
As an independent agency of the Government of Ontario, EQAO contributes to the quality and accountability of Ontario’s publicly funded education system. The information that EQAO provides at the student, school, board and provincial levels offers insights to help improve student achievement and keep the education system accountable to Ontarians. EQAO data factored into the province’s decision to launch the Renewed Math Strategy in 2016. After EQAO data shone light on challenges in literacy, the education community across the province mobilized to support students’ skills in reading and writing.
EQAO is committed to working in close co-operation with all those affected by the modernization of its assessment program to obtain the greatest possible benefit for students across the province.