About EQAO

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    EQAO is an arm’s length government agency that contributes to the quality and accountability of Ontario’s publicly funded education system for K-12 and post-secondary institutions. As an evidence-based research-informed organization, EQAO is focused on empowering educators, parents, guardians, stakeholders and the public at large with the insights and information needed to support student learning and improve student outcomes.

    EQAO provides results to each student who writes an assessment. Its personalized reports help support individual student learning. The agency provides schools and school boards with detailed reports about their students’ achievement, as well as contextual, attitudinal and behavioural information from questionnaires, in an interactive online reporting tool. These data are used to improve school programming and classroom instruction. EQAO also reports the results of the provincial assessments publicly. This helps keep the public education system accountable to taxpayers.

    EQAO is committed to building capacity for the use of data through articles, workshops, school stories and programs like the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement. EQAO has an active research program that investigates factors that influence student achievement, school effectiveness and best assessment practices.

    EQAO coordinates Ontario’s participation in national and international assessments.

    Mandate

    The agency is dedicated to enhancing the quality and accountability of the education system in Ontario and to work with the education community. This will be achieved through student assessments that produce objective, reliable information, through the public release of this information and through the profiling of the value and use of EQAO data across the province.

    Values

    • EQAO values giving all students the opportunity to reach their highest possible level of achievement and well‐being.
    • EQAO values its role as a service to educators, parents, students, government and the public in support of teaching and learning in the classroom.
    • EQAO values credible evidence that informs professional practice and focuses attention on interventions that improve student success.
    • EQAO values research that informs large‐scale assessment and classroom practice.
    • EQAO values the dedication and expertise of Ontario’s educators and their involvement in all aspects of the assessment processes and the positive difference their efforts make in student outcomes.
    • EQAO values the delivery of its programs and services by embracing diversity and moving beyond tolerance and celebration to inclusivity.

    Activities

    • EQAO designs and implements a comprehensive program of student assessment within government-established parameters.
    • EQAO advises the Minister of Education on assessment policy.
    • EQAO leads Ontario’s participation in national and international assessments.
    • EQAO promotes research in best practices in assessment and accountability.
    • EQAO reports to the Minister, the public and the education community on assessment and education issues and makes recommendations for improvement.

    Strategic Priorities

    The four main areas EQAO will focus on from 2018-2021 are:
    1. ASSESSMENT and EVALUATION

      EQAO will assess and evaluate important aspects of the quality and effectiveness of elementary and secondary school education.
    2. RESEARCH

      EQAO will conduct research into the factors affecting student achievement, well‐being, equity and the quality of education.
    3. COMMUNICATION and ENGAGEMENT

      EQAO will help Ontarians better understand the role of the agency and the value of the information it provides so they can use that knowledge to improve publicly funded education.
    4. BUSINESS and GOVERNANCE

      EQAO will operate a responsible and effective organization.

    Reviews of the Agency

    Auditor General of Ontario Review, 2009

    In 2009, the Auditor General of Ontario performed a comprehensive review (see page 128) of EQAO and concluded that Ontario’s province-wide tests

    • reflect the provincial curriculum expectations fairly and accurately,
    • are consistent in difficulty from one year to the next and
    • are administered and marked so as to ensure that their results are valid, consistent and reliable indicators of student achievement.

    This value-for-money audit also examined the agency’s finances and determined that EQAO is fulfilling its legislative and policy requirements and maintaining solid financial practices. The audit praised EQAO’s budgeting and procurement processes and acknowledged that the agency had reduced its annual expenditures by over 20% in five years while delivering substantially the same service.

    In a follow-up report in 2011, the Auditor General of Ontario confirmed that substantial progress had been made toward addressing almost all of the recommendations from its 2009 Annual Report.

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