Ontario students’ math and literacy scores have not seen a big improvement over the last year, according to new data released by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).
The data for 2022-2023 includes the scores of 580,000 Grade 3, Grade 6 and Grade 9 students across the province, in both English and French language schools.
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the data speaks “to a broader phenomenon of stabilization in our core fundamental areas of reading, writing and math.”
He noted the scores were “a good sign” and “an incremental move towards the right direction.”
“There’s a lot of work to do.”
The Progressive Conservative government has made a big push to overhaul math and language curriculums over the last few years. In 2020, the province revealed a new math curriculum that focused on financial literacy, coding and “back to basics” fundamentals.
About 59.7 per cent of Grade 3 students and 49.5 per cent of Grade 6 students met or exceeded provincial standards when it came to mathematics, the EQAO reported. This represents a less than one percentage point improvement for the younger students and just over a two percentage point increase for those in Grade 6.
Grade 3 reading and writing scores were similar. About 72.6 per cent of students were at or above provincial standards for reading, a slight dip from the 73.2 per cent last year.
Meanwhile, writing scores improved by about 0.6 percentage points.
For Grade 6 students, scores for writing dropped slightly from 84.1 per cent to 83.6 per cent. A similar dip was recorded in reading.
This chart shows Grade 6 EQAO scores, released on Oct. 12, 2023.
Grade 9 test scores saw a minor improvement overall, with about 53.7 per cent of students at or above provincial standards, up from 52.3 per cent.
This September, students between Grades 1 and 9 began a new language curriculum that focuses on “time-tested practices” such as phonics, cursive writing, digital literacy, word processing and critical thinking skills.
The government has also revamped school board management and has identified three provincial education priorities: achievement of learning outcomes in core academic skills, preparation of students for future success, and student engagement and well-being.
Boards are now required to adopt these priorities in their multi-year plans and report on their success. A new regulation posted earlier this month would also create a process in which the director of education can be evaluated based on these priorities.
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