OECTA says EQAO Test Results Yield Partial Picture Only

Commenting on today’s Provincial Results Overview for 2004/05 from the Education Quality Assessment Office (EQAO), Donna Marie Kennedy, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA), cautions that the tests convey “a moment” in a classroom
year, and fail to take into account how much progress each child makes during
that time.
“Even though the results show an improvement across the province, we do not know whether any difference in the scores from year to year constitutes any real difference, or just a variation in the test difficulty, scoring procedures or data analysis.”
Kennedy says that Ontario parents know that standardized test scores do not accurately reflect a complete picture of their child’s proficiencies and potential. “Teachers develop a much more complete picture by monitoring learning over the whole term, by observing students in many situations, communicating with them, and examining the work they produce on many
occasions. The inability to convey individual growth through the test results means that the efforts and achievements of some teachers and their students are overlooked,” Kennedy says, adding that she is confident Catholic teachers are, “doing a thoroughly professional job of assessing students.”
Catholic teachers remain concerned about the amount EQAO spends to assess every single student in Grades 3, 6 and 9. “We would prefer to see the testing scaled back to test a representative sample of students instead. These savings could be spent developing classroom tests that teachers could administer and mark themselves, to provide instant feedback to help their students immediately,” Kennedy says.

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