View From The Glen

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Evil Questions Attacking Ontario

Yes, it is that time of year again. EQAO time.
EQAO is the standardized testing Ontario schools conduct in grades 3 and 6. It really stands for Education Quality and Accountability Office - a name which, to me, speaks volumes about this particular round of tests. But the kids call it Evil Questions Attacking Ontario, and like the testing about as much as can be expected.

So kids hate the six half days of testing in reading, writing and arithmetic.

Teachers aren't fond of it either. Schools and boards downplay results.

Parents - at least the ones I speak to - think it's a waste of time and a big stress on the kids. We are concerned that teachers are teaching to the test instead of teaching our children what they need to know. We think there might just be better uses of classroom time.

So if kids, teachers and parents aren't on board, it kinda begs the question...who are these tests for?

We are told the tests are only a snapshot of our child's ability. That the test is to make sure curriculum is being taught effectively across the province. That school ranking needs to take into account numerous factors in addition to the test results. That it doesn't really identify a specific child's strengths and/or weaknesses. That it doesn't affect grades or performance. That it is just one of many tools used to measure school success.

Which basically seems to mean the test has relatively little value to anyone. Except perhaps the Education Quality and Accountability Office. Whatever that is.


Julie said...

Article in today's paper here in NB - they only grade a random sampling of 20% of the standardized tests. Have to assume in that case that individual results are not even a consideration - there's motivation for you.

Denise Nielsen said...

LOL. Julie that really makes me happy:) Here we get the results (of our child' percentile), but maybe they just grade on a curve? oh well...

Leanne Haines said...

Connor's teacher is driven to distraction over this test. The grades 4-6 put on a school play this year that "stole" way to much time away from preparing for EQAO. Isn't that sad? That we begrudge a wonderful experience like a school play because it "steals" time away from teaching to the test? Janelle's teacher sent home a math prep test the other day that Janelle got 31/70 on -- but she got 31/35 correct of the questions she actually completed! My pokey little puppy is going to struggle with this only because of time constraint -- It will not in any way be an accurate assessment of her learning. I believe I am hating this test from a parent, student and teacher's point of view. Evil Questions Attacking Ontario -- I agree!

Finola said...

The teachers at my daughters' school put so much emphasis on this test that it stresses my kids out a lot. N wrote them for the first time last year, and B will write next year. We just keep telling our kids that the results DO NOT MATTER for them, and that the results only matter for the teachers.
Kids have enough to worry about.