Brockville – Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) Director of Education Stephen Sliwa welcomed the EQAO’s stance in response to the Fraser Institute’s “Report Card on Ontario’s Elementary Schools 2017”.
“It is important for students, parents, and our local schools to be clear about the intention underpinning the practice for administering provincial assessments to students in Ontario. We were pleased to receive the memorandum from the EQAO yesterday reiterating that student assessment results serve a primary function for improving student achievement and is not intended to rank schools.” Sliwa further stated “It has always been our position within the Upper Canada District School Board to use data to improve student learning. Those who wish to create comparisons between schools need to recognize the varying capacities of children to develop skills and insights differently than their peers.”
The EQAO memorandum, dated December 11, 2017, reiterated the following: • EQAO data sets are most valuable when used to understand learners’ whole context and help improve student achievement; • EQAO encourages “the consideration of a wide variety of data, including EQAO trends, demographic changes, teaching practices … and specific circumstances in learning” • EQAO creates data related activity to support the growth of schools and the assessment agency “does not view schools or districts as competing with one another.”
“The purpose of assessment and evaluation in Ontario schools has always been to improve student learning,” stated Sliwa. “We welcome the EQAO’s memoranda as a further confirmation that this remains the focus, especially as it relates to the use of provincial assessment tools to assess and evaluate student learning.”