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High school grades up; elementary down in provincial testing

Secondary School students with the Hastings Prince Edward School Board have received good and better grades on provincial tests for mathematics and literacy, while elementary students’ grades were below Ontario averages this year.

Students in all publicly-funded schools in Ontario are required to write provincial assessments administered by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).

At the secondary school level, students in Grade 9 write the Assessment of Mathematics and students in Grade 10 write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.

Grade 9 Mathematics growth over a 10-year span
The Grade 9 Mathematics assessment is  administered once each semester. The results are reported as the percentage of students achieving Level 3 or 4 (the provincial standard), and reflect combined results from both semesters in the 2013-2014 school year.

In Academic Mathematics, students maintained achievement at 86%. The provincial results increased from 84% to 85%. In Applied Mathematics, student achievement results were 46%, a decline from the from the previous year’s results of 55%. The provincial result was 47%.

“We are pleased to note that over the past 10 years we have experienced steady growth in student achievement of 7 percentage points in Applied Mathematics and 10 percentage points in Academic Mathematics, ” said Mandy Savery-Whiteway, Director of Education.

Grade 10 Literacy Tests
The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), written by students in Grade 10, is administered once per year in the spring. Results represent the percentage of students who were successful in passing the assessment. Students from all English course types (e.g. Academic, Applied and Locally Developed) complete the same test, as it is a graduation requirement.

Results for HPEDSB students remained consistent for 2013-2014, indicating that 75% of first-time participating students were successful on the OSSLT.

Students in the Applied English course demonstrated an increase of three percentage points, while results for students in the Locally Developed English course increased 2 percentage points.

“We are pleased to note increases in literacy achievement for students taking Applied and Locally Developed English courses. This reflects our focus on professional learning in literacy,” said Cathy Portt, Superintendent of Education, Curriculum Services.

Results indicate the percentage of students achieving Levels 3 or 4, which are considered the provincial standard.

Primary (Grade 3) Assessment of Reading, Writing and Mathematics
Students maintained an achievement level of 57% in Reading, as compared to the provincial result of 70%.

In Writing, student results declined from 62% to 59%, as compared to the provincial result of 78%.

In both Reading and Writing over the past 10 years, board results have shown steady growth of 7 percentage points in Reading and 10 percentage points in Writing.

In Mathematics, student results showed a decline from 55% to 52%, as compared to the provincial result of 67% which was unchanged.

Junior (Grade 6) Assessment of Reading, Writing and Mathematics

Students maintained an achievement level of 69% in Reading, as compared to the provincial result of 79%.

In Writing, student results maintained an achievement level of 62%, as compared to the provincial result of 78%.

In both Reading and Writing over the past 10 years, board results have shown steady growth of 18 percentage points.

In Mathematics, student results showed a decline from 43% to 38%, as compared to the provincial results that declined from 57% to 54%.

“EQAO provides one source of data to inform improvement planning for the school board and individual schools,” stated Mandy Savery-Whiteway, Director of Education. “We are pleased to have maintained achievement levels in Junior Reading and Writing, as well as Primary Reading, and will continue our commitment to focus on improving literacy and numeracy skills. We know it takes time and our goal is to improve the literacy and numeracy achievement of our students.”

Board- and school-based teams are now analyzing the EQAO data, as well as other student achievement and program data. This analysis will assist in identifying critical literacy and numeracy skills to focus on, as well as to assist in determining which instructional strategies to implement to improve student learning.

“Helping all students to reach high levels of achievement through continual efforts to understand and close learning gaps are priorities,” stated Cathy Portt Superintendent of Education, Curriculum Services.

Filed Under: Local News

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