September 21, 2016

Peel board EQAO scores increase significantly for English Language Learners over last five years

EQAO grades 3, 6, 9 and OSSLT scores remain in line with provincial scores​​

EQAO test scores for English Language Learners (ELL) in grades 3 and 6 at the Peel District School Board have risen as much as 33 per cent in some areas over the last five years. Most grades 3, 6 and 9 EQAO test scores and Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) scores remain on par with the province, with steady rises in most writing and reading scores.  As with other school boards in Ontario, math results have fallen from previous years.

"We're excited to see our EQAO and OSSLT results in literacy continue to rise, particularly for our ELL students—a credit to our dedicated staff and hardworking students," says Tony Pontes, director of education. "We also know there is more work to do in mathematics to help raise scores that have steadily fallen over the last five years, both provincially and within the Peel board. We will explore some of the reasons why students may be struggling in numeracy, and will continue our renewed focus on mathematics through EngageMath, our three-year comprehensive strategy to help our students achieve numeracy greatness. As well, we will continue to provide 300 minutes of mathematics instruction per week for students in grade 1 to 8, as outlined in the Ministry of Education's renewed math strategy."

Due to teacher job action, students in grades 3 and 6, and grade 9 students enrolled in full-year or second semester applied or academic mathematics did not write the EQAO tests in the 2014-2015 school year.  The following EQAO scores show 2015-16 school year results, compared to results from the last time the test was taken in 2013-14.

Clarifies Pontes, "It's important to note that in method one, scores of all students are reported, including those who are identified as 'not participating,' e.g. students who were absent or excluded from the assessment. The Peel board has contacted EQAO and trustees are writing to the Minister of Education to encourage EQAO to only release method two reports that exclude non-participating students, as this is a more accurate reflection of student performance at a school. ​

"For example, if we were reporting method two results below, our grade 3 reading scores would be 76%, 78% in writing and 63% in mathematics. Only sharing method one reports is a practice the Peel board believes to be unfair and demoralizing to students, especially for newcomer students from Syria and beyond who are exempt from the assessments, but whose scores are included in EQAO's reports. This negatively impacts the overall scores of schools they attend and increases the likelihood that community members will blame newcomer students for lowering school scores." ​

Overall, this is how grade 3 and 6 students performed:​

  Method 1: all grade 3 students – levels 3, 4 ​ ​ Method 1: all grade 6 students – levels 3, 4 ​ ​
 

2015-16

Peel

2015-16

province

2013-14

Peel

2015-16

Peel

2015-16

province

2013-14

Peel

reading73%72%71%81%81%78%
writing76%74%78%82%80%79%
math61%63%66%50%50%52%


Overall, this is how grade 9 students performed on the math assessment:

  ​Method 1: all grade 9 students – levels 3, 4 ​ ​
 ​

2015-16

Peel

2015-16

province

2013-14

Peel

applied40%45%43%
academic84%83%85%

 

Other highlights of the EQAO report include the following:

  • Grade 3 ELLs have made gains in reading, writing and math over the last five years, increasing scores by 20, seven and three per cent, respectively.
  • In the last five years, grade 6 ELLs reading scores are up by 33 per cent, writing scores are up by 28 per cent and math scores are up by 12 per cent.
  • Grade 3 reading scores have increased by two per cent, compared to the previous test taken in 2013-14. Grade 3 writing and math scores are down two and five per cent, respectively.
  • Grade 6 reading and writing scores have both increased by three per cent, compared to the previous test taken in 2013-14. Grade 6 math scores are down two per cent, while provincial scores have dipped four per cent.
  • Scores for grade 6 special education students, excluding those identified as gifted, increased in all three categories, compared to results from the previous test in 2013-14. Math scores increased by seven per cent, writing by 12 per cent and reading by nine per cent.

The OSSLT is a one-day test that focuses on key skills in reading and writing. It is based on the reading and writing skills expected in the Ontario curriculum across all subject areas up to the end of grade 9. It's important for parents and the community to understand that the literacy test is not a standardized test—the test is based on the Ontario curriculum.

These summative assessments present a snapshot of student learning and achievement by having students demonstrate their knowledge and skills independently on standardized tasks and under standardized conditions. A student's performance on the test is not compared to that of other students. The test includes reading selections, multiple choice and short answer questions, as well as a variety of types of writing tasks. 

Highlights of Peel board OSSLT results for first-time test-takers include:

  • Of grade 10 students in the Peel board who took the OSSLT for the first time, 81 per cent passed, compared to 81 per cent provincially. Fifty-one per cent of previously eligible students who wrote the provincial literacy test were successful.
  • Of the 9,458 Peel board students who were eligible to write the test for the first time in March 2016, 8,979 or 95 per cent wrote the test—the other students were deferred or absent.
  • Seventy-three per cent of ELLs who wrote the test passed, compared to 71 per cent provincially. This year, 12 per cent of eligible students are identified as English language learners.
  • Ninety-one per cent of students in academic English courses who wrote the test passed, compared to 43 per cent in applied English courses, and three per cent in locally developed English courses.

"What continues to be most important about these results is how we use them to help boost student learning," says Poleen Grewal, superintendent of curriculum and instruction support services. "Through a continued focus on differentiated instruction and assessment for learning,  and a renewed commitment to transformational practices, staff will continue to use effective methods to help students achieve personal excellence in literacy, numeracy and all other subject areas." 

For highlights of Peel board results, EQAO reports, results for first-time eligible and previously eligible students, and school-by-school results, visit http://www.peelschools.org/parents/EQAO


Media contact: Poleen Grewal, Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Support Services, 905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2343

Reference: Kayla Tishcoff, Communications Officer, 905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2239, kayla.tishcoff@peelsb.com

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