Board pleased with test scores

The provincial EQAO testing results for Grades 3 and 6 in reading, writing, and math were released to the public last week and the Rainy River District School Board said it was pleased with local students’ results.
“On the whole, we continue to show growth,” said Linda Hill, assistant superintendent of education, who presented the report to the board at its inaugural meeting here Tuesday night.
Of the 230 Grade 3 students across the district, 60 percent who wrote the test met or exceeded the provincial standard in reading, 54 percent for writing, and 62 percent in math.
The figure in reading marks a three percent increase from last year. On the other hand, writing dropped eight percent while math fell four percent.
However, the district’s Grade 3 students performed better in reading and mathematics than most students across the province—with seven percent above the provincial average in reading and two percent above the provincial average in math.
Only in writing did the board’s students lag five percent behind the provincial average.
The Grade 6 students in the district who wrote the test showed improvement in all three subjects over last year—and surpassed the average results from across the province.
In reading, 62 percent of the board’s Grade 6 students met or exceeded the provincial standard, compared to 57 percent last year and 58 percent across the province.
In writing, 59 percent met or exceeded provincial standards, compared to 54 percent for last year and 57 percent across the province. And in math, 60 percent met the standards, compared to 57 percent for last year and 56 percent across the province.
“The most encouraging picture provided by the results is the increase shown in reading and math by the same students who wrote the Grade 3 assessment in 2000 and the Grade 6 assessment in 2003,” Hill noted.
In that three-year period, results have increased by 16 percent in reading and four percent in math. In writing, the results decreased by three percent.
Hill said the board will continue with current teaching strategies that have been successful as well as focus on improving achievement in writing.
The board also heard a report from Heather Campbell, secondary curriculum co-ordinator, on the EQAO results in Grade 9 math. “The results are not as great as last year’s,” she noted. “We are down a bit.”
In 2002-03, 285 students wrote the test, including 177 at the academic level and 108 at the applied level.
Sixty-four percent of academic level students met or exceeded the provincial standard, compared to 69 percent last year and 67 percent across the province.
Only 19 percent of applied level students met or exceeded the provincial standard—a two percent increase from last year’s results but five percent below the provincial average.
Campbell noted that despite the slight drop this year, EQAO results in Grade 9 math have shown an increase over the last three years.
The percentage of academic level students achieving or surpassing provincial standards has increased by six percent since 2000-01.
The number of Grade 9 applied level students who met provincial standards also has shown a steady increase in the last three years—from 12 percent in 2000-2001, to 15 percent in 2001-2002, and 19 percent in the last school year.
The Education Quality and Accountability Office tests students every year in Grades 3, 6, and 9 to assess their performance in particular subjects. The results are meant to help educators and parents determine how well students are doing—and where they need to improve.
The testing also is meant to provide greater accountability to the public.
The above numbers are so-called Method 2 results, and do not include students who were exempt from the tests nor those from whom the EQAO did not receive completed assessment booklets.
(Fort Frances Times)