Literacy test results see improvement

Trustees will discuss if local students made the grade on last year’s Grade 10 literacy test at the regular monthly meeting of the Rainy River District School Board here Tuesday night.
“We have had marked improvements in our results,” Education Director Warren Hoshizaki said Tuesday morning.
The literacy test was completed over two days last February and passing it is now a requirement to graduate from high school
A complete breakdown of the literacy test results will take place at the board meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. in the boardroom at Robert Moore School.
In 2000, only 43 percent of the students under the local public board passed both the reading and writing portions of the test. Hoshizaki attributed the improvement to steps taken following these results.
“It is because of the strategy that we put into place at each of our secondary schools, where we created literacy teams that have been helping students prepare for the test,” he said.
While he’s pleased to see an improvement, Hoshizaki admitted there are some areas of the test that could be examined.
“Some students are not able to pass the test and will never be able to pass the test,” he remarked.
“We all know that there have been students in the past who received a diploma or certificate and go on to be very successful in society and their community.
“We want to continue to ensure those students have a place in our system,” Hoshizaki stressed.
The ministry has been asked to look at ways to recognize the accomplishments of these students and their successes in terms of graduation.
Both the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation have expressed concerns over the benefit of the literacy test to students and staff.
“The question we have to ask it, ‘What do we do with these results,’” OTF president Phyllis Benedict said in a press release.
“Research has shown that this kind of standardized testing is not a true indicator of how well a student is performing overall,” she added.
“This is not about improving student literacy; it is about failing students,” charged OSSTF president Earl Manners.
“This test should be scrapped as a graduation requirement and replaced by a diagnostic test which identifies student needs and provides meaningful support for students who are struggling,” Manners said.