More investigation needed on EQAO
I found Joanna Frketich’s article on declining EQAO math results very interesting, but also very disturbing. Unfortunately it will leave too many readers with the impression that there are “good” schools and “bad” schools based solely on the test scores. However, there are many factors which will explain the majority of the differences. It will be unconscionable if The Spectator does not do a full investigation into factors which affect scores. Based on The Spectator’s superb history of investigative reporting, I believe The Spectator could make a valuable contribution to explain the vast differences in scores and make suggestions on how to improve school results. The major theme of the investigation could be to determine what can be done to save many children in the “bad” schools from working in unskilled jobs and a life of poverty.
When EQAO scores are reported, they are reported assuming all student populations are equivalent. It is too simplistic to label a school “good” or “bad” based on test results. The scores are a symptom and not a cause. This would be equivalent to a doctor taking your temperature and then telling you are well, a little sick or deathly sick and then sending you on your way without a proper diagnosis.
The article does prove that the Ministry of Education’s plan to use the EQAO results as an incentive for continuous improvement is a complete failure. The ministry publishes a 40-page document on EQAO results for every school which simply buries the reader in a massive amount of data with no attempt to interpret the data. Larry Hambly, Burlington