Francos surpass anglos in math
The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) is trying to find more effective ways to teach math after recent test results showed that most of its Grade 6 students are failing to reach the provincial standard.
Meanwhile, the French-language system continues to surpass the provincial norm.
The Education Quality and Accountability Office ( EQAO) recently released a damning statistic – half of the province’s Grade 6 students are not attaining the standard in mathematics. Last week, the EQAO released individual statistics of Ontario’s school boards. They revealed that out of the four boards that administer Glengarry schools, the UCDSB has the lowest rate of Grade 6 math students attaining the standard. That figure is 40 per cent, which is ten per cent below the provincial average.
However, Glengarry’s elementary schools are above the board average. Maxville Public School has a success rate of 42 per cent, Williamstown’s average is 48 per cent and Laggan has a whopping rate of 95 per cent.
Valerie Allen, the UCDSB’s Superintendent of Education, says that Laggan’s exceptional results are due to the school’s commitment to helping its students learn.
“They made an effort to learn where the students’ needs were and then they targeted those needs,” she told The News, adding that Laggan teachers understand that different students learn in different ways.
Alexandria’s École Elda-Rouleau saw 93 per cent of its Grade 6 students reach the provincial standard in math. Ms. Desjardins says that the French-language school has put a lot of effort into enhan-
cing its instruction. Staff regularly holds professional development days where they analyze data, see how students learn more effectively, and then teach the curriculum in a way that reflects that. At the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, 48 per cent of its Grade 6 math students reached the provincial standard. Alexandria’s St. Finnan’s school is around that figure (47 per cent) but Iona Academy in St. Raphael’s is well above that at 76 per cent.
Ms. Allen says the UCDSB is making efforts to help its schools improve their math marks by adopting practices from some of its more successful schools. Pupils will also benefit from a $60 million initiative to implement a renewed math strategy in Ontario’s classrooms. The initiative which started this month will include teachers in Grades 18 spending 60 minutes per day on math lessons.
The strategy will also allow for up to three math lead teachers in all elementary schools, and, according to the Ministry of Education, “opportunities for educators to deepen their knowledge in math learning, teaching and leading, including a dedicated math Professional Development Day.”
The UCDSB did fairly well in terms of reading and writing. Respectively, 67 and 73 per cent of its Grades 3 students reached the provincial standards in those subjects. Those figures were 79 and 78 at the Grade 6 level. All are around the provincial averages.
For Grade 3 math, 54 per cent of the board’s students reached the provincial standard. The Ontario average is 63 per cent.
The CDSBEO’s Director of Education, William J. Gartland, said: “Iona Academy Catholic School has performed consistently over time with regard to EQAO scores. The school continues to score well over the provincial average in all areas. The CDSBEO continues to support all learners with clear and precise interventions that will support their learning in all areas.
“The board has worked extremely hard to target and involve the parent community in all aspects of learning. Iona has a very strong parent group that continues to work with the school to improve learning outcomes, and the school has always had a very strong team approach to literacy and numeracy.”
When it comes to Grade 6 math, the French- language boards are vastly outperforming their English counterparts. Indeed, 85 per cent of Grade 6 French students met the provincial standard.
At the local French Catholic board level, the average is 83 per cent whereas the French public board level is 86.