Please note that members are advised not to participate in any EQAO marking exercise or field testing. In March 2007, ETFO sent posters and brochures to every worksite, urging members to Just Say No to EQAO Marking, and giving reasons for this advice. For more information, click on EQAO Marking.
Standardized testing is not new for students. For many years, elementary and secondary students have taken part in testing at all levels – provincially, nationally and internationally. Over the past ten years, the amount of testing in our schools has increased. This is largely because successive governments have viewed standardized tests as tools to monitor a few select variables.
In 1996, the government established the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) to
From the onset, the tests raised levels of anxiety for students, parents, teachers and school boards.
Since its creation, the EQAO has faced criticism, particularly on the issues of security, timelines, and validity of the tests. Despite this, each year it continues to assess elementary school students in grade 3 and grade 6 reading, writing and mathematics.
Tests Not a Reflection on Teacher Performance
It is important to note that students’ results on these tests are NOT a comment on teacher performance in the classroom. While teachers in grades 3 and 6 may feel pressured to “deliver” high test results so that their class, and school, score well, ETFO urges its members not to succumb to this pressure. Poor test scores are usually the result of multiple factors that are far beyond the teacher’s control.
EQAO Process Must Be Followed Properly
If the rules surrounding test administration are not followed, a teacher may be accused of improperly administering the test, intervening or assisting students to influence test results, or even changing students’ answers on the test. Such allegations, if proved, can result in severe disciplinary measures against a teacher, and an allegation of professional misconduct at the Ontario College of Teachers.
Some cases have alleged that:
The allegations were made because children told their parents about incidents surrounding the testing.
When the EQAO receives test results, it searches for “anomalous” results or problems. This could mean similar wrong answers, similar erasures, or many identical right answers on problems that do not lend themselves to the same answers. A suspicion of inappropriate application of the test may result in a prolonged investigation by the EQAO and the school board involving the teacher’s actions.
Some Reminders about EQAO Testing
ETFO strongly advises members to:
Remember, these tests do not reflect on your performance as a teacher.
Members are advised to consult Professional Relations staff in Protective Services at 416-962-3836 or 1-888-838-3836 for additional advice on administering the EQAO tests.