In 1996, the government established the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) to
design new tests for grades 3, 6, 9, 10 in reading, writing and mathematics;
manage the administration of these tests;
report the results to the public; and
collect data to help determine the effectiveness of Ontario’s education system.
Since its creation, the EQAO has faced a great deal of criticism, particularly on the issues of security, timelines, validity of the tests, and uses of the data. This pressure narrows the curriculum and leads to a disproportionate focus on literacy and numeracy at the expense of science and technology, social studies, the arts, and physical education.