EQAO Test Questions

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I’ve been teaching grade 6 for 21 years and I’ve been struggling with some “EQAO Test Questions” of my own:

1. Are high test scores good indicators of effective, creative, collaborative, problem solving, innovative, powerfully connected, globally aware  students, teachers and schools?

2. If the EQAO test is just a “snapshot” why is there so much focus on it?

3. How does my student who leaves grade 6, finally walking with self confidence, feel when she settles into grade 7, at a new school, only to find out she’s a “1” or a “2”….below provincial standard?

4. Where does EQAO provide feedback and next steps?

5. How does my “exempted” student feel during the week of EQAO?

6. What will a grade 3 or 6 student remember about their year other than the test?

7. Is standardized testing inhibiting innovation and risk taking in our Ontario classrooms?

8. While preparing my students for the test, what else did I miss out on preparing them for?

9. Is there really a crisis in math education in Ontario? What data are we using to determine this? Is it relevant? Is it reliable?

10. What good comes from making EQAO test results public? What effect does this have on our most disadvantaged school communities?

11. Why do we continue to assess our 21st century learners with a 20th century tool?

12. What if EQAO allowed our students to demonstrate their learning based on curriculum based, open ended questions using 21st century tools such as ePortfolios, podcasts and videos?

13. If I am opposed, in principle, to the EQAO test, should I allow my own child to write it?

14. What if EQAO assessors visited schools and watched, listened and observed students in their natural classroom setting?

15. What if we used student and school attendance rates as benchmarks for success in Ontario schools?

16. What if half the money spent on provincial testing was reallocated to address children’s mental issues? Would this improve academic success?

This blog post has been sitting in the “Drafts” section of my blog for over three years. Recently I was encouraged to hear that Premier Kathleen Wynn is set to announce a sweeping review of how students are assessed in Ontario and that an expert panel will be established to help explore ways to more effectively assess students. I trust the panel will be made up of a large cross section of all stakeholders in the Ontario education system, including our students. I also trust the panel will be open to questions. In my class I encourage tough questions because good discussions, plans, learning, solutions and answers are often the result.

What EQAO questions have you been struggling with?

About mrcameron14

I am a Grade 6 teacher of 18 years in Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada. Passionate about sharing with teachers throughout the world. Teaching students how to use technology 4 good and to make a positive difference in the world. Apple Distinguished Educator 2013, SMART Exemplary Educator 2013, Google Educator 2015.
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2 Responses to EQAO Test Questions

  1. Kate MacLean says:

    What a thoughtful and thorough list – you’ve encompassed my thoughts so well. Last year was the first year I taught a full year in an EQAO grade, and I have reflected so many times on its influence on my teaching and the grade 3 experience for my students. I know it negatively affected my teaching by constraining what I felt able to explore with the kids during the year in both English and Math. I felt tied to a strict and much shortened timeline in a year where the Math curriculum is large. It was terrible knowing that a few of my students really needed that extra month to continue to grow into and work through concepts but instead would be sitting silently in rows upset by questions. Many of my concerns about the recent media hype over math scores have been that no one explores the test itself, the language it uses, the formal way it is given in contrast to the way we teach, the stress kids have notwithstanding our attempts to reassure them and their parents. These concerns could be alleviated by many of the things you raise as well.

    I also teach English to French Immersion students who receive no English instruction in grade one and an hour at most in grade two. Needless to say, their English has not developed to the same level as an regular grade 3 student’s has. I understand the idea that “language is language” but this doesn’t play out well enough by the end of grade 3 to measure the children on the same scale as their peers and that is not fair to children or parents seeing the results. Now that the majority of parents in our Board feel they “have to” put their kids in Immersion, I also have many ELL students who are working in 3 or more languages daily and may have little to no home support in English or French. The French Immersion curriculum has much emphasis on oral language and I am still responsible to teach the whole grade 3 Language curriculum in less than an hour a day – and then EQAO tests them on its specific expectations, including quotation marks and commas (which my son is still being taught in high school). Sigh. I therefore have a lot of concerns about the Reading and Writing testing too, not the least of which was that 8-year olds spent for four hot days doing it. Just think of what we could have been investigating, reading and writing about during that time.

    I hope you’ll be sharing your list with Queens Park and whoever is changes to EQAO, Peter!


  2. Lisa Corbett says:

    I share these questions. I’ve taught grade 3 for 12 years. The test is not useful. It is stressful! And oh! The things we could accomplish if that money was spent on school-based initiatives! Mental health support is just one thing on a long list.


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