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?