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Great divide between applied and academic math across County

Posted September 25, 2013

Results released this morning by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) for the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) showed a significant gap in success rates between the applied and academic math streams at both school boards in Simcoe County.

Only 45 per cent of Grade 9 students of the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) taking applied math passed the EQAO test, while their peers in the academic stream had an 82 per cent success rate. Banting Memorial High School's Gr. 9 applied math classes had a 52 per cent pass rate, and 85 per cent for academic.

Simcoe Muskoka Catholic School Board's (SMCSB) Gr. 9 applied math students had a 39 per cent success rate, and 76 per cent in the academic stream. Only 32 per cent of St. Thomas Aquinas Gr. 9 students in applied math passed the test, and 65 per cent passed in the academic stream, which was down from 82 per cent the previous year.

OSSLT results, taken by Gr. 10 students were more positive across both boards. Of the 92 per cent SCDSB students who took the literacy test for the first time, 78 per cent passed. Banting had an 82 per cent success rate. And of the 96 per cent of SMCSB who tested, 71 per cent passed.

"Although we made gains at some schools, I acknowledge that we have more work to do," said Kathi Wallace, Director of Education, in a press release this morning acknowledging the results. "Each year we look at our results and determine where we may need to provide extra resources or support. We have a solid plan in place that involves after-school support and classroom activities. We are also planning targeted professional learning opportunities for teachers."

Brian Beal, Director of Education for the SMCSB, said in their press release they objective was to look at the "overall trends so that we can focus our teaching and learning strategies where they are needed most. We are always looking for ways to improve. Our professional staff uses a number of tools, including EQAO results, to assess and evaluate student achievement with the ultimate goal of improving student learning in all subject areas."

Students who participated in the assessments last spring will receive an Individual Student Report. The ISR includes the student's results, as well as a summary of school, board and provincial results. School, board and provincial reports are available at www.eqao.com

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