Things to remember about the Fraser Report for Secondary Schools

The Fraser Institute’s Report Card on Secondary Schools 2014 uses Grade 9 Education Quality & Accountability Office (EQAO) and Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy test results to calculate each school’s overall rating out of 10. As presented, the ratings in the report provide an incomplete and distorted picture of school effectiveness.

There is no evidence to show that ranking schools improves student learning. EQAO test results provide useful information to improve schools’ learning programs—for example, school improvement goals on reading, writing or math—but it’s unfair and misleading to compare schools based only on these scores. It’s just one piece of the whole picture about a school.

At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board our consistent focus is on supporting the achievement and well-being of each student we serve.

EQAO Publication: The Power of Ontario’s Provincial Testing Program
EQAO has produced The Power of Ontario’s Provincial Testing Program, (PDF, 1.75 MB) a document that provides information on the many ways EQAO data is used to support student learning. It’s focuses primarily on elementary testing, but does contain some references to secondary testing.
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School and Board staff use a variety of data to assist in school improvement planning, including student work samples, classroom assessments and individual student achievement reports, school climate data and public EQAO results.

The Fraser Institute Report provides an incomplete picture of school effectiveness. There is no evidence to show that ranking schools improves student learning. In addition, not all the measures used within the Fraser Institute report link directly to the work of the school. The bigger picture is that schools are dynamic, engaging learning communities where all students have numerous opportunities to be engaged in learning, physical activity and social interactions.

The factors that affect achievement in schools are very complex. Our school improvement planning involves a holistic and contextual approach that takes into account everything from the goals of the school and its programs, to its youth culture and learning environments, as well as parent-teacher-community relationships.

As with the board-wide or provincial-wide results, individual school results should not be seen as absolutes, they are indicators of where students need extra help to improve their reading, writing and math. Tests are only useful if they are used to improve student learning.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, 613-966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350, extension 2354, [email protected]

Last updated: March 3, 2014 at 8:56 am
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