Most Grade 6 students are failing to meet provincial math standards, EQAO results show

The standardized test results of Ontario’s elementary and secondary students were just released, and many are missing the mark in math.

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) revealed its Ontario student assessment data for 2021-2022 on Thursday.

“This year’s release of results provides a snapshot of how students are doing after two years of pandemic-related disruptions in schools,” CEO of the EQAO, Dan Koenig, said in the news release.

It is the first year assessments could take place following the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is also the first time it could happen since Premier Doug Ford initially took office in 2018, back when he promised to revamp the province’s math curriculum since half of Ontario’s Grade 6 students were not meeting the provincial math standard.

According to the latest assessment, the majority of students in the sixth grade are still failing to meet the provincial math standard.

Over 600,000 elementary and secondary students from across the province completed the tests, and according to the arm’s length government agency, less than half of all Grade 6 students – a total of 47 per cent – met the provincial standard in the subject. It’s three per cent less than how many met the standard in 2018-2019.

Fifty-nine percent of Grade 3 students met the province’s mathematical standard, while 52 per cent of Grade 9 students did, which is an over 20 per cent drop from the 75 per cent who met the standard in 2018-2019. However, EQAO notes it is also the same year when Grade 9 academic and applied results for that year were combined.

The EQAO also released the data from student questionnaires to provide more context about how students feel about the subject and just barely half of Grade 6 students like math with 48 per cent thinking they are good at the subject.

Almost 70 per cent of Grade 3 students said they like math, while 53 per cent of Grade 9 students indicate they enjoy the subject. Meanwhile, 61 per cent of students in the third grade think they are good at math while 55 per cent of Grade 9 students feel that way.

For reading and writing, results dropped for Grade 3 students, but remained stable for Grade 6 students. For the Ontario Secondary Student Literacy Test (OSSLT), the results were also high, with 82 per cent of first-time test takers being successful.

“Today’s EQAO results underscore the importance of what we’ve been saying for months: students need to be in classrooms, focused on catching up, for the entire school year,” a spokesperson for Education Minister Stephen Lecce told CTV News Toronto.

“While student learning loss due to the pandemic is a global challenge, Ontario has a plan that invests in expanded school and tutoring supports to ensure students can learn the skills they need to succeed for the jobs of tomorrow.”

Lecce is set to make an announcement Thursday afternoon and is expected to comment on the EQAO results.

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