Ontario students continue to struggle with math.
New standardized test results released by the province’s Education Quality and Accountability Office from the 2018-19 school year show that in Grade 3, 58 per cent of students met the standard — which is equivalent to an A or B, and a decline in results from the past three years.
In Grade 6, less than half — 48 per cent — earned an A or B on the tests administered last spring, which is a one percentage point drop from the average over the past three years.
In Grade 9, results remained stable with 84 per cent meeting the standard at the academic level, but just 44 per cent of those taking applied math — which the EQAO says “is a persistent achievement gap between students in the applied and academic courses.”
The EQAO also says that in elementary schools “Ontario students’ basic knowledge of fundamental math skills is stronger than their ability to apply those skills to a problem or think critically to determine an answer. In attempts to promote engagement and achievement, it is worth considering how we can further support students’ mathematical problem solving and critical thinking.”
Among literacy results, a decline was noted for Grade 3 students in writing, with just 69 per cent reaching the standard — which is also equivalent to an A or B grade.
On Wednesday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce called the scores “disappointing”, saying the Ford government is spending $200 million over four years on its math strategy.
“As the recently-released EQAO results confirm, our students are still struggling to meet provincial math standards,” he said in a written release. “We will never accept the status quo, we are demanding better for our kids by investing in a landmark multi-year strategy that will, from day one, help our students and educators build the confidence and knowledge to excel in math.”
Some $55 million will be spent during this school year.
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