Director of Education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, Sean Monteith, is working to make the provincial EQAO test more relatable for students in northwestern Ontario.

“I think one of the biggest concerns for myself, is that a provincial assessment needs to be provincial in scope,” said Monteith. “When kids are asked to recount experiences and respond to a critical question from a perspective that they don’t have, because it’s not their reality, it’s hard to give a reflective response. Things are very unique in northwestern Ontario.”

Monteith and the KPDSB were host to representatives from the Education Quality and Accountability Office last week to tour local schools and meet with leadership in the community. Students and staff were able to share their experiences with education in the region, specifically the provincial standardized tests.

“Our kids are just as gifted and capable as any in all of Ontario. They should be able to share their experiences with the value they deserve,” added Monteith. “The assessments perhaps could be more reflective of northwestern Ontario. Maybe some cultural sensitivity, cultural relevance, as well as regional relevance. We’re hoping to broaden the scope of the assessments.”

Representatives from EQAO toured schools in Kenora, Dryden, Ignace, Red Lake, Ear Falls, Sioux Lookout and Lac Seul First Nation.

“In light of our commitment to modernizing EQAO assessments, our team was eager to learn more about realities and experiences in Northern Ontario,” said Dr, Steven Reid, Chief Assessment Officer for EQAO.

“It is important to offer all students across Ontario equitable opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and EQAO gained valuable insights in speaking with KPDSB students, staff and community members. EQAO’s commitment to the future will reflect learnings from our visit, and we will continue to listen to perspectives from across the province as we develop assessments that are more student-focused, easily accessible and engaging.”

The Education Quality and Accountability assessment tests Grades 3 and 6 students in reading, writing and mathematics, Grade 9 applied and academic mathematics, as well as results for the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test. The results track the percentage of students at or above the provincial standard.

In 2017, the Kenora Catholic District School Board and the KPDSB both saw improvements in their testing scores.

For more information:
KPDSB shows improvement in EQAO results
KCDSB release EQAO results