The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is continuing to work and lobby the provincial government to reform standardized testing for students in the district.

Earlier this year, Director of Education Sean Monteith and the KPDSB were host to representatives from the Education Quality and Accountability Office 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.

Monteith says that the assessments could be more reflective of northwestern Ontario, and some of the standardized test’s questions don’t have any relevance for students in the region.

“The focus of their visit was to address and see first-hand that provincial assessments that are urban-centric, do not fit northwestern Ontario. I will not accept that we must conform to urban-centric experiences, when our students do not have lived-experiences from Toronto.”

In particular, Monteith noted that one of the questions on the EQAO test is to describe the experience of riding on an escalator in Toronto’s Sheraton Centre, which many students in the region have difficulty describing.

“They have to change. We don’t have to change. To test them at a high-stakes level, about experiences that they have never had, it’s absurd. It’s ethically-wrong. We’re not going to conform. The changes will be made, and that includes cultural-sensitivity.”

While Monteith hopes to see more Indigenous culture and history represented in the provincial test, he says that he also hopes to see northern culture added as well. He noted that during the delegation’s tour, none of the representatives from Toronto could identify a mineshaft in Red Lake, where students in the area would easily do so.

Monteith adds that the process to change the tests will be a long-one, and admittedly can test his patience. He estimates that the changes may take few years to be implemented, however he sees some positivity and hope in the process - as the need for change has now been identified and outlined.

“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, following the delegation’s tour of KPDSB schools.

“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. 

Last month, the board released their ‘historic’ results for the board’s EQAO scores. Comparing scores in 2016-2017 to this past year’s results, Grade 3 students saw a 8 per cent improvement in reading, a 9 per cent improvement in writing, and a 4 per cent improvement in mathematics. In Grade 6, students saw a 2 per cent improvement from 2016-2017, and an 8 per cent decrease in mathematics. 

For more information:
Historic results for KPDSB’s EQAO scores
Monteith tackling EQAO discrepancies

More Local News

Pothole season is here

Spring is in the air, and with the shift from winter snow plowing to snow melting, conditions are perfect for potholes to form. Moisture seeps into the pavement and sub-base, freezes, expands and…

Main st in Kenora open

Main Street in Kenora has opened to vehicles and pedestrians. The CIBC building, demolition site, and Bargin shop remain blocked off by police, as they continue to investigate the cause of Sunday's…

City approves 2019 budget

Kenora city concil officially passed their budget for 2019. “This budget was a particularly difficult one for council," said Mayor Dan Reynard. From the city's perspective, the 3.55 per cent increase…

Suspect apprehended

Police have apprehended a man, following a hold and secure at Kenora schools this afternoon. At around 2:10 p.m. members of the Kenora OPP detachment responded to an incident in the north side of the…

Hold and secure in Kenora

A hold and secure was been put in place for students in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, as well as the Kenora Catholic District School Board. Senior staff from both school boards are…

CIBC branch manager provides update for customers

CIBC Branch manager Jackie Hailstone said Sunday's fire on Main St didn't impact the inside of the building too badly. "The inside is actually not too bad. We have more concerns around the outside of…

Main street clean up joint effort

No word yet on when Main St in Kenora will reopen to vehicular traffic. The clean up of the street is a joint effort between the Kenora Fire & Emergency Services Department, Kenora OPP and City of…

Kenora mayor proud of how the community stepped up

Kenora Mayor Dan Reynard said it's always difficult when tragic events happen in the community, such as Sunday's fatal fire in downtown Kenora. "Such a tragedy anytime we see, or feel, a loss of life…

Kiiwetinoong member lobbies for at-risk youth

Kiiwetinoong member Sol Mamakwa is lobbying for more help in the Far North, when it comes to children in care. At Queen's Park, he again questioned the government's cancellation of the child…

Tragedy and Heroes

Kenora fire chief Todd Skene is still working with investigators and business owners, after yesterday's fire on Main Street. "On behalf of the city, our thoughts are with the person, who passed away,…

KenoraOnline.com is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Login