Plan to have Ontario teachers take annual mandatory math test

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If all goes according to plan, the Ontario PC government will put in place mandatory annual math testing for teachers across the province.

According to sources quoted in media reports, teachers would be required to pass the test in order to continue to teach.

The test would apply to teachers at both the primary and secondary level even if the educator did not primarily teach mathematics.

The Progressive Conservative government has repeatedly promised to take measures to improve student math scores which have been declining for years across the province.

This week legislation was passed requiring all aspiring teachers in Ontario to pass a math test before receiving their licence to teach.

It is not clear what the test will look like or who will administer it. What is certain are several rounds of consultations with teachers and parents.

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Education Quality and Accountability Office, which administers standardized assessments in the province, is on record stating math test scores among public elementary students in Ontario have been decreasing over the last five years.

The EQAO data showed that 49 per cent of Grade 6 students met the provincial math standard last school year, down from 54 per cent in 2013-2014. Among Grade 3 students, the EQAO says 61 per cent met the provincial standard in 2017-2018, down from 67 per cent in 2013-2014.

The move to have all teachers tested for math is bound to be resisted by a large section of teachers, especially those who are strong in the arts. Meanwhile it is unclear what input parents can give on the issue other than that math is important for their children’s future success. -CINEWS

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