Tomorrow will mark the last direct experience that my children will have with standardized testing in Ontario. My youngest will write the Gr. 10 Literacy test. As many of the readers of my blog know, I have always questioned standardized testing in schools, and specifically, Ontario’s EQAO testing. Our family also withdrew our two children from the EQAO testing in both Grades 3 and 6. At the high school level, we have tolerated their expected participation in the Gr. 9 Math EQAO assessment and the Gr. 10 Literacy test (OSSLT). A pass on the OSSLT is required for graduation. I have recently posted about some concerns about the Gr. 9 math assessment here.
As a parent, I have voiced and demonstrated my position as much as possible, which has led me to many great conversations with other individuals. I can understand the various reasons why we may not hear teacher voices more regarding these tests. When we do, public reaction and response often suggests that any resistance means they don’t want to be evaluated. I responded to such in a letter to the media in the past and have guest blogged about it on Chris Wejr’s (@MrWejr) blog here.
I often count on Joe Bower (@joe_bower), a teacher in Alberta, to keep me up to date on posts and research about standardized testing on his blog. I have also been encouraged lately by coming across a few blog posts by Ontario teachers. I commend them for their honesty and candor. I view their willingness to express their thoughts, opinions, and frustrations as an expression of concern about the learning of their students, and all students. I think many of us are seeking alternatives and solutions regarding the current focus and spending on EQAO testing in Ontario.
With their permission, I am pleased to share and link their blog posts below:
Teaching to the Test by Jamie Reaburn Weir @msjweir
Let’s Scrap EQAO by Andrew Campbell @acampbell99
You Can’t Cancel the Redundancy by Timothy King @tk1ng
If there are teachers who have shared about how the EQAO standardized testing has been beneficial to supporting their students and their instruction, please let me know and I will add to the list here.
Adding a principal’s reflection related to this post as well:
Recovering from EQAO by Donna Fry @fryed
And this recent post of Andrew Campbell’s that features his related posts to date, as well as more reflections and experiences from both teachers and parents in the comments:
Also, The Good and the Bad from Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca) as she reflects about how kids with special needs in her class are affected while writing of the test, and thus the outcomes.
Update – April/2014: Adding another post by Jamie Reaburn Weir with her reflection and questions about the Ontario Gr. 10 Literacy Test: #osslt