There is always a lot to read about standardized testing and I catch a fair bit regarding the issues in other provinces, states, and countries.  However, I am not always sure on which things the actual tests are similar and different.  In Ontario, I guess it is a good thing that the Gr. 3 and 6 “EQAO” tests are not just a “fill in the bubble” type.  They do have some multiple choice sections, but also some essay and short answer portions too.

I am also not really certain about the length of the testing period in other districts – how many days/weeks?  I also wonder if there are similarities in the process for student exemptions and opting out of the tests (initiated by parents).

The first year that I opted out my child, the testing period in Ontario was one week.  Both grades (3 and 6) wrote during that week.  In later years, when I opted out my second child, the testing period was down to 3 days.  That made it a little easier to make arrangements for her to miss school and I just updated the letter to do so.  It is all behind us now, with no ill-effects.

We are currently in “EQAO” testing period right now in Ontario.  From what I am hearing, the testing period has been extended longer (made more flexible?).  This may require more days away from school should a parent opt out their child(ren).  The grades may also be writing at different times/days, so if a parent has children in both grades an opting out decision may be more difficult.  It is my understanding that the testing period this year was from May 23 to June  6.

I don’t think many parents in Ontario choose to opt out their children from these tests, but I have been wondering what the impact of this longer time frame may or may not have had on families considering doing so.

If I have any of the current details wrong, I hope others can clarify.

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