The end of this school year is upon us in Ontario. The discussions and articles about Ontario’s EQAO standardized testing have continued into the last weeks of June, but may likely subside in the months ahead too.
I was encouraged by a recent Toronto Star article, “Standardized school tests stress students and system.” The author makes many great points and ends off well with, “EQAO is really a big deal. Let’s be sure it’s worth it.”
A few days later, the Toronto Star featured responses to the above (including one from the Chief Assessment Officer with EQAO), “No need to stress over tests”. A few thoughts and questions went through my head….should I respond, ignore, or even care…. ? I couldn’t help notice that the first article got numerous “shares” on social media platforms. The responses article was close to nil at the time of writing this post. I am not sure what that really means, as not everyone uses those share buttons.
So, I am not going to discuss at length here. I am sure I am just as tired about the issues as many are. I don’t think the matter is just about stress as the headlines suggest, but it is certainly a big part of it. Stress or no stress, the questions are more about the validity and purpose of the tests and if they truly support and measure learning. I don’t need to say much more. I do hope, however, that the long-running conversation in the discussion called “Getting Rid of EQAO” on People for Education’s online community is being paid attention to still. If you visit closer to the end of page 34 (!) you will find further responses to these articles. The “windows” to the realities and impact of these tests in the classroom are well articulated by a few teachers there. How can we not listen to these voices and experiences? Also, if you are on Twitter, it is not hard to catch many stakeholder perspectives in the #EQAO stream.