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Province-wide tests possible
By Stephanie Cesca
Making it to university may become one step tougher for high school students wishing to graduate.
According to Daniele Gauvin and Rob Savage, spokespeople for the Ministry of Education and Training, the possibility of high school students having a compulsory province-wide exam upon graduation is an idea the Ministry is presently considering.
"The idea was something that was covered in polling in '97," Savage said. "One of the questions was what people thought of the exams. It was very strongly supported."
As of now, the issue has only remained one of discussion as no formal plans for the exams have been drawn up. "The minister only said it's an idea worth looking into," Gauvin said, referring to Dave Johnson.
Greg Moran, VP-academic at Western, said the current method of evaluating Ontario Academic Credit grades is greatly flawed, causing a need for a standardized exam.
"I think there's a real problem with the situation as it is now," Moran said.
He explained the problem with grades incoming to post secondary schools is that an 80 per cent average in one school is different from an 80 per cent in another one.
"It's difficult to judge student from student. If I was a high school teacher, I would feel uncomfortable without some kind of common evaluation," he said.
John Mombourqueete, vice-principal of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in London, said he has yet to learn of such plans from the Ministry of Education and Training. "We haven't received anything formally," he said.
Mombourqueete said there were definite pros and cons in province-wide examinations for students exiting high school, although he felt the current exams required to complete OAC courses sufficient as they are devised by the Ministry itself.
Moran added plans to improve the evaluative method of graduating high school students are in the best interest of students, universities and even secondary schools.
"The main thing is I think we should give serious consideration to these exams because the current situation is not acceptable," Moran said.
Mombourqueete, however, did not appear to think the situation needed such immediate attention. "If it did come in, it wouldn't be something surprising, but it would be something we're not currently planning for."
Ryan Fiala, a first-year administrative and commercial studies student, said he believed province-wide examinations sounded promising, but the present method is sufficient. Fiala added he does not feel exams are always the best way to measure academic capability. "But I think either way is fair," he said.