Volume 94, Issue 88

Thursday, March 8, 2001


U of A gunman apprehended

USC ups fees in proposed budget

Highschoolers don't make the literacy grade

Study says exit grades aren't all that

New degree to build better execs


Corroded Disorder

Highschoolers don't make the literacy grade

By Adam Stewart
Gazette Staff

A third of all grade 10 students in the province cannot pass a basic literacy test, according to the results of the Ontario government's standardized literacy test results released this week.

According to Bob Glass, the chief executive officer for the Education Quality and Accountability Office – the agency which wrote and administered the test for the government – 29 per cent of grade 10 students in Ontario failed the government's literacy test.

Specifically, 13.3 per cent failed both reading and writing, 10.7 per cent failed the writing section, while 5 per cent failed reading, Glass explained.

"The 5 per cent that failed reading seems to be expected. I would think that a majority of teachers wouldn't be surprised [with the test results]," he said.

Glass said the test was a wake up call for students who will be required to pass the standardized test as a condition for graduation, starting next year.

Glass admitted the results were not good, but said the shortcomings of the students were identifiable. "They seem to have a lot of problems writing a summary."

"We feel [the test results] are unacceptable," said Ministry of Education spokesperson, Rob Savage. "It is important that every student who graduates can read and write. The curriculum has set standards that will ensure students will succeed," Savage said. "The challenge is to ensure students are learning the material."

"We find the results incredible and very worrisome," said David Moss, executive assistant in communications for the Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation.

He added from the outset, there were questions surrounding the test, such as whether there were certain groups that had more trouble than others, the fact that the students were tested at the start of the grade 10 year and that there were problems finding qualified teachers to mark the tests.

"Our focus is going to be on using the results to improve student learning," said Thames Valley School Board spokesperson, Sam Galati.

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