Search This Blog

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Measuring The Characteristics Of A School

Last week EQAO released its results and the assessment captures the performance of students at one point in time each year. When reviewing these results there are six question that EQAO suggests to ask when looking at your school results:

1. What percentage of the students in my school have met the provincial standard in reading, writing and/or math?

2. What has the school’s trend been in each of these subjects over the past five years?
3. If there is no clear trend in my school’s results, is it because only a small number of students are writing the test each year? For example, if only 10 students wrote the test in a given year, a single student can be the difference between the school showing 60% and 70% of students meeting the standard.
4. How do the trends and current results of my school compare to those of my school board and the province?
5. How do my school’s demographics compare to those of the school board or the province? Every school is unique, and you should evaluate your school’s results in the context of its distinctive student population. Demographic information included in EQAO school reports allows you to understand the results and characteristics of your school in relation to those of the board and the province as a whole.
6. What is my school’s improvement plan for reading, writing and math?
Out of the six questions, why is #5 the one that least is focused on? Even if you reviewed the contextual information I don’t think you would get an understanding of the character education that takes place in the school.  In my current school, we celebrated Mustache Day where Toonie donations went to Noelle’s Gift, grade 2’s are performing in Starbright at the VP, all students are getting ready for the annual Christmas concert, Jr Volleyball is heading into the playoffs, and staff are participating in a Muskoka Woods Fundraiser that sends all Grade 7’s across the system to a leadership camp in May.

Indeed, there is so much more to a story to a person than a letter or grade and that education needs to put emphasis on measuring the characteristics of the school.