School Board Progress Reports

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the School Board Progress Reports?

The government is committed to building confidence in the publicly funded education system through transparency and accountability.

With the support of the Ministry of Education, Ontario's school boards are making progress towards helping all students succeed. That positive momentum is captured board by board in the School Board Progress Reports.

Why did the government select these indicators to show district school board progress?

The ministry selected these indicators because they show progress made by each board to reach every student with important government initiatives. These priorities include raising student achievement, reducing primary class sizes, and ensuring boards are financially responsible.

More indicators will be developed and published in the next few years with the advice of an advisory committee. This group will be composed of members of the general public and representatives from the education sector.

Where did the ministry get this information?

Information included in the School Board Progress Reports came from two sources. The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) administers and calculates the results for the Grade 6 reading assessment and the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.

As well, each school board reports annually to the ministry on its progress in primary class size reduction, Grade 10 credit accumulation and financial status.

How often will the Progress Reports be updated?

The ministry updates School Board Progress Reports on a regular basis when new indicator data has been collected and analyzed.

Why is the ministry ranking school boards?

The School Board Progress Reports do not rank school boards. These reports provide only a general snapshot of each board's progress in key areas. These results are influenced by each board's distinct advantages and challenges, such as geographic size, innovative programming, population density and program needs for students taking English-as-a-second-language courses.

The ministry and each individual board are accountable to the public for increasing student achievement. The Progress Reports help the public see how and where boards are making progress on important education initiatives. This information can be used in open and full discussions about government, board and stakeholder priorities.

Why does the government depend on EQAO to measure and publish student progress in Grade 6 and 10?

EQAO is an arm's-length agency of the provincial government and provides parents, teachers and the public with accurate and reliable information about student achievement. It was established in 1995 on the recommendation of the Ontario Royal Commission on Learning. The commission consulted extensively with educators, parents, students and the general public, and concluded that provincewide assessments would help respond to public demand for greater quality and accountability in the publicly funded education system.

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Grade 6 EQAO Reading Assessment

Why is reading so important for Grade 6 students?

We strongly believe that every student in the province should be able to read at a high level by the age of 12. This age is a critical juncture — a tipping point — in a child's life. If students by that age become convinced they cannot succeed at school, dropping out becomes a more attractive option. Having every child reach a high level of literacy by age 12 is both an economic and social building block.

Why are you providing information on Grade 6 reading?

The ministry is providing information only on reading at this time to make it easier for the boards and general public to see progress.

Reading is a key area of learning, because effective reading skills are strongly linked to a student's achievement in writing and math.

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Credit Accumulation by the End of Grade 10 and Grade 11

What impact does failing a course in Grade 9 or 10 have on a student?

Research shows that the successful completion of 16 credits by the end of Grade 10 keeps students on track to graduate with their peers.

With the addition of completion of 23 credits or more by the end of Grade 11, this will provide an additional indicator to show students who are still on track to graduate with their peers.

For the Progress in Credit Accumulation by the End of Grade 10 indicator, why is the current data being compared to 2006-07 data while the EQAO indicators compare over a three-year period?

A new and more accurate system for collecting data on Grade 10 credit accumulation was put in place, and the 2006-07 data is the first set of data from the new system. To provide an accurate picture of the progress, the 2006-07 data will be used to calculate progress for future years.

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Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

Why is the OSSLT an important measurement of student achievement?

Strong literacy skills by Grade 10 are essential for student success and a good indicator of on-time graduation. For all postsecondary destinations, students need a strong core of literacy skills to enable them to receive and comprehend ideas and information, to inquire further into areas of interest and study, and to express themselves clearly.

What happens to students who do not pass the OSSLT?

Students who do not pass the OSSLT on the first opportunity are provided with additional support and guidance to help boost their level of literacy to the provincial standard.

Students may write the OSSLT more than once. School principals also have the discretion to allow a student who has failed the OSSLT to enrol in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) if the principal decides that it is in the best educational interests of a student. Students who pass this literacy course also meet the graduation literacy requirement.

Has the standard for passing the OSSLT changed?

The provincial standard for passing the OSSLT has not changed since it was established in 1999.

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Graduation Rate

How is a board’s graduation rate calculated?

The ministry calculates the graduation rate by measuring the percentage of students who graduated within four or five years of starting Grade 9.

Which board are students considered to have graduated from if they move between boards?

For the purposes of calculating graduation rates, the ministry considers students as belonging to the board where they first started Grade 9. Students who transferred out of province or died are removed from the calculation.

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