Math scores blot better EQAO reading, writing results at Hamilton schools

News Sep 23, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

Just 46 per cent of public board Grade 6s meet provincial standard

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

The Hamilton public school board’s focus on literacy in kindergarten to Grade 2 seems to be paying off, but math remains a sore spot, especially in Grade 6.

The latest Education Quality Accountability Office test results show steady improvement on reading and writing at both the Grade 3 and Grade 6 level, although scores still lag behind the provincial average by four to five percentage points.

On the Grade 3 test, 66 percent met the standard on reading, up 10 percentage points from five years ago, while 74 per cent did so on writing, up nine percentage points over the same period.

Among Grade 6s, 74 per cent hit the standard for reading and 73 per cent for writing, compared to 67 per cent and 64 per cent, respectively, five years ago.

The EQAO goal is for 75 per cent of students to meet the standard.

Math results were less encouraging and mirrored a provincial downward trend.

Fifty-nine per cent of Grade 3s met the standard, the same as last year and eight percentage points below the provincial average for the May test.

Among Grade 6s, just 46 per cent hit the standard, eight percentage points below the Ontario average and down six percentage points from five years ago.

In an analysis on its website, the board said it is addressing the decline with a three-pronged “comprehensive math strategy” that includes better teacher training and a balanced focus on basic math skills and problem-solving.

The board said it’s also confident a plan to spend $18 million over the next five years to give iPad computer tablets to every student in grades 4 to 12 will “engage students for greater math success.”

Known as Transforming Learning Everywhere, the initiative will enhance math instruction “through diagnostics built into iPad applications, as well as the ability of students to record their answers in ways they prefer (e.g. voice or text),” it said.

Hamilton Catholic students once again outshone their public counterparts, although they also struggled on math, with 66 per cent of Grade 3s meeting the standard and 54 per cent doing so in Grade 6.

The latter matches both last year’s results and this year’s provincial average, and has prompted the Catholic board to strike a math task force that is expected to report to trustees early next year.

On reading, results for both grades were one percentage point below the provincial average, with 69 per cent of Grade 3s and 78 per cent of Grade 6s meeting the standard.

Results for writing were better, with 81 per cent of Grade 3s and 83 per cent of Grade 6s hitting the standard, compared to a provincial average of 78 per cent for both grades.

As with their public counterparts, the Catholic students’ writing scores continued steady improvement from five years ago, when 76 per cent of Grade 3s and 75 per cent of Grade 6s met the standard.

Catholic board superintendent David Hansen said there is “a very real disconnect” between the Grade 6s’ math scores and their success on reading and writing.

“We have to really look hard at the test and see what is going on,” he said in his board’s analysis of the results.

Math scores blot better EQAO reading, writing results at Hamilton schools

News Sep 23, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

Just 46 per cent of public board Grade 6s meet provincial standard

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

The Hamilton public school board’s focus on literacy in kindergarten to Grade 2 seems to be paying off, but math remains a sore spot, especially in Grade 6.

The latest Education Quality Accountability Office test results show steady improvement on reading and writing at both the Grade 3 and Grade 6 level, although scores still lag behind the provincial average by four to five percentage points.

On the Grade 3 test, 66 percent met the standard on reading, up 10 percentage points from five years ago, while 74 per cent did so on writing, up nine percentage points over the same period.

Among Grade 6s, 74 per cent hit the standard for reading and 73 per cent for writing, compared to 67 per cent and 64 per cent, respectively, five years ago.

The EQAO goal is for 75 per cent of students to meet the standard.

Math results were less encouraging and mirrored a provincial downward trend.

Fifty-nine per cent of Grade 3s met the standard, the same as last year and eight percentage points below the provincial average for the May test.

Among Grade 6s, just 46 per cent hit the standard, eight percentage points below the Ontario average and down six percentage points from five years ago.

In an analysis on its website, the board said it is addressing the decline with a three-pronged “comprehensive math strategy” that includes better teacher training and a balanced focus on basic math skills and problem-solving.

The board said it’s also confident a plan to spend $18 million over the next five years to give iPad computer tablets to every student in grades 4 to 12 will “engage students for greater math success.”

Known as Transforming Learning Everywhere, the initiative will enhance math instruction “through diagnostics built into iPad applications, as well as the ability of students to record their answers in ways they prefer (e.g. voice or text),” it said.

Hamilton Catholic students once again outshone their public counterparts, although they also struggled on math, with 66 per cent of Grade 3s meeting the standard and 54 per cent doing so in Grade 6.

The latter matches both last year’s results and this year’s provincial average, and has prompted the Catholic board to strike a math task force that is expected to report to trustees early next year.

On reading, results for both grades were one percentage point below the provincial average, with 69 per cent of Grade 3s and 78 per cent of Grade 6s meeting the standard.

Results for writing were better, with 81 per cent of Grade 3s and 83 per cent of Grade 6s hitting the standard, compared to a provincial average of 78 per cent for both grades.

As with their public counterparts, the Catholic students’ writing scores continued steady improvement from five years ago, when 76 per cent of Grade 3s and 75 per cent of Grade 6s met the standard.

Catholic board superintendent David Hansen said there is “a very real disconnect” between the Grade 6s’ math scores and their success on reading and writing.

“We have to really look hard at the test and see what is going on,” he said in his board’s analysis of the results.

Math scores blot better EQAO reading, writing results at Hamilton schools

News Sep 23, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

Just 46 per cent of public board Grade 6s meet provincial standard

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

The Hamilton public school board’s focus on literacy in kindergarten to Grade 2 seems to be paying off, but math remains a sore spot, especially in Grade 6.

The latest Education Quality Accountability Office test results show steady improvement on reading and writing at both the Grade 3 and Grade 6 level, although scores still lag behind the provincial average by four to five percentage points.

On the Grade 3 test, 66 percent met the standard on reading, up 10 percentage points from five years ago, while 74 per cent did so on writing, up nine percentage points over the same period.

Among Grade 6s, 74 per cent hit the standard for reading and 73 per cent for writing, compared to 67 per cent and 64 per cent, respectively, five years ago.

The EQAO goal is for 75 per cent of students to meet the standard.

Math results were less encouraging and mirrored a provincial downward trend.

Fifty-nine per cent of Grade 3s met the standard, the same as last year and eight percentage points below the provincial average for the May test.

Among Grade 6s, just 46 per cent hit the standard, eight percentage points below the Ontario average and down six percentage points from five years ago.

In an analysis on its website, the board said it is addressing the decline with a three-pronged “comprehensive math strategy” that includes better teacher training and a balanced focus on basic math skills and problem-solving.

The board said it’s also confident a plan to spend $18 million over the next five years to give iPad computer tablets to every student in grades 4 to 12 will “engage students for greater math success.”

Known as Transforming Learning Everywhere, the initiative will enhance math instruction “through diagnostics built into iPad applications, as well as the ability of students to record their answers in ways they prefer (e.g. voice or text),” it said.

Hamilton Catholic students once again outshone their public counterparts, although they also struggled on math, with 66 per cent of Grade 3s meeting the standard and 54 per cent doing so in Grade 6.

The latter matches both last year’s results and this year’s provincial average, and has prompted the Catholic board to strike a math task force that is expected to report to trustees early next year.

On reading, results for both grades were one percentage point below the provincial average, with 69 per cent of Grade 3s and 78 per cent of Grade 6s meeting the standard.

Results for writing were better, with 81 per cent of Grade 3s and 83 per cent of Grade 6s hitting the standard, compared to a provincial average of 78 per cent for both grades.

As with their public counterparts, the Catholic students’ writing scores continued steady improvement from five years ago, when 76 per cent of Grade 3s and 75 per cent of Grade 6s met the standard.

Catholic board superintendent David Hansen said there is “a very real disconnect” between the Grade 6s’ math scores and their success on reading and writing.

“We have to really look hard at the test and see what is going on,” he said in his board’s analysis of the results.